Sunday, October 31, 2004

A Nation Divided...

Thought for the day:

Four years ago, we were divided only in numbers.

Today, four years later, the soul of our country has been split in half by George Bush, Dick Cheney & Company.

Think about that as you go to vote.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Knocking At Your Door on Halloween...

John Branch, The San Antonio Express-News

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid...

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Friday, October 29, 2004

Dick Cheney's New Uniform

The print media is avoiding it so far, but an Army civilian whistleblower has just come forward to say the Halliburton contract was not only improperly awarded because of the influence of administration officials, but that it was awarded a MONTH BEFORE THE WAR BEGAN.

If so, it points to a vice president who developed his own intelligence apparatus to gather selected data to convince the president to go to war, and who, at the least knew that the Halliburton contract was awarded before the war. Profit and influence, leading to the death of our sons and daughters.

Great, a misguided ideologue and a war-mongering profiteer, who might deserve a uniform of black and white stripes leading this country? If this doesn't convince you undecideds, I don't know what will...

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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Damned By Faint Praise

As reported by Al Franken, the Denver Post wrote one of very few major newspaper 'endorsements' of George Bush. And I'll bet George Bush is thrilled with these words out of their editorial:

Just for the record, we consider both Bush and Kerry qualified to be president, and we don't think the world will come to an end if voters turn to the Democrat.

Bush has labored erratically since his 2001 inauguration, and his first-term performance seems to have cheered and angered Coloradans in equal numbers. But decisiveness is a crucial characteristic in the showdown with the nation's elusive enemies...

It's no secret that we part company with the president over many issues. Two glaring sore spots are his obsession to cut taxes even while piling up record deficits, and his mishandling of all things Iraq. He squandered global good will by taking a "my way or the highway" approach to matters of global warming, international law, Iraq weapons inspections and ultimately the Iraq invasion. He bows to corporate preference in matters of energy and environment, and his education funding levels leave far too many children behind.

Kerry has infused the 2004 campaign with energy and gumption, offering fresh ideas on health care and sensible plans for our tax structure. His are the superior proposals on environmental protection, on stem-cell research and judicial nominations. Sure, we've seen Kerry bend to the political winds over his long career, but we wouldn't mind one bit if more Washington politicians would reconsider their past judgments and ideological certainties. Kerry's growth on the campaign trail gives a glimpse of his potential....

Our support for Bush is tempered by unease over the poor choices and results of his first term. To succeed in his second-term, Bush must begin by taking responsibility for U.S. failures in Iraq, admit his mistakes and adjust U.S. strategy. Big time, as his running mate might say.

Thank you Denver Post for your ringing endosement of George Bush John Kerry for President!

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KGB Feds Invade Toy Store

W is for little people and small businesses - yeah, right...

The owner of Pufferbelly Toys in St. Helens (Oregon) worries when Homeland Security agents show up on official business.

Nothing about running a small store called Pufferbelly Toys prepared Stephanie Cox for a cryptic phone call from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"It's all very surreal, quite honestly," Cox said Wednesday. "I thought it was a prank when I first heard. I couldn't understand why Homeland Security would be investigating a tiny toy store in St. Helens."

The call came in late July or early August. A man identifying himself as a federal Homeland Security agent said he needed to talk to Cox at her store.

Cox asked what it was all about.

"He said he was not at liberty to discuss that," she said.

"I was shaking in my shoes," said Cox, who has owned Pufferbelly Toys for more than four years. "My first thought was the government can shut your business down on a whim, in my opinion. If I'm closed even for a day that would cause undue stress."

The next day, two men arrived at the store and showed Cox their badges. The lead agent asked Cox whether she carried a toy called the Magic Cube. She said yes. The Magic Cube, he said, was an illegal copy of the Rubik's Cube, one of the most popular toys of all time. He told her to remove the Magic Cube from her shelves, and he watched to make sure she complied.

The whole thing took about 10 minutes.

After the agents left, Cox called the manufacturer of the Magic Cube, the Toysmith Group, which is based in Auburn, Wash. A representative told her that the Homeland Security agents had it wrong. The Rubik's Cube patent had expired, and the Magic Cube did not infringe on rival toy's trademark.

John Ryan, corporate counsel for the Toysmith Group, said Homeland Security, which includes Customs, routinely blocks shipments of products from overseas that violate intellectual property rights, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks.

