Sunday, June 29, 2003

John Kerry Offers A Tax Holiday

You don't need a blog to tell you that the economy sucks right now. We all know that. We know that America has lost 2.7 million jobs since that sad day when President Clinton left office. We know that it isn't all Mr. Bush's fault. It certainly wasn't his fault that we were attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. It isn't his entire fault. Some of it is though.

Bush's two tax cuts, supposedly an attempt at reviving the economy, have made matters worse. His idea is that the money will go back into the hands of the rich, and eventually they will restart the economy. After an undetermined amount of time, the money will filter back down to the people on the bottom. That's you and me.

Senator John Kerry endorses the plan put forward by Former Secretary of Labor Dr. Robert Reich. This plan calls for a "Payroll Tax Holiday," in which the first $10,000 is not taxed. Each American worker would then get a tax rebate.

For more information on this idea, I have included part of an article from the Concord Monitor.

Kerry offers economic solutions
He wants payroll tax holiday
Friday, Jun 20, 2003
Monitor staff

Sen. John Kerry offered his solution for navigating the country out of the economic doldrums yesterday, a situation he called "deeply disturbing" and "bleaker than we would like it to be."

Speaking at the Capitol Center for the Arts, Kerry described his recipe for economic recovery, which includes a "payroll tax holiday" for all working Americans; creating jobs through federal work programs, such as repairing highways and school buildings; expanding high-speed Internet access to more rural areas; and reducing America's dependence on foreign oil through alternate energy sources.

"The United States cannot drill ourselves out of this problem," Kerry said of the country's growing energy needs. "We have to invent ourselves out of this problem."

"We deserve leaders who are going to have the courage to stand up and present real choices to Americans, not these fudgy ones that take us down a very wobbly road, to a very dangerous place," he said.

With a single gesture, Kerry summed up his opinion of the president's approach to health care. Holding up his thumb and forefinger in a circle, he accused Bush of offering "a big zero" to uninsured Americans.

Instead, Kerry offered what he called two "counter-inflationary pressures" on the nation's health care system. One option would let all Americans buy into the health plan available to federal employees, including politicians. He also described a "federal insurance pool," which would cover 75 percent of the most expensive health care cases for small-business owners.

Kerry's "payroll tax holiday" would replace the president's most recent tax cuts, which the senator claimed favor the wealthy rather than wage earners. Kerry's plan would apply to the first $10,000 of wages, providing each worker with $765, and would be paid out of general revenues.

Matt Huot, 20, of Laconia, Tim Stumhofer, 19, of Lee, and Jerry Obey, 19, of Loudon - snapped photographs of Kerry as he exited the Capitol Center. The young men said they were impressed by the senator's enthusiasm and approach to issues like energy policy.

"He brings up vision, rather than just talking about problems we have now," said Obey.

(Daniel Barrick can be reached at 224-5301, ext. 322, or by e-mail at

Saturday, June 28, 2003

In his last writing, Matt raised an important question about the WMDs that are still out there. Why is there not a full investigation about Pre-war intelligence? Let's say they held a secret, closed door meeting about what we were told by Bush and the gang. What if they found that he, too, was decieved by faulty intelligence? Wouldn't you feel better to know that we are capable of self-examination? I would certainly feel better about the situation in Iraq.

We have troops in Iraq and must face reality. The best thing that can be done, the first step towards improving national security, is getting rid of George Bush. The day that happens, is the day we can start to win the war on terror. In the meantime, we need a President who can develop a sensible policy for exiting Iraq. It is quite clear that there was no policy developed before we put America's sons and daughters in the situation they are in. The neocons knew how to win a quick war but they had no clue as to how to win the peace.

You will have the chance in January, February and March to go to the polls and vote to nominate John F. Kerry. I urge you to do so.

Here's a good column from the LA Times.

The Fact That Hussein's Gone Doesn't Make Lying Right
Robert Scheer

June 24, 2003

There was a time when the sickness of the political far left could best be defined by the rationale that the ends justified the means. Happily, support for revolutionary regimes claiming to advance the interests of their people through atrocious acts is now seen as an evil dead end by most on the left. Immoral and undemocratic means lead inevitably to immoral and undemocratic ends.

Unfortunately, junior Machiavellis claiming to wear the white hat still are running amok among us. This time, however, they are on the right, apologists for the Bush administration arguing that noble ends justify deceitful means.

With the administration's core rationale for invading Iraq — saving the world from Saddam Hussein's deadly arsenal — almost wholly discredited, the Republicans now want us to believe that any distortions of the truth should have been forgotten once we took Baghdad.

