Thursday, September 30, 2004

Mixing up the Message

Mixing up the Message
President Bush has tried to show the American public that he's focused on Iraq by focusing on his message: "You can embolden the enemy by sending a mixed message. You can dispirit the Iraqi people by sending mixed messages," he said in a news conference last week. But what about the ill effects of refusing to create a workable plan and misleading everyone on the lack of progress.

Merely sitting tall in the saddle (or in the cab of a pickup truck, as it were) appears to be the "accomplishment" President Bush is most proud of during his tenure. He's stayed strong, gotten tough, bore down, put his game face on, or whatever other tired sport cliché any high school coach uses during a speech to rally his team.

But here's the difference: Even the worst high school coach knows that strategic adjustments sometimes must be made to ensure victory. As another old cliché goes: Talk is cheap.

It's the Bush administration's miscalculations that have been costly. A new report conducted by a private security company has found that the pattern of violence in Iraq is far more widespread and serious than Iraqi government officials have acknowledged. "If you look at incident data and you put incident data on the map, it's not a few provinces," said Adam Collins, a security expert and the chief intelligence official in Iraq for Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group, Inc.

Over the course of the last month, there have been over 2,300 attacks by insurgents against both military and civilian targets; attacks that have included car bombs, time bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, hand grenades, small-arms fire, mortar attacks and land mines.

Meanwhile, a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the Pentagon could conceivably run out of reserve forces if current deployment rates continue. More than 40 percent of the troops in Iraq are reservists, and that number is expected to climb over 50 percent in the coming months.

"There are already indications that some portions of the force are being stressed. For example, the Army National Guard failed to meet its recruiting goal during 14 of 20 months from October 2002 to May 2004 and ended fiscal 2003 approximately 7,800 soldiers below its recruiting goal," the GAO report said.

Want a sense of just how stretched our forces are? Take a look at these statistics presented in the Navy Times:

"[T]he Navy and Marine Corps have mobilized 60 percent and 100 percent of their reserve enlisted law enforcement specialists and 48 percent and 100 percent of their intelligence officers, respectively. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve mobilized 64 percent and 93 percent of their enlisted law enforcement specialists and 71 and 86 percent of their installation security personnel, respectively."

At the same time, retention rates in some skill fields are dropping precipitously. For example, retention rates for Army National Guard members with aviation skills hovered at 80 percent in 2000. Just two years later, that number had dropped to about 30 percent.

President Bush shouldn't worry about sending a mixed message by acknowledging this mess – he should worry about sending the wrong one by continuing to do nothing about it.

A different noise

A different noise
In the first of his weekly columns for Guardian Unlimited, Markos Moulitsas tells how US liberals have fought back against rightwing domination of the media since their 'goring' in 2000,13918,1314554,00.html
Tuesday September 28, 2004

It was the year 2000, and Democrats were running on a record of peace and prosperity stewarded by the capable, if morally imperfect, Bill Clinton. It was a race that should have been won by their candidate, Al Gore. In fact, it was won by Al Gore, but the Rightwing Noise Machine kept it close enough to be stolen by the Republicans and their allies at the supreme court.

What is the Rightwing Noise Machine? Conservatives in the United States have spent the last 30 years building a vast infrastructure designed to create ideas, distribute them, and sell them to the American public. It spans multiple think tanks and a well-oiled message machine that has a stranglehold on American discourse. From the Weekly Standard, Rush Limbaugh, Wall Street Journal, Drudge Report and Murdoch's Fox News, to (more recently) the mindless drones in the rightwing blogosphere, the right enjoys the ability to control entire news cycles, holding them hostage for entire elections....

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

George W. Bush's Iraq

Scott C. Smith: 'George W. Bush's Iraq'
Posted on Wednesday, September 29 @ 10:06:55 EDT
By Scott C. Smith
"I'm pleased with the progress (in Iraq)," President George W. Bush said on Sept. 18 to a Maine newspaper. "It's hard. Don't get me wrong. It's hard because there are some in Iraq who want to disrupt the election and disrupt the march to democracy, which should speak to their fear of freedom."

What is Bush smoking? Is he hitting the bottle? What the hell is he talking about? What progress? Iraq is in utter chaos right now. What progress is he pleased with? The frequent kidnapping and decapitation of hostages? The non-stop fighting in Fallujah? The near-daily deaths of American troops?

Intelligence: A lost virtue in American politics

Randolph T. Holhut: 'Intelligence: A lost virtue in American politics'
Posted on Wednesday, September 29 @ 10:10:11 EDT
By Randolph T. Holhut
Smirking Chimp

DUMMERSTON, Vt. - There will be many contrasts between John F. Kerry and George W. Bush that will be seen in Thursday's first presidential debate.

I think the biggest one that Americans will have to consider is the difference between having an intelligent and intellectually curious man in the White House and having a man who seems to be proud of his lack of intellectual curiosity.

Leave aside the policy differences and the campaign styles and focus on this.

Both Bush (Andover) and Kerry (St. Paul's) went to upper-crust prep schools. Both went to Yale and partook of an Ivy League education. Both have post-graduate degrees - Bush has an MBA from Harvard Business School and Kerry has a law degree from Boston College Law School.

On paper, the two men have remarkably similar educational experiences. So why does Kerry seem so much more intelligent than Bush?

Families of Iraq War Dead Target Bush in Ads

Families of Iraq War Dead Target Bush in Ads
Wed Sep 29, 4:30 PM ET
Politics - Reuters
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Angered by President Bush (news - web sites)'s policy in Iraq (news - web sites), a group of military families whose relatives died there is targeting the president in new television ads to be aired ahead of the Nov. 2 election.

"I think the American people need to know that we have been betrayed in this rush to war," said Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey is among more than 1,000 U.S. troops who died in Iraq.

Sheehan joined a small group of military families at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday to launch new political ads by an interest group called, which supports Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites)'s White House bid....

Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops

Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops
NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2004
By David Paul Kuhn
©MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The charge of "flip-flopping" has resounded throughout the presidential race, with the Bush campaign repeatedly accusing Sen. John Kerry of changing his mind on the issues. The Kerry campaign, in turn, has declared that Mr. Bush is the one doing the flip-flopping. Chief Political Writer David Paul Kuhn looks at the record and finds both men are correct. Here, the president's most notable flip-flops.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Announcing the invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003, Mr. Bush said, “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

Two months into the war, on May 29, 2003, Mr. Bush said weapons of mass destruction had been found.

“We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories,” Mr. Bush told Polish television. “For those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

On Sept. 9, 2004, in Pennsylvania, Mr. Bush said: “I recognize we didn't find the stockpiles [of weapons] we all thought were there.”

Nation Building and the War in Iraq

During the 2000 campaign, George W. Bush argued against nation building and foreign military entanglements. In the second presidential debate, he said: "I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say, 'This is the way it's got to be.'"

The United States is currently involved in nation building in Iraq on a scale unseen since the years immediately following World War II.

During the 2000 election, Mr. Bush called for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from the NATO peacekeeping mission in the Balkans. His administration now cites such missions as an example of how America must "stay the course."

Iraq and the Sept. 11 Attacks

In a press conference in September 2002, six months before the invasion of Iraq, President Bush said, “you can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror... they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive.”

In September of 2004, Mr. Bush said: “We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September 11th." Though he added that “there's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties,” the statement seemingly belied earlier assertions that Saddam and al Qaeda were “equally bad.”

The Sept. 11 commission found there was no evidence Saddam was linked to the 9/11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

The Sept. 11 Commission

President Bush initially opposed the creation of an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks. In May 2002, he said, “Since it deals with such sensitive information, in my judgment, it's best for the ongoing war against terror that the investigation be done in the intelligence committee.”

Bowing to pressure from victims' families, Mr. Bush reversed his position. The following September, he backed an independent investigation.

Free Trade

During the 2000 presidential election, Mr. Bush championed free trade. Then, eyeing campaign concerns that allowed him to win West Virginia, he imposed 30 percent tariffs on foreign steel products from Europe and other nations in March 2002.

