Sunday, October 31, 2004

Walter Cronkite Suspects Rove is Behind Bin Laden Tape

Saturday :: October 30, 2004
Walter Cronkite Suspects Karl Rove is Behind Bin Laden Tape
Walter Cronkite on Larry King Live last night, discussing the newly released tape of Osama bin Laden:
In fact, I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing. The advantage to the Republican side is to get rid of, as a principal subject of the campaigns right now, get rid of the whole problem of the al Qaqaa explosive dump. Right now, that, the last couple of days, has, I think, upset the Republican campaign....

Taking Bush at His Word

Taking Bush at His Word
Published: October 30, 2004
I often criticize statements by President Bush, so today let me praise some of his real wisdom:

• Oct. 11, 2000: "If we're an arrogant nation, [foreigners] will resent us. If we're a humble nation but strong, they'll welcome us. ... We've got to be humble."

It's a good thing Mr. Bush tried to be humble, or the U.S. would have an approval rating even lower than 5 percent in Jordan, and Osama bin Laden's approval rating in Pakistan would be higher than 65 percent....

Packers Win -- Kerry’s in!

Packers Win -- Kerry’s in!

Defeat of Redskins Historically Forecasts Bush Loss on Election Day

Wisconsin supporters of John Kerry and John Edwards had an extra reason to cheer the Packers victory over the Redskins today: over the past 17 presidential elections, the outcome of the Redskins’ final home game has determined the outcome of the election. According to history, if the Redskins win, the incumbent president remains in office. If they lose, the challenger wins. This is an 80 year tradition. Go cheeseheads!

FDR's grandson assesses Bush's performance
What Is a War President?
Franklin D. Roosevelt's grandson assesses George W. Bush's performance
By James Roosevelt Jr.
Oct. 29 - Last May, I walked through the magnificent new World War II Memorial that was soon to be dedicated on the National Mall in Washington. The architecture, sculpture and carved quotations were impressive. But it was the faces of the retired veterans and the depth of feeling in the eyes of their wives and widows that was most moving. As I watched them read the words of inspiration from the war's leaders etched into the stone walls, I thought of my father, who served during the war as a Marine in Carlson's Raiders. His father, my grandfather, was making his own contribution: as president of the United States.....

Times Union endorses Kerry

Times Union endorses Kerry (unlike the tedious Saratogian):
....It's something of a redundancy to talk of the seriousness of an election. To think of any election as unimportant is to begin to undermine democracy itself. But Tuesday's election does have an unusual urgency to it. Mr. Bush has neither been the kind of president he said he'd be, nor the kind of leader the country needs in a time that's neither peaceful nor especially prosperous.

We're convinced that a vote for Mr. Kerry and Sen. John Edwards is a vote to begin the long process of making the country more free, more secure and more respected.

Peter bergen on the new Bin Laden Tape
...The new videotape is significant for what it demonstrates about bin Laden's health and state of mind. Reading from behind a desk bin Laden, appears relaxed and unhurried as he delivers his message to the American people in a Halloween parody of an Oval office address. ...

A Final Appeal from George Soros

A Final Appeal from George Soros
Why We Must Not Re-elect President Bush
Speech delivered at the National Press Club by George Soros
Thursday, October 28, 2004, Washington, D.C.
I have been crisscrossing the country for the last three weeks arguing against the reelection of President Bush. I feel strongly that he has led us in the wrong direction. The invasion of Iraq was a colossal blunder and only by rejecting the President at the polls can we hope to escape from the quagmire in which we find ourselves.

I embarked on the tour because I was worried that the dramatic deterioration in Iraq did not produce the decisive lead for John Kerry I had confidently expected. Now that I am at the end of my tour, I am not reassured. Kerry and Bush are neck and neck in the polls, and although I believe that voter turnout is likely to give Kerry the victory, the race is too close for comfort.

The nation is deeply divided and the two camps seem to be talking past each other. John Kerry won all three debates but President Bush invokes his faith and that inspires his followers. In the end, it boils down to a philosophical difference over how to deal with an often confusing and threatening reality.

Let me inflict on you a brief lecture in philosophy.

An open society such as ours is based on the recognition that our understanding of reality is inherently imperfect. Nobody is in possession of the ultimate truth. As the philosopher Karl Popper has shown, the ultimate truth is not attainable even in science. All theories are subject to testing and the process of replacing old theories with better ones never ends.

Faith plays an important role in an open society. Exactly because our understanding is imperfect, we cannot base our decisions on knowledge alone. We need to rely on beliefs, religious or otherwise, to help us make decisions. But we must remain open to the possibility that we may be wrong so that we can correct our mistakes. Otherwise, we are bound to be wrong.

End of lecture.

President Bush has shown that he is incapable of recognizing his mistakes. He insists on making reality conform to his beliefs even at the cost of deceiving himself and deliberately deceiving the public. There is something appealing in the strength of his faith, especially in our troubled time. But the cost is too high. By putting our faith in a President who cannot admit his mistakes we commit ourselves to the wrong policies. We are the most powerful nation on earth. No external power, no terrorist organization, can defeat us. But we can defeat ourselves by getting caught in a quagmire.

Open Societies suffer from an innate weakness: uncertainty. Leaders who claim to be in possession of the ultimate truth offer an escape from uncertainty. But that is a snare, because those leaders are bound to be wrong.

Under the influence of globalization we have been exposed to more than a normal dose of uncertainty. That is why the kind of faith that guides President Bush is so appealing. The traumatic events of 9/11 have reinforced that appeal. President Bush rose to the occasion and he carried the nation behind him. But he has led us in the wrong direction. He used the war on terror as an excuse for invading Iraq. If we reelect President Bush we are endorsing his policies and we shall have to live with the consequences. We are facing a vicious circle of escalating violence with no end in sight. If we reject him at the polls we shall have a better chance to regain the respect and support of the world and break the vicious circle. Our future depends on it.

That is why I consider this the most important election of my lifetime and that is why I have taken such an active role in it. I have devoted half my fortune and most of my energies in the last 15 years to promoting the values of democracy and open society all over the world, especially in the former Soviet Empire. After 9/11 I came to feel that those principles need to be defended at home.

For 18 months after 9/11 President Bush suppressed all dissent by calling it unpatriotic. That is how he could lead the nation so far in the wrong direction.

The invasion of Afghanistan was justified: that was where Osama bin Laden lived and al Qaeda had its training camps. The invasion of Iraq was not similarly justified.

The war in Iraq was misconceived from start to finish -- if it has a finish. It is a war of choice, not of necessity, as President Bush claims. It goes without saying that Saddam was a tyrant, and it is good to be rid of him. But in invading Iraq as we did, without a second UN resolution, we violated international law. By mistreating and even torturing prisoners, we violated the Geneva conventions. President Bush has boasted that we do not need a permission slip from the international community, but our disregard for international law has endangered our security, particularly the security of our troops.

The arms inspections and sanctions were working. In response to American pressure, the United Nations had finally agreed on a strong stand. As long as the inspectors were on the ground, Saddam Hussein could not possibly pose a threat to our security. We could have persisted with the inspections but President Bush insisted on going to war.

By now we know that we went to war on false pretenses. The weapons of mass destruction could not be found, and the connection with al Qaeda could not be established. What has not yet sunk in is that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Condoleezza Rice knew that Saddam had no nuclear capacity long before we invaded Iraq. The intelligence experts of the Energy Department told them in 2002 that the famous aluminum tubes, which were presented as the most concrete evidence that Saddam had a nuclear program, could not possibly be used for enriching uranium. Yet they used them as evidence. They deliberately deceived the public, the Congress and the United Nations.

The aluminum tubes were not the only instance of deliberate deception. There was the yellowcake contract with Niger mentioned in the President's State of the Union message. That document was forged and a CBS expose of how it came to be forged was recently suppressed or more exactly postponed until after the elections. Then there were the mobile labs that Colin Powell falsely claimed were for biological warfare. President Bush went much further than Colin Powell. He spoke of incontrovertible evidence and said that the smoking gun may take the shape of a mushroom cloud.

More recently, President Bush claimed that we went to war to liberate the people of Iraq. I find that claim preposterous. If we had cared about the people of Iraq we should have had more troops available to protect them. We should not have used methods that alienated and humiliated them.

All my experience in fostering democracy and open society has taught me that democracy cannot be imposed by military means. And the way we went about it in Iraq will make it more difficult to promote democracy in the future. Through my foundation network devoted to promoting democracy and open society worldwide, I feel this personally. Under President Bush, America has lost its credibility as a champion of open society.

Instead of admitting his mistakes, President Bush now tells us that offense is the best defense and we are safer at home because we are fighting the terrorists abroad. The argument resonates strongly with an electorate fearful of terrorism - but it is a Siren's song.

Let me explain why.

The war on terror is an abstraction. But the terrorists are real people and they are not all alike. Most of the people attacking our soldiers in Iraq originally had nothing to do with al Qaeda. They have been generated by the policies of the Bush administration. We have been spared a terrorist attack at home but it is quite a stretch to attribute that to the invasion of Iraq. The insurrection in Iraq, however, is a somber reality and it doesn't make us safer at home. Our security, far from improving as President Bush claims, is deteriorating.

Bush's war in Iraq has done untold damage to the United States. It has impaired our military power and undermined the morale of our armed forces. Our troops were trained to project overwhelming power. They were not trained for occupation duties. Having to fight an insurgency saps their morale. After Iraq, it has become more difficult to recruit people for the armed forces and we may have to resort to conscription.

Before the invasion of Iraq, we could project overwhelming power in any part of the world. We cannot do so any more because we are bogged down in Iraq. Iran and North Korea are moving ahead with their nuclear programs at full speed and our hand in dealing with them has been greatly weakened.

There are many other policies for which the Bush administration can be criticized but none are as important as Iraq. Iraq is the proof that we cannot put our faith in the President.