As Newt Gingrich put it last week: "Does even the most left-wing Democrat want to defend the proposition that the world would be better off with Saddam in power?"

The quick answer is that we don't know what the future holds for Iraq. Our track record of military interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere would lead any competent historian or Vegas bookie to conclude that a stable secular dictatorship is about the best outcome we can predict. But the larger, more frightening meaning of Gingrich's statement is that in order to rid the world of a tinhorn dictator who posed no credible threat to the United States, it was just dandy to lie to the people.

It was OK to lie about the nonexistent evidence of ties between Hussein and Al Qaeda. It was OK to lie about the U.N. weapons inspectors, claiming they were suckered by Hussein. It was OK to lie, not only to Americans but to our allies in this war, about "intelligence" alleging that Iraq's military had chemical and biological weapons deployed in the field. Only it's not OK. Washington's verbal attack on the U.N. inspectors, for example, is of no small consequence, undermining global efforts to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation.

Meanwhile, to justify a political faction's blunder we ignore core values upon which this country was built. The New York Times on Friday blithely referred to the use of "coercive" measures in interrogating former Iraqi scientists and officials. Apparently, protections in international treaties for political prisoners do not apply to us.

Similarly, the indefensible gambit of preemptive war has seriously damaged two of this nation's most precious commodities — our democracy and the reputation of our form of government. By giving Congress distorted and incomplete intelligence on Iraq, the Bush administration mocks what is most significant in the U.S. model: the notion of separation of powers and the spirit of the Constitution's mandate that only Congress has the power to declare war.

Is this an exaggeration? Consider that on Oct. 7, 2002, four days before Congress authorized the Iraq war, President Bush asserted that intelligence data proved Iraq had trained Al Qaeda "in bomb making and poisons and deadly gases." Yet no such proof existed. Never in modern times have we beheld a Congress so easily manipulated by the executive branch. Last week, the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee caved in and dropped their opposition to closed hearings on whether Congress was lied to. How can they not be open to the public, which is expected under our system to hold the president and Congress accountable?

To be sure, many Americans were never fooled, and many more have become upset at seeing continuing casualties and chaos in Iraq after Bush's pricey aircraft carrier photo op signaled that the war was over. But much of our public has been too easily conned. For contrast, consider that in Britain the citizens, Parliament and media have been far more seriously engaged in questioning the premises of their government's participation in the invasion of Iraq.

This administration's behavior is an affront to the nation's founders and the system of governance they crafted. It is sad that we now have a president who acts like a king and a Congress that is his pawn

If you want other stories on this topic, search the Archives at
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Friday, June 27, 2003

Weapons of Mass Destruction? Let's investigate

“There should be a full investigation of our pre-war intelligence if we don’t find anything,” Kerry said.

I think that sounds about right. Let's figure out why this President said what he said.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

In NH, Kerry discusses economy, health care, energy plan, and his "misled" comment. By, James W. Pindell

WINDHAM, June 20 – Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry talked about the economy, health care, and energy policy to audiences in New Hampshire Thursday as he was heavily attacked for misinterpreted comments from the previous night that fueled his critics all day.

On the second day of a two day trip to New Hampshire Kerry found himself explaining comments from an event in Lebanon Wednesday where he said he and the American people were misled to believe that war in Iraq was necessary because the country was producing nuclear weapons.

Many were led to believe that Kerry had said that the country was misled in terms of all forms of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological, and chemical.

Because of this state and national Republicans leaders said this was hypocritical of Kerry because just on Sunday he was on television saying it was “irresponsible” to suggest the entire reason for going to war was based on White House lies.

But in fact, Kerry said Thursday he was misled only by the information on nuclear weapons, but that it’s too soon to assess if the country was also duped in regards to chemical or biological weapons.

The Associated Press story that reported his comments in Lebanon is consistent with what Kerry said on Thursday.

“There should be a full investigation of our pre-war intelligence if we don’t find anything,” Kerry said. “But there was nothing new in what I said. It was the same-old, same-old.”

It was Kerry, of course, who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq, but when asked if he could vote today given the fact he has been misled, Kerry said it wouldn’t be possible to answer that question now, but that he is glad Saddam Hussein is out of power.

While the press cared about the “misled” statement the night before no one at the two biggest events of the day no audience member even appeared to know about it. Questions at the Concord Chamber of Commerce and at a house party in Windham were all about his campaign or his political feelings.

“The only person that deserves to be laid off is President Bush,” Kerry continued.