Twenty-one months later, Mr. Bush changed his mind and rescinded the steel tariffs. Choosing to stand on social issues instead of tariffs in steel country – Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – the Bush campaign decided it could afford to upset the steel industry rather than further estrange old alliances.

Homeland Security Department

President Bush initially opposed creating a new Department of Homeland Security. He wanted Tom Ridge, now the secretary of Homeland Security, to remain an adviser.

Mr. Bush reversed himself and backed the largest expansion of the federal government since the creation of the Defense Department in 1949.

Same-Sex Marriage

During the 2000 campaign, Mr. Bush said he was against federal intervention regarding the issue of same-sex marriage. In an interview with CNN's Larry King, he said, states "can do what they want to do" on the issue. Vice President Cheney took the same stance.

Four year later, this past February, Mr. Bush announced his support for an amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as being exclusively between men and women. The amendment would forbid states from doing "what they want to do" on same-sex marriage.

Citing recent decisions by “activist judges” in states like Massachusetts, Mr. Bush defended his reversal. Critics point out that well before the 2000 presidential race, a judge in Hawaii ruled in December 1996 that there was no compelling reason for withholding marriage from same-sex couples.

Winning the War on Terror

"I don't think you can win it," Mr. Bush said of the war on terror in August. In an interview on NBC's "Today" show, he said, “I think you can create conditions so that . . . those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

Before the month closed, Mr. Bush reversed himself at the American Legion national convention in Nashville. He said: "We meet today in a time of war for our country, a war we did not start yet one that we will win." He later added, “we are winning, and we will win."

Campaign Finance Reform

President Bush was initially against the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill. He opposed any soft-money limits on individuals to national parties.

But Mr. Bush later signed McCain-Feingold into law. The law, named for Senate sponsors John McCain, R-Ariz., and Russell Feingold, D-Wis., barred both national parties from collecting soft money from individuals.

During the 2000 race, Mr. Bush showed support for the so-called 527 groups’ right to air advertising.

In March 2000, he told CBS News' "Face the Nation," "There have been ads, independent expenditures, that are saying bad things about me. I don't particularly care when they do, but that's what freedom of speech is all about.”

In late August of this year, in an effort to distance himself from controversial anti-Kerry ads by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Mr. Bush reversed his position, announcing he would join McCain in legal action to stop these "shadowy" organizations.

Though it would close the Swift Boat group's funding, court action would also silence well-funded liberal 527 organizations like and America Coming Together.

Gas Prices

Mr. Bush was critical of Al Gore in the 2000 campaign for being part of “the administration that's been in charge” while the “price of gasoline has gone steadily upward.” In December 1999, in the first Republican primary debate, Mr. Bush said President Clinton “must jawbone OPEC members to lower prices.”

As gas topped a record level of $50 a barrel this week, Mr. Bush has shown no propensity to personally pressure, or “jawbone,” Mideast oil producers to increase output.

A spokesman for the president reportedly said in March that Mr. Bush will not personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds.

Why I will vote for Kerry - JOHN EISENHOWER

Another View:
Why I will vote for John Kerry for President
Guest Commentary
THE Presidential election to be held this coming Nov. 2 will be one of extraordinary importance to the future of our nation. The outcome will determine whether this country will continue on the same path it has followed for the last 3½ years or whether it will return to a set of core domestic and foreign policy values that have been at the heart of what has made this country great.

Now more than ever, we voters will have to make cool judgments, unencumbered by habits of the past. Experts tell us that we tend to vote as our parents did or as we “always have.” We remained loyal to party labels. We cannot afford that luxury in the election of 2004. There are times when we must break with the past, and I believe this is one of them.

As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

The fact is that today’s “Republican” Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word “Republican” has always been synonymous with the word “responsibility,” which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.

In the Middle East crisis of 1991, President George H.W. Bush marshaled world opinion through the United Nations before employing military force to free Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Through negotiation he arranged for the action to be financed by all the industrialized nations, not just the United States. When Kuwait had been freed, President George H. W. Bush stayed within the United Nations mandate, aware of the dangers of occupying an entire nation.

Today many people are rightly concerned about our precious individual freedoms, our privacy, the basis of our democracy. Of course we must fight terrorism, but have we irresponsibly gone overboard in doing so? I wonder. In 1960, President Eisenhower told the Republican convention, “If ever we put any other value above (our) liberty, and above principle, we shall lose both.” I would appreciate hearing such warnings from the Republican Party of today.

The Republican Party I used to know placed heavy emphasis on fiscal responsibility, which included balancing the budget whenever the state of the economy allowed it to do so. The Eisenhower administration accomplished that difficult task three times during its eight years in office. It did not attain that remarkable achievement by cutting taxes for the rich. Republicans disliked taxes, of course, but the party accepted them as a necessary means of keep the nation’s financial structure sound.

The Republicans used to be deeply concerned for the middle class and small business. Today’s Republican leadership, while not solely accountable for the loss of American jobs, encourages it with its tax code and heads us in the direction of a society of very rich and very poor.

Sen. Kerry, in whom I am willing to place my trust, has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent, and concerned with fighting the dangers associated with the widening socio-economic gap in this country. I will vote for him enthusiastically.

I celebrate, along with other Americans, the diversity of opinion in this country. But let it be based on careful thought. I urge everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, to avoid voting for a ticket merely because it carries the label of the party of one’s parents or of our own ingrained habits.

John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, served on the White House staff between October 1958 and the end of the Eisenhower administration. From 1961 to 1964 he assisted his father in writing “The White House Years,” his Presidential memoirs. He served as American ambassador to Belgium between 1969 and 1971. He is the author of nine books, largely on military subjects.

Copyright © 2004 The Union Leader.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bush's hometown Crawford paper endorses Kerry

Kerry Will Restore American Dignity
2004 Iconoclast Presidential Endorsement
© Copyright 2004 The Lone Star Iconoclast.

