Thursday, September 30, 2004
When the Iraqi Priminister Iyad Allawi gave his speech to Congress last week, it sounded remarkably upbeat for a nation that is killing 3 servicemen a day and will likely hold elections for a select few of its people in january. actually it sounded a lot like the rosey veiw the president has had amid all of the chaos on the ground over there.
The Bush Administration wrote his speech for him.
REPUBLiCANS HATE DEMOCRACY
You have to understand a few things about elections before you read on. the more people vote, the better Democrats do. Now this is not to say that the GOP won't register plenty of folks in their home base areas. but as a whole,when more of the populace votes more you bring in more people that don't tend to vote and they tend to be democrats. How big a deal is this? Just has to look at the list of supression tactics the GOP has used. they don't want you to get to the poll if you're not the right sort of american. take a look:
*In 2002 the Louisiana GOP admitted to paying black kids $75 to hold up signs to
discourage people in black neighborhoods from voting. They promoted the 'fact' that if bad weather came you could vote on another day and widely published incorrect absentee voter deadlines among the elderly and poor minority neighborhoods.
*In South Dakota the GOP widely publicized the wrong polling places in the native american community to insure voters were unable to get to the correct polling places.
*In Baltimore in 2002 (and Georgia in 2003) black voters were sent fliers saying anyone w/ outstanding parking tickets, rent, or utility bills would be arrested at polling stations.
*In Mississippi this has been done by phone in the form of 'public service' recorded
Now the Ohio GOP has a new one. Ohio is a MUST win for the GOP. both parties have done an incredible amount of voter registration. the problem is that the Dems have outdone the GOP by leaps and bounds.
but don't worry my GOP pals, the Ohio Secretary of State (Republican) J. Keneth Blackwell is here to help! see he's a republican and he's got a special rule. he won't take any application to register that's not on a card printed on 0 pound stock paper. the local papers had been publishing forms in their papers to encourage registering. too bad. the paper's too thin to allow those people to vote! but to be fair the Sec. of State will mail you out a new 'correct' form to use...only their being sent too late to be used.
when you think about the parties. think about what i means to support a party that must do this to win. think about the fact that i didn't even mention Florida.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
seems jack daniels is lowering its alcohol content from 86 to 80 proof! anyone remember new coke?
TIME.com: Inside The Debate Strategies
The debates are coming!
I am a bit nervous about these. nevermind that the 32page contract drawn up favors the things for which Bushco asked. Nevermind that the format is so watered down and sterile that it forbids interaction (ahem...if i were Kerry, i'd break one of those rules about not talking to the opponent just to throw him off and start up the GOP whine machine. that will be guaranteed to be talked about in the spin cycle after the debates. just do it well. bah...won't ever happen).
Everyone in the news is antsy about the debate, trying to get every possible take from everyone that ever had an experience or an idea about these two. I'm antsy too. I'm not that familiar with Kerry's debates in the past, but i do know this: the video about how he 'turned the tables' on a capital punishment attack doesn't do him any favors. it highlights him being (then at least) against capital punishment (not helping) and turning the issue into his time in Vietnam (the public is tired of that...well, not if done correctly).
Leading into this, bush has an edge. i'm not talking about polls. i'm not talking about concessions in the debate formats. i'm talking about the way bush answers questions. he has a short, feel good answer and no matter what you ask him, he's not going to get off of that. the press is notoriously bad at giving him a followup question when he gives vague platitudes. don't expect a moderator to do any different. moreover, Kerry is forbidden from asking direct questions to call him on it. that's not to say that he cannot do it. the problem is that kerry (rightfully) sees complex issues for what they are and he's not as good at distilling that down to a soundbite.
that certainly doesn't make bush a better leader, and we've seen MANY times where his one liners are invitations to disaster or at least show a profound lack of understanding when it comes to the issue at hand....and you know...this debate isn't being scored by a judge. its scored by the comfort of the people watching.
moreover, it will be scored by the people who DID NOT watch.
This is my biggest concern. the week AFTER the debates. the GOP are FAR better at having their surrogates out there to spin this thing into whatever direction they want. the only way to avoid this is for Kerry to go in for the kill. now he can do it with class, but he has to make the conservative media echo-chamber sound like their grasping at straws. he can do it, but i won't tell you he's my first pick to pull the job off.
Consider this: A study by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center found non-viewers' opinions of Gore eroding as the coverage of his manner grew more negative. this was a DIRECT result of the successful post debate spin, not the reality. the GOP didn't forget about this. all to often the Democrats do forget these things.
James Carville needs to draft the talking points for after the debate and deliver them w/ a threat to the surrogates. Neither Mr. Mooch or I are anxious about this as we feel this shapes up everything leading to the events of the last week before the election.
Monday, September 27, 2004
I can't Make this Up!
but I wish I could see this sort of GOP candidate elsewhere! Its Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and he’s running for Senate.
WORST of the year. He was in the lead by a mile but he keeps shooting himself in the foo...hell in the chest! First he decided to call the people of the state’s largest city a bunch of ‘crapheads’. Next he sent his love to the Cherokee Nation claiming most of them `aren't even Indians,' and called our treaties with them `primitive agreements' and `a joke.'
Well this PR whirlwind just does not stop! Now it seems that Mr. Coburn is a doctor and he...OOOPS...decided to do a little extra surgery on a 20 year old girl. For some reason he just decided that as a bonus he’d sterilize her with a tubal ligation. Turns out, to cap off that raging bit of malpractice, he falsely filed the claim with Medicaid to get the government to get a paycheck for his deed. The worst part is that the procedure wasn’t some sort of slip or accident. He deliberately sterilized this young girl against her will.
To think, this was the BEST the GOP could find in a state that’s pretty strong for Republicans. Sounds about right.
In a somewhat comical turn, he just fired his old campaign manager and hired the guy that was running Mr. Ryan’s campaign up in Illinois (as you may recall, Mr. Ryan dropped out after a sex scandal).
A Quick Note on the Coming Iraqi Elections
Donald Rumsfeld recently said Iraq’s January elections "May not be perfect".
The problem is, this isn’t imperfect as in a poll opens a little late because someone overslept. He’s talking about electing a representative body for Iraq but excluding those in the regions where there are hostilities.
Think about that. They want an American established government to exclude entire regions (that are hostile to the US) from the entire democratic process. If you want these people to see this government as legitimate, you can’t exclude them from the process.
I am left wondering if some of these regions actually just have people that we don’t like as the likely winners? What happens to the Bush Doctrine if, in January, they elect the terrorists?
Saturday, September 25, 2004
SI.com - College Football Mississippi St. Bulldogs - Team Page
i hear MSU lost to LSU today. Tulane is currently down by 6 in the 1st quarter, but there's time against tough rival Univ. of Southern Miss. At least Ole Miss lost!
tonite i realized i'm one of those guys. i don't look like i did when i was young. i'm the guy that you seen now and have to take a second to realize who the hell i am. though i certainly could stand some improvement...i'm not overly fat or skinny compared to the past. i just don't look the same. i wonder what people that knew me in HS think now.
Hell...i'm not a bad looking guy and i was not adonis before but i'm different. don't know what it is but i'm not the same guy. luckily its not been for the worse...tho not for the best either. just different.
The Brothers Johnson
I found out that the Mississippi band Brothers Johnson wrote this song. what a soul classic:
"Ev'rybody take it to the top we're gonna Stomp...
in the neighbourhood...