It is hard to believe that all the accusations I have leveled against President Bush are actually true. I wish they weren't because then we wouldn't be in the predicament in which we find ourselves. There is only one way out. To change leadership and direction. Fortunately we have a credible - and attractive - alternative. I have known John Kerry personally for many years. He will make an excellent president.

I have been crisscrossing the country for the last three weeks arguing against the reelection of President Bush. On my travels I have heard many doubts about John Kerry. Why can't he project the same certainty as President Bush? Admittedly, he won the debates, but does that qualify him to be our Commander in Chief? Will he be as single- minded in pursuing the war on terror as George W. Bush?

Let me address these concerns. John Kerry has presented a cogent and coherent case but the Bush campaign managed to define him before he could define himself. They made fun of his explanation of the various votes he cast on the $87 billion appropriation for Iraq, although it made perfect sense. He was practically not heard, except in snippets, until the debates.

But the trouble goes deeper. The war on terror as defined by President Bush is a one-dimensional presentation of reality. We cannot fight terrorism by military means alone. We can use military force only when we have a known target; but it is the habit of terrorists to keep their whereabouts hidden. To track them down we need the support of the populations amongst whom they hide. Offense is not necessarily the best defense if it offends those whose allegiance we need.

John Kerry is aware of this other dimension. That is why he cannot be as single-minded as George W. Bush. He is nuanced because reality is complicated. This has been turned into a character flaw by the Bush campaign. Yet, that is exactly the character we need in our commander in chief. John Kerry is prepared to defend the country as he showed in Viet Nam; but he has learned first hand the devastation that war can bring and will use military force only as a last resort.

By contrast George W. Bush revels in being a war president. His campaign is shamelessly exploiting the fears generated by 9/11. Vice President Cheney is conjuring mushroom clouds into our cities. But fear is a bad counselor; we must resist it wherever it comes from. President Roosevelt had the right idea when he said, "We have nothing to fear but Fear itself." If we re-elect President Bush the war on terror will never end. The terrorists are invisible, therefore they can never disappear. It is our civil liberties that may disappear instead.

An open society is always in danger. It must constantly reaffirm its principles in order to survive. We are being sorely tested, first by 9/11 and then by President Bush's response. To pass the test we must face reality instead of finding solace in false certainties. This election transcends party loyalties. Our future as an open society depends on resisting the Siren's song.

Saturday, October 30, 2004

National Security Conversations We Won't Have Before November 2nd

Without Reservation
A biweekly column by Karen Kwiatkowski, Lt. Col. USAF (ret.)
posted 12 Oct 04
National Security Conversations We Won't Have Before November 2nd
Military Weekly
There are some topics relating to American national security that neither candidate will address before the election. Or afterwards, for that matter.
The Bush team is exhibiting a fiery and vocal hostility not seen from an administration in thirty years, since Nixon announced his resignation in 1974. In the end, Richard Nixon was personally cognizant that his bad decisions and illegal actions had rendered his continued service both politically impossible and hurtful to the United States. Ironically, this image of Richard Nixon reminds us of a gentler, more honorable Republic.
Bush-Cheney hostility and tough talk on defense matters should not be confused with a real concern for national security. Bush and Cheney have undeniable evidence from their own people that their public rationale for the Iraq adventure in occupation and political puppetry – protecting America from WMD and terror – was false and politically fabricated. Yet Bush and Cheney seem robotically content to repeat those false rationales ad nauseum. War in Iraq to secure America was never more than hostility and tough talk, and it remains so today.
Clearly, vocal belligerence is not courage. Bush and Cheney seem deathly afraid to publicly explain exactly why we are occupying Iraq.....

Ending the Fantasy

Ending the Fantasy
It’s hard to game the election with all the conflicting polls. But the signs are pointing to a big turnout and a Kerry win
By Eleanor Clift
Updated: 1:45 p.m. ET Oct. 29, 2004
Oct. 29 - Bush pollster Matthew Dowd, unshaven and looking weary, met with print journalists Thursday for one last spin session. For the record, he thinks the president will win, but he sounded so unconvincing that halfway through the hourlong lunch, a reporter said, "OK, so the race is very close and one or the other will win."...

McPeak: Bush must go

McPeak: Bush must go
Mail Tribune
...The four-star general who led the air war during Desert Storm when George H.W. Bush was in the White House is definitely not impressed with the younger Bush.

"We are in a very deep hole in Iraq," McPeak said. "The first rule holds: When you are in one, stop digging.
"The man does not know that we’re in a hole over there," he added. "... The worst mistake a statesman can make is not to be in touch with the real world because that sin is paid for by our sons and our money. We simply have to get rid of this guy."...

Upon a Second Viewing of Fahrenheit 9/11

Published on Friday, October 29, 2004 by
Upon a Second Viewing of Fahrenheit 9/11
by Guy Reel
Michael Moore has said repeatedly that if he could just move one or two percent of the vote with Fahrenheit 9/11, then it is quite possible he could swing the election....


Thu Oct 28, 8:00 PM ET
Op/Ed - Richard Reeves
By Richard Reeves
Yahoo News
NEW YORK -- John Kerry (news - web sites) is winning the presidential election -- as far as I can tell. I have already voted absentee and I voted for the Democrat. I voted for him because I have children and grandchildren, too, and I love my country too much to watch George W. Bush try to figure it out for four more years.
Biased? Of course. That's why I write this column: to share my bias. I am always amazed when I get letters, many of them, accusing me of being a "liberal" or, a lot worse, an "elitist." Yes, I am. Hello!
I also think that being president of the United States is an elite job. Don't you? What are we talking about here?
Yes, I am disappointed with the way Sen. Kerry has presented himself and his bias. But I am frightened by the thought of a Bush second term. I'll stick with my analysis of the man from Massachusetts as a rather humorless straight-A student. If you teach (and I do), Kerry is of a type, a smart guy who gets it all down, synthesizes it beautifully, and then tries to give you back what he thinks you want....

Ad Nausea - a grassroots effort
Ad Nausea is a grassroots effort to educate corporations that it just isn't good business to insult half of their potential customers.  With limited funds to devote to marketing, it makes more sense for companies to advertise on programs that don't thrive on belittling their customers. 

Why Bush let Iraq's top terrorist walk

Holy Zarqawi
Why Bush let Iraq's top terrorist walk.
By Daniel Benjamin
Posted Friday, Oct. 29, 2004, at 2:08 PM PT
Why didn't the Bush administration kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi when it had the chance?....

Friday, October 29, 2004

Pro-Life...Pro-Kerry? Abortions increase under Bush

Why anti-abortion voters might want to take another look
by Joshua Holland, Contributor
Sometimes in an election year if you peel the rhetoric away from the candidates' real-life policies, you can get some surprising results. Such is the case with abortion: if you are truly "pro-life," you should vote for Senator Kerry.
Because the fact is that regardless of what's said in stump speeches, abortions in this country have skyrocketed under the Bush administration after a steep and steady decline during the Clinton years.
That insight comes from Dr. Glen Harold Stassen, a Christian ethicist and statistician at the Fuller Theological Seminary who calls himself "consistently pro-life." He studied data from the 1990s and from the first three years of the Bush administration. During the 1990s, abortions in the United States — under a pro-choice president who said abortion should be safe, legal and rare — decreased by 17.4 percent. At the end of Clinton's second term, abortions stood at a 24-year low....

Why the U.S. must withdraw from Iraq October 28, 2004
Why the U.S. must withdraw from Iraq
Vietnam proved that offensive occupations are doomed. In his arrogance, Bush is repeating the same blunder.
By Peter Dale Scott
Oct. 28, 2004 | In 1991, after the Gulf War, President George H.W. Bush proclaimed, "The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert sands of the Arabian Peninsula." But the specter he and the Pentagon had feared for over a decade, of a devastating shrinkage of U.S. influence following a military withdrawal, had always been a phantom.

That "specter," of defeat in Vietnam, proved in time to be as harmless as a Halloween ghost. Asia did not tip as predicted toward the Communist camp after America withdrew; Asia tipped decisively the other way. And it did so precisely because America's troops stopped fighting where they did not belong, leaving space for other Americans to come in and do more constructive forms of business.

We face a different specter today: the sibling specter of escalation and imperial overstretch. The true Vietnam syndrome is our country's proven pathological history of involvement in unnecessary and unwinnable wars.

A SOLDIER'S STORY - Must Reading!
October 28, 2004
Steven C. Clemons
The Washington Note
I JUST SAT NEXT TO A VERY TOUGH SOLDIER FROM THE 82ND AIRBORNE on a flight back from Europe. I have been thinking for two days about how to share some of the things he told me without compromising him.
This guy I met is not one prone to talk; he was very serious, very mellow -- and comes from a family of enlisted military men. His dad was in Vietnam.
He has had one rotation in Afghanistan, one in Iraq. He is now in Germany but will soon be transferred back to Iraq. He was at Tora Bora and has seen a lot of Iraqi, Afghan, and American dead.
According to him, 75% of all soldiers want Bush defeated in the election and don't care who defeats him; anger and resentment are high. He says that 90% of the officers remain far out of harm's way. From lietenants all the way up, there is general understanding that the officers are hiding in holes, or holding back in well-defended buildings and quite cavalier about sending troops out for assignments and errands that are frequently stupid, poorly planned, and dangerous.....

He shared quite a bit more, including that his military commanders are planning for at minimum an eight year deployment in Iraq, maybe longer. He also shared an interesting anecdote that about a year ago, certain commanders in the 82nd Airborne had been told to prepare for a quick incursion into Cuba. I was stunned.
He said, "Yep, we couldn't believe that on top of everything else, Bush thought he could go take out Castro." The Navy Seals were going to go in and do the dirty work, he said, and the "82nd was going to go in for clean-up." He said that he never heard more about it but that the orders clearly didn't go forward -- but they were prepared for that possibility and told that "Bush just wanted to take out Castro."...