"That's fine. That's not an outrageous federal act by any means," Ryan said. "But we certainly were surprised that a federal agent approached a toy store owner and frightened them."

After gaining assurances from Toysmith officials, Cox put the Magic Cube back on the shelf soon after the agents left.

Six weeks after her brush with Homeland Security, Cox is still scratching her head.

"Aren't there any terrorists out there?" she said.

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Big Ed in Portland...

As I turned on local Progressive radio, KPOJ 620, in my car yesterday afternoon, in Portland, OR, to my surprise I heard Big Ed Schultz say that he was broadcasting from Powell's bookstore downtown.

On impulse, I thought, I can't pass this up. I arrived at the biggest single bookstore in the US to find the top floor jammed with several hundred people standing, sitting, listening, laughing, and having a generally raucous fun time as Ed did his thing. What a rush to be with a bunch of like minded people who truly believe John Kerry can win, no matter how many ballots they 'lose' in Florida.

An extra bonus: our Senator Ron Wyden showed up to rip George Bush up, down, and sideways.

Those of you listening to the show also heard a young man who had just lost his brother in Iraq - the laughter turned to a standing ovation and then to tears by many. I thought to myself, yes every vote counts, but come on Florida, come on Ohio, come on Pennsylvania, come on Iowa, come on Minnesota, come on Wisconsin, come on Nevada, come on Arizona, come on New Mexico, come on Colorado, and come on Oregon. Don't stay home, let's win this thing!

Now, that's what I call a productive afternoon!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Legacy...

At election time, she lit up. This was her element. She was an intensely political person who lived out her beliefs. Almost 50 years ago, in her 40's and alone, she had to go into the workforce to support her three kids. She worked nights and got her teaching credential during the day. She became a teacher, but not just any teacher. She taught in some of the toughest parts of Southern California with kids from every imaginable race and ethnic group, refusing to believe poor and disadvantaged kids had no chance.

She was an old time English teacher. She knew her stuff and kids flocked to her like a horseshoe magnet. On her own time, before and after school, she taught kids how to spell. They would get there at 6:30 in the morning on their own initiative, an hour and a half before school started. She formed school spelling teams that won local and state tournaments. And for decades afterwards, she would receive thank-you letters from her former students.

She loved FDR and JFK and thought Reagan was a 'nice man, but not too smart.' She would tell you that we need a very smart person in the office of the presidency. The job is too tough and demanding - and too much was on the line (the Cold War at the time) - to put it into the hands of an 'ignoramus' - one of her favorite words to describe political lightweights, a word most of us would have trouble spelling.

From Webster's dictionary, an ignoramus is 'a stupid, ignorant person; a vain pretender to knowledge; a dunce.'

Mom is gone now, four years ago next month. Her legacy includes a son, a grandson and a granddaughter as teachers.

And I know the word she would have reserved for George Bush.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

A Matter of Priorities...

Our stealth reporter overhears W on the phone this morning:

W: Bill, how you doin' this morning, pardner?
Chief Justice R: Well, it will be a slow recovery...

W: Nonsense, get your tail out of bed and get back to work. I'm going to need you next week.
CJR: But, Mr. President, I've been diagnosed with cancer and had a tracheotomy over the weekend. Just give me a few days...

W: You don't get it, do you? You have to be on the bench or we lose the 5-4 advantage and...
CJR: ..and this time you might lose the presidency.

W: (shouting) DON'T USE THAT PHRASE AROUND ME! Just make sure you are back on the bench Monday. I don't care what kind of personal problems you have.
CJR: Aren't you overstepping the boundaries between branches of the government just a little?

W: Look, Bill, just stick with me, I'll take care of you. I always take care of my friends...

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Red-Neck Nation...

Red-Necks in Oregon? You'd better believe it. The common theme they talk about: "We want someone like us, who doesn't speak too good, who is 'just real' - that's Dubya."

Scary, isn't it, that so many people fall for that good-ole-boy routine? But if you don't agree with them, they take matters into their own hands. In my neighborhood, the Kerry signs keep being removed at night - cowards that these people are, who talk tough, but act like juveniles.

But then again, that's the example of their leader who talks tough but is afraid to let one dissenter into his midst during campaign stops. That's cowardice, not toughness. John Kerry drew over 30,000 in downtown Philadelphia yesterday without one worry about who showed up.