He explained how he wants to repeal the recently passed tax cut for the top two income brackets as well as end offshore tax loopholes. Instead he wants to have a payroll tax holiday for a year giving each person an extra $750 and restore what he called “fundamental fairness” in the tax code.

The 105 politicos (listed alphabetically) who will have the most impact on the 2004 New Hampshire presidential primary.

Kerry currently leads the way with 16 N.H. politicians backing him: Carole Appel, Clifton Below, Jayne Clemons....

Kerry opens five regional offices July 1...

John Kerry's presidential campaign said today they plan to open five additional offices in New Hampshire on July 1.

In addition to their state headquarters in Manchester, Kerry state director Ken Robinson said he planned to open offices in Berlin, Concord, Dover, Keene, and Nashua.

They will be the first campaign this cycle to open an office in the North Country.

"John Kerry and his New Hampshire team are committed to organizing New Hampshire voters street-by-street, block-by-block. Our first five local field offices are a critical tool in empowering local Kerry organizations to grow until we have reached every potential primary voter in the entire state," said Robinson.


Howard Dean vs John Kerry
Why John Kerry is the only Democratic Candidate who can Beat Bush in 2004
Opinion by Jim Witkins

I like Howard Dean. I recently saw him speak at a Democratic Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where his core supporters turned out in mass to rally for their hero. They were loud, excited and energetic. I was impressed. I left with a newfound admiration for the man and his organizational achievements early in the campaign. That said, I don't believe Howard Dean should be the Democratic Presidential Candidate in 2004.

Later that evening in a more subdued speech, (more subdued because of the lateness of the evening rather than what was said) Senator John Kerry outlined his vision for a better America, touching on the key issues of his campaign. While the applause meter never quite reached the decibels that Dean provoked, I couldn't help but notice the level of respect that Kerry's comments generated from the room of 1000 plus democrats.

Clearly both men connected well with their core democratic audience, and either one stands a good chance of winning the democratic nomination, yet from my perspective in that conference room, I believe only John Kerry has a realistic shot at beating George W. Bush in the 2004 Presidential Election.

I base that conclusion on simple math. 32% of voters describe themselves as Republicans, 31% Democrats, and a whopping 35% of American voters now claim to be Independents. Whoever captures that demographic wins the Whitehouse.

While independent voters are a diverse group, hard to pin down on certain issues, they do prefer candidates with common sense solutions over partisan ideology. They tend to ignore the left/right/center arguments and cut to the heart of the issue. How are you going to make America a better place for me? I believe John Kerry's vision for America more closely matches what many of these independent voters are seeking.

Kerry's good friend Senator John McCain tapped into this sentiment as he ran for the republican nomination in 2000. Had he won his party's nomination I think there's a good chance he would have handily won the general election against Gore with a stronger showing from the independent vote. It's quite possible the country may have been spared the Florida debacle that ensued.

If the Democratic Party is smart they will nominate the candidate most able to appeal to the independent vote. For my money that candidate is John Kerry.

Jim Witkins is founder of Independents For Kerry, a grassroots organization for independent voters which promotes Senator John Kerry for President of the United States in 2004.
Kerry Rally before the League of Conservation Voters Forum

The League of Conservation Voters Forum was held tonight in Los Angeles. Although the actual Forum news is not out yet, I had the pleasure of being among the hundreds of Angelenos who turned out to greet John Kerry this afternoon before the Forum! It was an exciting moment when Senator Kerry arrived and made his way through the crowd shaking hands and speaking with his supporters. I was able to have a moment with the Senator myself and tell him I was a former MA resident and constituent. Senator Kerry flashed me huge smile and said, "Good, so you will be campaigning for me in L.A. now." "Yes, Senator Kerry, I will!." He thanked me and my daughter for coming out to greet him, and moved his way through the crowd.

Up on the stairs, Senator Kerry took a few moments to let his supporters know that he will work hard to beat Bush and turn our country around. We all tagged along as Senator Kerry made his way to the entrance. He was warm, affable and genuine. There will a fundraiser or two here in Los Angeles over the next couple of days for Senator Kerry. I urge you to show Senator Kerry your support....
On the Bush Administration

"Unfortunately, the reality of this 'national picture' is bleak. It includes: dirtier air because the Bush Administration has relaxed the laws governing polluting power plants; unhealthy drinking water because the Bush Administration has gutted important provisions in the Clean Water Act; and more dangerous toxic waste sites in our communities because the Bush Administration refuses to make polluters pay to clean them up. What good does it do us when the person in the White House only listens to corporate polluters and big money instead of protecting human health and the environment? If the Bush Administration wouldn't even allow the draft report to be released without first omitting important, science-based findings on climate change, I'm at a loss to understand how any of the findings in this report will ever be translated into meaningful action." (Press Release by Senator John Kerry, 6/23/03)
A New Manhattan Project: Remarks by Senator John Kerry
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Friday, June 13, 2003