How ‘Balanced’ Coverage Lets the Fringe Hijack Reality

Blinded By Science
How ‘Balanced’ Coverage Lets the Scientific Fringe Hijack Reality
By Chris Mooney
Columbia Journalism Review
On May 22, 2003, the Los Angeles Times printed a front-page story by Scott Gold, its respected Houston bureau chief, about the passage of a law in Texas requiring abortion doctors to warn women that the procedure might cause breast cancer. Virtually no mainstream scientist believes that the so-called ABC link actually exists — only anti-abortion activists do. Accordingly, Gold’s article noted right off the bat that the American Cancer Society discounts the “alleged link” and that anti-abortionists have pushed for “so-called counseling” laws only after failing in their attempts to have abortion banned. Gold also reported that the National Cancer Institute had convened “more than a hundred of the world’s experts” to assess the ABC theory, which they rejected. In comparison to these scientists, Gold noted, the author of the Texas counseling bill — who called the ABC issue “still disputed” — had “a professional background in property management.”....

The real poll numbers

The real poll numbers

Jim Stimson, the leading political science expert in public opinion time series data, has a running tally of presidential trial heat polls on his website that you should check out.

List of Republicans who have endorsed Kerry

Republicans for Kerry 2004

From dKosopedia, the free political encyclopedia.
List of Republicans who have endorsed John Kerry...

An anti-Bush message for young people

View Enimen's Mosh music video --- an anti-Bush message for young people!

Cheney Made Millions Off Oil Deals with Hussein

Cheney Made Millions Off Oil Deals with Hussein
San Francisco Bay Guardian
November 13, 2000
by Martin A. Lee

Here's a whopper of a story you may have missed amid the cacophony of campaign ads and stump speeches in the run- up to the elections.

During former defense secretary Richard Cheney's five-year tenure as chief executive of Halliburton, Inc., his oil services firm raked in big bucks from dubious commercial dealings with Iraq. Cheney left Halliburton with a $34 million retirement package last July when he became the GOP's vice-presidential candidate.

Of course, U.S. firms aren't generally supposed to do business with Saddam Hussein. But thanks to legal loopholes large enough to steer an oil tanker through, Halliburton profited big-time from deals with the Iraqi dictatorship. Conducted discreetly through several Halliburton subsidiaries in Europe, these greasy transactions helped Saddam Hussein retain his grip on power while lining the pockets of Cheney and company....

What Zogby tells me: Kerry wins

What Zogby tells me: Kerry wins
Daily News
Pollster John Zogby, in a telephone interview with me yesterday, predicted that John Kerry will win the election. "It's close," he said, "but in the last couple of days things have been trending toward Kerry - nationally and in the swing states. Between this and history, I think it will be Kerry."

When Zogby talks, politicians listen. He made his bones in the Bill Clinton-Bob Dole election of 1996, when he came within one-tenth of a percentage point of the final tally.

Bet me that when the Bushies read what Zogby told me, not just the rhetoric will rise, but so will the fever.

Message from the City in the Country Land Protection Committee

The City in the Country Land Protection Committee

The degree of disappointment we have in our City Officials after Tuesday evening‚s council meeting is surpassed by only one thing:  the strength and fortitude of the people in our community. While the Council members were following through with their back room deals in the council chambers, the community, banished to the hallway, was building its resolve. 
The City in the Country Land Protection Committee (CCLPC) would like to thank you, very sincerely, for your continuing efforts. Once again you filled the council chambers to overflowing. Once again there were dozens more with immutable commitments who were there in spirit.  You make a difference - thank you for being there.
The City‚s most recent action - separating the Anderson‚s Union Avenue parcels from their Lake Avenue parcels and thereby allowing the development to proceed - was a blatant attempt to pacify the community while pandering to the developer. The four members of the Council who voted in this manner do not understand the real issues: The integrity of the process, the tax burdens of over development and the loss of our quality of life. It is clear that the Council‚s duty to the developer overrides any concern for the residents of this City.
There is room in Saratoga Springs for affordable housing and open space, and for the public to be part of these decisions. We will fight and we will win. But for right now...
Thank you.
Very truly yours,
The City in the Country Land Protection Committee

**** Please pass this note on to those interested in this issue. We may not have everyone in our email list who has been part of this effort ****

"Four More Days!" A Two-Minute Warning Pep Talk

"Four More Days!" A Two-Minute Warning Pep Talk
by Al Giordano
Fri Oct 29th, 2004 at 04:27:34 GMT
Daily Kos
It's the two-minute warning, as they say in North American football - (I wanna scream, "Four More Days! Four More Days!") - that moment when the game is about to end but there is still a chance to change its result...

This is the moment to remind us all why we are here and how we are going to win this game.

Kind readers, we are witnessing and participating in the most important presidential election of the past seventy years in the United States.

Not since the 1932 election of Franklin D. Roosevelt have the stakes been higher, not only for United States citizens, but for the entire world.

So gather 'round while I offer a little pep talk about how we're going to go out and win this championship even though the official scoreboard (that is, the Commercial Media, with its corporate sponsors and formulaic pollsters) says we are one point behind.

First, let me tell you about your team captain, the quarterback John Kerry, and why he will lead us to victory...

Diaries :: Al Giordano's diary ::

I've known that guy forever... since I was 22... Since before a lot of you were born... I've been with Kerry in his home, and in the trenches... And sometimes - I admit - that John Kerry and I fuss and fight... He's not always right... He's stubborn... He can be a real prick sometimes... He's so persistent, when he wants something, as to be annoying... That damn John Kerry can be a real pain in the ass...

Fortunately, he's being just such a pain in the rump to those who pulled off a coup d'etat in the United States four years ago...

(I don't think anyone else could have pulled this off, and gotten us within striking distance at the two-minute warning!)

And George W. Bush is right about one thing about John: he'll do anything to win...

And, George, does it not take one to know one?

But more often my experience is that John Kerry and I have fought on the same side of the barricades against common enemies... And they were always more powerful than us... And almost always we've come from behind... And, when we've been on the same team, we have never lost a game...

He's on our team right now. He wants to get rid of that asshole Bush. But he can't do it alone, so this is how he is going to lead the team to victory...

I know how John closes in the final days of an election campaign... Seen it... done it... lived it... And how to tell, by the look on his face, whether he's confident and he's got the mojo to come from behind and pull it off...

When he has that mojo, he's magic... He can't lose...

Have no fear, kind athletes of authentic democracy: If you work hard, if you don't give up, if you hit them as hard as they want to hit you, and harder, George W. Bush - and his "war" that is not an authentic war, but, rather, a media stunt - are going down to a very messy end on Tuesday...

I've seen Kerry do this before...

I remember sitting in a Back Bay (Boston) TV production studio in 1984, during Kerry's first senate campaign... I was a young squirt of 24 with too big of a title... and a 39-year-old Nam vet named Kerry (younger than I am now) looked into the camera and said...

"When you've seen war, you never stop fighting for peace...."

Everyone in the studio felt goose bumps... And apparently a lot of folks who saw that TV ad did too... (He's now a senator, as a result.)

Ron Rosenblith, who was his political director, part of your coaching staff this season (he's the one in the shadows, who never talks to the press), looked at me and said, in his soft-spoken, almost distant, penchant for understatement, but because he wanted this Bronx kid to understand, he said...

"We have a great candidate."

I remember two years earlier, when John Kerry ran for Lieutenant Governor, and I was the first guy hired - for a hundred dollars a week - to be the one-man "field staff" by Kerry's running back, another young squirt, about the same age as me, named Michael Joseph Whouley... Whouley was an Irish kid from Dorchester and I was an Italian-Irish kid from the Bronx... In other words, neither of us came from money... By the statistics, were unlikely to make anything of our selves... But we pulled ourselves up through that campaign...

I had arrived in Boston via the Berkshires at the insistence of the late great humanist Charles F. McCarthy of Franklin County, Massachusetts, whose first words to me about Kerry were:

"He's running for Lieutenant Governor but, sonny boy, someday he will be president..."

Today, Whouley is running the ground game for Kerry's presidential bid... as he did in Iowa and New Hampshire earlier this year... See how many yards we've scored already in 2004, men and women of this team?

Who, among ye, thought that Kerry would win the Iowa caucuses before it happened? How about the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary? Raise your hands! (So far I count only Carville's and my own!) There weren't many of us back then, were there? And if you doubted then, and you find yourself doubting now, stop crying!

As Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, founder of the Authentic Journalism renaissance says:

"Here we don't cry... we fight."

So if you know some confused Nader voter, or some equally confused "my vote doesn't count" type... Now is the hour to change history, one vote at a time.

Pull one more voter, just one, and you will make history. (Pull more if you can, because you can't rely on anyone else to do your job for you!)

See those surprise advances we've made in recent days in Florida, Colorado, Nevada and even Arkansas is back in play, according to the Mighty Kos? ... See how Ohio is colored blue now?

Whouley (with John Sasso, Mary Beth Cahill, and others, embedded in the bunker) is full of October Surprises.

Some of you remember that Whouley as the assistant coach, four years ago, stopped that beautiful loser Al Gore from conceding... On election night, it was Whouley who informed Gore that he hadn't lost the popular vote in Florida despite what FOX News claimed...

And Gore was about to concede?

You won't see that from Kerry on Tuesday night.

Now, kind warriors, I know it's hard to see what is going on here in 2004 in the game when you're on the battlefield, and the sportscasters are blathering at you with all kinds of nonsense... I have scar tissue upon scar tissue from being on that field... That's why I'm stationed way out here umpteen thousand kilometers above sea level with binoculars in some bleachers named América... Along with all the other people in this world whose lives will be changed by this election but have no vote... But still I'm connected to you through these wires and wireless apparati, to tell you what is goin' on...

(And tell the five Nader voters left out there: If you think your vote doesn't count, then, please, vote on behalf of some peasant farmer here in Latin America, whose life will be changed much more than yours by what happens on Tuesday... not to mention the innocent family member in Iraq!)

We're gonna win this goddamned game.

More importantly, you are gonna win it!

Don't listen to the suit-and-tied motherfuckers in the box seats tellin' you about polls and all kinds of crap like that... Pay no attention to that corporate-sponsored scoreboard...