Don't it feel all right...
gonna Stomp all night...
wanna party Till morning light"
Thursday, September 23, 2004
A Tight Squeeze.
we decided to get a new refrigerator. little did i suspect that i'd be cutting away counter tops and baseboards just to fit it in. seems this thing is wider than the normal set up and i had no idea. after some effort we have it in. this may seem all so very silly to you all...but growing up the idea of a side by side fridge was beyond my scope. one w/ a water/ice maker was something rich folks had. i'd maybe seen this thing once.
now this. all of these things...PLUS in STAiNLESS STEEL?? jesus...that's something Richie Rich had on TV. NOBODY i knew ever even SAW one of these. well...i've gone through the looking glass. at a damn reasonable price we got a damn fine machine. this thing was almost big enough to put the entire contents of the old fridge in the door. crimeny. anyway...
well hit the link above to see our stainless steel wonder.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
DNC News: McAuliffe: Will GOP Answer If They Know Whether Stone, Others Had Involvement With CBS Documents?
Seems that the GOP may have had a role in planting those 'forged documents' in CBS's hands. as you may recall the White House released the same documents around the same time without objection--then let surrogates bring it up. it this is true...it may be the gutsiest counter of a controversy i've ever heard of....
DNC News: Bush Campaign Gets a Case of Camera Shyness
McAuliffe: Will GOP Answer If They Know Whether Stone, Others Had Involvement
With CBS Documents? Washington, D.C. - In response to false Republican accusations regarding the CBS documents, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued this statement:
“In today’s New York Post, Roger Stone, who became associated with political ‘dirty tricks’ while working for Nixon, refused to deny that he was the source the CBS documents.
"Will Ed Gillespie or the White House admit today what they know about Mr. Stone’s relationship with these forged documents? Will they unequivocally rule out Mr.
Stone’s involvement? Or for that matter, others with a known history of dirty
tricks, such as Karl Rove or Ralph Reed?”
Washington, DC— Facing questions about President Bush’s Guard Service and its own possible involvement with the disputed National Guard documents, the Republican National Committee has postponed a call scheduled to discuss the
issue this afternoon.
And, in the last several hours, the Bush campaign has also cancelled scheduled appearances by Dan Bartlett on cable networks this evening. These cancellations came as the Bush operatives refused to appear live alongside Kerry campaign official Joe Lockhart.
“It’s clear that even the Bush campaign is having a problem defending the President’s National Guard service,” said Democratic National Committee Spokesman Howard Wolfson. “The Bush campaign has decided to once again duck the tough questions and avoid real debate. Given the President’s National Guard service, I don’t blame them for being camera shy.”
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
The weather here is ALMOST as nice as it was in August (a phrase never uttered in Mississippi). No need for the AC and lows in the 50s at nite! We always get a little cool weather for the State Fair, and that's about 2-3 weeks away! it was remarked last week that i don't seem as hyped up about the fair this year...don't be deceived. i am utterly giddy at the thought of fair rides, fair food, and the car show that will be forth-coming.
Yahoo! News - Doing hard time in monkey jail
Mr. Mooch reports on the Criminal Justice System in Punjab, India:
The thief threatened children with bricks and ripped the buttons off shirts. He
stole tomatoes from one home and snatched bread from another. Down the street,
he briefly fled with a differential equations book and beat a calculator with
He was one bad monkey. And last week he was sentenced to life
in prison for his crimes, inmate No. 13 at the country's only known monkey jail,
where very bad monkeys are sent to live out their remaining years.
The monkey jail in Patiala, about 125 miles north of New Delhi in Punjab state, is in a corner of the zoo called Deer Park of Motibagh forest. In this vast country, someone else might have opened a monkey jail, but if so, officials do not know about it.
The Patiala jail is more like a single cell, about 15 feet wide, 15 feet deep and 12 feet high, with bars, chain-link fencing and wire mesh. A sign in front says: "These monkeys have been caught from various cities of Punjab. They are notorious. Going near them is dangerous."
Indeed. Mr. Mooch says you cross a Spider Monkey at your own peril.
What is inexcusable is the administration's continuing failure to confront the grim reality and remold policies to make the best of this sow's ear. The delay in gearing up to get the trainers, uniforms, weapons and money that Iraqi security forces need has meant that not a single Iraqi police officer is fully trained and street-ready. The Iraqi army was disbanded with nary a thought to the security vacuum this would create. Our NATO "allies" still are haggling over a skeleton force of 300 military trainers that have yet to arrive in Iraq. Scores of willing police recruits continue to die unnecessarily because of the failure to build secure barriers around recruitment centers.
...Then Kerry Moves
Democratic challenger John F. Kerry plans an aggressive attack on President Bush
and his policies in Iraq, seeking to put the president on the defensive over an issue that has plagued Kerry's candidacy for months. Bush has tried to emphasize Iraq's progress toward democracy, but events there have undermined that message in a week that has included car bombs, kidnappings and more U.S. casualties. Kerry advisers said they have concluded that they must engage directly on the issue of Iraq, despite their hopes of shifting attention to the economy, health care and other domestic issues, and say that renewed concerns among the American public about the situation in Iraq provide a fresh opening to challenge Bush more directly.
There's an opening here for Kerry on iraq if he wants it. the press is somewhat bewildered by the near blindman view of the scene from our president.
He has his eyes firmly down the road where Iraq has its first free elections. the only problem is the he hasn't look down to see that the wheel's have shot off the car and its not moving. actually, it is. its rolling backwards down the hill.
Polly Tells you the GOP Talking Points!
I've been toying with this idea for a while. I'd like to do it weekly, but we'll have to see if I can keep it up.
Let me explain how this works. The Bush Campaign, the GOP, and like minded groups work in unison during the week to help the president (or the party) put forth the same general message. it changes every few weeks as needed. Well, I'm gonna fill you in on the week's talking point. i'll do my best to keep this updated as it comes and goes for the next 6 weeks.
This Week's Talking Point?
"Kerry has No Plan for Iraq."
It started last week and you'll see it continue. its a parry and lunge. Iraq is quickly falling apart. this is coming from GOP Senators, most news papers, Any general you can find that's alive and talking, and--of course--from John Kerry. All the while, Bush is talking about how great its going over there. this has gone on for so long it makes one wonder if he's just not being told what's happening? are the man's handlers afraid to let him know? we know he (claims) he relies on them and doesn't read the paper. (you know, its like we have our own 'Baghdad Bob'...as our President).
So how can you keep this up and not take some major lumps? GO ON THE OFFENSIVE. its the Bush Modus Operandi. if bush is weak in some area, attack the dems/kerry for the very same issue and cast off the scrutiny! Bush went AWOL? let's talk about Kerry's AWFUL service! who cares if it makes no sense, by the time the Media Echo-chamber gets done with it, we'll be on the next topic! you're guaranteed. this media doesn't care about HOW the story effects the candidate's chances w/ voters (whatever it is and whomever it effects), NOT the story itself. who CARES if its true or shows some real problems with our leadership??
We don't have reporters, we have bookies and they only care about the spread.
so that's it. i'm sorry this is late in coming as i think this one has just aboult played itself out, but that's your GOP theme for going against kerry. see if you pick up on this when you see a GOP supporter/operative in print, on the TV,or on the radio!
Now, the next time you see GOP talking head on TV or on the Radio, you can catch the spin coming at you before it can have an effect!
Put that in your Iraq and Smoke it...
A few things i learned from John Kerry and Donald Rumsfeld this week:
Finally Bush gives us this gem (or should i say gems?):
*Last Week the President's administration revealed that it has spent less than $1 Billion of the $18 Billion alotted for Iraqi reconstruction a year ago.
*2 Weeks ago Donald Rumsfeld revealed that we've trained LESS THAN HALF of the 210,000 Iraqi security forces he claimed we'd trained last February. (Security First with these guys! don't YOU feel safer?).