In the summer of 1942, the scars of Pearl Harbor were still fresh. The day of infamy was a recent memory and Americans stood ready to win the war. Planes and tanks had to be built at a record pace, strategies conceived, battles planned, and young Americans dispatched to frontlines across the Earth. And Franklin Roosevelt knew that to meet the threat we faced from fascism, we had to do something else as well: marshal America's most brilliant minds and innovative technology. The initiative he created was called the Manhattan Project because its first offices were at 90 Church Street in New York City.

On September 11th, 2001 - one block away from that site - the World Trade Center was brought down in another sudden, sneak attack, the most brutal and deadly attack America has ever known. The federal office building at 90 Church Street was damaged but still stands.

To this generation, September 11th was our December, 7th - and it calls for a response equally profound - not just in armed force, although that is essential - but in the imagination, the daring and the sense of exploration that define America at its best.

Terrorism is the new Fascism, the new Communism, the new totalitarianism - a grave and global threat to our values and our way of life. We can defeat it; we must defeat it; and we will defeat it; but we need more than hard words and powerful weaponry. In a different direction, in a different way, we need to reach as high as Roosevelt reached - with a new national initiative on the scale of the Manhattan Project to harness our thinking and our technology - this time, not to create a new kind of bomb, but to develop new forms of energy that will at long last make America more energy independent.

So I have come here today to set out a strategy for greater energy independence - so that within a decade, this nation will no longer have to rely on Mideast oil. And in achieving that new form of freedom for America, we can at the same time clean the environment and create new jobs for half a million Americans.

With sixty-five percent of the world's oil reserves in Middle East, our over-reliance on oil presents a real threat to national security. We can unleash the spirit of American ingenuity to meet this challenge. My strategy calls for new investments in research, new incentives for companies and consumers, new partnership across the old dividing lines, and higher standards of energy efficiency for both business and government to meet. We can create Americans jobs and confront the dangers to our environment at the same time as we make this nation safer, stronger, and more secure.

The challenge will not be easy but neither was the Manhattan Project. It will require real resources and strong leadership and an unwavering will to make tough choices and take on entrenched interests. But America has shown again and again that when we come together to address the challenges of the day, we will succeed. The message that I bring with me is one that I will carry to every part of our country in this campaign - and it will be central to my Presidency: If we care about the national security of America, we can settle for nothing less than energy security for America. The cause is urgent, and the time is now.

We need boldness to match the challenges before us. Toughness to meet the threats we face. But with George Bush in the White House, all we've had is politics as usual. And after September 11th, that is just not acceptable.

Read more of this speech....

Bush says: Taxpayers should pay for his bigotry

President Bush announced yesterday, without much fanfare, that he was for discrimination in hiring ; and that he would try to put federal money- your money- into programs that discriminated. At the end of this piece, read the Washington Post article for more details.

How far have we moved away from President Clinton’s dream of inclusion to this? Now, we have a man in the White House who makes no bones about it. He wants your tax dollars to fund hiring bias. The problem here isn’t that some people’s faiths are moralistic and judgmental. If a person wants to act in that manner, then fine. That’s what freedom is all about. The problem here is that Bush wants to choose one person’s ideas over another and fund them.

There are so many things wrong with this meddling, stupid, big-Government activism, I don’t know where to begin.

Shall I begin by saying that it violates the first amendment - you know, the one that says Congress shall make no law establishing a religion?

Shall I begin by saying it is true conservatives nightmare? What happens when conservatives (which Bush is not) are not in power anymore and the church is suddenly run by a hostile Government?

Shall I begin by telling you the implications? HUD spending money to build churches all over the US, instead of houses? NO! Soup kitchens that are run by federal dollars? Want some soup? Renounce your God! NO!

Don’t just sit there. Join the fight against this stupid idea. Get busy today!

That’s why I am voting for John Kerry.

Virginians: note that Bobby Scott is mentioned here.