Pay attention, dammit, to the players on the field... That's you... Stop crying... and pay attention to each other!

You are two minutes (well, Four More Days! Four More Fucking Days!) away from changing the electoral map of the United States forever, as happened in 1932, when all the folks that Power counted on to not vote suddenly surprised Power by voting...

And Roosevelt, er, I mean, Kerry is closing the deal... I'm telling you, I've been in these trenches with him... I know when he's about to fumble or about throw an interception... Or about to throw a touchdown... He has fucked up from time to time... But this is not that hour... And I know when he's about to march up field and score...

Your quarterback - John Kerry - is on fire!

First - quick, before we run out onto the field again in about 60 seconds - look at these photos!

There's your quarterback, Big John, with a special personal throwing coach brought in for the endgame: one Jersey kid named Bruce Springsteen... Not so unlike a Whouley or a Giordano... Or a you, or a you, or a you... A kid who loves his country too much to believe the hype that it's all about making money...

Now, if you look at Kerry's face in those photos, with those 80,000 Wisconsinites (plus, according to police estimates, another 20,000 on the side streets trying to get an eyeball on him... in a city of only 200,000 people)... that is the very same face of the winner I have seen before.

Wisconsin goes blue: And if anyone wants to bet against me, I'll take money from any stupid sucker who wants to part with it!

It was on June 4th, of that year, of Kerry's first Senate campaign, in 1984, that Springsteen's "Born To Run" album was released...

And Springsteen's song, "No Surrender," became the unofficial anthem of us Kerry for Senate staffers and volunteers.

Now, read Springsteen's meaty comments from the stage, in which he says, among other things:

"As a songwriter, I've written about America for thirty years.  Tryin' to write about who we are, what we stand for, what we fight for...

"And he's shown starting as a young man, that by facing America's hard truths, both the good and the bad, that that's where we find a deeper patriotism. That's where we find a more complete view of who we are.  That's where we find a more authentic experience as citizens. And that's where we find the power that is embedded only in truth, to make our world a better and safer place...

"That's why I'm here today, to stand alongside Senator Kerry and to tell you that the country we carry in our hearts is waiting.  And together we can move America towards her deepest ideals...."

(To which Springsteen added, and my Dobro steel guitar and I second that emotion: "And besides, we had a sax player in the House -- we need a guitar player in the White House....")

And if you think Madison, today, was an anomaly... check out the photos from Columbus, Ohio.

Sing along... We've got thirty seconds left to the two-minute warning... put your helmets on, charge forward, pull one more vote, and sing along!

"Now, on the streets tonight the lights grow dim
The walls of my room are closing in
There's a war outside still raging
You say it ain't ours anymore to win
I want to sleep beneath the peaceful skies
In my lover's bed
With that wild open country in our eyes
And those romantic dreams in my head...

"Well, we made a promise, swore we'd always remember
No retreat, baby, no surrender...

"Like soldiers on a winter's night with a vow to defend
No retreat, baby, no surrender..."
Or as the late Jeff Buckley writ:
"Turn your head away from the screen."
And put your head down to the hard work of the next 98 hours... And pull that one last voter back from the abyss of apathy or Nader or Bush.
Four More Days! Four More Days!
Pay no attention to those Commercial Media-bought pollsters behind the curtain!
Get out there and win that game!
One more point, one more voter, wins the game.
You have more to say about the results than those Commercial Media infected pollsters do.
This is it
Democracy will be reborn on Tuesday... Or it will die.
That is all.

If you found merit in this diary, then for América's sake, recommend it please! But first go out and win the future of human history, if it is a choice between one or the other.

Great Ad - directed at Hispanics in Florida

Check out this ad! Wow!

Get ready for a November surprise

Get ready for a November surprise
A "black young'n" says the polls and pundits just don't get the new voter realities. Kerry wins in a blowout, predicts this Salon reader.
By Kevin Criss
Oct. 27, 2004  |  I am a 21-year-old African-American/loyal Salon reader/ frequent writer to you. Although I love you all a lot and, like you (assuming so), I am a liberal, I just feel I have to scream at you for a bit. Almost two weeks ago, I sent a letter to you guys telling you how the new Eminem song "Mosh" has many young'ns riled up, angry, motivated and against Bush. Now 10 days or so later, not only you guys but many publications are up on it. My point? Maybe you guys should listen more to us young'ns, maybe have a young person consultant of sorts. After all, we will decide this election, as I will point out later in this letter.....

NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate

NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate
Physicist says imaging techniques prove the president's bulge was not caused by wrinkled clothing.
By Kevin Berger
Oct. 29, 2004  |  George W. Bush tried to laugh off the bulge. "I don't know what that is," he said on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, referring to the infamous protrusion beneath his jacket during the presidential debates. "I'm embarrassed to say it's a poorly tailored shirt."

Dr. Robert M. Nelson, however, was not laughing. He knew the president was not telling the truth. And Nelson is neither conspiracy theorist nor midnight blogger. He's a senior research scientist for NASA and for Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and an international authority on image analysis. Currently he's engrossed in analyzing digital photos of Saturn's moon Titan, determining its shape, whether it contains craters or canyons....

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Listen to Real People

Listen to Real People who voted for George Bush in 2000, but will be voting for Kerry in 2004.


The Tsunami
Can the Democratic ground game elect John Kerry — and create an enduring progressive movement?
by Harold Meyerson
LA Weekly
ORLANDO, Florida — I have seen the present, and it works — I think.
I have spent the past week observing the official Democratic Party and unofficial 527 field operations in the battleground states of Ohio and Florida. And I have found something I’ve never before seen in my 36 or so years as a progressive activist and later as a journalist: an effective, fully functioning American left.....

Guide to What's IN and OUT

Daily Reality Check
Guide to What's IN and OUT
It's time for another edition of The Daily Reality Check's Guide to What's IN and OUT....

Bush has fallen victim to his own hubris

Bush has fallen victim to his own hubris
In the end, US voters will not be frightened into becoming a nation that disdains decency
Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday October 28, 2004
The Guardian,14259,1337742,00.html
The unmaking of the president 2004 began on September 11 2001. By September 10, George Bush's poll numbers had reached 50%, the lowest of any president at that early point in his tenure. Having lost the popular majority in the 2000 election and being delivered the presidency by a five-to-four Supreme Court decision, Bush operated as though he had triumphed with a full-throated mandate.

From the start, Bush ran a government based on secrecy, handed over the departments and agencies to more than 100 industry executives and lobbyists appointed to key positions, and exhibited belligerence towards anyone who raised a question about his right-wing imperatives. His bullying prompted Republican Senator James Jeffords of Vermont to cross the aisle, throwing control of the Senate to the Democrats. In only months, Bush's incompetence and arrogance had induced paralysis. He had already run his course.

After September 11, as his poll numbers soared, Bush wrapped his radical agenda in the cloak of commander-in-chief. Now he would attempt to implement Karl Rove's ambition of a one-party state and the neo-conservatives' plan for an American imperium. Bush believed he had permanent political capital to forge a factional partisan political realignment....

Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000

Exclusive: Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq If Elected in 2000
Wed, 27 Oct 2004 15:59:47 -0700
War on my mind 
By Russ Baker
Guerilla News Network
Two years before 9/11, candidate Bush was already talking privately about attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer
Houston: Two years before the September 11 attacks, presidential candidate George W. Bush was already talking privately about the political benefits of attacking Iraq, according to his former ghost writer, who held many conversations with then-Texas Governor Bush in preparation for a planned autobiography.

How To Sound Like a Political Insider

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

How To Sound Like a Political Insider
New Donkey
Now that we're down to the lick-log of this election cycle--or at least getting close to the point where the lawyers take over--politics will briefly outrank last night's reality shows as a topic of conversation in many American households. If the World Series ends tonight, it could happen right away.

As a public service, I thought I would offer non-political-junkie readers a quick and easy lesson in how to sound like a political insider down at Applebee's this weekend. It's all a matter of mastering ten magic phrases that will clearly mark you as a guy or gal who knows the inner workings--the viscera and the cartilege--of the Body Politic. Here we go: ...

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Cat blogging

On Fridays, Bloggers Sometimes Retract Their Claws....

Tora Bora timeline

Great chart....

The GOP's November Surprise

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The GOP's November Surprise
New Donkey

I should have known when George Will started writing columns about the dastardly threat of voter fraud that something big was in the works. And sure enough, the conservative media echo chamber is now vibrating from a cacophany of warnings that Democrats are trying to steal the presidential election by fradulently registering ineligible voters.

What's happening here is an effort to soften up the news media and the public for a truly audacious, and perhaps even desperate, gambit by the Republican Party that appears to be planned for election day: wholesale challenges to minority voters in battleground states in an effort to either (1) intimidate or demoralize likely Democratic voters, or (2) lay the groundwork for one of those Bush-v.-Gore-enabled retroactive legal actions aimed at reversing an adverse result. More likely, the aim is (3) both....

Armchair Cowards

Armchair Cowards
Oct 27, 2004, 04:39

Few things are more absurd than the posturing of armchair generals. At present, an army of draft-dodging politicians, fierce-sounding media pundits and pajama-clad bloggers - almost none of whom has ever been within 1,000 miles of an actual battle - are bombarding us with messages regarding how "we" are fighting an enemy who is as great a threat to America as the nation has ever faced.

We are told that Iraq is the front line in a global campaign against this enemy, who threatens the very existence of Western civilization. The war on terror, we are assured, is a battle for our very survival; and success in Iraq is crucial to that battle.

A glance at the behavior of those who are making such claims reveals that either they don't believe what they say, or (more likely) they have failed to consider that their claims, if taken seriously, might require some sort of action on their part.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

'An open letter to Colin Powell and John McCain'

Ernest Partridge: 'An open letter to Colin Powell and John McCain'
Posted on Tuesday, October 26 @ 10:16:36 EDT
By Ernest Partridge, The Crisis Papers


Rarely in the course of human events, does an opportunity fall upon a single individual to dramatically and favorably alter the course of history.