Few Americans would have voted for George W. Bush four years ago if he had promised that, as President, he would:
• Empty the Social Security trust fund by $507 billion to help offset fiscal irresponsibility and at the same time slash Social Security benefits.
• Cut Medicare by 17 percent and reduce veterans’ benefits and military pay.
• Eliminate overtime pay for millions of Americans and raise oil prices by 50 percent.
• Give tax cuts to businesses that sent American jobs overseas, and, in fact, by policy encourage their departure.
• Give away billions of tax dollars in government contracts without competitive bids.
• Involve this country in a deadly and highly questionable war, and
• Take a budget surplus and turn it into the worst deficit in the history of the United States, creating a debt in just four years that will take generations to repay.
These were elements of a hidden agenda that surfaced only after he took office.
The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda.
Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry, based not only on the things that Bush has delivered, but also on the vision of a return to normality that Kerry says our country needs.
Four items trouble us the most about the Bush administration: his initiatives to disable the Social Security system, the deteriorating state of the American economy, a dangerous shift away from the basic freedoms established by our founding fathers, and his continuous mistakes regarding terrorism and Iraq.
President Bush has announced plans to change the Social Security system as we know it by privatizing it, which when considering all the tangents related to such a change, would put the entire economy in a dramatic tailspin.
The Social Security Trust Fund actually lends money to the rest of the government in exchange for government bonds, which is how the system must work by law, but how do you later repay Social Security while you are running a huge deficit? It’s impossible, without raising taxes sometime in the future or becoming fiscally responsible now. Social Security money is being used to escalate our deficit and, at the same time, mask a much larger government deficit, instead of paying down the national debt, which would be a proper use, to guarantee a future gain.
Privatization is problematic in that it would subject Social Security to the ups, downs, and outright crashes of the Stock Market. It would take millions in brokerage fees and commissions out of the system, and, unless we have assurance that the Ivan Boeskys and Ken Lays of the world will be caught and punished as a deterrent, subject both the Market and the Social Security Fund to fraud and market manipulation, not to mention devastate and ruin multitudes of American families that would find their lives lost to starvation, shame, and isolation.
Kerry wants to keep Social Security, which each of us already owns. He says that the program is manageable, since it is projected to be solvent through 2042, with use of its trust funds. This would give ample time to strengthen the economy, reduce the budget deficit the Bush administration has created, and, therefore, bolster the program as needed to fit ever-changing demographics.
Our senior citizens depend upon Social Security. Bush’s answer is radical and uncalled for, and would result in chaos as Americans have never experienced. Do we really want to risk the future of Social Security on Bush by spinning the wheel of uncertainty?
In those dark hours after the World Trade Center attacks, Americans rallied together with a new sense of patriotism. We were ready to follow Bush’s lead through any travail.
He let us down.
When he finally emerged from his hide-outs on remote military bases well after the first crucial hours following the attack, he gave sound-bytes instead of solutions.
He did not trust us to be ready to sacrifice, build up our public and private security infrastructure, or cut down on our energy use to put economic pressure on the enemy in all the nations where he hides. He merely told us to shop, spend, and pretend nothing was wrong.
Rather than using the billions of dollars expended on the invasion of Iraq to shore up our boundaries and go after Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Arabian terrorists, the funds were used to initiate a war with what Bush called a more immediate menace, Saddam Hussein, in oil-rich Iraq. After all, Bush said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction trained on America. We believed him, just as we believed it when he reported that Iraq was the heart of terrorism. We trusted him.
The Iconoclast, the President’s hometown newspaper, took Bush on his word and editorialized in favor of the invasion. The newspaper’s publisher promoted Bush and the invasion of Iraq to Londoners in a BBC interview during the time that the administration was wooing the support of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Again, he let us down.
We presumed the President had solid proof of the existence of these weapons, what and where they were, even as the search continued. Otherwise, our troops would be in much greater danger and the premise for a hurried-up invasion would be moot, allowing more time to solicit assistance from our allies.
Instead we were duped into following yet another privileged agenda.
Now he argues unconvincingly that Iraq was providing safe harbor to terrorists, his new key justification for the invasion. It is like arguing that America provided safe harbor to terrorists leading to 9/11.
Once and for all, George Bush was President of the United States on that day. No one else. He had been President nine months, he had been officially warned of just such an attack a full month before it happened. As President, ultimately he and only he was responsible for our failure to avert those attacks.
We should expect that a sitting President would vacation less, if at all, and instead tend to the business of running the country, especially if he is, as he likes to boast, a “wartime president.” America is in service 365 days a year. We don’t need a part-time President who does not show up for duty as Commander-In-Chief until he is forced to, and who is in a constant state of blameless denial when things don’t get done.
What has evolved from the virtual go-it-alone conquest of Iraq is more gruesome than a stain on a White House intern’s dress. America’s reputation and influence in the world has diminished, leaving us with brute force as our most persuasive voice.
Iraq is now a quagmire: no WMDs, no substantive link between Saddam and Osama, and no workable plan for the withdrawal of our troops. We are asked to go along on faith. But remember, blind patriotism can be a dangerous thing and “spin” will not bring back to life a dead soldier; certainly not a thousand of them.
Kerry has remained true to his vote granting the President the authority to use the threat of war to intimidate Saddam Hussein into allowing weapons inspections. He believes President Bush rushed into war before the inspectors finished their jobs.
Kerry also voted against President Bush’s $87 billion for troop funding because the bill promoted poor policy in Iraq, privileged Halliburton and other corporate friends of the Bush administration to profiteer from the war, and forced debt upon future generations of Americans.
Kerry’s four-point plan for Iraq is realistic, wise, strong, and correct. With the help from our European and Middle Eastern allies, his plan is to train Iraqi security forces, involve Iraqis in their rebuilding and constitution-writing processes, forgive Iraq’s multi-billion dollar debts, and convene a regional conference with Iraq’s neighbors in order to secure a pledge of respect for Iraq’s borders and non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.
The publishers of the Iconoclast differ with Bush on other issues, including the denial of stem cell research, shortchanging veterans’ entitlements, cutting school programs and grants, dictating what our children learn through a thought-controlling “test” from Washington rather than allowing local school boards and parents to decide how young people should be taught, ignoring the environment, and creating extraneous language in the Patriot Act that removes some of the very freedoms that our founding fathers and generations of soldiers fought so hard to preserve.
We are concerned about the vast exportation of jobs to other countries, due in large part to policies carried out by Bush appointees. Funds previously geared at retention of small companies are being given to larger concerns, such as Halliburton — companies with strong ties to oil and gas. Job training has been cut every year that Bush has resided at the White House.
Then there is his resolve to inadequately finance Homeland Security and to cut the Community Oriented Policing Program (COPS) by 94 percent, to reduce money for rural development, to slash appropriations for the Small Business Administration, and to under-fund veterans’ programs.
Likewise troubling is that President Bush fought against the creation of the 9/11 Commission and is yet to embrace its recommendations.
Vice President Cheney’s Halliburton has been awarded multi-billion-dollar contracts without undergoing any meaningful bid process — an enormous conflict of interest — plus the company has been significantly raiding the funds of Export-Import Bank of America, reducing investment that could have gone toward small business trade.
When examined based on all the facts, Kerry’s voting record is enviable and echoes that of many Bush allies who are aghast at how the Bush administration has destroyed the American economy. Compared to Bush on economic issues, Kerry would be an arch-conservative, providing for Americans first. He has what it takes to right our wronged economy.
The re-election of George W. Bush would be a mandate to continue on our present course of chaos. We cannot afford to double the debt that we already have. We need to be moving in the opposite direction.
John Kerry has 30 years of experience looking out for the American people and can navigate our country back to prosperity and re-instill in America the dignity she so craves and deserves. He has served us well as a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and has had a successful career as a district attorney, lieutenant governor, and senator.
Kerry has a positive vision for America, plus the proven intelligence, good sense, and guts to make it happen.
That’s why The Iconoclast urges Texans not to rate the candidate by his hometown or even his political party, but instead by where he intends to take the country.
The Iconoclast wholeheartedly endorses John Kerry.

Third party could tilt Nevada to Kerry

Third party could tilt Nevada to Kerry
By Thomas Oliphant
Boston Globe
September 28, 2004
FOR THOSE who adore the oddities of politics, this place may be ground zero.
In this quirky polity wrestling with the consequences of explosive population growth, it is the Libertarian Party candidate, Mike Bednarik, who is causing the trouble, much more than Ralph Nader.
As the state mirrors the nation in advance of this week's first debate between George Bush and John Kerry, with the president's advantage shrinking to the barely detectable as the chaos in Iraq continues, every vote may count.
For folks on the right who don't like the Bush administration's big government conservatism, be it federal spending or the Patriot Act, Bednarik is a credible, if marginal player in a state where "Leave Me Alone" is a slogan with resonance. With the presidential race either dead even (Democratic view) or showing a tiny Bush lead (Republican view), Bednarik's 3 percent in recent surveys comes into play more than Nader's even smaller numbers....

'Gallup polls: Conditioning the public for vote rigging?'

'Gallup polls: Conditioning the public for vote rigging?'
Posted on Monday, September 27 @ 10:21:39 EDT
By Stephen Crockett and Al Lawrence

The recent polls showing a large Bush lead seem to be designed to either discourage Democratic voters and/or condition the American public for a Bush victory based on vote rigging. The methodology that seems to be in use by Gallup and most other polling firms connected to large corporations are greatly over weighted to give Republicans excessive representation and do not give sufficient weight to Democratic voters based on historical voting trend. Polls by independent polling organizations that are using properly weighted samples (like Zogby, Pew Research, Harris and others) are not showing a significant Bush lead and some have Kerry ahead!....

The Unfeeling President

The Unfeeling President
By E.L. Doctorow
East Hampton Star
I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life . . . they come to his desk as a political liability, which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for the sake of themselves and their friends.