In his New Hampshire speech Bush said Kerry's Iraq proposals mirrored his own, claiming Kerry wants to do what he (bush) is already doing
...then his campaign put out a strongly statement which claimed: 'John Kerry's latest position on Iraq is to advocate retreat and defeat in the face of terror.'
HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!!! So, which is it? hasn't anyone there heard the saying "get your lies straight"?
Monday, September 20, 2004
A strident minority: anti-Bush US troops in Iraq Christian Science Monitor
With the release coming in October...it seems some bootlegs of Fahrenheit 9/11 have made it over to iraq and the star (Pres. Bush) seems to be getting some poor reviews.
Inside dusty, barricaded camps around Iraq, groups of American troops in between
missions are gathering around screens to view an unlikely choice from the US box office: "Fahrenheit 9-11," Michael Moore's controversial documentary attacking the commander-in-chief.
"Everyone's watching it," says a Marine corporal at an outpost in Ramadi that is mortared by insurgents daily. "It's shaping a lot of people's image of Bush."
The film's prevalence is one sign of a discernible countercurrent among US troops in Iraq - those who blame President Bush for entangling them in what they see as a misguided war. Conventional wisdom holds that the troops are staunchly pro-Bush, and many are. But bitterness over long, dangerous deployments is producing, at a minimum, pockets of support for Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry, in part because he's seen as likely to withdraw American forces from Iraq more quickly.
"[For] 9 out of 10 of the people I talk to, it wouldn't matter who ran against Bush -
they'd vote for them," said a US soldier in the southern city of Najaf, seeking out a reporter to make his views known. "People are so fed up with Iraq, and fed up with Bush."
GOP Senator Will NOT Vote for BUSH!
No link on this one. it just aired on CNN! it seems that Rhode island Republican--Senator Lincoln Chafee publcly stated today that he would not be voting for Bush.
This sort of thing is worse than it sounds. a Senator would have no need to make this sort of news unless he has a reason to do it. Either Chafee has been getting some poor treatment or things w/ Bush are THAT BAD.
GOP mailing warns liberals will ban bibles
In case you hadn't heard, the GOP are pulling out all the stops:
Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if liberals win in November.
The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."
G.O.P. Senators VERY Concerned about our Leadership in Iraq
AMAZING. 3 GOP Senators (Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina) were on the Sunday morning talk shows with some strong comments on the President's leadership and our current state of affairs in Iraq. from the article:
"No, I don't think we're winning," Senator Hagel of Nebraska said on the CBS News program "Face the Nation." "We're in trouble, we're in deep trouble in Iraq."
More American troops are clearly needed, Mr. Graham said on CNN. "The security situation in Iraq is going to get worse before it gets better," he said. "I think we're going to need more people over time."
Mr. Lugar, asked why only $1 billion of $18 billion appropriated last year for Iraqi reconstruction had been spent, replied, "Well, this is the incompetence in the administration." The Foreign Relations Committee chairman was appearing on the ABC News program "This Week."
Senator McCain — who, like Senator Hagel and Senator Lugar, has often criticized administration planning on Iraq — said that a major error was allowing insurgents to keep control of the city of Falluja, after vowing to oust them. "As Napoleon said, if you say you're going to take Vienna, you take Vienna," Mr. McCain said.
Richard C. Holbrooke, the former United States ambassador to the United Nations, and an adviser to Senator Kerry, said of Mr. Allawi's comments that "no one I know, except Allawi, thinks things are going to get better" in Iraq. "Everything in Iraq for the past year has gone worse than the administration predicted," he added.
Some Democrats suggested that the administration was playing politics by delaying a major push against the sanctuary cities until after the American presidential election.
"I wouldn't be at all surprised if the tough decisions, the painful decisions are going to be delayed by this administration until after Nov. 2," Senator Carl Levin of Michigan said on CNN.
Sunday, September 19, 2004
And You Thought Jerry Falwell Hated Gay People...
Well, Jimmy Swaggart tries to one-up him on his show:
I'm trying to find the correct name for it ... this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. ... I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I'm gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
The Truth About Reagan's Tax Cuts
people have been asking me about this so i post it here...
We're also sure to hear that Mr. Reagan presided over an unmatched economic boom. Again, not true: the economy grew slightly faster under President Clinton, and, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the after-tax income of a typical family, adjusted for inflation, rose more than twice as much from 1992 to 2000 as it did from 1980 to 1988.
But Ronald Reagan does hold a special place in the annals of tax policy, and not just as the patron saint of tax cuts. To his credit, he was more pragmatic and responsible than that; he followed his huge 1981 tax cut with two large tax increases. In fact, no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people. This is not a criticism: the tale of those increases tells you a lot about what was right with President Reagan's leadership, and what's wrong with the leadership of George W. Bush.
The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton's 1993 tax increase.
Mr. Reagan's second tax increase was also motivated by a sense of responsibility — or at least that's the way it seemed at the time. I'm referring to the Social Security Reform Act of 1983, which followed the recommendations of a commission led by Alan Greenspan. Its key provision was an increase in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance.
For many middle- and low-income families, this tax increase more than undid any gains from Mr. Reagan's income tax cuts. In 1980, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, middle-income families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 percent — but the payroll tax share was up to
11.8 percent, and the combined burden was up, not down.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Here's the News Breaking on More Soldiers going to Iraq
This was taken from salon, but identical to various places across the web:
Democratic Rep. John Murtha from Pennsylvania, a ranking minority member of the
defense subcommittee of the House appropriations committee, said this today:
"I have learned through conversations with officials at the Pentagon that at the beginning of November, 2004, the Bush Administration plans to call up large numbers of the military guard and reserves, to include plans that they previously put off to call up the Individual Ready Reserve. I have said publicly and privately that our forces are inadequate to support our current worldwide tempo of operations. On November 21, 2003, a bipartisan group of 135 members of the House of Representatives wrote to the President urging an increase in the active duty army troop levels and expressed concern that our Armed Forces are over-extended and that we are relying too heavily on the Guard and Reserve. We didn't get a reply until February 2004, and now as the situation in Iraq is deteriorating, it seems that the Administration will resort to calling up additional guard and reservists, again with inadequate notice."
of course, Bush doesn't want this out BEFORE election day? might interfere w/ the way he's portraying Iraq to the voters right now.
Secret War Plans
it's being reported that the bush administration has made plans to call up MANY of our inactive reserve soldiers in November...AFTER the election. it's been disclosed that this plan has been kept secret by the president and is finally starting to come out. This is especially stark in comparisson to the amazingly sunny view that Bush has had on iraq were we AGAiN have had 3 soldiers killed a day.
With all due respect to the president, has he turned on the evening news lately? Does he read the newspapers?' Kerry said. 'Does he really know what's happening?
Is he talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?
Bush (the father) talks about invading iraq.
Had we gone into Baghdad -- we could have done it, you guys could have done it, you could have been there in 48 hours -- and then what? Which sergeant, which private, whose life would be at stake in perhaps a fruitless hunt in an urban guerilla war to find the most-secure dictator in the world? Whose life would be on my hands as the commander-in-chief because I, unilaterally, went beyond the international law, went beyond the stated mission, and said we're going to show our macho? We're going into Baghdad. We're going to be an occupying power -- America in an Arab land -- with no allies at our side. It would have been disastrous.
wish his boy had been there to hear the speech....
Thursday, September 16, 2004
From my Pal Swirly....
Let's Pull Together...
There are two months until the election, an election that will decide the next President of the United States.
To show our solidarity as Americans, let's all get together and show each other our support for the candidate of our choice. It's time that we all came together, Democrats and Republicans alike.
If you support the policies and character of John Kerry, please drive with your headlights ON at night!
If you support President Bush, please drive with your headlights OFF at night.
SUPPORT YOUR CANDIDATE!