Each of you stands at that crossroad of history and each of you, in Abraham Lincoln's words, "hold the power and bear the responsibility."

New Florida vote scandal feared

New Florida vote scandal feared
By Greg Palast
Reporting for BBC's Newsnight

A secret document obtained from inside Bush campaign headquarters in Florida suggests a plan - possibly in violation of US law - to disrupt voting in the state's African-American voting districts, a BBC Newsnight investigation reveals.

Two e-mails, prepared for the executive director of the Bush campaign in Florida and the campaign's national research director in Washington DC, contain a 15-page so-called "caging list".

It lists 1,886 names and addresses of voters in predominantly black and traditionally Democrat areas of Jacksonville, Florida.

An elections supervisor in Tallahassee, when shown the list, told Newsnight: "The only possible reason why they would keep such a thing is to challenge voters on election day."

No Stolen Elections

No Stolen Elections

Thousands of lawyers are on their way to Florida to observe the counting of votes in precincts across the state on November 2. People for the American Way's Election Protection project still needs more people to volunteer, even though thousands have already signed up. The Election Protection project has been set up to ensure the votes of minorities in urban communities count just like everybody else's.

And Code Pink has announced that it has founded a No Stolen Elections Campaign along with Michael Moore, Dolores Huerta, and Jesse Jackson. The campaign is "setting up a Fair Elections Advisory Council made up of U.S. and international elections experts who will give their assessment on election day" on the voting process. If the voting experts find significant fraud, No Stolen Elections will start by calling for protest, including non-violent civil disobedience.

How else can the people stop their election from being stolen from them?

The Intensity Gap

The Intensity Gap
By E. J. Dionne Jr.
Washington Post
Tuesday, October 26, 2004; Page A25
In the torrent of polling information released over the weekend, the most significant finding was this one: John Kerry's supporters are more likely than George W. Bush's to believe that this year's election is the most important of their lifetimes.

For nuclear safety, the choice is clear

For nuclear safety, the choice is clear
By James Carroll
Boston Globe
October 26, 2004
...On this one issue alone -- keeping nuclear weapons away from terrorists -- the election should turn. John Kerry for president.

Is New Hampshire slipping to Kerry?

Is New Hampshire slipping to Kerry?
By Thomas Oliphant,
Boston Globe Columnist
October 26, 2004
VETERAN REPUBLICAN pol that he is, Charlie Bass satisfied my desire for a quick reading of President Bush's temperature in a hotly contested battleground state.....

Election Protection

Less than 2 weeks to go before Election Protection deploys 1,000’s of lawyers and volunteers throughout the country to prevent a Florida 2000 repeat.....

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Peter Lee: 'Drinking the Kool-Aid'
Posted on Monday, October 25 @ 10:11:43 EDT
By Peter Lee
Now we realize what is the flip side of the coin to Karl Rove's seemingly suicidal obsession with mobilizing the "base" and kissing off the independents:

Voter suppression on a titanic scale.

If you're going to try to win an election on the backs of a deluded minority...

...better make sure the majority has a lot of trouble getting its votes counted.

Sifting through the dross of Bush's accomplishments and image, Rove found one precious nugget:

The group of voters so traumatized by 9/11 that they formed a profound emotional bond with George W. Bush.

The 'morally treasonable' Bush administration

Walter Brasch: 'The 'morally treasonable' Bush administration'
Posted on Monday, October 25 @ 10:08:19 EDT
By Walter Brasch

On a blatant campaign of exploiting 9/11, and a subversive campaign to undermine the nation's civil liberties, George W. Bush expects to win a second term. Jingoism is encouraged; dissent is not tolerated.

As Texas governor, Bush established "protest zones" far removed from where he spoke. He continues that practice as President. Anyone with a message not in agreement with the administration's beliefs is isolated, some as much as a half-mile away, during presidential and vice-presidential public appearances. However, according to a ruling by the federal district court in Philadelphia, all persons, no matter what their personal or political views, must have equal access under the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and the right of assembly. That part of the Constitution has often been overlooked by the Republican administration and by local police.

A Culture of Cover-Ups

October 26, 2004
A Culture of Cover-Ups
ides to John Kerry say that if he wins, he'll replace Porter Goss as head of the C.I.A. Let's hope so: Mr. Goss has already confirmed the fears of those who worried about his appointment by placing Republican staff members from Capitol Hill in key positions and raising fears about a partisan purge.
But the flap over Mr. Goss is only a symptom of a much broader issue: whether the Bush administration will be able to maintain its culture of cover-ups. That culture affects every branch of policy, but it's strongest when it comes to the "war on terror."
Although President Bush's campaign is based almost entirely on his self-proclaimed leadership in that war, his officials have thrown a shroud of secrecy over any information that might let voters assess his performance.
Yesterday we got two peeks under that shroud....

Monday, October 25, 2004

Mother Jones' Interview with John Dean

Mother Jones' Interview with John Dean - streaming media

"I Was One Guy in a Bubble"

"I Was One Guy in a Bubble"
By Harold Meyerson, The American Prospect. Posted October 25, 2004.
George W. Bush's push to keep outside advisers out was a catastrophic success. Chris Bull
"I have no outside advice" in the war on terrorism, President Bush told Bob Woodward in December of 2001. In an interview that Woodward revealed to Nicholas Lemann in last week's issue of the New Yorker, Bush insisted that, "Anybody who says they're an outside adviser of this Administration on this particular matter is not telling the truth. First of all, in the initial phase of the war, I never left the compound. Nor did anybody come in the compound. I was, you talk about one guy in a bubble."...

T'his isn't a presidency, it's a forgery

Leonard Pitts Jr.: 'T'his isn't a presidency, it's a forgery'
Posted on Sunday, October 24 @ 09:38:01 EDT
By Leonard Pitts Jr., Baltimore Sun
IN MARCH 2003, the Rev. Pat Robertson tried to give President Bush some advice about the coming invasion of Iraq. Mr. Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, supports the president. But he told CNN last week that he advised Mr. Bush to prepare the nation for the likelihood of casualties.
Mr. Bush's reply?
"We're not going to have any casualties."
That was 9,100 American casualties ago.
The kicker is that Mr. Bush - who has denied the remark - stands for re-election a few days from now and it is not expected that he will lose in a landslide. In fact, pollsters say he could conceivably squeak to a second term.
All of which throws into sharp relief the question a British man asked me in August.

Does Bush Think He's Channeling God?

10-25-04: News at Home
Does Bush Think He's Channeling God?
By Robert S. McElvaine
History News Network
Mr. McElvaine teaches history at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss. He is the author of Eve's Seed: Biology, the Sexes and the Course of History (McGraw-Hill). He is currently completing his first novel and screenplay, What It Feels Like . . . .

As I read Ron Suskind's dismaying cover story on President Bush's religiously inspired certainty in last Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "Without a Doubt," I kept experiencing déjà vu.

I've seen this storyline somewhere before: A president who had been a feckless, party-loving, hard-drinking man, is visited by a messenger of God and suddenly changes his ways. Thereafter, he knows what is right and will listen to no one who suggests otherwise. This president, convinced that he is doing God's work--that he is God’s spokesman on earth--suspends civil liberties to fight crime. He repudiates international treaties and announces that the United States will build new weapons to put itself in a position of world dominance. He orders other nations to follow American dictates, or else. That the "or else" means using American military might for preemptive war is made clear to world leaders when they are assembled and shown a demonstration of American military power. They all immediately agree to do what the United States (and God) demands.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Pentagon whistle-blower objected to Halliburton deals

Beyond the Call of Duty
A whistle-blower objected to the government's Halliburton deals—and says now she's paying for it
TIME Magazine,9171,1101041101-733760,00.html
Bunnatine (Bunny) Greenhouse
Sunday, Oct. 24, 2004
In February 2003, less than a month before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Bunnatine (Bunny) Greenhouse walked into a Pentagon meeting and with a quiet comment started what could be the end of her career. On the agenda was the awarding of an up to $7 billion deal to a subsidiary of Houston-based conglomerate Halliburton to restore Iraq's oil facilities. On hand were senior officials from the office of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and aides to retired Lieut. General Jay Garner, who would soon become the first U.S. administrator in Iraq......

America's hidden vote,3604,1332132,00.html
America's hidden vote

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday October 21, 2004
The Guardian

Passing almost without notice earlier this month, the public release of The Civil Rights Record of the George W Bush Administration - the official staff report prepared by the US Civil Rights Commission - whose submission is required by federal law, was blocked by the Republican commissioners. None the less, it was posted on the commission's website: "This report finds that President Bush has neither exhibited leadership on pressing civil rights issues, nor taken actions that matched his words."

Bush has held the Civil Rights Commission in contempt since its June 2001 report on Election Practices in Florida During the 2000 Campaign. Then it concluded: "The commission's findings make one thing clear: widespread voter disenfranchisement - not the dead-heat contest - was the extraordinary feature in the Florida election ... The disenfranchisement of Florida's voters fell most harshly on the shoulders of black voters."

Vast efforts to mobilise or suppress African-American, Hispanic and Democratic voters have already reached a greater level of intensity than in any modern campaign.....

Karl Rove: America's Mullah,1,4115271.story
October 24, 2004
Karl Rove: America's Mullah
LA Times
This election is about Rovism, and the outcome threatens to transform the U.S. into an ironfisted theocracy.
By Neal Gabler, Neal Gabler, a senior fellow at the Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg, is author of "Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality."
Even now, after Sen. John F. Kerry handily won his three debates with President Bush and after most polls show a dead heat, his supporters seem downbeat. Why? They believe that Karl Rove, Bush's top political operative, cannot be beaten. Rove the Impaler will do whatever it takes — anything — to make certain that Bush wins. This isn't just typical Democratic pessimism. It has been the master narrative of the 2004 presidential campaign in the mainstream media. Attacks on Kerry come and go — flip-flopper, Swift boats, Massachusetts liberal — but one constant remains, Rove, and everyone takes it for granted that he knows how to game the system....