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader. The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty, he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember the millions of people here and around the world who marched against the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen coming. There are little wars all over he world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail. How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for ourselves.

The novelist E.L. Doctorow has a house in Sag Harbor.

There are no rules other than winning.

The Big Fix
Digby, quoting Jeffrey Rosen:
Gore and his team knew that the Republicans would fight with everything they had, but they still maintained some faith in the legal system to require basic fairness in something this important. And, even the most cynical of us thought that the egos of the Supreme Court justices would never allow them to make a purely partisan decision because history would remember them as whores.
If I had any political idealism left it died on the day that Antonin Scalia stopped judges from counting votes in Florida.
This article shows that fix was in from the beginning. Had Gore audaciously requested a statewide recount he would have been accused of not following the strict laws that required him to show problems in each precinct. It was always headed to the Supremes and once they took the case, the interviews with the Supreme court clerks show that there was never any question about who would win. It was always a decision in search of a rationale.
If Jeffrey Rosen is correct and dozens of lawsuits await filing in close races out there, all based on this ill-considered opinion, then we are likely to see a repeat. After all, the same five vote majority still sits on the court today. And like all the others who voted for this irresponsible, unqualified, incompetent boob in 2000, they are not likely to admit their mistake and vote otherwise this time out.
This time, we must operate on that assumption and prepare for a knife fight --- in the courts and in the realm of public opinion. There are no rules other than winning.

Links to a great Vanity Fair article on the 2000 election in Florida:

Monday, September 27, 2004

Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed

Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed

Here are the Top 10 states that feed at the federal trough (with Red States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Most in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. D.C. ($6.17)
2. North Dakota ($2.03)
3. New Mexico ($1.89)
4. Mississippi ($1.84)
5. Alaska ($1.82)
6. West Virginia ($1.74)
7. Montana ($1.64)
8. Alabama ($1.61)
9. South Dakota ($1.59)
10. Arkansas ($1.53)

In contrast, of the 16 states that are "losers" -- receiving less in federal spending than they pay in federal taxes -- 69% are Blue States that voted for Al Gore in 2000. Indeed, 11 of the 14 (79%) of the states receiving the least federal spending per dollar of federal taxes paid are Blue States. Here are the Top 10 states that supply feed for the federal trough (with Blue States highlighted in bold):

States Receiving Least in Federal Spending Per Dollar of Federal Taxes Paid:

1. New Jersey ($0.62)
2. Connecticut ($0.64)
3. New Hampshire ($0.68)
4. Nevada ($0.73)
5. Illinois ($0.77)
6. Minnesota ($0.77)
7. Colorado ($0.79)
8. Massachusetts ($0.79)
9. California ($0.81)
10. New York ($0.81)
Two states -- Florida and Oregon (coincidentally, the two closest states in the 2000 Presidential election) -- received $1.00 in federal spending for each $1.00 in federal taxes paid.

The Scandals Finally Break

The Scandals Finally Break
By Kevin Drum
Washington Monthly
What do we have to look forward to if George W. Bush is elected to a second term? One word: scandal.
Don't believe me? Consider the highlight reel of reelected presidents over the past 50 years. Ike won a second term and watched in dismay as his chief of staff was forced to resign over a vicuña coat. Richard Nixon buried George McGovern in 1972 and then resigned a year and a half later when Watergate finally caught up to him. Ronald Reagan sweated out his second term wondering if he'd be impeached over Iran-Contra. Bill Clinton didn't have to wonder: Two years after his reelection, he was defending himself in the first impeachment trial in over a century.
Coincidence? Don't believe it. There are three good reasons to think that second terms naturally lend themselves to scandal, and George Bush is almost preternaturally vulnerable to every one of them. Let's count them off.....

Eminent domain abuse

The taking of property by local governments on behalf of devdelopers or other favored groups is a growing problem....

Three Votes and a Cloud of Dust: On the Ground

Sunday, September 26, 2004
Three Votes and a Cloud of Dust
New Donkey

Throughout this election cycle, spinmeisters from both parties have regularly boasted "their team" was going to have a big advantage in the "ground game" of turning out voters on Election Day (or even before that, in the case of absentee ballot voters). For the most part, media types have blandly reported both sides' claims, creating the impression that Democratic and Republican GOTV efforts would cancel each other out.
Finally, somebody went out and checked.
On the front page of the Sunday NYT, Ford Fessenden reports on a Times study of registration numbers in the two most crucial battleground states, Ohio and Florida. And it confirms two things I've felt strongly about, but had little more than anecdotal evidence to support: (1) this is going to be a high-turnout election (which in itself is helpful to Democrats), and (2) Democrats are way, way ahead in the ground game....

The Rove Treatment

Joshua Marshall:
So now we get some  details about how the Rove treatment works -- and not just speculation, but with descriptions from former Rove staffers who helped organize some of his trademark whispering campaigns....

Going Upriver - Kerry documentary web site

Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry is a feature length documentary about character and moral leadership during a time of national crisis. Loosely based on the best-selling book Tour of Duty by Douglas Brinkley, Going Upriver examines the story of John Kerry and the key events that made him a national figure and the man he is today. The film places particular emphasis on his bravery during the Vietnam War and his courageous opposition to the war upon his return.

The film traces Kerry’s early life as a young man who chooses to enlist in the Navy, eventually going to Vietnam. The film reveals intimate, first person accounts of Kerry’s war service through his own private letters, his eloquent journal, and the vivid memories of the men who served at his side. When Kerry came home disillusioned by the war, he and his fellow Vietnam Veterans challenged Congress and the Nixon administration...

Nader plays crucial role in reelection plan

Posted on Sun, Sep. 26, 2004
Nader plays crucial role in reelection plan
Miami Herald

Glenda Hood is sleeping easier these days, now that Ralph Nader is back on the ballot in Florida.

Still, it was a close call for the ex-Orlando mayor and Republican stalwart who was hand-picked by Gov. Jeb Bush to succeed Katherine Harris as secretary of state, overseer of elections.

Harris' glazedly obedient, Stepford-wife performance during the 2000 vote debacle has been a tough act to follow, but Hood shows promise.

First came the infamous purge of felons from Florida's voting rolls. The list of vanquished conveniently failed to include thousands of Hispanics, who tend to vote Republican.

The scheme was hurriedly scrapped after African-American groups and others pointed out the rather glaring bias.

The Nader maneuver turned out sweeter for Hood, although for a few days it appeared that she was in danger of letting the team down.

Nader rescued Bush four years ago, and he's back again, completing his bizarre descent from iconic consumer crusader to petulant, ego-addled spoiler. He won't win more than 3 percent nationally, but that's all the buffer that the GOP may need....

Nader plays crucial role in reelection plan

Nader plays crucial role in reelection plan
Miami Herald

Glenda Hood is sleeping easier these days, now that Ralph Nader is back on the ballot in Florida.

Still, it was a close call for the ex-Orlando mayor and Republican stalwart who was hand-picked by Gov. Jeb Bush to succeed Katherine Harris as secretary of state, overseer of elections.

Harris' glazedly obedient, Stepford-wife performance during the 2000 vote debacle has been a tough act to follow, but Hood shows promise.

First came the infamous purge of felons from Florida's voting rolls. The list of vanquished conveniently failed to include thousands of Hispanics, who tend to vote Republican.

The scheme was hurriedly scrapped after African-American groups and others pointed out the rather glaring bias.

The Nader maneuver turned out sweeter for Hood, although for a few days it appeared that she was in danger of letting the team down.

Nader rescued Bush four years ago, and he's back again, completing his bizarre descent from iconic consumer crusader to petulant, ego-addled spoiler. He won't win more than 3 percent nationally, but that's all the buffer that the GOP may need.