No matter - every time these fools steal my signs, I come back with more of them, and now larger ones where they can't miss them (the latest being 3 feet by 7 feet!). That's a benefit of having a local Kerry office close by with lots of signs to hand out.

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Monday, October 25, 2004

Gestapo Tactics at the Polling Booths...

So this is George Bush's version of a voting democracy:

Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots.

Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections.

Election officials in other swing states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and Florida, say they are bracing for similar efforts by Republicans to challenge new voters at polling places, reflecting months of disputes over voting procedures and the anticipation of an election as close as the one in 2000.
If any of you legally registered new voters are challenged by these Nazis inside the polling areas, I have a few suggestions:

- Carry your cell phone and have the number of your newspaper hotline. Call them and tell them that Republican fascists are attempting to prevent you from voting
- Carry your cameras with you and take pictures of them
- Call local law enforcement and demand to be able to vote

Four more years of this? I don't think so.

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Sunday, October 24, 2004

Bush Supporter IQs Clearly Displayed...

For the cretins who keep stealing my Kerry-Edwards yard signs (3rd time), I have a little surprise for you in store the next time you try it.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Attempted Theft of Florida is in Full Swing...Again

Jeb Bush reinvents the meaning of nepotism. He will try to steal Florida again, but this time it's going to be a lot more difficult for him to do so.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

And The Great Divider Wants 4 More Years...

Jack Ohman in the Oregonian...

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The Me-First Frist Generation...

Oh yeah, this administration is looking out for you, after they take care of themselves first, that is. OK, so maybe you won’t be too tough on Speaker of the House Repub Bill Frist who got HIS flu shot before you (and, believe it or not, before most everyone in the military). Maybe Mr. Frist qualified for the under-2-year-old category, in terms of brains. OK, so it’s a good idea for Congress, and the #3 man in line for the presidency, to stay healthy. But, their ENTIRE STAFFS got the shots too – a couple of thousand plus people. We don’t want the staffers getting their members of Congress sick do we?

So logically, all big money supporters of Mr. Frist come next, don’t they? After all, they might infect the staffers on their frequent visits to Washington D.C., who might in turn infect these same members of Congress.

And probably all the PACs run by the big money supporters should come next, shouldn’t they?

And then, let’s see, the Republican party members should probably come after that. Mr. Frist surely doesn’t want any of them to stay home with the flu on Nov 2nd.

And after that – oh wait, the vaccine is all gone...

--- Note for bloggers: The ability to 'Comment' at the bottom of each post now appears to be fixed

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Big House of Horrors...

If you love horror stories, Slate has a good one for you by Richard L. Hasen. In it, he describes five ways the presidential election could end up in the Supreme Court. Briefly summarized, they are:
- Voting glitches involving electronic or other voting machines
- Litigation over which provisional ballots are valid
- A fight over the Colorado amendment to split the electoral vote
- A tie in the electoral college or a faithless elector
- A terrorist attack that disrupts voting in a swing state

For the first time since the Repub convention, the electoral counts in some swing states are slowly shifting slightly to Kerry. The bounce from the debates has not stopped despite the insistence of the Bush campaign that it has, and voting has started in many places. The 'undecideds' are making up their minds.

Here is the bottom line: When George Bush loses the election again Nov 2nd, the Bush family et al will do everything they can, illegal and otherwise, to prevent John Kerry from taking office in January. As stated before on this blog, the Democratic Party, and you, need to be especially vigilant from here on out. The election will not be over on Nov 2nd, barring a miracle. Mr. Bush's only recourse will be to get the election back into the Supreme Court. He doesn't care about your civil liberties, just his, and he will use the Halloween disguise of 'justice' in the courts to stay in office, no matter how it tears this country apart.

Huge exaggeration, you say? Just step back and look at our country now. If you can't see that we have not been so divided, ironically, since Vietnam, then have your blinders surgically removed before Nov 2nd.

Since George Bush loves to use 9/11 in every sentence, you should have no doubts that he took a 90% supporting majority from that attack on our existence and converted it into an Andreas Fault division through the heart of this country in four years. That's exactly the pattern you should expect beginning the night of Nov 2nd when, once again, George Bush loses.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Veterans: Why Most of You Are a Lot Smarter Than the Not-So-Swift-Boaters...