Bush Backs Religious Charities On Hiring
Hill Is Urged to Ease Bias Rules on Groups That Get U.S. Funds
By Mike Allen and Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, June 25, 2003; Page A01
President Bush called on Congress yesterday to make it easier for federally funded religious groups to base their hiring decisions on a job candidate's religion and sexual orientation.
A White House position paper sent to Capitol Hill argues that "religious hiring rights" are part of religious organizations' civil rights. "When they receive federal funds, they should retain their right to hire those individuals who are best able to further their organizations' goals and mission," the document says.
H. James Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, said in an interview that he found great confusion about hiring laws when he met with officials of charities throughout the country. "It's been abundantly clear that the religious hiring issue is a real barrier for a lot of faith-based organizations," Towey said. "And if faith-based organizations are deterred from providing services, the real losers are the poor."
Administration officials said the policy, months in development, takes a stand that Bush has long held but has not previously spelled out.
The White House document calls on Congress to clarify a confusing and sometimes contradictory area of law. Since 1972, Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act has said that religious groups can hire staff members based on religious beliefs, which at least one court has interpreted to include views on sexual orientation. But the laws that authorize some federal social service programs, such as job training, prohibit any group that receives federal funds from discriminating on the basis of age, gender, race or religion.
No broad federal law bans discrimination in hiring based on sexual orientation, but some state and local laws do.
The White House position paper does not change administration doctrine, but it puts Bush in a much more aggressive position on a highly charged issue. It comes as his reelection campaign is picking up speed, and it demonstrates that he continues to work on proposals backed by religious organizations even though he has been unable to win passage of the broad "faith-based initiative" he advocated in the 2000 campaign.
The Rev. Ronald J. Sider, head of Evangelicals for Social Action, a 3,000-member group that encourages evangelical Christians to work for the poor, said the White House seems to be making "a more aggressive, vigorous attempt to explain to the public what the situation is and to make the case for religious freedom in hiring."
"It indicates that they're serious -- and they darn well better be, because it's crucial to a whole lot of us," he said. "I think the administration understands that the very identity of faith-based organizations is at issue in hiring rights."
Towey, who outlined the administration's position yesterday in a speech at the national conference of Volunteers of America in Fort Worth, noted that President Bill Clinton signed four laws -- including the 1996 welfare reform act -- that allowed religious organizations receiving federal funds to hire on a religious basis.
However, Christopher E. Anders, a lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the changes Bush seeks would institutionalize religious bias. "The administration can sugarcoat it as much as it likes," he said, "but the idea has no traction in Congress."
The goal of Bush's "faith-based initiative" is to help religious charities compete for federal funds for a range of social services, such as soup kitchens, job training and addiction treatment. Two years ago, an early version of the legislation called for exempting religious groups not only from federal discrimination laws but also from state and local statutes.
Those proposed exemptions were a major reason the legislation floundered. Congress passed a watered-down version this spring that provided tax benefits to all charities but gave no special protections to religious groups.
House Republicans and the Bush administration now seek to include exemptions from discrimination laws in individual bills that reauthorize federal social service programs. For example, language allowing hiring on the basis of religion is contained in the Workforce Investment Act, the country's main job training legislation. It passed the House on May 8 and awaits Senate action.
A bill reauthorizing the Head Start program for the next five years contains a similar clause. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved that bill on a straight party-line vote last week, and it could come to the floor in July, said David Schnittger, spokesman for the panel's chairman, Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
Bush's position paper says the administration will let the courts decide whether state and local bans on hiring discrimination should apply to religious organizations. Some conservatives want to eliminate such bans in cases involving religious groups that believe the hiring of gays and lesbians, for instance, would be contrary to their mission.
"The president will urge the courts to provide guidance on whether faith-based organizations are required to comply with state and local ordinances that restrict their ability to participate in federally funded formula and block grant programs," the document says.
Rep. Robert C. "Bobby" Scott (D-Va.) plans to introduce legislation today that would nullify regulatory decisions by the Bush administration that permit employment discrimination by some religious organizations.
The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, called the White House proposal "another last-ditch effort by Bush to save his faith-based initiative."

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Getting it Right: Canadian writer sums it all up about Bush

I just got through reading this piece after Rand Beers again made news today. He testified, as an expert witness in front of congress, that Bush has mishandled the war on terrorism. It was a war that should have been fought as hard as any in our history. Unfortunately, Bush dropped the ball and the only two Democrats that have stood up to him on it are John Kerry and Bob Graham. Beers joined Senator Kerry's campaign, leaving behind a career position in the White House after serving three US Presidents and George W. Bush. Check out the article.

Vote Kerry!

Sex, Lies and American Presidents
>by Linda McQuaig
June 23, 2003
Anyone observing U.S. politics in recent years could easily conclude that lying about having sex is a serious offence worthy of impeachment, while lying about taking the country to war is hardly worth mentioning.

How else to explain the wildly different treatment accorded to Bill Clinton and George W. Bush?