DAG! Not Pretty. (Salon.com)
this week bush said our (his) plan in iraq was succeeding.
...really? is that true?
Retired Gen. William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse -- he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He added: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving [Osama] bin Laden's ends."again...are there ANY generals alive that say the bush plan was/is a good idea? still looking...
Retired Gen. Joseph Hoare, the former Marine commandant and head of the U.S. Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."
"I see no ray of light on the horizon at all," said Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College. "The worst case has become true. There's no analogy what-so-ever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after World War II in Germany and Japan."
"I don't think that you can kill the insurgency," said W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, the top expert on Iraq there. "We have a growing, maturing insurgency group...We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are X number of insurgents and when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the U.S. presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."
"I think the president ordered the attack on Fallujah," said Gen. Hoare. "I asked a three-star Marine general who gave the order to go to Fallujah and he wouldn't tell me. I came to the conclusion that the order came directly from the White House." Then, just as suddenly, the order was rescinded, and Islamist radicals gained control, using the city as a base, al-Qaida ("base" in Arabic) indeed.
"This is far graver than Vietnam," said Gen. Odom. "There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with a war that was not constructive for U.S. aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile and we're in much worse shape with our allies."
Gen. Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it -- after the election. The signs are all there."
Gen. Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration and senior military officers over Iraq is worse than any he has ever seen with any previous U.S. government, including during Vietnam. "I've never seen it so bad between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military. There's a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic."
Oh...if you haven't heard. bush says he's made us safer in the war on terror. sounds safe to you?
STOLEN FROM ANOTHER BLOG! heh...
media bias huh?
Wisconsin CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll. Registered Voters. 9/9-12. MoE 5%. (8/23-26)
Bush 50 (46)
Kerry 45 (49)
The USA Today headline:
Bush widens Wisconsin lead over Kerry, poll shows
Michigan CNN/USA Today Gallup Poll. Registered Voters. 9/9-12. MoE 5%. (No trend lines.)
The CNN headline:
Poll: Michigan too close to call
maybe we should start a new game....SPOT BUSH AT WORK--win a prize!
If you're looking for President Bush, don't bother searching the White House. Bush has not spent a full day in Washington since Aug. 2 -- roaming the country rather than staying in the Oval Office as he seeks a second term."As you may recall...Bush has spent 500 days on vacation as of April 1st. that is dedication!
Bush today breaks his "44-day, outside-the-Beltway streak to host a concert and reception at the White House in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. But not for long." He's back on the road tomorrow.
Loven notes that Bush has spent only a handful of days entirely in Washington all summer long: Just 10 since Memorial Day.
VOTE BUSH! GET 1/2 A PRESiDENT!!
The White House put government agencies on notice this month that if Bush is reelected, his budget for 2006 may include $2.3 billion in spending cuts from virtually all domestic programs not mandated by law, including education, homeland security and others central to Bush's campaign.that's bush...keeping us safe by CUTTiNG HOMELAND SECURiTY!
ask your republican friends about that one.
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
For as much as has gone wrong in the last 4 years, Bush has made REMARKABLY few mistakes!
'The president would have us believe that his record is the result of bad luck, not bad decisions, that he's faced the wrong circumstances, not made the wrong choices,' Kerry said in excerpts of remarks prepared for delivery at the Detroit Economic Club, a traditional forum for presidential candidates.
'In fact, this president has created more excuses than jobs. His is the Excuse Presidency -- never wrong, never responsible, never to blame. President Bush's desk isn't where the buck stops -- it's where the blame begins.'
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Expert Cited by CBS Says He Didn't Authenticate Papers (just the signatures of the people making the claims)
I wish the war in Iraq and the make believe search for WMD's got 1/2 the coverage that Bush's so-called 'forged' set of records have gotten. you'd think that the lives of our soldiers depended on deciding just how many people helped the President duck service in Viet Nam.
**Ask yourself this: Does this reflect the priorities of the media or the conservative/Republican influence on the news we see?
I Got 99 Problems...
but being Republican ain't one.
Monday, September 13, 2004
He Hates These Guns...Until they Votes Get Him Some Votes.
From The Progress Report - American Progress Action Fund:
In 1999, then-Gov. George W. Bush supported the ban on assault weapons, saying "it makes no sense for assault weapons to be around our society." In 2003, then-White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that Bush not only "supports the reauthorization of the current assault weapons ban" but would "work with Congress" to make sure it remained the law. Standing firm on the issues....err, i mean Polls.
Soldiers Killed for Poll Numbers.
This is an article that has made me very angry. During the April seige of Fallujah we had a great loss of life and one of our toughest battles of the 'peace' in iraq. The White House demanded the seige of the city and its militants to retaliate for the killing and mutilation of 4 US contractors. This was against the wishes of the US Marine leadership in the area, but who cares? the President was going down in the polls when Americans were being savaged in the streets.
Well, it turns out (as they told 'em) the little excursion into Fallujah was a bad idea. we started getting ourself into a quagmire where our troops were hamstrung and getting killed. But now we were in it and the Troops needed to complete their mission as they were now committed with no backing out. leaving then would just solidify the view of our soldiers as attacking without direction.
Well, you see...that didn't poll well either. so AGAIN against the troop's advice, Bush told to troops to leave immediately...job half done. We turned the job over to the Iraqi's to show how Bush had set up a strong government that could fend for itself.
Unfortunately that Iraqi force disbanded and gave the weapons we gave them to the militants!
Lesson here? don't think a Marine's life is worth more than a poll number to this president, because it isn't.
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Chris Matthews on REALTIME with Bill Maher.
I finally found the quote from Chris Matthews of HARDBALL on MSNBC. i saw him on the Bill Maher show (which is ALWAYS great), and i was a little suprised how frank he seemed with his views about this election. if you wonder of if you know someone else that wonders about whether to vote for Kerry, consider his words:
MATTHEWS: All they're going to have is him as their president. That's all they get out of these guys. And my answer is, you want to think about this election more seriously? Vote Bush, vote Kerry, but think about this: do you really want the country to go in the direction they're taking you or say they're going to take you for the next ten or 20 years? Raise the stakes. That'll make it easier for the undecided voter.
If you can't decide based on what you've heard, think about this: do you want to continue on the road of basically being go-it-alone in the world? I mean, Tony Blair will be gone soon. Musharraf will be gone soon. Then we'll be completely alone in the world. Do you want to go to an economy that's basically geared toward tax cuts for people who have a lot of income, and the working class and the middle class gradually disappear? Well, you know which party that is.
If you want to go to a party that is a little more hesitant, this president - if we elect John Kerry president, he will be hesitant about going to war. He will be careful. In fact, he'll probably wait around to hear what the French think. And if that bothers you, vote for Bush. It's easy. But these stakes are big.
Do you want health research for the next 20 years or do you want the same diseases we have now in 20 years? I mean, think about it. [applause] I think there's an argument for the Republicans, but it's a long-term argument for both sides, and people ought to make - how can you be undecided about Bush and Kerry? I don't get it. These guys offer radically different approaches.
Friday, September 10, 2004
Cheney: Dconomic Stats Miss eBay Sales
You probably heard this one already, but I can't resist. Recently VP Dick Cheney said that you can't go too closely by the economic indicators that we have out there (they're not too pretty) becuase over the last few years, they didn't take into account the sales on eBay!
So basically what he's saying that we're missing the money being made by folks so broke they've turned to cyber-hocing their belongings on line and THAT somehow helps to show how good we're doing in this economy.
you know, i don't think the baseball cards up for grabs on eBay fixes out average workers seeing the worst movement in their wages in over 50 years. i really don't.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Bush warns of "hidden Kerry tax plan"
Jeez. these guys have completely given up on campaign issues and just embraced all fear all the time? Vote kerry and we get struck by terrorists...we get a secret tax...we get a vampire plague...!!
heh. this leaves bush open...BUT will kerry take the counter punch? who knows.