Incurious George is a national joke

Incurious George is a national joke
By Les Payne
September 26, 2004,0,2028106.column
OK, how many out there feel that the sitting U.S. president is an embarrassment?
Forget politics, for a minute, and be honest. Ever slink down in your seat when at the national convention your local chairman addressed the masses and got exposed as a doofus in over his head? Worst yet, your child gets his big moment before the packed house at the stage-play and his light goes completely out?
This shame may well be that nagging ache in the lower mesentery that Americans are beginning to feel - but not yet admit - about their 43rd president.
The latest exhibition occurred Tuesday when President George W. Bush addressed the United Nations. Bush's most devoted defenders are joining his parents, who've known all along, that his finger on the nuclear trigger endangers the very future of the republic. That sucking sound you heard last week was these earnest patriots collectively slinking down in their seats.
As the world witnessed the bloodiest days of his Iraq occupation, Bush rose before the General Assembly and walked, as only he can walk, straight through the looking glass. "Freedom is finding a way in Iraq," the president said, even as militants separated the second American hostage from his head in as many days. Preceding Bush at the UN rostrum, Secretary General Kofi Annan had warned the world body "the rule of law is at risk around the world."
No such risks concerned Bush on his stroll behind the looking glass. Still, it was not just the disconnect of this president from reality that exposes the republic. The fault-line runs much deeper and it is as structural as it is personal. The structural must await another visit, but the personal is unfolding apace.
As the secret to each of us lies in our childhood, so too is it with Bush. Far more important than what Bush did with his lost days in the Alabama National Guard is how little prep-school "Georgie" was conditioned to solve problems and deal with the real world. His parents, of course, are aware of their oldest child's manifest shortcomings and must be horrified at the prospects of the rest of us discovering them.
Despite the best efforts of the media, the public is gaining insight into their president as the facts leak out and as Kitty Kelley's "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," tops the sales chart. Laying aside Bush's raucous drinking, the cocaine charges and his lifelong exploitation of his "legacy," his formative years are instructive indeed about the president who started a needless war to beat his chest as a "war president." His background explains as well the president who is unimaginably ignorant of the history, culture and aspirations of the 191 nations that he addressed the other day at the General Assembly.
The macho swagger we saw at the UN podium was not so much Texas cowboy as wannabe athlete. "Georgie" could dribble a basketball with but one hand, and, unlike his father, could hit a baseball not at all. So he settled for the Yale cheerleading squad with the reputation of a "jock sniffer."
Foreshadowing his flirtation with war, Bush opted for the trappings. "He wasn't the stud jock that everyone liked," recalled Ken White, a classmate at Yale, in Kelley's book. "But he did have a bad-boy swagger that's appealing to other guys," an attraction that continues at least among white guys. "He smoked unfiltered Lucky Strikes to be macho."
This pseudo-macho scion of a prominent political family took every advantage of class privilege that got him to third base under the delusion that he had hit a triple. At Andover, Yale and Harvard business school, this swaggering mediocrity nestled at the bottom of every class, perplexed by achievers not of his class, to say nothing of his race. At Andover, Bush reportedly sported on his wall a Confederate flag that might have repelled Andover's two blacks, and perhaps the one Puerto Rican, in its class of 290.
It was, however, Bush's towering lack of intellect that defined him. "That (Bush) coasted on his family name was understandable," said Yale frat brother Tom Wilner. "Lots of guys do that. But Georgie, as we called him then, has absolutely no intellectual curiosity about anything. He wasn't interested in ideas or books or causes. He didn't travel; he didn't read the newspapers; he didn't watch the news ... How he got out of Yale without developing some interest in the world besides booze and sports stuns me."
Chasing down bogus war records and irrelevant cocaine tips, the media have missed the boat on the background of the gloating "war president." It was Wilner who loosed the most salient line in Kelley's book: "Hell, it's not George's substance abuse that bothers me as much as his lack of substance."
Is this not cause for national embarrassment? Think about it.

Copyright © 2004, Newsday, Inc.

When five voted for millions

When five voted for millions
By ROBYN E. BLUMNER, Times Perspective Columnist
Published September 26, 2004
© 2004 • All Rights Reserved • St. Petersburg Times
One of the darkest hours in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court was Dec. 12, 2000, at 10 p.m., when the five-member conservative majority handed the presidency to George W. Bush over his rival Al Gore.

Despite Florida's 61,000 statewide undervotes - possible legal votes that had not been counted by the machines - the high court claimed it was acting in the name of fairness to the state's voters when it overturned a decision by the Florida Supreme Court and stopped the recount.

At the time, there were still six days before the state's electors were scheduled meet and fully 25 days before Congress was to count the electoral votes. Yet the high court claimed there was no more time, effectively anointing Bush the winner in Florida by 537 votes.

With the Supreme Court to reconvene on Oct. 4 with the same group of justices and another potentially tight presidential election around the corner, it is worth revisiting this travesty.

Blatant partisanship was what made Bush vs. Gore such a blow to the integrity of the Supreme Court. In any number of ways the justices in the majority contorted the law and normative court procedure to reach the result they wanted.

The conservative bloc second-guessed the Florida Supreme Court on what had been a perfectly plausible interpretation of state law - something the court in the past said it would not do. And the court hung its rationale on an equal protection argument - condemning the Florida high court for failing to establish a uniform standard for vote counting during the recount - such as that ballots with hanging chads should be counted but those with pregnant chads (not punched through) should not. In accordance with precedent, the Florida court had left it to local elections officials to ascertain voter intent on each ballot.

Yet the justices knew that such a marked expansion of the Constitution's equal protection guarantees - one that said all votes had to be subject to uniform consideration - could cast doubt on the fairness of all state elections. Various voting methodologies, from optical scan machines to punch-card balloting, have starkly differing error rates.

So to avoid really meaning what it was saying, the majority's unsigned decision limited the reach of the ruling to the Bush vs. Gore case alone. No precedent here, just convenient law made for this one occasion.

Justice John Paul Stevens bemoaned this legal legerdemain in his dissent: "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law."

Stevens knew what went on behind the scenes and just how politicized and results-oriented the case's consideration had been. Now, thanks to a masterpiece of reporting in October's Vanity Fair, we know too. Reporter David Margolick headed a writing team that spoke with a number of former Supreme Court clerks who were there when the Bush case came before the court. Though most of Margolick's sources were former clerks for the liberal justices, some were from the conservative side as well.

While the clerks had pledged to keep the details of their tenure confidential, Margolick wrote that the clerks felt they were witnesses to an abuse of power and didn't feel obliged to shield those actions.

The Supreme Court stepped into Florida's recount twice. The first time all nine justices signed an opinion asking the Florida Supreme Court to clarify its ruling allowing a recount to proceed, though, according to Margolick, the liberal justices Stevens, Stephen Breyer, David Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg really thought the court should never have taken the case in the first instance.

Then, on Dec. 8, 2000, the Florida Supreme Court surprised everyone by addressing the high court's concerns and ordering a statewide recount of the undervotes. The Bush legal team ran back to the Supremes asking for a stay to stop the recount. (At one point Bush's lead had withered to 154 votes.)

Margolick reports that Justice Antonin Scalia was so anxious to shut the recount down that he pressured his colleagues to do so even before the Gore legal team had a chance to respond. That didn't happen, but consideration of the matter was moved up to the next morning. On the 9th, a stay was issued.

According to Margolick, the court's more conservative members, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Justices Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy, quickly started "sending around memos to their colleagues, each of them offering a different rationale for ruling in Bush's favor." They were "auditioning arguments," Margolick wrote. During the first go-round, Margolick reports, an O'Connor clerk told fellow clerks that "O'Connor was determined to overturn the Florida decision and was merely looking for grounds."

This was a court unhinged from the law, operating in a purely political guise, bereft of legitimacy.

Last week, before a friendly conservative audience, Scalia openly lamented the willingness of the Supreme Court to consider highly charged political questions on the death penalty and abortion, saying these issues should be left to the states. Funny, he didn't seem at all bothered that the court invaded state jurisdiction to choose a president.

Scalia's got a warped mirror. It is he who has damagingly politicized the court; and no doubt he would do it again if given the chance.
[Last modified September 26, 2004, 00:33:25]

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Federal deficit projection

Check out this chart - here's our future:

Outpacing Republicans in Ohio

Check out this chart - Dem voter registrations in OH oupace Republican registrations...