Now, of course, there are plenty of differences between the two cases. Former president Clinton lied under oath about his under-the-desk encounter with Monica Lewinsky.

Bush’s apparent lie — that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction even though his own intelligence agency could find no such evidence and his own army can find no such weapons — was made repeatedly to the American people, but not under oath.

So, does that explain it? Lying to the American people is okay, as long as it’s not done under oath?

Of course, Bush did swear an oath upon taking office, vowing to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Are we to conclude that, even after taking this oath to uphold the fundamental principles of American democracy, it’s okay for a president to lie to the American people, as long as he hasn’t taken an oath pledging not to lie in this particular case?

Some insist that Bush didn’t really lie; he just exaggerated. But his allegations about Iraq’s weapons were more than exaggerations.

A crucial document — cited by Bush in his State of the Union address — purported to show that Iraq tried to purchase uranium for nuclear weapons. U.N. weapons inspectors quickly determined the document was a forgery. Did U.S. officials forge the document? If not, why is there so little interest in uncovering who did?

How did the president come to cite a clumsily forged document to Congress? These questions seem at least as crucial as whether Lewinsky had her dress dry-cleaned.

Another possible explanation for the greater condemnation of Clinton is that Clinton was just trying to save his own skin.

Bush, on the other hand, is seen as trying to defend the country, although perhaps a little over-zealously.

Even those who question the accuracy of his claims about Iraqi weapons often seem to believe that the president’s motives for distortion sprang from his obsession with fighting terror.

If he stretched the truth, it was all part of his fixation about ridding the world of weapons of mass destruction and making the world a safer place. He lied so that we could all be free — or something along those lines.

Another possibility is that he lied to conceal the real motives for invading Iraq. If so, his lying is more deeply worrisome.

Under this scenario, he essentially fabricated the notion that Iraq posed a threat to the U.S. (it didn’t, as we saw), in order to disguise motives that Americans might not have considered valid grounds for going to war — like ensuring U.S. companies get control of Iraqi oil, extending U.S. military control in the Middle East, having a war victory under his belt for the next election, proving to his dad that he isn’t a wimp after all.

Certainly Bush misses no opportunity to look tough defending America, from arriving in full battle gear to declare an end to war, to sending in the Marines to rescue Jessica Lynch in an Iraqi hospital.

Yet, he also seems almost casual about taking action against grave security threats. Last week, the U.S. General Accounting Office, a Congressional agency, criticized the administration for failing to secure control of thousands of containers of radioactive materials around the world that could easily fall into the hands of terrorists.

In an interview with the Washington Post last week, Rand Beers said that he quit his high-level White House anti-terrorism post last March because he believed the administration’s concern about enhancing national security was “only a rhetorical policy ... As an insider, I saw the things that weren’t being done.”

Americans have been supportive of Bush and his war in Iraq and not been terribly concerned that no “weapons of mass destruction” have been found. But would they be supportive if they thought that the danger posed by Iraq had been fabricated in order to conceal war motives that had nothing to do with enhancing U.S. security or well-being?

There is no graver responsibility entrusted to a president than sending his citizens to war. Being deceitful about the reasons for war would seem to be the most fundamental betrayal of trust.

After all, war has dire consequences — much more than Clinton’s sexual peccadilloes. At least they didn’t have to send in the Marines to rescue the girl from under that desk.

Originally published by the Toronto Star. Linda McQuaig’s column appears every Monday.

Monday, June 23, 2003


"This administration's idea of diversity is to have a whole bunch of oil executives from different companies running this country," said Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.).

Read More... Jackson Event Is Forum for Democrats. By, Robert E. Pierre
Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, June 23, 2003; Page A04
John Kerry's 1997 book- "The New War"

A few months ago, I bought a copy of John kerry's book on terrorism. I thought it was really good. I read it just after meeting him in South Carolina. Knowing I would be supporting him in the 2004 campaign, I was hungry for information about his ideas, background, etc...

What really struck me though, were the merits of the book alone. Kerry wrote an outstanding account of international crime and terrorism that are rather haunting in consideration of the events of September 11. I suggest reading a copy of the book if you want to know how John Kerry might deal with the current problems with terrorism.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

John Kerry's Affordable Small Business Stimulus and Simplification Act of 2003.

This interesting new bill that Kerry has proposed just recently to the Senate would aim to help Small Businesses. As a Small Business owner, actually a home-based business, which is mentioned and supported by this act, I am happy to see that Kerry is once again in there fighting for the true cornerstone of America, the Small Business.