This is a story that was related to me by my good friend JasN
JasN was at a family get-together this year and his little cousin was there. He was a little boy who ran into the room completely THRILLED!
"MOMMY MOMMY! THEY HAVE CAT SADDLES HERE!"
Everyone is kinda puzzled and amused. at that very moment, the family cat comes running into the room wearing a maxi-pad with wings on its back adhesive side down.. The boy marveled at the idea that this family kept 'cat saddles' for their cat.
haw haw haw!!
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Thank the LORD it's done. i've been working on this thing for hours. connecting this and that. running cables. i HATE doing this stuff. I've had this set up for about 10 years now. It was a decent BOSE set up at the time but now it feels like a tricked out Fiero--it gets the job done, but at some point you have to just say "its a Fiero and its time to move on".
The problem is that as old as it is, an upgrade will still take thousands more than the nothing in my wallet right now.
God, i can't wait to RE-INSTALL an entirely new set up. I'm happy enough to pass out.
Ready to Die?
stepping up the scare tactics...Cheney claimed that a kerry victory would guarantee a terror attack. Sure fella. why be scared of anything when i GET the worst already from THiS administration?
seriously cheney...is that the best you have? it's so bad that your best argument for the election is 'it could be worse'?
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Fordice is Dead
Kirk Fordice was my first taste of politics. in 1991 i met with nearly every candidate for governor from both parties and Fordice was by far the worst. He got the nomination and my young Conventional Wisdom said "well the current governor is as good as in. This guy is clearly awful."
I was half right. We got one of the worst governors in decades.
I remember, shortly after the election, i was driving down I-55 North near Countyline Road. i looked to the side and there he was...driving along in a white Lincoln. I immediately cut my car over 5 lanes to crash into him. No joke. i was a kid but it wasn't a childish act. it was pure impulse.
I finally realized about 3-4 feet away that this wasn't a good idea, so i righted myself. However, this was not before I'd run him off the road and saw the expression of fear on his face. It is a moment i savor privately but on this occasion i share with you dear readers.
Fordice made national headlines when he was calling for the President's impeachment but OOPS! got caught in a Memphis Airport with his mistress! the local cartoonist had a field day.
Also of note is the point of pride i had in that my father thought this guy was an idiot.
This article just has interesting quotes and is a quick read. However, one is missing the follow-up so i'll fill you in:
“The United States of America is a Christian nation.” —˚At a Republican Governors Association meeting, November 1992.
--to which another governor (i forget whom) said "i'm sure Gov. Fordice meant to say 'Judeo-Christian Values'". Which caused the governor to jump up and state that if he MEANT JUDEO-Christian values, he would have said so.
Nice. I hope the pitchforks are nice down there Kirk.
Senator: Gen. Franks told of military drain
Yikes! Even General Tommy Franks thought Bush was running into Iraq blind and against better judgement:
Sept. 6, 2004 WASHINGTON -- A former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman asserted Sunday that the general who ran the war in Afghanistan said more than a year before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that his resources were being shifted in preparation for taking on Saddam Hussein.
Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., contends that just months into combat in Afghanistan, Gen. Tommy Franks also told him that fighting terrorism in Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere should take priority over invading Iraq.
Graham said Franks told him he thought the United States knew less about the situation in Iraq than did some European governments, and the Bush administration should ask them for advice...
Graham said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that his meeting with Franks was at the general's headquarters, Central Command in Tampa, Fla.
"He laid out a very precise strategy for fighting the war on terror," Graham said.
"First, we should win the war in Afghanistan. Second, move to Somalia, which as he described was almost anarchy but with a substantial number of al-Qaida cells; then to Yemen. And that we should be very careful about Iraq, because our intelligence was so weak that we didn't know what we were getting into," Graham said.
Monday, September 06, 2004
From the NYTimes:
"The conversation and the recruitment of old Clinton hands came amid rising concern among Democrats about the state of Mr. Kerry's campaign and criticismthat he had been too slow to respond to attacks on his military record or to engage Mr. Bush on domestic policy. Among the better-known former Clinton aides who are expected to play an increasingly prominent role are James Carville, Paul Begala and Stanley Greenberg, campaign aides said."Good LORD they've needed James Carville. Upon hearing this news, Mr. Mooch declared all is right with the world and he will sleep soundly tonite.
I must agree. I’m feeling pretty good.
Sunday, September 05, 2004
Bush by numbers: Four years of double standards
Here's our President by the numbers (compiled by Vanity Fair by Graydon Carter) prepare to be disapointed.
my favorite? the number of vacation days Bush took in August 2001 (when 5 briefs came in warning of attacks by plane--28. well he learned his lesson--right? he's the war president now!
number of vacation days Bush took in August 2003? 28
1 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security issued between 20 January 2001 and 10 September 2001 that mentioned al-Qa'ida.
104 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein.
101 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned missile defence.
65 Number of Bush administration public statements on National security and defence in the same period that mentioned weapons of mass destruction.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned Osama bin Laden in his three State of the Union addresses.
73 Number of times that Bush mentioned terrorism or terrorists in his three State of the Union addresses.
83 Number of times Bush mentioned Saddam, Iraq, or regime (as in change) in his three State of the Union addresses.
$1m Estimated value of a painting the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, received from Prince Bandar, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States and Bush family friend.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned Saudi Arabia in his three State of the Union addresses.
1,700 Percentage increase between 2001 and 2002 of Saudi Arabian spending on public relations in the United States.
79 Percentage of the 11 September hijackers who came from Saudi Arabia.
3 Number of 11 September hijackers whose entry visas came through special US-Saudi "Visa Express" programme.
140 Number of Saudis, including members of the Bin Laden family, evacuated from United States almost immediately after 11 September.
14 Number of Immigration and Naturalisation Service (INS) agents assigned to track down 1,200 known illegal immigrants in the United States from countries where al-Qa'ida is active.
$3m Amount the White House was willing to grant the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 11 September attacks.
$0 Amount approved by George Bush to hire more INS special agents.
$10m Amount Bush cut from the INS's existing terrorism budget.
$50m Amount granted to the commission that looked into the Columbia space shuttle crash.
$5m Amount a 1996 federal commission was given to study legalised gambling.
7 Number of Arabic linguists fired by the US army between mid-August and mid-October 2002 for being gay.
George Bush: Military man
1972 Year that Bush walked away from his pilot duties in the Texas National Guard, Nearly two years before his six-year obligation was up.
$3,500 Reward a group of veterans offered in 2000 for anyone who could confirm Bush's Alabama guard service.
600-700 Number of guardsmen who were in Bush's unit during that period.
0 Number of guardsmen from that period who came forward with information about Bush's guard service.
0 Number of minutes that President Bush, Vice-President Dick Cheney, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, the assistant Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, the former chairman of the Defence Policy Board, Richard Perle, and the White House Chief of Staff, Karl Rove the main proponents of the war in Iraq served in combat (combined).
0 Number of principal civilian or Pentagon staff members who planned the war who have immediate family members serving in uniform in Iraq.
8 Number of members of the US Senate and House of Representatives who have a child serving in the military.
10 Number of days that the Pentagon spent investigating a soldier who had called
the President "a joke" in a letter to the editor of a Newspaper.
46 Percentage increase in sales between 2001 and 2002 of GI Joe figures (children's
2 Number of Nations that George Bush has attacked and taken over since coming into office.
130 Approximate Number of countries (out of a total of 191 recognised by the United Nations) with a US military presence.