(Note: this post held over another day. Ask your Vietnam Vet friends to come by, especially if they are still undecided, and speak their mind - even if they don't agree with what is below.)

John O'Neill, the ruthless, vindictive, and hate-filled collaborator with the fascist Sinclair media group, and the leader of the not-very-swift-boaters, gags on his own logic in his latest attempt at mind control. Fortunately, the only people who will believe Friday night's slanderous joke of a 'documentary' are those who also still believe there are WMDs in Iraq and in a clear connection between Saddam and 9/11. Incredibly, that still amounts to 63% of Republicans, even after Mr. Bush had previously admitted he could make no such connections.

Veterans, let's think this through.

O'Neill and his group of previously exposed liars and deceivers are not giving up and they are hoping you won't connect the dots.

The dots are these:

They couldn't make the 'medals' issue stick. Now they are basically calling John Kerry a coward and traitor to his country because of his actions after returning from Vietnam as a decorated hero (sticks in your throats, doesn't it swiftees?).

The wisdom of right action sometimes takes years to shine through. John Kerry came back from combat along with hundreds of thousands, including the not-so-swifters - all of whom served their country. But they all came back to a country used to winning wars and to a country that wrongly blamed and rejected the returning GIs for the failures in Vietnam.

So when the experienced war veteran John Kerry protested against the war in Washington and in Congress - a war that killed almost 60,000 of our sons and daughters - he was part of a sweeping realization that the Vietnam war was terribly wrong and fought for the wrong reasons - with a horrible cost.

This country wound up agreeing with people like John Kerry - do you understand that not-so-swifters? No you don't. You are as much as admitting that you failed your country by never saying or doing anything, once you left the military, against a war that you had to know was wrong.

No, it's not John Kerry who should be branded 'unfit for command.' It's you Mr. O'Neill and your band of misdirected slanderous 'patriots' who are attempting to take command of this election with veterans, active duty military, and those who went through the time of Vietnam.

It won't work, for veterans and others that have their heads screwed on right.

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Friday, October 15, 2004

Get Out My Crying Towel..

So, Mrs. Cheney, you are "angry" with John Kerry who you say is "not a nice man." Funny that you said nothing when your beloved Alan Keyes ripped your daughter to shreds in the media.

And Mr. Cheney, you are also an "angry Dad." What compassion coming from the man who has led the way in shattering the lives of thousands of dads & moms who no longer have sons or daughters, because of you.

But nearly half the country will believe your false show of emotions. Even squids fly these days. Anything to get another 4 years - anything.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, October 14, 2004

But Did Anybody Get a Picture of the Bulge in His Back This Time?

We have a clue as to who/what was 'helping' the president last night:

(Coutesy of Karl & King

And this from Buzzflash:

Third Presidential Debate: Kerry and Edwards Take the Four Game Series Against the Barbary Pirates


In the second debate, Bush made some inane comment asking if anyone wanted to buy some wood. Well, we know the answer now: Kerry's the one with the presidential timber.

If you didn't know who was president and you landed in front of a television set tonight, you surely would have come away thinking Kerry was the Commander in Chief. Bush was alternately babbling, snide, smirking, and, we think, drooling.

But more importantly, Bush was on the defensive. The first ten minutes of the "debate" was perhaps a draw, but then Kerry took off and left Bush in the dust. It's not so much that Kerry was dynamic (no one has accused him of that characteristic), but he spoke with clarity, integrity, competence, and authority to the American people. In the first two debates, Kerry talked to the moderator. Tonight he addressed the American people, particularly the working class and the poor, by directly looking into the camera.

Kerry co-opted what was Bush's strong suit in the 2000 debate, building a direct relationship with the viewer. Bush, in contrast, looked like some long-term congressional staffer who was called into play the role of president so that Kerry could practice on him. Bush appeared vulnerable, lacking in confidence, repetitive, cliché ridden, and always defensive.

If Bush was listening to Karen Hughes in the first debate and on speed in the second debate, Wednesday it appeared he was on downers. It was hard to know what he was talking about half the time, even when he was coherent. You just got the sense that he was a wind-up doll who mouthed pre-programmed platitudes no matter what the question was from Bob Schieffer.

Here was a guy [Bush] who would hog more time, in violation of the debate rules, and dig a deeper hole for himself!

