Cost of the War in Iraq
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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Was Hastert Kidding? 

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, referring to the protesters in NY City during the Republican convention:

"They really don't understand democracy and they really don't understand freedom," said Hastert.


Earth to Speaker Hastert, the protesters are exercising the freedom they know this country provides them -- that's why they do it.

And about the democracy thing, why do you think they are protesting outside the Republican convention? The protestors are making their voices known to their peers and their representatives in an effort to move votes in the direction the protestors want.

I'd love to know what Hastert actually meant when he said the protestors don't understand freedom or democracy. Perhaps he defines both principles in terms different than mine. Thoughts?

CNN.com - Delegates mock Kerry with 'purple heart' bandages - Aug 30, 2004 

CNN.com - Delegates mock Kerry with 'purple heart' bandages - Aug 30, 2004

Those people who pass out the mock hearts and wear them make me sick. Say what you want about Kerry, but I don't know how anyone can make fun of a medal awarded as a matter of right when injured during combat. I can't claim to know what it must have been like for the service men working on the swift boats during the late 1960s in Vietnam. I can say that I remember the images sent home from reporters who were not subject to the same restrictive conditions as they are now. I dare anyone who makes fun of Kerry for earning a purple heart by getting a "scratch" to experience the terror of war and then tell me that what Kerry and others like him withstood was no big deal.

Some might say that the Swift Boat veterans against Kerry are qualified to opine on his bravery. That may be true, but I'd rather hear from someone without an obvious political agenda before believing them. Until then, I remain convinced by the records of Kerry's service that I've read, and I reject the purple heart mocking game being played at the Republican Convention.

Besides, I don't really care how brave Kerry was while he was in Vietnam. It matters only that the records establish unequivocally that he served his time with honor, and was lucky to come home without more severe injuries.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Bush's Latest 'Flip Flop' 

Send this to your favorite Bush supporter.

From the NY Daily News:

When asked “Can we win?” the war on terror, Bush said, “I don’t think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are — less acceptable in parts of the world.”

George W. Bush, NBC Today Show, 8/30/04

Flashback thirty days earlier, to July 30, 2004. From Fox News Online:

"We have a clear vision on how to win the war on terror and bring peace to the world."

George W. Bush, Campaign stop, Springfield, MO

(Credit to TPM.com for pointing these out. See Links)

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Liar in Chief Caught Once Again 

Still Unreported: The Pay-off in Bush Air Guard Fix

This story ought to get some attention. It goes beyond the current flap over Ben Barnes's confession, taking you back to 1994 when GW was elected governor of Texas. Seems GW needed Mr. Barnes to remain silent at a time when a client of Mr. Barnes was about to lose its billion dollar state lottery management contract due to allegations of fraud.

Pass it on.

More on Intrigue at the Pentagon 

From the Washington Monthly's September 2004 edition:

"[T]he DoD-Ghorbanifar meetings suggest the possibility that a rogue faction at the Pentagon was trying to work outside normal US foreign policy channels to advance a "regime change" agenda not approved by the president's foreign policy principals or even the president himself."

Click here to read the article.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

FBI Investigating Pentagon Spy, Israel Implicated 

t r u t h o u t - FBI Investigating Pentagon Spy, Israel Implicated

If this incident doesn't finally put someone out of work aside from the alleged spy himself, then I guess I've misunderstood the concept of accountability all these years.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Under(handed)secretary of State John Bolton has a bridge he wants to sell you . . .  

Talking Points Memo: Bolton at the Hudson Institute

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Former US diplomats scold colleagues who attacked Bush policies 

Yahoo! News - Former US diplomats scold colleagues who attacked Bush policies

Someone please explain this report to me. Two groups of Bush supporters and former diplomats criticize 27 other former diplomats who recently issued a statement declaring their disagreement with the Bush's foreign policy.

What I get from the story is that being neutral means supporting the Bush administration's policies. Am I missing something?

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Long Live Freedom in Iraq 

Muzzling Begins in Iraq

Res Ipsa Loquitor 

Res ipsa loquitor:

Q. What do you think tribal sovereignty means in the twenty-first century, and how do we resolve conflicts between tribes and the federal and state governments?

BUSH: Ah, tribal sovereignty means that, its sovereign, I mean, its, you’re a, you’re a, you’ve been given sovereignty, and you’re viewed as a sovereign entity. And therefore the relationship between the federal government and tribes is one between sovereign entities.

George W. Bush, Unity Conference 2004

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Falsehoods About Teresa Heinz Kerry 

One of my dearest friends sent me a copy of an email that her mother received about Teresa Heinz Kerry. It claims to uncover the "truth" about her radical leftist agenda that is funded by her dead husband's fortune. It's truly a despicable piece for so many reasons. My friend sent it to me so I could look into its claims (she's busy with four active kids and has better things to do!). I will not reprint the email here because I don't like spreading this stuff around. But this link will take you to Urban Legends, a website that I use to check out emails like the one I got from my friend.

Some of the miscellaneous information in the email is just stupid. It mocks Teresa by asking, "So how does Mrs. Heinz Kerry spend John Heinz's money?" even though the Republican-controlled Congress, with Bush's enthusiastic support, decimated federal estate taxes -- according to the Republicans, estate taxes are bad for families because it robs the family of its own wealth. I guess the taxes are ok if you don't like the family's political views or charitable works.

It accuses George Soros of being a "hate monger." Huh? I guess he's a "hate monger" because he has advocated fiercely to boot Bush out of office. Notice how the email emphasizes the fact that Teresa and George S. are two multi-millionaires? You rarely hear that about the very wealthy and well-connected Bush or Cheney.

The email props up the National Lawyers Guild as a boogie-man organization. I belonged to the NLG while I was in law school. It fights for social justice. I'm proud of my former association with the group.

As far as Lynne Stewart goes, there's a lot of things wrong with that prosecution in my view. Perhaps I'll write about that another time.

If the email is correct that John and Teresa Kerry support Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Action League, then hooray. So do I. Planned Parenthood provides excellent health care services for women. I get most of my care through Planned Parenthood and the care is first rate. It sorrows me that I have to be buzzed into the office and that the staff works behind bullet proof glass
And thank goodness for NARAL. I hope no woman has to face the question of whether to terminate a pregnancy, but I am so grateful that organizations like NARAL exist so that abortion is a safe option among others.

Anyway, if you get the email, please (1) don't pass it on unless you also pass on the information from the Urban Legends site and (2) refer the sender to the site. Stuff like this needs an immediate response or the problem with false and nasty emails circulating over and over will just get worse.

Thanks to my dear friend "Niki."

Bruce Springsteen's NYT Op Ed 

Chords for Change

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

To Pete Clavelle and Jim Douglas 

Stop it!

Pete says Jim is just like Bush.

Oh, c'mon, Pete.

Jim may be a dolt, but he sure isn't Bush.

Jim responds that Pete is a commie -- Pete marched in support of the Sandinistas 15 years ago.

Oh, c'mon, Jim.

Pete may be liberal but I doubt he intends to rule my military junta if he wins election in November.

Just because Pete may have started it, Jim, doesn't make it dignified for you to respond in kind.

Oh, and Pete, for independent and progressive minded voters like me, your campaign strategy linking the moderate and unexciting Gov. Jimbo with the lawless and radical George Bush is a real turn off.

So Pete and Jim, please get back to the issues that concern the voters in your state and reject the guilt-by-association campaigning. Don't we have enough of that already in national politics?


One disappointed voter.

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