43 Percentage of the entire world's military spending that the US spends on defence. (That was in 2002, the year before the invasion of Iraq.)
$401.3bn Proposed military budget for 2004.
Saviour of Iraq
1983 The year in which Donald Rumsfeld, Ronald Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, gave Saddam Hussein a pair of golden spurs as a gift.
2.5 Number of hours after Rumsfeld learnt that Osama bin Laden was a suspect in the 11 September attacks that he brought up reasons to "hit" Iraq.
237 Minimum number of misleading statements on Iraq made by top Bush administration officials between 2002 and January 2004, according to the California Representative Henry Waxman.
10m Estimated number of people worldwide who took to the streets on 21 February 2003, in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, the largest simultaneous protest in world
$2bn Estimated monthly cost of US military presence in Iraq projected by the White House in April 2003.
$4bn Actual monthly cost of the US military presence in Iraq according to Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld in 2004.
$15m Amount of a contract awarded to an American firm to build a cement factory in Iraq.
$80,000 Amount an Iraqi firm spent (using Saddam's confiscated funds) to build the same factory, after delays prevented the American firm from starting it.
2000 Year that Cheney said his policy as CEO of Halliburton oil services company was "we wouldn't do anything in Iraq".
$4.7bn Total value of contracts awarded to Halliburton in Iraq and Afghanistan.
$680m Estimated value of Iraq reconstruction contracts awarded to Bechtel.
$2.8bnValue of Bechtel Corp contracts in Iraq.
$120bn Amount the war and its aftermath are projected to cost for the 2004 fiscal year.
35 Number of countries to which the United States suspended military assistance after they failed to sign agreements giving Americans immunity from prosecution before the International Criminal Court.
92 Percentage of Iraq's urban areas with access to potable water in late 2002.
60 Percentage of Iraq's urban areas with access to potable water in late 2003.
55 Percentage of the Iraqi workforce who were unemployed before the war.
80 Percentage of the Iraqi workforce who are unemployed a Year after the war.
0 Number of American combat deaths in Germany after the Nazi surrender in May 1945.
37 Death toll of US soldiers in Iraq in May 2003, the month combat operations "officially" ended.
0 Number of coffins of dead soldiers returning home that the Bush administration
has permitted to be photographed.
0 Number of memorial services for the returned dead that Bush has attended since the beginning of the war.
A Soldier's Best Friend
40,000 Number of soldiers in Iraq seven months after start of the war still without Interceptor vests, designed to stop a round from an AK-47.
$60m Estimated cost of outfitting those 40,000 soldiers with Interceptor vests.
62 Percentage of gas masks that army investigators discovered did Not work properly in autumn 2002.
90 Percentage of detectors which give early warning of a biological weapons attack
found to be defective.
87 Percentage of Humvees in Iraq not equipped with armour capable of stopping AK-47 rounds and protecting against roadside bombs and landmines at the end of 2003.
Making the country safer
$3.29 Average amount allocated per person Nationwide in the first round of homeland security grants.
$94.40 Amount allocated per person for homeland security in American Samoa.
$36 Amount allocated per person for homeland security in Wyoming, Vice-President Cheney's home state.
$17 Amount allocated per person in New York state.
$5.87 Amount allocated per person in New York City.
$77.92 Amount allocated per person in New Haven, Connecticut, home of Yale University, Bush's alma mater.
76 Percentage of 215 cities surveyed by the US Conference of Mayors in early 2004
that had yet to receive a dime in federal homeland security assistance for their
5 Number of major US airports at the beginning of 2004 that the Transportation Security Administration admitted were Not fully screening baggage electronically.
22,600 Number of planes carrying unscreened cargo that fly into New York each month.
5 Estimated Percentage of US air cargo that is screened, including cargo transported on passenger planes.
95 Percentage of foreign goods that arrive in the United States by sea.
2 Percentage of those goods subjected to thorough inspection.
$5.5bnEstimated cost to secure fully US ports over the Next decade.
$0 Amount Bush allocated for port security in 2003.
$46m Amount the Bush administration has budgeted for port security in 2005.
15,000 Number of major chemical facilities in the United States.
100 Number of US chemical plants where a terrorist act could endanger the lives of more than one million people.
0 Number of new drugs or vaccines against "priority pathogens" listed by the Centres for Disease Control that have been developed and introduced since 11 September 2001.
Giving a hand up to the advantaged
$10.9m Average wealth of the members of Bush's original 16-person cabinet.
75 Percentage of Americans unaffected by Bush's sweeping 2003 cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes.
$42,000 Average savings members of Bush's cabinet received in 2003 as a result of cuts in capital gains and dividends taxes.
10 Number of fellow members from the Yale secret society Skull and Bones that Bush has named to important positions (including the Associate Attorney General Robert McCallum Jr. and SEC chief Bill Donaldson).
79 Number of Bush's initial 189 appointees who also served in his father's administration.
A man with a lot of friends
$113m Amount of total hard money the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign received, a record.
$11.5m Amount of hard money raised through the Pioneer programme, the controversial fund-raising process created for the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign. (Participants pledged to raise at least $100,000 by bundling together cheques of up to $1,000 from friends and family. Pioneers were assigned numbers, which were included on all cheques, enabling the campaign to keep track of who raised how much.)
George Bush: Money manager
4.7m Number of bankruptcies that were declared during Bush's first three years in office.
2002 The worst year for major markets since the recession of the 1970s.
$489bn The US trade deficit in 2003, the worst in history for a single year.
$5.6tr Projected national surplus forecast by the end of the decade when Bush took office in 2001.
$7.22tr US national debt by mid-2004.
George Bush: Tax cutter
87 Percentage of American families in April 2004 who say they have felt no benefit from Bush's tax cuts.
39 Percentage of tax cuts that will go to the top 1 per cent of American families when fully phased in.
49 Percentage of Americans in April 2004 who found that their taxes had actually gone up since Bush took office.
88 Percentage of American families who will save less than $100 on their 2006 federal taxes as a result of 2003 cut in capital gains and dividends taxes.
$30,858 Amount Bush himself saved in taxes in 2003.
9.3m Number of US unemployed in April 2004.
2.3m Number of Americans who lost their jobs during first three Years of the Bush administration.
22m Number of jobs gained during Clinton's eight years in office.
Friend of the poor
34.6m Number of Americans living below the poverty line (1 in 8 of the population).
6.8m Number of people in the workforce but still classified as poor.
35m Number of Americans that the government defines as "food insecure," in other
$300m Amount cut from the federal programme that provides subsidies to poor families so they can heat their homes.
40 Percentage of wealth in the United States held by the richest 1 per cent of the population.
18 Percentage of wealth in Britain held by the richest 1e per cent of the population.
George Bush And his special friend
$60bn Loss to Enron stockholders, following the largest bankruptcy in US history.
$205m Amount Enron CEO Kenneth Lay earned from stock option profits over a four-year period.
$101m Amount Lay made from selling his Enron shares just before the company went bankrupt.
$59,339 Amount the Bush campaign reimbursed Enron for 14 trips on its corporate jet during the 2000 campaign.
30 Length of time in months between Enron's collapse and Lay (whom the President called "Kenny Boy") still not being charged with a crime.
George Bush: Lawman
15 Average number of minutes Bush spent reviewing capital punishment cases while governor of Texas.
46 Percentage of Republican federal judges when Bush came to office.
57 Percentage of Republican federal judges after three years of the Bush administration.
33 Percentage of the $15bn Bush pledged to fight Aids in Africa that must go to abstinence-only programmes.
The Civil libertarian
680 Number of suspected al-Qa'ida members that the United States admits are detained at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
42 Number of nationalities of those detainees at Guantanamo.
22 Number of hours prisoners were handcuffed, shackled, and made to wear surgical masks, earmuffs, and blindfolds during their flight to Guantanamo.