Meanwhile, Kerry concentrated on repeating key messages that we have heard before. He also singled out swing states by displaying knowledge about their needs -- and addressed core Democratic constituency groups. He was going directly for the battleground state vote -- and we believe succeeded in conveying sincerity and credibility.

Bush looked a bit confused, disdainful and irritated, as if he was unsure how "a Bush" had fallen so low that a "Massachusetts Liberal" was getting the best of him. You kept getting the feeling that George wanted to roll out a keg, hoist a few steins, and make it all better.

In recent BuzzFlashes we have reported on a national epidemic of how the Republicans are trying to already steal the vote by suppressing the Democratic turnout and registration in states across America, including Nevada, Oregon, Florida, Colorado and Ohio.

You get the feeling after the third presidential debate that the only way Bush will get another four years in the White House is the same way he got the first four years: Daddy's friends will have to steal if for Junior. Uncle Dick and Jim Baker will do the heavy lifting.

The embarrassment is all over now. Bush can return to his anti-democracy Republican-only rallies where the Secret Service arrest people wearing Kerry T-shirts and betray the Constitution in the process.

Now, Bush just has to go through the motions through election day -- and hope that the family loyalists will once again carry off a daylight robbery of democracy.

Because the only way he can win the election now is by stealing it.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Body Language that Hurts

Those old enough will remember the phrase "ugly American" from the book of the same name. It conveyed the idea that Americans traveling overseas as tourists often came across as arrogant, condescending, and rude people who constantly complained that people didn't speak English or properly attend to their needs. Another characteristic: they started speaking louder and louder and got more angry when somebody didn't understand them or agree with them.

Sound familiar? That's George Bush. When he starts to get louder and louder tonight, to the point where it hurts to listen to him, and when he hunches over and gets in your face to force you to take his point of view, watch out for the bs meter to peg to the right. That will be a good measure that you are not about to hear the truth. That's also a good measure that allies will likely get talked down to, as well - in the first debate it was Europe, in the second Canada. That from the Great Divider.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

How to Lie With Statistics

...that’s the name of a classic little book written by Darrell Huff 50 years ago and still used by teachers (including me) in many disciplines outside of mathematics.

I still love the introduction that reads, in part:
The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify…the result can only be semantic nonsense...

Anticipating what John Kerry would say 50 years later, Huff said:
...the crooks already know these tricks; honest men must learn them in self-defense.

Both George Bush and John Kerry will use statistics on domestic issues in the 3rd debate, but George Bush will use them to justify his lack of on-the-job performance – therefore, they won't be the truth. People don’t need a lot of statistics to know that they, and a lot of their friends and family, are out of work, don’t have health care, and are losing law enforcement, fire response support, and basic education for their kids.

And, amazingly, this also from Darrell Huff in 1954:
Some of the strongest feelings against public opinion polls are found in liberal, or left-wing circles, where it is rather commonly believed that polls are generally rigged. Behind this view is the fact that poll results so often fail to square with the opinions and desires of those whose thinking is not in the conservative direction. Polls, they point out, seem to elect Republicans even when voters shortly thereafter do otherwise.

Sounds like 2004 to me.

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Friday, October 08, 2004

'This is Hard Work' (Part IV) - Preparing for the Debate

Overheard by our reporter outside the Oval Office this morning:

W: OK, tonight's debate better work out a lot better than the first one, or you are all fired.
KRove: But Mr. President you don't fire anybody...
W: Oh, that's right. But I need a better script, something I can quickly look at, so I don't get stuck looking off into space a dozen times again.

KR: Maybe if you spent a little more time in preparation, you will feel more comfortable
W: But, I just get so angry at that &*%$#% liberal, I can't think straight.
KR: Look you can't have a cheat sheet that's too visible. This is a town-hall set up tonight with no podiums - you'll be walking around. What we are going to do is put a 'playbook' on your wrist, like pro football quarterbacks use.

W: But that will be hard to see if it's too complicated, and it needs to be in big print so I can see it without being too obvious. And there won't be room for a lot of words...
KR: Don't worry, we've made it easy - just pick words from the following list and make up your own sentences. That's what you've been doing on the campaign trail up to now, and it's been working. Here's the list:

Saddam Hussein
Weapons of Mass Destruction
More Attacks Coming if I'm Not Elected
Safer Now
Democracy and Freedom

W: But what about the economy, health care, jobs, the environment and other issues that that *&&(%* liberal is going to spring on me???
KR: Just ignore it all and use the same list in your answers...and Mr. President, don't forget to roll up your sleeves on your blue shirt, so that you can see the list and so that it looks like you work hard at your job...