Bush: Would Give 'Mission Accomplished' Speech Again

Bush: Would Give 'Mission Accomplished' Speech Again
Sun Sep 26, 3:23 PM ET
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) said he had no regrets about donning a flight suit to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech on Iraq (news - web sites) in May 2003 and would do it all over again if he had the chance, according to excerpts from an television interview released on Sunday...

Anti-Bush t-shirts cause arrests and lawsuits

Anti-Bush t-shirts cause arrests and lawsuits
September 15, 2004
CHARLESTON, W.Va. ---- A couple arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts to a July 4 presidential appearance filed a federal lawsuit yesterday alleging their First Amendment rights were violated....

THE AWOL PROJECT - check out the latest

An Examination of the Bush Military Files

Leadership Matters

Leadership Matters
Karen Kwiatkowski
Believe it or not, "Leadership Matters" is a key theme of the Bush/Cheney re-election campaign.
....Some smart person ought to have mentioned this to George W. Bush when they approved the "Leadership Matters" theme.
An absence of leadership qualities in our military leaders gives rise to terms like "Seagull" Colonels and Generals, a species known to swoop in, make a lot of noise, crap all over everything, and then fly away. But our seagulls had an advantage over Bush and Cheney. Regardless of the mistakes made and not remedied, regardless of the illogic, stupidity and sheer idiocy of our present unit's existence under a seagull commander, at least we could be 100% sure they wouldn't be around for long.
High level incompetence seems to be the natural sea-state of our militarized foreign policy, launching forth with the proud Guardsman George W. Bush at the helm and Dick "Other Priorities" Cheney as navigator.....

Six qualities every great leader needs

Six qualities every great leader needs (Who doesn't this sound like?)
By Sarah Lourie, Assistant Editor
20 Sep 2004 |,289142,sid19_gci1007327,00.html

CHICAGO -- American Airlines Executive Chairman Ed Brennan knows about corporate leaders. He's had a seat on a dozen corporate boards -- he's sitting on four right now. Addressing attendees at the Society for Information Management's SIMposium 2004 last week, Brennan said leadership is one of those things you know when you see it. It's a subtle quality a friend of his described thusly: "I don't know if I can define leadership, but I know when I've been led."

What other qualities make for a good CIO?

Brennan said he believes that great technology leadership is imperative for businesses. "As an example, on the fateful day of 9/11, American Airlines had many important decisions to make," he said. "On average, at any time during the day, we have 900 to 1,000 planes airborne. The decision was made to ground the fleet, and all planes landed within one hour.

"IT was critical to making and implementing this decision; it would have been impossible without it," he stressed.

So what makes a great corporate leader? According to Brennan, six qualities separate the leaders from the followers:

1. Integrity: This is a deal breaker if you don't have it completely. When it comes to governance, Brennan said, he "never did anything or asked anyone to do anything he couldn't go home and explain to his kids."

2. A deep understanding of the business: "You can't fake it. People will know." While you don't need to know every detail, you do have to have a good grasp of the business.

3. Consistency: While keeping things fresh is important, leaders cannot change direction frequently. They will lose people's confidence.

4. Willingness to admit a mistake: Everyone makes mistakes. If you're not making any, you're not doing your job right. But Brennan emphasized the importance of admitting your missteps -- otherwise people will not respect you.

5. The ability to listen: Good leaders must be willing to handle opinions contrary to their own and absorb as much as they can.

6. Decisiveness: While you should listen to others' opinions, the final decision is yours to make. Brennan said when CEOs fail, very often it's because they are not decisive. Average tenure for a CEO has fallen from more than a decade to three years because people lose confidence in leaders whose indecision results in failure.

So where does the CIO fit into Brennan's framework? The perception of senior management is that IT over-promises and underachieves, he said. Just remember that a good leader will know that results don't happen overnight, and being patient is important, too.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

The dunce

The dunce
His former Harvard Business School professor recalls George W. Bush not just as a terrible student but as spoiled, loutish and a pathological liar.
By Mary Jacoby
Sept. 16, 2004  |  For 25 years, Yoshi Tsurumi, one of George W. Bush's professors at Harvard Business School, was content with his green-card status as a permanent legal resident of the United States. But Bush's ascension to the presidency in 2001 prompted the Japanese native to secure his American citizenship. The reason: to be able to speak out with the full authority of citizenship about why he believes Bush lacks the character and intellect to lead the world's oldest and most powerful democracy.
"I don't remember all the students in detail unless I'm prompted by something," Tsurumi said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "But I always remember two types of students. One is the very excellent student, the type as a professor you feel honored to be working with. Someone with strong social values, compassion and intellect -- the very rare person you never forget. And then you remember students like George Bush, those who are totally the opposite."....

No Joke: Daily Show Viewers Follow Presidential Race

No Joke: Daily Show Viewers Follow Presidential Race
Sep 21, 2004 12:20 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA -- Viewers of late-night comedy programs, especially The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on the cable channel Comedy Central, are more likely to know the issue positions and backgrounds of presidential candidates than people who do not watch late-night comedy, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows...

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power,12271,1312540,00.html
Rumours of a link between the US first family and the Nazi war machine have circulated for decades. Now the Guardian can reveal how repercussions of events that culminated in action under the Trading with the Enemy Act are still being felt by today's president
Ben Aris in Berlin and Duncan Campbell in Washington
Saturday September 25, 2004
The Guardian
George Bush's grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany.
The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.

Nerves Ended W's National Guard Service

Fear of Flying: A Duval County Woman Says Nerves Ended W's National Guard Service In Texas -- by Susan Cooper Eastman
From Folio Weekly, Jacksonville, FL
Janet Linke has been thinking about George W. Bush a lot lately. Thirty-two years ago, her late husband Jan Peter Linke served briefly in the Texas Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Bush's service in the same squadron has gotten plenty of mention in an election year when what you did during the Vietnam War is suddenly a litmus test of character. But Linke claims she knows a part of the story that nobody has mentioned.
According to Linke, a Jacksonville resident and artist, Bush's flying career was permanently disabled by a crippling fear of flying....

Friday, September 24, 2004

Twisting the Truth

Twisting the Truth
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Friday, September 24, 2004; Page A25
Washington Post
There is one good thing about President Bush's new advertisement showing John Kerry windsurfing: Kerry does enjoy windsurfing.
That alone puts the ad on a higher plane of truthfulness than many of the statements the president regularly makes on the campaign trail. A press corps that relentlessly nitpicked Al Gore in 2000 in search of "little lies" and exaggerations has given Bush wide latitude to make things up. I guess the incumbent benefits from the soft bigotry of low expectations....