Posted by: APR on Oct 23, 2004 - 02:07 PM
by Russell M. Drake
Alternative Press Review
Call him hypnotist-in-chief. He earned it.

Among modern era statesmen, only Adolf Hitler comes close to George W. Bush’s skill level as operator of the public consciousness.

Consider: After three years of terror and death at the hands of a terrorist band run by two guys hiding in caves, after a bloody, failed invasion of the wrong country in search of who knows what, after a jobs market crash matched only by the Herbert Hoover Administration, and after mismanaging huge national budget surpluses into over-the-cliff national deficits – all supported by the most outlandish lies – Bush still holds a firm grip on the minds of more than half of the people who say they’re going to vote.

The hypnosis has been so effective that it has enabled Bush to survive repeated blunders that might well have led to another man’s impeachment and removal from office, even by members of his own party.

He did it with fear hypnosis, verbal confusion hypnosis, peace hypnosis, deference hypnosis, radio hypnosis, the help of the press, and the Big Lie technique pioneered by Hitler.....

American Conservative: Kerry’s the One
Kerry’s the One
By Scott McConnell
American Conservative

There is little in John Kerry’s persona or platform that appeals to conservatives. The flip-flopper charge—the centerpiece of the Republican campaign against Kerry—seems overdone, as Kerry’s contrasting votes are the sort of baggage any senator of long service is likely to pick up. (Bob Dole could tell you all about it.) But Kerry is plainly a conventional liberal and no candidate for a future edition of Profiles in Courage. In my view, he will always deserve censure for his vote in favor of the Iraq War in 2002.

But this election is not about John Kerry. If he were to win, his dearth of charisma would likely ensure him a single term. He would face challenges from within his own party and a thwarting of his most expensive initiatives by a Republican Congress. Much of his presidency would be absorbed by trying to clean up the mess left to him in Iraq. He would be constrained by the swollen deficits and a ripe target for the next Republican nominee.

It is, instead, an election about the presidency of George W. Bush. To the surprise of virtually everyone, Bush has turned into an important president, and in many ways the most radical America has had since the 19th century. Because he is the leader of America’s conservative party, he has become the Left’s perfect foil—its dream candidate. The libertarian writer Lew Rockwell has mischievously noted parallels between Bush and Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II: both gained office as a result of family connections, both initiated an unnecessary war that shattered their countries’ budgets. Lenin needed the calamitous reign of Nicholas II to create an opening for the Bolsheviks.

Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit any sort of conservatism for generations. ....

Just Do It

For the baseball fan in everyone --- watch this ad!

Re:    Raising the Level of Political Discourse in America

Steven X. Schwenk
San Francisco, California

October 12, 2004

Daniel Okrent, Public Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY  10036

                 Re:    Raising the Level of Political Discourse in America

Dear Mr. Okrent:

                In Sunday's New York Times, you quoted an angry sentence from a private e-mail I wrote to political reporter Adam Nagourney to make the point of  "just how debased the level of discourse has become."  Fair enough.  That sentence was indeed shocking and uncivil.  And you are right, civil discourse is important, if not vital, in a democracy.  And I also agree with you that if the public editor of the nation's most important newspaper discerns a dramatic decline in the level of political discourse, it is incumbent upon him to bring it to the nation's attention and to lead the way toward restoring civility.

        Unfortunately, you did nothing of the sort in your column.  Instead of leading your readers down the path of civility, you the led them down the path of hatred, calling me a "coward," implying that  I am a despicable person and holding me up for public ridicule and scorn.  Not only that, you identified me both by name and by city of residence, even after I pleaded with your assistant and Mr. Nagourney not to.

                I pleaded with them because, in this age of internets, I knew what the result would be, and obviously you did too, given the topic of your column.  As expected, the angry, hateful e-mails came pouring in.  But they were the least of it.  The angry and hateful phone calls were worse, much worse, mostly because they frightened my children, who now jump whenever the phone rings.  But at least the phone calls will go away. 

            What won't go away for years, if ever, are the results of the Google search of my name every prospective employer, professional colleague, new friend or potential spouse is likely to conduct in the future.  When you search my name now, you learn right away that the Public Editor of the New York Times called me a coward and a despicable person incapable of consideration of others.  As Mr. Nagourney well knows, Google is brutal and unforgiving.  It forgets nothing.  And everybody uses it.  And when people see in their search results that it is the esteemed New York Times that has branded me an inconsiderate coward, they are, ironically, likely to believe it to be true without any second thought.
         One last point, and it's an important one.  In sending my angry e-mail to Mr. Nagourney, I never intended to cause him harm, and did not cause him harm.  The same is not true of you and your column in Sunday's New York Times.  Naming me in your column the way you did served only one purpose, and that was to harm me.  It served no other purpose whatsoever, certainly none of any journalistic import.  Intentionally causing me harm like that was not only grossly unfair, it was hateful and vicious.  It was an abuse of your position and power.  The damage you have inflicted upon me and my family is real, will last for years and is so wildly disproportionate to the offense at hand that it is outrageous. 

        Let me close by pledging that, henceforth, I shall write all of my e-mails as though they will be published in the New York Times.  I shall write them with the care, consideration and respect for civil discourse that one would expect from the public editor of the nation's leading newspaper.  I will write them as though I am writing a respected column that will be read by people around the world, and that will be captured in Google forever.  My parting request to you, Mr. Okrent, should you choose not to do the honorable thing and resign, is that you pledge to never again write a column for the New York Times as though you are writing a private, angry and hostile e-mail to an audience of one.


Steve Schwenk

House and Senate Races

Daily Reality Check
House and Senate Races
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.

Most of my columns have focused on the presidential race so I wanted to take some time to focus on the House and Senate races in this week's column, because it influences everything else so dramatically, and because - after all - the fate of the world is in balance.

Senate Races

South Dakota

There is only one Democratic incumbent remaining in a tough race, but that incumbent is Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. Because of the symbolic power of beating him, the Republicans are devoting incredible amounts of money to this race. Daschle, however, remains in a narrow lead, and his field operation will be phenomenal. Daschle will likely win, but it won't be by much.

The Southern Five

There are five Southern Democrats who retired this cycle, leaving Democrats a massive challenge. One of those seats, Georgia, is almost certain to go to the Republicans. The other four are closely contested:

Louisiana is probably the Democrats' toughest state. They have an open primary format set for November 2nd, with Democrats and Republicans all on the same ballot. If the front runner, Republican David Vitter, does not get 50 percent (he's currently hovering at 47 percent), it goes into a runoff, with either Chris John or John Kennedy as his Democratic opponent. No matter what, this will be tough for Democrats to win.

North Carolina: Erskine Bowles has been running ahead for the entire race, but things have tightened to an almost dead even race. With Edwards as a VP candidate, the presidential ticket won't be the drag on Bowles it will be in most Southern states, but this is still a lean Republican state. It's a 50-50 race.

South Carolina is an overwhelmingly Republican state, but Republican DeMint is about as extreme as you can get and Inez Tenenbaum is as good a candidate as the Democrats could have, so this is also a 50-50 race.

Florida: Castor and Martinez are both strong candidates, but Castor came out of the primary better positioned to win, and Democratic field operations are going extremely well. Expect Castor to pull out a narrow win.

The Republican seats in trouble. There are five Republican seats that Democrats have at least a solid shot of taking. One of these, Illinois, is a blowout for Barack Obama over Alan Keyes. Here are the four close ones:

Colorado: Democrat Salazar clings to a narrow lead. If his campaign does a good job turning out Hispanic voters, he will probably win.

Oklahoma: Like South Carolina, this is another rock solid Republican state with a far right wing wacko running against a strong Democratic candidate, Brad Carson. It's also a 50-50 race.

Alaska: Like Salazar, former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles has clung to a tiny lead in every poll done in this race so far. It's another strong Republican state, but the Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski has a lot of baggage. If the Inuits and other Alaskan Indian populations turn out to vote in strong numbers, Knowles wins.

Kentucky: This one just made the list in the last ten days. Republican incumbent Jim Bunning's erratic behavior has turned this from a blowout to a dead even race.

The odds are still against the Democrats taking the Senate, but a last minute Democratic surge or a few hundred extra few American Indian or Hispanic voters in South Dakota, Alaska, Oklahoma, and Colorado, and the Democrats could be back in charge of the Senate.

House Races
Here are the best chances for Democrats to take Republican seats.
Colorado 3. The Democratic candidate is John Salazar, brother of the Senate candidate. He is currently leading 48-43, and is ahead in the money race. Open seat.
Minnesota 6. The Democratic candidate is Patty Wetterling, an extremely well known and liked child safety activist. She is going against a marginally popular 2nd term incumbent.
Pennsylvania 13. The Democratic candidate is Allyson Schwartz, who is up 13 points in the latest poll, and has more cash on hand in a Democratic district. Open seat.
Washington 5. Open seat. The Democratic candidate, Don Barbieri, is a well known businessman who is way ahead on the money race.
Washington 8. Open seat. The Democratic candidate, Dave Ross, is a popular radio talk show host. The district leans Democratic.
Connecticut 2. The Democratic candidate is Jim Sullivan, running against a marginally well liked 2nd term Republican in a 58 percent Democratic performance district.
Illinois 8. The Democratic candidate, Melissa Bean, is running against a damaged and very controversial long time Republican, Phil Crane. Polling shows a dead heat.
New York 27. Open seat. The Democritic candidate, Brian Higgins, is ahead 48-43, in the latest poll. The district is a 55 percent plus Democratic performance district in presidential years.
Arizona 1. The challenging Democrat, Paul Babbitt, is running a strong, well funded race in a 52 percent Democratic performance district against a first term incumbent.
Kentucky 4. Popular local TV personality (and father of George) Nick Clooney is running a strong well funded campaign in an open seat.
Those are the top tier chances for taking Republican seats. There are another 13 races which I would rate as second tier possibilities for Democrats taking over a Republican seat. I think they are likely to stay Republican, but a Democratic tide at the end, last minute mistake by the GOP candidate, or some currently unknown local factor might put Democrats over the top. They are:

PA 6: Lois Murphy (D), Jim Gerlach (R)

PA 8: Ginny Schrader (D), Michael Fitzpatrick (R)

PA 15: Joe Driscoll (D), Charlie Dent (R)

NV 3: Tom Gallagher (D), Jon Porter (R)

NM 1: Richard Romero (D), Heather Wilson (R)

NC 11: Patsy Keever (D), Charles Taylor (R)

NE 1: Matt Connealy(D), Jeff Fortenberry (R)

LA 3: Open primary for both parties – 5 candidates

KY 3: Tony Miller (D), Anne Northup (R)

CT 4: Diane Farrell (D), Chris Shays (R)

GA 12: John Barrow (D), Max Burns (R)

CO 7: Dave Thomas (D), Bob Beauprez (R)

MN 2: Teresa Daly (D), John Kline (R)

There are also 10 Democratic incumbents in tough races. Five are in Texas because of DeLay's redistricting coup:

TX 1: Max Sandlin

TX 2: Nick Lampson

TX 17: Chet Edwards

TX 19: Charlie Stenholm

TX 32: Martin Frost

None are dead yet, but all have tough districts. The five others:

OR 5: Darlene Hooley (D), Jim Zupanic (R)

NY 1: Tim Bishop (D), Bill Manger (R)

SD: Stephanie Herseth (D), Larry Diedrich (R)

TN 4: Lincoln Davis (D), Janice Bowling (R)

UT 2: Jim Matheson (D), John Swallow (R)

There's one other race to watch, LA 7, which is an open seat held by a retired Democrat in a 48 percent Democratic performance district. Like all the Louisiana races, they have an open, multi-candidate, multi-party system.

So these are the districts to keep an eye on. I think it's safe to say that with this small a group of competitive seats, it would take a strong last minute Democratic tide to squeak by to a majority in 2004. However, I think there is a good chance for Democrats to make some gains, perhaps cutting the GOP 12 seat margin in half.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

How bin Laden got away

How bin Laden got away

A day-by-day account of how Osama bin Laden eluded the world's most powerful military machine.
By Philip Smucker | Special to The Christian Science Monitor ...

What'll We Tell the Children?

What'll We Tell the Children?
The 2004 election as national metaphor
by Ezra Klein, Guest Contributor
It sometimes seems that Ralph Nader is convinced that the world revolves around him. What's stranger, however, is that he may be right. Why else would the Bush administration have spent their first term acting as a rebuttal to Nader's accusations of indistinguishable political parties? It's gotten so serious people can no longer blast Democrats for being "just another shade of gray." In fact, colored imagery has seemed so inadequate to the rhetorical task at hand that most of us have moved on to spatial descriptors: yawning chasms, worlds of difference, too far right to see, and so forth....

The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration

100 Facts and 1 Opinion
The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration
by Judd Legum
Also available in pdf format for wider circulation.

Friday, October 22, 2004


by   Michael Hammerschlag
  The most likely Oct. surprise by the Repubs is a huge groundless Ridge/Ashcroft security alert a few days before the election, designed to suppress voter turnout, particularly of new voters and minorities, the most tentative faction. This would excuse Repub. governors sending police to all polling places, which also would intimidate and suppress minority voting. That has the capacity to purge millions of mostly Dem votes, especially if confined to a few large liberal cities. It would be in keeping with Repub efforts to disenfranchise blacks in Florida, Missouri, et al; and reject or turn away new voters (Nevada, Oregon, Mich., Ohio), who tend to be majority or overwhelmingly Democratic. Again and again they've rung the "imminent attack" bell with no grounds. Be afraid! Don't change horses now!

In a precursor or trial run,  Sen. Mark Dayton (d-MN) closed his Washington office Oct 12th until after the election after an alarming report by the Majority Leader Frist...

The Shrinking GOP

The Shrinking GOP
A good education was wasted on George W. Bush
by Alan Bisbort - October 21, 2004

First, a word to my Republican friends. By "Republican," I mean the sort of Republican my dad, the U.S. Army colonel/civil engineer, was: fiscally conservative, pragmatic, a true conservationist when it came to "the outdoors," as he called it. The only things in which he was a true believer were science, technology and hard work. I like to think he passed on some of these traits to his son and daughters, but I am not -- nor are they -- Republican.

I won't bore you with why that is. What I do want to suggest to you is that your party is dying. You are watching its death throes in the person of George W. Bush. He's the embodiment of the worst aspects of the far right wing. While he has been "talking to God" and basing decisions on crackpot neoconservative dreams of empire, the country is tanking fiscally and we are on track to becoming a second-rate nation. Russia, the former heart of the Cold War beast, just approved the Kyoto Protocol while we stand down, quivering behind our facade of invincibility. Already, France and Italy (!) are ahead of us technologically. "Old Europe" is kicking our ass on the stock market too. The damage, though too early to fully assess, is profound. We're the world's largest debtor nation. Whenever our creditors want to, they can call in their chips and eventually we'll pay them ... but with what? "Clean coal" or "hydrogen cars"? Community college vouchers? Forget it.

My advice to you: Vote for John Kerry. Many of your colleagues are doing this, including former governors of Minnesota and South Dakota, and Sen. Arlen Spector (R-PA)'s reelection campaign features signs linking his name to a Kerry presidency. They sense the failure. They smell the disaster that awaits the GOP.

piece on Sunday, "Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that 'if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'"

Further signs of GOP disaster: Voter registration drives have added thousands of new Democratic voters to the rolls in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, a number far exceeding the pick-ups by Republicans. New registrations have risen 250 percent over the same numbers in 2000 in these areas, compared to 25 percent for the GOP. This pattern is replicated across the nation. If you're not concerned about this, you're deluded, and you'll be rudely awakened on Nov. 3. What will you do then? Blame Clinton?

If you really must vote Republican this election, out of misguided party loyalty, here's a way to get around Bush: Leave the presidential slot blank.

Second, a final word on the debates: The best of the four (including Cheney-Edwards) was the second presidential debate in St. Louis, a "town hall" format where informed voters asked the tough questions gutless corporate moderators avoided. The worst was Wednesday night's debacle run by Bob Schieffer, Bush's golf partner. I agree with the Nader folks on at least one thing: This debate scam has got to go. It's total bullshit. As it now stands, millionaire media lightweights get to ask all of the questions that they deem of importance to the unwashed American masses.

As Bob Scher of Liberal Oasis notes with his usual sagacity. Bush's "biggest whiff" was his answer to, "What do you say to someone in this country who has lost his job to someone overseas?" Bush: "I've got policies to continue to grow our economy and create the jobs of the 21st century ... here's some help for you to go to a community college." Scher notes, "No sympathy. No understanding. Bush practically puts the blame on the worker, whose job was snatched away through no fault of his or her own, for not having a good enough education. He was similarly nonsensical on the larger outsourcing issue: 'The best way to keep jobs here in America and to keep this economy growing is to make sure our education system works.'"

A good education was wasted on GW Bush.

An open letter to George W. Bush

Donna Marsh O'Connor: 'An open letter to George W. Bush'
Posted on Friday, October 22 @ 10:39:41 EDT (4492 reads)
On the Thirty-third Anniversary of My Daughter's Birth
By Donna Marsh O'Connor
cc: Senator John Kerry

Sometimes, Mr. Bush, it's the smallest of details that makes everything click. The smallest of details. Right now, Mr. Bush, I am looking at your watch. It's an item of clothing accessory and, unlike your other costumes, it is one that is particularly revealing.

On Halloween my daughter would be thirty-three years old. Her child would be almost three. Seven weeks before her twenty-ninth birthday, Vanessa, four months pregnant, ran from the falling towers of the World Trade Center. She did not make it. Her body, and in it the small body of her unborn child, was pulled from the rubble of the fallen towers on September 24th, just ten feet from an alley between towers IV and V. It is important for me to tell you that she was on the phone to her uptown office five minutes after the first plane hit tower I, explaining how she and others in tower II were "safe."

Here is what you did regarding specifically the events of that morning: You vacationed before, during and after August 6th, the day you were handed the presidential daily briefing that said very clearly Vanessa Lang Langer and many other Americans were not safe. After the first plane hit tower I, the fact of the PDB did not click in your mind, did not cause you to act, to turn on a television, to contact the Pentagon. You sat so that you did not frighten a group of children. You did not worry about Vanessa's brothers, or the young children who would certainly be directly affected by that event. You did not, like her fourteen year-old brother, rush from your seat and head for a phone, desperately trying to reach out, to fix, to save. You sat....

The Coming Post-Election Chaos

The Coming Post-Election Chaos:
A Storm Warning of Things to Come If the Vote Is as Close as Expected
Friday, Oct. 22, 2004

This next presidential election, on November 2, may be followed by post-election chaos unlike any we've ever known
Look at the swirling, ugly currents currently at work in this conspicuously close race. There is Republicans' history of going negative to win elections. There is Karl Rove's disposition to challenge close elections in post-election brawls. And there is Democrats' (and others) new unwillingness to roll over, as was done in 2000. Finally, look at the fact that a half-dozen lawsuits are in the works in the key states and more are being developed.
This is a climate for trouble. A storm warning is appropriate. In the end, attorneys and legal strategy could prove as important, if not more so, to the outcome of this election as the traditional political strategists and strategy.
Let's go over each factor that spells trouble - and see how they may combine....

Heart of Darkness: The Bush cult and American madness

Chris Floyd: 'Heart of Darkness: The Bush cult and American madness'
Posted on Friday, October 22 @ 10:37:49 EDT
By Chris Floyd
Now we come at last to the heart of darkness. Now we know, from their own words, that the Bush Regime is a cult - a cult whose god is Power, whose adherents believe that they alone control reality, that indeed they create the world anew with each act of their iron will. And the goal of this will - undergirded by the cult's supreme virtues of war, fury and blind faith - is likewise openly declared: "Empire."...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

He just doesn't get it

be sure to view this new ad that's showing in swing states.