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Thursday, October 07, 2004

The Looming Fight Ahead

Whenever George Bush is asked some version of the question, “What will happen if you don’t win the election,” he gives this sort of answer: ‘It’s not gonna happen. I don’t intend on losing.’

Take that to heart folks. He doesn’t intend to lose, even if the results show that John Kerry has won. In his mind, George Bush will not concede defeat on Nov 2nd or anytime thereafter. Why should he? He didn't have to last time.

The Bush supporting campaign team of outrageous liars and deceivers will do whatever it takes, including any immoral, unethical, or illegal action to take enough of the contested states to ‘win’ the election again. This time it won’t be just Florida. There’s a good bet that Ohio, Pennsylvania and several other states will be held up way past election day. Don’t forget, GWB can always count on the Supreme Court.

You are seeing signs of this already in overseas balloting obstruction, the attempt of the Ohio Secretary of State to invalidate new registration voters because their applications were on the ‘wrong stock of paper’, the Diebold electronic no-paper-trail voting machines, and on and on.

James Baker, who has been hiding out of the limelight since he led the Bush lawyers to ‘victory’ at the Supreme Court in 2000, is in place and has set up legal teams in all contested states.

You can make a difference, wherever you are, to stop criminal actions by Bush supporters. Don't let it happen in your state and then be sorry later. There are lots of ways to support the Kerry/Edwards team and to make a lot of noise when you see something wrong with the Bush campaign in your state.

It's a crying shame that this real threat to national security should even have to be discussed, and planned for - but that's the reality.

Mr. Kerry’s lawyers – and savvy – must be a lot better than Mr. Bush’s this time around, because George Bush will do whatever it takes, and that means anything, to stay in office – even if he loses again.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

This is Hard Work (Part III), But My Buddy Dick Will Help Me Out…

The biggest lie of the night, among many from Mr. Cheney: “I have not suggested there's a connection between Iraq and 9/11.”

Excuse me?

Cheney got let off easier than he should have been. John Nichols of The Nation asks a series of some more pointed questions, including:

Why were maps of Iraqi oil fields and pipelines included in the documents reviewed by the administration's energy task force, the National Energy Policy Development Group, which you headed during the first months of 2001? Did discussions about regime change in Iraq figure in the deliberations of the energy task force?

Considering the fact that your predictions about the ease of the Iraq invasion and occupation turned out to be so dramatically off the mark, and the fact that you were in charge of the White House task force on terrorism that failed, despite repeated and explicit warnings, to anticipate the terrorist threats on the World Trade Center, what is it about your analytical skills that should lead Americans to believe your claims that America will be more vulnerable to attack if John Kerry and John Edwards are elected?

No corporation has been more closely associated with the invasion of Iraq than Halliburton. The company, which you served as CEO before joining the administration, moved from No.19 on the U.S. Army's list of top contractors before the Iraq war began to No. 1 in 2003. Last year, alone, the company pocketed $4.2 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars. You said when asked about Halliburton during a September 2003 appearance on "Meet the Press" that you had "severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest." Yet, you continue to hold unexercised options for 233,000 shares of Halliburton stock, and since becoming vice president you have on an annual basis collected deferred compensation payments ranging from $162,392 to $205,298 from Halliburton. A recent review by the Congressional Research Service describes deferred salary and stock options of the sort that you hold as "among those benefits described by the Office of Government Ethics as 'retained ties' or 'linkages' to one's former employer." In the interest of ending the debate about whether Halliburton has received special treatment from the administration, would you be willing to immediately surrender any claims to those stock options and to future deferred compensation in order to make real your claim that you have "severed all my ties with the company."
Mr. Cheney, you are definitely a smoother talker than your boss. But what is it that you don’t understand? You are not President of the United States, yet you led the failed, unrelenting push to convince Mr. Bush and the world that Saddam Hussein had direct ties to Al Qaeda and that he had massive amounts of WMD, using your own jury-rigged intelligence apparatus.