Enough Already

Daily Reality Check
Enough Already
By Mike Lux
American Family Voices

As part of our ongoing effort to keep you fully informed of current political events and their consequences, The Daily Reality Check is featuring a weekly political analysis column by political strategist Mike Lux that will appear each Friday.
I do my best not to get frustrated with the way the media covers the presidential campaign, because otherwise I'd be upset most of the time. Every once in a while I am pushed to the edge and have to rail about it. Here are my top current examples:
The forged document controversy - Karl Rove knew that a storm was about to break about George Bush and the National Guard. He knew about the Ben Barnes story. He knew about the Texans for Truth ad that was about to air. He knew that stories were coming out about Bush signing a pledge to report to the National Guard out in Boston, a pledge Bush didn't keep.
One of the reasons that the Rove scenario makes sense, is that this is exactly what Karl Rove does when his candidate is in trouble. In a Texas gubernatorial campaign, he had a bug planted in his own campaign office and then "discovered" it right before a big debate. In the 2000 presidential campaign, an aide loyal to Rove suddenly sent a tape of Bush preparing for the first debate to a member of the Gore debate team. Both times there was a big flap about whether the other side was involved in dirty tricks.
I think that Rove had this forgery leaked to CBS, because he knew exactly what would happen: the media, instead of focusing on the absolutely undisputed things that were documented about Bush and the National Guard, they are now distracted by the "is the document real or fake" story. Rather than focusing on the legitimate questions about George Bush, people are focused on whether the print was done by a typewriter or word processor, and was Dan Rather duped.
The only reporter I've seen mention the Rove scenario so far has called it Democratic paranoia. But sometimes, even though you're paranoid, they're still out to get you. I can't prove that Rove did this, but it sure does fit his M.O. And whether he did it or not, the media is being played by the Republicans who are getting them to spend an absurd amount of time over one disputed document when there are tons of other undisputed facts that prove Bush slid by without fulfilling his responsibilities in the Texan Air National Guard.
The campaign shake up - How many different times are we going to see Kerry campaign shake up stories. To us inside political junkies, who actually know some of the players, this story was interesting the first time we saw it, with maybe the first follow up story carrying a little bit of interest as well. But this has been going on for three weeks now. Enough already.
Memo to my reporter friends: nobody cares anymore except you and the mothers of the staffers whose names you mentioned. Maybe if you actually covered the campaign itself, as opposed to who is up and who is down, people might start reading your stories again.
There is a reason Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, The Onion and other media outlets that make fun of mainstream journalists have found such an avid audience. There's a reason that polls consistently show such a steep decline in the favorability ratings of journalists.
If journalists would focus on real issues instead of insider horse races, and not allow themselves to constantly get played and distracted by operatives who know how to pull the strings, people in this country would have more respect for journalism. This election is about the most important issues our democracy has ever faced: war and peace in an era of the threat of mass terrorism, a looming federal budget crisis of historic proportions, fundamental questions about our civil liberties, the threat of global warming wreaking massive havoc with our environment, major economic challenges in the face of a jobless recovery. My plea to the people who run mainstream journalism in this country: at least from time to time, would you mind actually covering the campaign in light of the stakes in this election?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Donna Marsh O'Connor: 'It's John Kerry, damn it!'

Donna Marsh O'Connor: 'It's John Kerry, damn it!'
Posted on Thursday, September 23 @ 10:21:12 EDT
By Donna Marsh O'Connor
I can hear it all now. Monday night John Kerry appeared on David Letterman. John Kerry, I said, you know who that is--the guy most who most people who get to speak call anyone but Bush. Billy Crystal made a joke, something like this: John Kerry, do us a favor. When you laugh, tell your face. I laughed when I heard that. Everyday I hear the good folks at CNN (You know they don't care who wins. They only report what they hear.), I hear them say Bush is ahead in the polls because Kerry just doesn't get his message across, doesn't say who he is. That's the problem according to CNN or NBC or ABC or Fox or...does it matter who says it? We've lost because John Kerry doesn't get his message across and we blame the media.
So I watched last night because I do know who John Kerry is. And because I fall into the category of human, I am going to say who he is by articulating who he is not.

* He is not currently the President of the United States of America, the man who I think had a hand in my first born child's murder;....

Kerry rising

Kerry rising
By Joe Conason
Sept. 17, 2004
Rumors of John Kerry's demise have been greatly exaggerated -- too often by doomsaying Dems themselves. A host of new polls suggest it's the president who should be trembling....

Millions Blocked from Voting in U.S. Election

Millions Blocked from Voting in U.S. Election
Wed Sep 22, 2004 11:37 AM ET
By Alan Elsner
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Millions of U.S. citizens, including a disproportionate number of black voters, will be blocked from voting in the Nov. 2 presidential election because of legal barriers, faulty procedures or dirty tricks, according to civil rights and legal experts.
The largest category of those legally disenfranchised consists of almost 5 million former felons who have served prison sentences and been deprived of the right to vote under laws that have roots in the post-Civil War 19th century and were aimed at preventing black Americans from voting.
But millions of other votes in the 2000 presidential election were lost due to clerical and administrative errors while civil rights organizations have cataloged numerous tactics aimed at suppressing black voter turnout. Polls consistently find that black Americans overwhelmingly vote for Democrats....

The bubble boy

The bubble boy
Bush lives in a world immune from the realities of Iraq.
By Sidney Blumenthal

Sept. 23, 2004  |  The news is grim, but the president is "optimistic." The intelligence is sobering, but he tosses aside "pessimistic predictions." His opponent says he has "no credibility," but the president replies that it is his rival who is "twisting in the wind." The secretary general of the United Nations speaks of the "rule of law," but Bush talks before a mute General Assembly of "a new definition of security." Between the rhetoric and the reality lies the campaign.
A reliable source who has just returned after assessing the facts on the ground for U.S. intelligence services told me that in Iraq, U.S. commanders have plans for this week and the next, but that there is "no overarching strategy." The New York Times reports an offensive is in the works to capture the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah -- after the election. In the meantime, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other al-Qaida-linked terrorists operate from there at will, as they have for more than a year. The president speaks of new Iraqi security forces, but not even half of the U.S. personnel have been assigned to the headquarters of the Multinational Security Transition Command.
Bush's vision of the liberation of Iraq as the restaging of the liberation of France -- justified by his unearthing of Saddam Hussein's fearful weapons of mass destruction; paid for by the flow of cheap oil; and leading to the establishment of democracy, regime change in Iran and Syria, and the quiescence of stunned Palestinians -- has melted before harsh facts. But reality cannot be permitted to obscure the image. The liberation is "succeeding," he insists, and only pessimists cannot see it...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Must viewing

View the trailer for this inspiring documentary!

Telling tales

Telling tales
Gene Lyons
Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2004
If there’s ever a hall of fame for political propagandists, whoever concocted the phrase "liberal media bias" deserves a statue. As a catch phrase, it has everything, allowing GOP activists to avoid unpleasant realities, bully timid media careerists and pose as iconoclasts while cashing big checks from crackpot sugar daddies and whining about how everybody picks on Republicans. Last week saw the perfect fruition of that strategy as the entire howling mob Eric Alterman aptly calls "the so-called liberal media," or SCLM, ran down Dan Rather and CBS like a pack of coyotes hunting a house cat for making a dumb blunder about President Bush’s lost time in the Texas Air National Guard. CBS bungled big time. But what made the suspect documents persuasive was that, whether it was 1972 or last month, whoever wrote them knew the details of the "Mission Accomplished" flyboy’s long ago vanishing act—facts unearthed not only by CBS, but The Boston Globe, New York Times, USA Today and Salon. The White House hasn’t disputed their content.

Anybody who imagines that Bush fully discharged his duty, or that the White House has ever told the truth about it, must be inhaling some of the same, um, incense he apparently liked to snuffle up back in those halcyon days when Daddy’s Rolodex held solutions to life’s vexing problems. "You wonder if you know who George Bush is," Dean Roome, a former roommate, told USA Today in 2002. "Where George failed was to fulfill his obligation as a pilot. It was an irrational time in his life."

But Democrats need to let the National Guard thing go. If 30-year-old controversies matter, Bush is now inoculated against damage. Theories that White House political operative Karl Rove engineered the fiasco are not only too clever by half, they’ll never be proved. How could he count upon CBS’ unwitting cooperation?

If only the press would devote equivalent zeal to learning who concocted the phony documents Bush used to claim that Iraq sought uranium from Niger. Or who in the White House helped columnist Robert Novak unmask Valerie Plame, the CIA covert operative married to Joseph Wilson, the former ambassador who helped unravel the African uranium hoax.

Many Washington journalists already know the answer, but everybody’s protecting their sources....

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Seymour Hersh's alternative history of Bush's war

Seymour Hersh's alternative history of Bush's war
The crack investigative reporter tells Salon about a disastrous battle the U.S. brass hushed up, the frightening True Believers in the White House, and how Iran, not Israel, may have manipulated us into war.

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By Mary Jacoby

Howard Dean | Hidden Agenda: A National Draft in the Future?