32 Number of confirmed suicide attempts by Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
24 Number of prisoners in mid-2003 being monitored by psychiatrists in Guantanamo's new mental ward.
A health-conscious president
43.6m Number of Americans without health insurance by the end of 2002 (more than 15 per cent of the population).
2.4m Number of Americans who lost their health insurance during Bush's first year in office.
$44m Amount the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign and the Republican NationalCommittee received in contributions from the fossil fuel, chemical, timber,and mining industries.
200 Number of regulation rollbacks downgrading or weakening environmental laws in Bush's first three years in office.
31 Number of Bush administration appointees who are alumni of the energy industry (includes four cabinet secretaries, the six most powerful White House officials, and more than 20 other high-level appointees).
50 Approximate number of policy changes and regulation rollbacks injurious to the environment that have been announced by the Bush administration on Fridays after 5pm, a time that makes it all but impossible for news organisations to relay the information to the widest possible audience.
50 Percentage decline in Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions against polluters under Bush's watch.
34 Percentage decline in criminal penalties for environmental crimes since Bush
50 Percentage decline in civil penalties for environmental crimes since Bush took office.
$6.1m Amount the EPA historically valued each human life when conducting economic analyses of proposed regulations.
$3.7m Amount the EPA valued each human life when conducting analyses of proposed regulations during the Bush administration.
0 Number of times Bush mentioned global warming, clean air, clean water, pollution or environment in his 2004 State of the Union speech. His father was the last president to go through an entire State of the Union address without mentioning the environment.
1 Number of paragraphs devoted to global warming in the EPA's 600-page "Draft Report on the Environment" presented in 2003.
68 Number of days after taking office that Bush decided Not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gases by roughly 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. The United States was to cut its level by 7 per cent.
1 The rank of the United States worldwide in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
25 Percentage of overall worldwide carbon dioxide emissions the United States is responsible for.
53 Number of days after taking office that Bush reneged on his campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
14 Percentage carbon dioxide emissions will increase over the next 10 years under Bush's own global-warming plan (an increase of 30 per cent above their 1990 levels).
408 Number of species that could be extinct by 2050 if the global-warming trend continues.
5 Number of years the Bush administration said in 2003 that global warming must be further studied before substantive action could be taken.
62 Number of members of Cheney's 63-person Energy Task Force with ties to corporate energy interests.
0 Number of environmentalists asked to attend Cheney's Energy Task Force meetings.
6 Number of months before 11 September that Cheney's Energy Task Force investigated Iraq's oil reserves.
2 Percentage of the world's population that is British.
2 Percentage of the world's oil used by Britain.
5 Percentage of the world's population that is American.
25 Percentage of the world's oil used by America.
63 Percentage of oil the United States imported in 2003, a record high.
24,000 Estimated number of premature deaths that will occur under Bush's Clear Skies initiative.
300 Number of Clean Water Act violations by the mountaintop-mining industry in 2003.
750,000 Tons of toxic waste the US military, the world's biggest polluter, generates around the world each Year.
$3.8bn Amount in the Superfund trust fund for toxic site clean-ups in 1995, the Year "polluter pays" fees expired.
$0m Amount of uncommitted dollars in the Superfund trust fund for toxic site clean-ups in 2003.
270 Estimated number of court decisions citing federal Negligence in endangered-species protection that remained unheeded during the first year of the Bush administration.
100 Percentage of those decisions that Bush then decided to allow the government to ignore indefinitely.
68.4 Average Number of species added to the Endangered and Threatened Species list each year between 1991 and 2000.
0 Number of endangered species voluntarily added by the Bush administration since taking office.
50 Percentage of screened workers at Ground Zero who now suffer from long-term
health problems, almost half of whom don't have health insurance.
78 Percentage of workers at Ground Zero who now suffer from lung ailments.
88 Percentage of workers at Ground Zero who Now suffer from ear, nose, or throat problems.
22 Asbestos levels at Ground Zero were 22 times higher than the levels in Libby, Montana, where the W R Grace mine produced one of the worst Superfund disasters in US history.
Image booster for the US
2,500 Number of public-diplomacy officers employed by the State Department to further the image of the US abroad in 1991.
1,200 Number of public-diplomacy officers employed by the State Department to further US image abroad in 2004.
4 Rank of the United States among countries considered to be the greatest threats to world peace according to a 2003 Pew Global Attitudes study (Israel, Iran, and North Korea were considered more dangerous; Iraq was considered less dangerous).
$66bn Amount the United States spent on international aid and diplomacy in 1949.
$23.8bn Amount the United States spent on international aid and diplomacy in 2002.
85 Percentage of Indonesians who had an unfavourable image of the United States in
90 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 26 September 2001.
67 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 26 September 2002.
54 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 30 September, 2003.
50 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president on 15 October 2003.
49 Percentage of Americans who approved of the way Bush was handling his job as president in May 2004.
More like the French than he would care to admit
28 Number of vacation days Bush took in August 2003, the second-longest vacation of any president in US history. (Record holder Richard Nixon.)
13 Number of vacation days the average American receives each Year.
28 Number of vacation days Bush took in August 2001, the month he received a 6 August Presidential Daily Briefing headed "Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike US Targets."
500 Number of days Bush has spent all or part of his time away from the White House at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, his parents' retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, or Camp David as of 1 April 2004.
No fool when it comes to the press
11 Number of press conferences during his first three Years in office in which Bush referred to questions as being "trick" ones.
Factors in his favour
3 Number of companies that control the US voting technology market.
52 Percentage of votes cast during the 2002 midterm elections that were recorded by Election Systems & Software, the largest voting-technology firm, a big Republican donor.
29 Percentage of votes that will be cast via computer voting machines that don't produce a paper record.
17On 17 November 2001, The Economist printed a correction for having said George Bush was properly elected in 2000.
$113m Amount raised by the Bush-Cheney 2000 campaign, the most in American electoral history.
$185m Amount raised by the Bush-Cheney 2004 re-election campaign, to the end of March 2004.
$200m Amount that the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign expects to raise by November 2004.
268 Number of Bush-Cheney fund-raisers who had earned Pioneer status (by raising $100,000 each) as of March 2004.
187 Number of Bush-Cheney fund-raisers who had earned Ranger status (by raising $200,000 each) as of March 2004.
$64.2mThe Amount Pioneers and Rangers had raised for Bush-Cheney as of March 2004.
85 Percentage of Americans who can't Name the Chief Justice of the United States.
69 Percentage of Americans who believed the White House's claims in September 2003 that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the 11 September attacks.
34 Percentage of Americans who believed in June 2003 that Saddam's "weapons of mass destruction" had been found.
22 Percentage of Americans who believed in May 2003 that Saddam had used his WMDs on US forces.
85 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find Afghanistan, Iraq, or Israel on a map.
30 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find the Pacific Ocean on a map.
75 Percentage of American young adults who don't know the population of the United States.
53 Percentage of Canadian young adults who don't know the population of the United States.
11 Percentage of American young adults who cannot find the United States on a map.
30 Percentage of Americans who believe that "politics and government are too complicated to understand."
Another factor in his favour
70m Estimated number of Americans who describe themselves as Evangelicals who accept Jesus Christ as their personal saviour and who interpret the Bible as the direct word of God.
23m Number of Evangelicals who voted for Bush in 2000.
50m Number of voters in total who voted for Bush in 2000.