And you have no clue what ‘conflict of interest' means. You provide the prime example, imitated by many CEOs in corporate America recently, about screwing the public and not caring anything about it. All you had to do was take the proper steps to remove yourself from Halliburton, but you didn’t care, did you, as long as you helped your friends and continued getting your extra quarter of a million a year?

A president needs good advisors, not morally and ethically bankrupt puppet masters who make up stuff and answer straight questions with: “I don’t know where to start…”

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

'This is Hard Work!'(Part II)

If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything. ~Mark Twain
It's hard work when you can't admit you ever made a mistake.

It's hard work to trash our allies, and then speak down to them while expecting to get their support.

It's hard work to take a $5 billion surplus and in four years make it a $5 billion deficit.

It's hard work to get loyalty pledges everywhere you speak.

It's hard work to turn a failing Texas no-child-left-behind act and turn it into a failing national program.

It's hard work to understand that we were attacked by Bin Laden and then attack Hussein.

It's hard work to figure out what to say in a debate if you can't admit the truth.

UPDATES: p.s. If you want to have some fun, get a hold of the CSPAN broadcast of the debate and play the split screen fast forward - then watch the expressions on their faces and what they are doing while the other was speaking. Kerry constantly took notes and was able to come back and effectively refute what Bush said. Bush did not take notes, but relied on his smirk of arrogance and his dozen or so canned answers to carry the day.

p.p.s. Bush is taking the day off to prepare a 'major speech' for tomorrow on national security and the economy. Is it October surprise time? At the very least, you can be sure there will be a significant homeland security announcement or war-on-terror alert announced (Is Mt. St Helens being aggravated by terrorist activities?).

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

No Contest

It wasn’t rocket science to be convinced that the debates would more than make up for any lead that Bush had. Momentum is everything, and John Kerry has it at the right time.

Favorable public reaction to his performance in the first presidential debate has boosted Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and narrowed the contest with President Bush to a tie, according to a new USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll.

Bush's lead of 8 percentage points before Thursday's debate evaporated in a survey taken Friday through Sunday. Among likely voters, Bush and Kerry are at 49% each.

This was the same poll that had Bush ahead by 11 points after the Repub convention.

And in case you missed it, these are the results of key on-line pollsters after the first debate:

Summary of Some Online Polls:

CNN: 79% Kerry, 18% Bush
WSJ: 69% Kerry, 25% Bush K54% B45%
MSNBC: 70% Kerry, 30% Bush
LA Times: 86.4% Kerry, 10.1% Bush
Time K63% B35%
AJC: 64.03% Kerry, 28.13% Bush
Florida Sun-Sentinel: 78.3% Kerry, 14.9% Bush
Minneapolis-St Paul Star-Tribune: K69%, B31%
The Kansas City Channel 9 K74% B26%
Newsday K81% B18%
Boston Globe K82% B17%
WTRF-TV (Wheeling,WV): 12.20am: K70%, B26%
WHO-TV (Des Moines, IA) K72% B28%
WFTV-9 (Orlando, FL) K73% B27%
Denver Channel ABC 2 K73% B27%
WESH2 Orlando K73% B27%

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Monday, October 04, 2004

'This is Hard Work!'

Yes it is Mr. President, as you pointed out over 10 times Thursday night.

It is hard work for someone used to privilege.

It is hard work for someone who was given a corporate business, and still screwed it up.

It is hard work for someone who doesn't know how to handle criticism.

It is hard work for someone who refuses to change his mind when facing disaster.

It is hard work for someone who doesn't study the issues.

It is hard work when you don't have the substance, knowledge, judgment, or wisdom to be President of the United States.

As you will see, Mr. Bush, most of us want someone running this country who is not one to whine over hard work - they just have to get out there and vote. Sure, just being a 'regular guy' like the rest of us is appealing, but we want someone who knows right from wrong when it counts.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link

Friday, October 01, 2004

In Texas the May Call it 'Walking'...

...but the rest call it condescending, arrogance, stumbling, bumbling, and barely controlled frustration.

No amount of spin can alter what happened last night. The rest of America, and Bush supporters, now understand better what happened last January when John Kerry, who was not even on the radar screen in Iowa, blew away the competition.

Viewers and listeners heard and saw the difference between the two candidates - not just in style - but in substance.

The rest of the country now knows that Kerry is a much tougher opponent than the Bush clan has told us.

That's why I believe John Kerry will now win this election.

Posted by a Vet -- -- permanent link