I Think He Can, I Think He Can

October 21, 2004

I Think He Can, I Think He Can
By Craig Aaron
In These Times
Young voters—whose turnout could be the highest since 1992—favored Kerry by as many as 25 points in recent Zogby polls.
John Kerry is going to win.
Repeat after me: John Kerry is going to win.
Normally I’m not one for mantras and affirmations, but to beat George W. Bush we all better start saying—out loud, to our neighbors, on the train, at the water cooler, anywhere a swing voter might be in earshot—that our guy (and, like it or not, he’s our guy) is going to be the next president. So one more time: John Kerry is going to win.....

Alan G. Hevesi. New York Comptroller Questions Sinclair

Alan G. Hevesi. New York Comptroller Questions Sinclair

Must reading!

Election rides on the 917 vote

Election rides on the 917 vote
Jimmy Breslin
October 21, 2004,0,6406517.column
On Sept. 15, there were 168,900,019 cell phones in America, according to the cell phone institute in Washington.
Not one phone user was called by the political pollsters reporting with such marvelous accuracy on the Bush-Kerry race.
A month later, on yesterday afternoon, there now were 170,475,160 cell phones in America, according to the cell phone institute.
In one month, 1,575,000 new cell phones have been bought.
Not one cell phone has been called during the presidential campaign. This is because there is no method for polling cell phones. Nobody has their numbers. Nor do they know who the users are, where they live and what they do. You have 170 million phones and you talk to none of them and then try to say you know what the public is thinking....

W., John, Abe & Co. through the ages

Eric Hanson: W., John, Abe & Co. through the ages
Eric Hanson
October 21, 2004
Star Tribune

Comparative biographies of George W. Bush and John Kerry, with milestones from other political biographies:
George W. Bush is born July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Conn., where his father is attending Yale.
John Kerry is born on Dec. 11, 1943, in a military hospital in Denver, where his serviceman father is hospitalized.
Age 2
George W. Bush moves with his family to the oil town of Midland, Texas. George Bush Sr. is a well-connected and wealthy oil man. Midland is an oil-executive enclave, where streets are named for Ivy League schools.
Age 6
In 1950, Kerry's family moves to Washington, where his father begins his career as a salaried foreign-service officer.
Age 16
Bush is a cheerleader at the exclusive Andover School in Connecticut, 1962. His grade point average is in the C range.
Kerry founds a debate club at the exclusive St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, 1960.
Age 18
Despite a C average in prep school, George Bush is accepted at Yale. They see something in the young man, perhaps a resemblance to his father the congressman (Yale, 1948) and his grandfather, former Connecticut senator and now Yale trustee Prescott Bush (Yale, 1917).
Age 20
Bush is arrested for stealing a Christmas wreath from a New Haven hotel and charged with disorderly conduct, 1966. The charges are later dismissed.
(With smoke billowing from his plane's bullet-riddled fuselage, Navy pilot George H.W. Bush bails out over the Pacific, 1944. His two crewmen do not survive, and this fact haunts the future president for the rest of his life.)
Age 21
In May 1968, George W. Bush graduates from Yale with a low C average. Now eligible for the draft, he avoids service in Vietnam by jumping to the front of a long waiting list of young men to join the 147th Fighter Group, the so-called "Champagne Unit" of the Texas Air National Guard. On his application, under the heading Overseas Assignment, Bush checks the box marked "Do not volunteer."
Age 22
John Kerry is chosen to deliver the class oration to the Yale graduating class of 1966. In his speech he questions the wisdom of the Vietnam War, saying: "The United States must, I think, bring itself to understand that the policy of intervention that was right for Western Europe does not and cannot find the same application to the rest of the world." Despite his misgivings, he enlists in the Navy.
Age 24
In the fall of 1968, while serving on the guided missile frigate USS Gridley in the Gulf of Tonkin, John Kerry volunteers to command a Swift boat in the Mekong Delta. The casualty rate among Swift boat personnel is around 75 percent, compared with around 14 percent in the rest of Vietnam. His best friend from Yale, Richard Pershing, has already died in combat.
(The general store Abraham Lincoln has been operating in New Salem, Ill., fails after one year, 1832. He has no powerful friends or relatives, so nobody bails him out.)
Age 25
In May 1972, with two years left in his enlistment, Bush requests reassignment to an inactive postal unit of the Texas Air National Guard. The unit has no planes, but he has lost his flight status for not taking a physical.
On Feb. 28, 1969, while on patrol, Kerry's boat comes under attack from the shore. Ignoring generally accepted evasive procedures, Kerry turns his craft directly into the enemy fire, beaches it and single-handedly chases down and kills an enemy armed with a rocket launcher. For this action he receives a Silver Star for gallantry. He may have been in Cambodia at Christmastime in 1968, delivering agents during the secret war, or it may have been a month later.
Age 26
At Christmas 1972, in Houston, Bush is driving drunk when he plows into a neighbor's garbage cans. When his father asks to have a talk, George Jr. challenges him to a fistfight.
Age 27
Bush is granted an early release from the Texas Air National Guard so he can attend Harvard Business School, 1973.
John Kerry becomes one of the leaders of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. In 1971 he attends the Winter Soldiers Conference in Michigan, where he listens to other veterans' accounts of atrocities committed under orders in Vietnam. On April 22, 1971, Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and asks the difficult question: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" He relates some of the accounts told to him at the Winter Soldiers Conference. (George Washington marries a rich widow, 1759.)
Age 28
Kerry loses badly in his first run for political office, in the fall of 1972, in Massachusetts.
Age 30
Bush is arrested for drunken driving in Kennebunkport, Maine, September 1976. His teenage sister Dorothy is a passenger in the car. He pleads guilty and pays a $150 fine.
Kerry is earning a law degree at Boston College, 1974.
Age 32
George W. Bush's father sets him up in the oil business, 1978. The company is called Arbusto.
Age 34
John Kerry is working as a prosecutor in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he wins a high-profile murder case, and later gains the conviction of a notorious crime figure, George Edgerley. He never loses a case in Middlesex County.
Age 36
Some friends of George Bush Sr., then vice president, bail George Jr. out of his disastrous oil venture, absorbing Arbusto into Spectrum 7.
Age 39
(Lincoln, having been elected to Congress two years earlier, decides not to run for reelection, 1848. His vocal opposition to the war with Mexico was not popular with his constituents and may have played a part in his decision.)
In late 1986, Bush's new oil company, Spectrum 7, is $3 million in debt when it is rescued by Harken Energy, which is owned by friends of his father, the vice president. He is put on the Harken board, has his debts paid, is given another $2.2 million in stock options and a salary of $120,000 a year, with no real duties to perform.
Age 40
In 1986, Bush celebrates too hard at his 40th birthday party. He promises never to drink again.
In 1984, Kerry is the lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, a post he uses to champion better air and water regulations. On the retirement of Paul Tsongas, Kerry runs for his Senate seat, and wins.
Age 41
In 1985, Kerry bucks his party to support the Gramm-Rudman Balanced Budget legislation.
Age 42
Sen. Kerry employs his prosecutorial experience to investigate and uncover the Reagan administration's covert dealings with Islamic terrorists and the secret, illegal funding of guerrillas in Central America. The Iran-contra investigations result in convictions of several high Reagan administration officials.
Age 43
In June 1990, Bush sells two-thirds of his stake in Harken Energy at 2.5 times the original value of the stock, netting $848,560 two weeks before Harken announces a disastrous quarterly report. The SEC investigates the president's son in association with the sale of his stock.
(Washington is put in command of the Continental Army, 1775. His prudent strategy is to avoid direct engagement with the British, but to retreat slowly and strike when least expected. He avoids being wounded in battle but many of his fellow soldiers co nsider him a hero anyway.
Age 45
With an investment of $500,000 of borrowed money, Bush becomes a part owner of the Texas Rangers. He is given a $200,000 salary.
In 1989, Kerry votes to end the Apache Helicopter program, agreeing with Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney's recommendations to do so.
Age 46
In October 1990, Kerry votes to follow Cheney's recommendation to end the wasteful B-2 Bomber program. Kerry votes to stop making the F-14, which Cheney is growing skeptical of as well. Cheney proposes cutting the Trident submarine program and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle program, and Kerry, again, votes to support the defense secretary's wishes. Fourteen years later Kerry's support on these defense cuts will emerge as Vice President Cheney's bitterest criticisms of Kerry in the presidential campaign.
Age 47
In May of 1991, following the roadmap to normalization laid down by President George H.W. Bush, John Kerry visits Vietnam. As chairman of the Senate committee charged with investigating the POW/MIA issue, he works closely with a Republican senator and former POW, John McCain.
Age 48
With the help of wealthy friends, most notably Enron Chairman Ken Lay, George Bush is elected governor of Texas in 1994. While in office, he will set the record for executions by any governor in American history.
Age 51
In 1998, Bush sells his shares in the Texas Rangers, which he purchased for $500,000. The shares net $14.9 million. The biggest reason for the large profit is the fancy new stadium he helped persuade the state of Texas to build for the team.
Age 53
Running for president in early 2000, Bush loses to McCain in the New Hampshire primary but beats McCain in the South Carolina primary, after a very successful phone campaign in which Bush's people suggest McCain fathered a black child out of wedlock.
Age 54
Bush wins the Republican nomination for president. In November 2000, Bush claims victory in the presidential election, despite winning 500,000 fewer votes than opponent Al Gore. The Electoral College deadlock is broken when the U.S. Supreme Court stops a recount of votes in Florida. Bush receives liberal use of the corporate attorneys and corporate jets of Enron Corp. during the Florida vote-count litigation. He is the first U.S. president to be sworn into office with a criminal record.
Age 59
In early December 2003, most observers think Kerry's chances of winning the Democratic nomination for president are slim to none.
Age 60
Kerry accepts the Democratic nomination for president, July 2004.
Eric Hanson is a Minneapolis writer and artist. The above is a selection from his forthcoming book, "The Political Book of Ages."