Another proposal by Senator Kerry is the Affordable Small Business Stimulus and Simplification Act of 2003 (S. 842). This is a nine-pronged plan offered by Kerry as a small business specific tax relief program that, he hopes, would help to stimulate the small business sector of the economy and it has some provisions that are much more microbusiness friendly than one usually sees emerging from either chamber of Congress.

One proposal is the creation of a $500 standard deduction for sole proprietorships. Under this plan, a sole proprietorship with more than $500 in expenses would still be permitted to itemize those deductions. However, for newer businesses, for many home-based businesses, and for those microbusinesses operated on a part-time basis, this provision would be a tremendous simplification of their annual tax chores and provide significant paperwork relief.

Among the other provisions in this bill is a clarification of the 100% deductibility of health insurance premiums for the self-employed. Current law disallows this deduction if the individual is eligible to participate in another plan; this provision corrects the tax law so that the self- employed person is only ineligible for the deduction if they are actually participating in another plan.

The bill would also allow married couples who co-own a business to be considered a sole proprietorship, rather than being required to file taxes as a partnership - with all the paperwork headaches that filing status entails. And it would speed up depreciation of computer equipment and peripherals from five years to three, and of software from three years to two.

According to his floor statement, Senator Kerry does not seem to think this proposal in its entirety will be acceptable to his colleagues from the other side of the aisle. However, as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he is in a position to work to secure at least some of these small business goodies. It will be interesting to see whether the legislators manage to at least salvage those parts of the proposal that will impact microbusinesses specifically or whether, as political bargaining chips, those very small businesses will fall by the wayside.

Read More...The

Currently the Chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Senator Kerry has been hailed as the Senate's leader on initiatives that assist women owned businesses -- beginning with the Boston Center for Women and Enterprise, a national model championed by Senator Kerry.
The Glaring Difference

Over the past few days I have entered into various discussions with Dean supporters on Yahoo boards, over the issues and the differences of Howard Dean and John Kerry. I have have been enlightened and I will venture to say enlightened some. These boards offer a wonderful opportunity for all of us to air our views and come together to support the causes that are dear to all of hearts, our rights and our environment to name a few.

I just received Dean's letter for his rallies on June 23rd, through a few of the Yahoo boards I participate on and after reading the letter and once again visiting his website and John Kerry's website, I personally see a glaring difference. And, I wonder why others who are concerned with the issues do not see the glaring difference too.

When I visit Howard Dean's home page I see a huge play for a media blitz (June 23rd, MoveOn, MeetUp, Contribute) and but one small statement on any of the critical issues (healthcare).

When I visit John Kerry's home page, I see one statement about the MoveOn Primary and the Issues (Woman's Right to Choose, Energy, Patriotism, Tax Credits, Healthcare, Emily's List).

I personally am more interested in hearing what the candidates have to say on the issues, not on their play for a media blitz. In my humble opinion, Howard Dean is more interested in his media play then the issues, because the issues are just plain missing on his homepage (homepage being the first page of his website, which many Dean supporters argued with me about, stating there were links to the issues there).

I want a president who cares about the issues, I want a president who will fight to make this country strong and protect our rights, not a president who wants media coverage. Media coverage does not make a strong president in my eyes and frankly I am surprised that people who are concerned about the issues don't see the difference.

When I compare Dean's stance on the issues and Kerry's stance on the issues, I see read less doublespeak and more action in Kerry's stance by far. Sure, Dean may be good at attracting attention but attention does not make a good president. I feel that Dean's push for the media attention and his fighting stance are a turn-off.

Many have said that John Kerry should try harder to attract attention. I feel that John Kerry is working harder on the issues and being able to present to the public what he will propose to do on them. Eloquence, experience, diplomacy and tact are what make a good president. John Kerry is strong in those areas.

In my humble opinion.
John Kerry is the best candidate for America's schools.

He is opposed to Republican's phony private voucher schemes- which are really just ways to ruin the schools and fund jihad like private schools. No conservative in their right mind would want to support a federal take over of parochial schools. What Kerry would do, is spend more on public education, where 90% of our kids go to school.

Kerry has been a long time supporter of early childhood education and he recognizes the need for a good, early start to life. He wrote the Early Learning Opportunites Act.

More from his website:

John Kerry has led the fight to obtain federal funding for school construction. There are $127 billion worth of school construction and emergency repair needs nationally. 14 million children are learning in substandard schools in need of major renovation. Half of all schools have at least one unsatisfactory environmental condition, such as polluted drinking water or soot-filled ventilation. At the same time the schools are getting older, the number of students is growing, up nine percent since 1990. John Kerry responded to these challenges by introducing legislation that would allow the federal government to issue $24.8 billion in school modernization bonds in order to help states and school districts repair and build modern schools.