46 Percentage of voters who describe themselves as born-again Christians.
5 Number of states that do not use the word "evolution" in public school science courses
Friday, September 03, 2004
11 Point LEAD
Bush has an 11 point lead in a poll national poll that was concluded on September the 2nd. this does not indicate what effect there has been on particular swing states. As you may note most of the survey was done before the GOP convention started. it could get worse before it gets better, but there's plenty of time.
SWIFT BOAT VET GOT $40M CONTRACT FROM BUSHSources:
The Bush White House has denied any connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - the group that has been airing factually unsupportable smear ads against Sen. John Kerry's war record. But a new report today shows that one of the key
accusers in the smear ads was a lobbyist for a company that recently received a massive federal contract from the Bush administration.
As the Washington Post reports, Rear Admiral William L. Schachte Jr., the man who claims Kerry was not under fire when he received his first Purple Heart, is a top lobbyist for a defense contractor that recently won a $40 million grant from the Bush administration. According to a March 18 legal filing by Schachte's firm, Blank Rome, Schachte was one of the lobbyists working for FastShip's effort to secure federal
contracts. On Feb. 2, FastShip announced the Bush administration had
awarded it $40 million.
Schachte has other connections to the Bush administration. The Washington Post notes David Norcross, Schachte's colleague in the Washington office of Blank Rome, is chairman of this week's Republican convention in New York. Records show that Schachte gave $1,000 to Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns. Additionally, Schachte helped organize veterans' efforts against Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and for Bush in the 2000 South Carolina primary.
This is not the first member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth who has been revealed to be connected to the President. The Bush-Cheney campaign's top outside lawyer was forced to resign after he admitted providing legal services to the veterans group. The Bush-Cheney campaign's veterans adviser was also featured in one of the smear ads.
1. "Press Gaggle by Scott McClellan," WhiteHouse.gov, 8/20/04,
2. "A Swift Shift in Stories," Washington Post, 8/31/04,
3. "FastShip, Inc. to Receive $40 million in Federal Support for Marine
Cargo Terminal in Philadelphia," FastShipAtlantic.com, 2/02/04,
4. "A Swift Shift in Stories," Washington Post, 8/31/04,
5. OpenSecrets.org, 8/04,
6. Charleston Post & Courier, 2/17/2000.
7. "Bush-Cheney Lawyer Advised Anti-Kerry Vets," Washington Post,
8. "Bush Campaign Drops Swift Boat Ad Figure," Washington Post, 8/22/04,
Oh, i'm taking all comers now.
the Kerry reaction to the RnC convention:
Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our
nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while
this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting
45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this nation.
Letting the Saudi Royal Family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead
this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while
you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush
and Dick Cheney. And it's not going to change. I believe it's time to move
America in a new direction; I believe it's time to set a new course for America.
damn right and i'm ready to tanglle. we're going to win this MaFa.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
Phoning it in...
i just don't have it in me to watch the president speak then do the analysis tonite. that being said i'll give you my take now in the form of my best guess.
*ALL SECURiTY ALL THE TIME. we'll hear about the war and how we're safer but (confusingly) we aren't that safe and we need bush to keep us safe.
*THE BUSH RECORD. this will be a small portion of the speech. expect him to tell us we're doing well and getting better. don't expect any specifics. just trust him. its true. alright? oh, did he mention we have to stay the course on the war on terrorism.
High on platitudes and low on results. hope you enjoy. i'll be out doing anythin else under the sun i can find more enjoyable. (unless something just goes crazy tonite and you'll see me back right here w/ Mr. Mooch egging me on)
...but still worth repeating...
"Back in 2000 a Republican friend warned me that if I voted for Al Gore and he won, the stock market would tank, we'd lose millions of jobs, and our military would be totally overstretched. You know what? I did vote for Gore, he did win, and I'll be damned if all those things didn't come true!"
-- James Carville
Tonight's posts were brought to you by "If I had a Hammer" by Trini Lopez and my good friends at the Old Crow distillery.
Nothin' from Nothin' leaves Nothin'...
or my take on the GOP Convention thus far.
well, i hit arnold down blow here and that sums it up in about 2 sentences.
Tonight we get a treat. OH, before we start, click here and put these images in your mind while i write about their speeches.
Zell Miller...the guy so 'betrayed' by the dems that he gave keynote address for Bill Clinton. you know what? i can buy that whole "the party left ME" business if he hadn't been in the middle of 'the party's business' for the last few years. suddenly 9/11 comes and the world changes? hardly.
well he gave a tough speech tonite. known as an orator i expected something from him, but was curious that the DEMOCRAT was the ONLY social conservative in a convention that needs their vote more than any other to win. I won't go into the right or wrong of the facts here (oh, but i WILL if anyone wants to tangle in the comments section), but i do want to talk about the speech itself.
Full attack and harsh. not a syllab about What Bush has done or what he will do. just Kerry the democrats pinned up on the bag for some punches...
*First you get a laundry list of why Democrats were ok but now they are not only different but DANGEROUS. i mean, no reasons...just trust him...right?that's the speech. He brought down the house there but what about across america? These folks were dying for SOMEONE to give Kerry a black eye and that's what tonite was about. here's my final take. i think you can talk about what someone's done and that can hurt but you have a hard time selling the idea that someone is just AGAINST America. against our troops. its too much to try and get someone to buy. that is what he tried to sell today and i can't help but think it did two things. fanned the party faithful and had little positive effect on the undecided middle. he's selling more than the average person could buy. i could be wrong, but i don't think i am.
*Next a list of all the awful things Kerry's voted against. no context...but you know what? this isn't practice and context isn't needed for the real game. you just need to punch. i don't want to hear kerry explaining a damn thing. i want the COUNTER
PUNCH i don't want the context. the context is something my kids can talk about
in their political science class (god this is why i get frustrated by politicians too far out of the south or out of the blue collar world) The President is so weak Kerry needs to pick something and tag it with some strong, STRONG language. if the president has screwed this country, he better lay the accusation with the strongest words...if he won't he's the only one in this race that won't. I don't want to see Nader doing a better job at this than Kerry.
*Kerry hates every bit of millitary and every weapon we've ever had.
*You better be SCARED of him and you better hope to GOD that Bush can be there to protect us.
That being said, If Kerry won't fight this race, he may as well give it away.
i think he can fight.
DICK CHENEY'S SPEECH
God...it's 1/2 and hour long. i'm doing this for you dear readers...
*Cheney goes after Edwards first. He's a trial lawyer and they're all evil. Whatever. i'm a trial lawyer and they've been trying this crap for years. as for how it works with Edwards...? He once represented a little girl that had her intestines pulled out of her body by a suction vent on a hot tub that could have been prevented by a couple of screws. Cheney isn't on the littleThis election isn't just about the next 4 years. it is about the direction we go in the next decade. Do we want a country where we go it alone? where we don't move with our allies? the VP would have you think that this means getting permission from our allies. what it means is having friends. remember how skeptical they were about our evidence for an IMMEDIATE war with iraq? remember how it turned out they were right? Bush once said that we need a foreign policy with humility. he also says we have to protect our own intrests. those are not mutually exclusive traits. our future fights are going to be as much against groups that have no borders as it will be against other nations. this is a phenomenon of violence unlike any other time in the history of the world. do you think we need to wade into these uncharterd waters alone? on purpose? Anyone that mistakes snubbing your friends for bravery...or for the love of god...BRAVERY...that's like living in an action movie.
girls side. that's about all you need to know.
*2/3 of this speech is about national security and what Kerry would do to hurt us. I was watching Chris Matthews this week and he made some comments i want to echo and expand upon here.
You HAVE to look at where we are. how many people are worse off now? how many people have to be laid off before it's bad enough to go another direction? how many MORE people have to be in poverty? How many more people have to be (newly) without insurance?
You have to ask if we are going in the right direction right now. i don't think we are.