Howard Dean | Hidden Agenda: A National Draft in the Future?
By: Howard Dean
Published: Sep 20, 2004
Copyright © 2004
A key issue for young Americans and their families to consider as they prepare to cast their votes in the upcoming presidential election is the real likelihood of a military draft being reinstated if President Bush is re-elected. President Bush should tell us now whether he supports a military draft.

Here is the evidence that makes a draft likely:

The U.S. Army has acknowledged that they are stretched thin and that finding new recruits is challenging. They recently placed 300 new recruiters in the field. Bonuses for new recruits to the Army have risen by 67 percent to a maximum of $10,000 and $15,000 for hard-to-fill specialties.

The extended tours of duty have made service less attractive for both the regular armed forces, and particularly for the National Guard and Reserves. To meet this year's quota for enlistees, the Army has sped up the induction of "delayed entry" recruits, meaning they are already borrowing from next year's quotas in order to meet this year's numbers.

Reservists are now being called away for longer periods. In 2003, President Bush dramatically extended the length of time for the Guard and Reserves deployment in Iraq. Extended tours of up to a year have become common.

In a further sign of a lack of adequate staffing, the armed forces are now in the process of calling up members of the Individual Ready Reserves. These are often older reservists usually waiting retirement. They are typically in their mid-to-late forties, and have not been on active duty and have not trained for some time. Traditionally, they are only supposed to be called up during a time of national emergency. In 2001, President Bush authorized their call up but never rescinded this order even after he declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq in May of 2003.

The Armed Forces are already chronically understaffed. In 2003, General Eric Shinseki testified before Congress that an additional 50,000 troops would be needed beyond what the Bush administration said would be necessary to stabilize Iraq after the invasion. The President ignored him. We do not have enough troops in Afghanistan to be able to stabilize the country, as shown by the continual putting off of elections well past their announced date. In an effort to free up yet more troops in the coming years, we are moving troops away from the Demilitarized Zone in Korea and reducing the number of troops on the Korean Peninsula at a time when North Korea poses more of a danger to the U.S. - not less. Because of the President's military adventurism, our Armed Forces are under enormous pressure. The only place to go for more troops is a draft.

Selective service boards have already been notified that 20-year-olds and medical personnel will be called up first.

President Bush will be forced to decide whether we can continue the current course in Iraq, which will clearly require the reinstatement of the draft. The Pentagon has objected to a draft but, the President has ignored other Pentagon recommendations in the past.

American families and young people are owed an explanation about the President's plans. Will the President withdraw from some of our military commitments or will he reinstate the draft? We need to know that before we vote, not afterwards.

Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, is the founder of Democracy for America, a grassroots organization that supports socially progressive and fiscally responsible political candidates. Email Howard Dean at

'Volunteer for America: Get the truth out about George Bush'

'Volunteer for America: Get the truth out about George Bush'
Posted on Tuesday, September 21 @ 10:00:21 EDT
The Smirking Chimp
...and what "four more years" will really mean
By Dennis Rahkonen
Lies, fear-mongering, appeals to selfishness and jingoism, and limitless money for attack ads have given George Bush enough of a lead in certain presidential preference polls that many feel he can't be beaten.
Even if John Kerry finally gets his bumbling act together and begins to campaign effectively.
In fact, some say American elections are now so completely manipulated and bought by reactionary interests that popular democracy has been essentially obviated.
They point to those ordinary voters whose jobs have been shipped abroad by Bush-promoted economic "values" and whose kids are being sacrificed on the killing sands of Iraq, but who are nevertheless quite enthusiastic about the Republican ticket.
The phenomenon of workaday folks who are getting royally screwed by the Right facilitating their own shafting is undeniably disturbing.
History shows that fascism lethally consolidates itself when the people it will inevitably destroy become its staunchest, massively deceived backers.
But we shouldn't succumb to hopelessness.
For every woefully misled person who alternates between listening to Rush Limbaugh and Toby Keith, thereby tightening the piano wire around his or her own neck, there's someone with sufficient social consciousness and political savvy to recognize the ominous, pre-Hitlerian parallels in America today.
Their combined number is large.
Those good souls must now unite -- as volunteers for national salvation -- to use every means at their collective disposal to spread the truth about what four more years of Bush rule will mean for both our democracy and mass quality of life.
Methods will necessarily vary, ranging from Internet blogs and letters to newspaper editors to door-to-door outreach, or standing at strategic street corners with particularly convincing placards and banners.
The point is that we can't rely on either the Democratic Party or the establishment media to spread the most hard-hitting facts.
We'll have to do it ourselves, through our unions and community organizations, ad-hoc groups, etc. -- and we've got precious little time left.
Our message must be simple, and decisively impactive.
Using humor is a definite plus, as the following example illustrates:
"We'd be better off having Jay Bush and Duke in charge rather than George Bush and Dick!"
"In Vietnam, John Kerry turned his boat into enemy fire to rescue a crewmate.
"In Texas and Alabama, derelict Guardsman George Bush turned over in bed, fighting hangovers stemming from his bragged-about drinking.
"Now he's waging class warfare on the American wage-earning majority while bringing ruin and chaos to Iraq.
"Is this a presidential administration or an international wrecking crew?
"We'd be fools to give him four more years to do his profits-before-people harm."
Here's still another:
"How much 'visionary leadership for the future' can we expect from someone who completely overlooked abundant forewarnings of 9/11 and yet saw weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that simply weren't there?
"Do we want a President who shifts between blindness and hallucination?"
Having a little fun at the Resident's expense will help, so long as we don't degenerate to the viciously mean-spirited, mocking ridicule Bushies aim at Kerry.
There's no question our words will resonate, provided we stick to the basics.
Lost jobs. Lost pensions. Lost healthcare. Young lives lost in a needless war. Lost U.S. prestige worldwide.
Typical Americans and their hard-pressed families simply can't tolerate more devastating losses. They just need to see through the propaganda fog to appreciate where their pain originates. They want to start winning again.
We've got slightly over a month to dissipate the swirling mist.
Every minute wasted in defeatist despair enhances the likelihood that our worst fears will come to pass.
Get your pens and paper out; start putting marker to poster.
Talk to friends, or even strangers. Initiating a political discussion on the bus or train to work would be a good idea. Many riders will hear what you have to say.
Those who can afford to do so should contribute to, which is producing a series of no-holds-barred ads to coincide with the campaign's final weeks.
Don't let monetary contributions substitute for more direct, personal action, however.
It's no exaggeration that this will be the most important election in any of our lives, with the very future of humanity at stake (thanks to rampant militarism and environmental neglect).
If we sit this one out -- not just on election day, but in the crucial lead-up -- we'll be complicit in bringing on an unprecedented political disaster.
Get involved now. Network with your buddies and neighbors. Make sure everyone you know understands why Bush must be defeated. The website One Thousand Reasons ( will give you plenty of ammunition. Then be certain they all get to the polls on November 2.
Above all, don't abandon faith.
The power of a nationally aware, aroused citizenry is a force no amount of dollars and dirty tricks can resist.
The people united can't be defeated.
Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, WI, has been writing progressive commentary and verse since the '60s. He can be reached at

Put Away Your Hankies...a message from Michael Moore

Monday, September 20th, 2004
Put Away Your Hankies...a message from Michael Moore

Dear Friends,
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?
Michael Moore

Blogs look burly after kicking sand on CBS

Blogs look burly after kicking sand on CBS
Bloggers enjoy a moment of glory after pooling their expertise to uncover the truth about the forged memos on Bush's service record.
By Stephen Humphries | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor...

A strident minority: anti-Bush US troops in Iraq

A strident minority: anti-Bush US troops in Iraq
Though military personnel lean conservative, some vocally support Kerry - or at least a strategy for swift withdrawal.
By Ann Scott Tyson | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON – Inside dusty, barricaded camps around Iraq, groups of American troops in between missions are gathering around screens to view an unlikely choice from the US box office: "Fahrenheit 9-11," Michael Moore's controversial documentary attacking the commander-in-chief....