Smaller classes promote student achievement, improve discipline and classroom order, and expand quality learning time. Rather than terminate successful programs to reduce class size, John Kerry will champion initiatives that ensure children are not forced to learn in overcrowded classrooms, particularly in the early grades.

John Kerry supports increased parental involvement in their children's education and measures that make it easier for parents to take time off to attend parent-teacher conferences. Kerry also would expand public school choice programs and support for pilot schools to empower parents and students and provide more options to fill specific needs without draining funds from public education.

Schools serving low-income and minority children are four to five times more likely as other schools to have unqualified teachers. The new education reform law would have dedicated funds to helping teachers gain skills to help their students succeed. John Kerry would provide the necessary support for teacher development, treat teachers with the respect they deserve and encourage talented young people who want to become teachers.

John Kerry was the first to bring the attention of Congress to the importance of leadership of the public schools, recognizing the critical role that principals and other administrators play in school reform efforts. A good leader is in a vital position to affect educational change and improvement. Many of today's principals are reaching the age at which they could choose to retire, and evidence has pointed to a decline in the number of candidates for each opening. If the flow of retirees is not stemmed and the numbers of aspiring principals buoyed, we will face a crucial school leadership crisis - one that could debilitate meaningful education reform. Kerry wrote legislation, which was signed into law, to ensure that these important educational leaders have the resources that they need to serve our school communities.

The federal government has never met its funding obligation for special education. John Kerry has worked with many of his colleagues to ensure that the federal government becomes a true partner of state and local governments in the provision of special education. When Congress passed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, it agreed to fund 40% of the cost of special education. However, the federal government is only actually proving a mere 18%. Kerry has consistently supported efforts to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and will continue working toward full funding.

John Kerry believes that every child who is willing to aim high and work hard should have access to college. Kerry has worked to expand and protect federal student loan programs and federal scholarships. He supports increasing the maximum Pell Grant, and would back "super" Pell Grants, which provides additional assistance for eligible students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

John Kerry nailed Elliot Abrams in 1986. Bush Sr. pardoned Abrams in 1992. Abrams now serves in the White House.

'To Kerry's investigators, the operation smelled like a covert CIA plot. Suspicions about North's involvement intensified. By now the full committee, at Kerry's urging, had launched its investigation, and Kerry used an Oct. 10, 1986, hearing to interrogate Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams about whether the Reagan administration had involved foreign governments in arming the contras.

Elliott Abrams: "I can say that while I have been assistant secretary, which is about 15 months, we have not received a dime from a foreign government, not a dime, from any foreign government."

Senator Kerry: "We' being who?"

Abrams: "The United States."

Senator Kerry: "How about the contras?"

Abrams: "I don't know. But not that I am aware of and not through us. The thing is, I think I would know about it because if they went to a foreign government, a foreign government would want credit for helping the contras and they would come to us to say you want us to do this, do you, and I would know about that."

This testimony, and similar statements to a House committee, would result in Abrams pleading guilty to charges of withholding information from Congress. (He was pardoned by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, and now serves in the Bush White House.) Then, in early November 1986, a Lebanese newspaper broke the news of US arms sales to Iran. A few weeks later, the White House disclosed that funds from the sale had been diverted to supply the contras.

Suddenly, Kerry's theories didn't seem so far-fetched. He hoped this would be his moment to help lead the investigation into this extraordinary episode. The Iran-contra scandal was the top story in town, and there was worried talk in the halls of Congress that the United States might suffer another failed presidency.

But when congressional leaders chose the members of the elite Iran-contra committee, Kerry was left off. Those selected were consensus-politicians, not bomb-throwers.

The feeling among a disappointed Kerry and his staff was that the committee members were chosen to put a lid on things. "He was told early on they were not going to put him on it," Winer recalls. "He was too junior and too controversial.... They were concerned about the survival of the republic."'

My personal conjecture on this is that John Kerry has a personal stake in getting GW out of the White House. On the side of what is right and just, John Kerry the prosecutor turned Senator, still an investigator. This trait has taken him far and worried every Rebublican President since Nixon. John Kerry applies his investigation skills to everything he touches including the environment.

"John had a natural inclination to pursue environmental issues, and we hammered away on acid rain," recalled James S. Hoyte, who was Dukakis's environmental secretary from 1983 to 1988. "He threw his energy into it in a big way and gained a lot of visibility for the issue," said Hoyte, now at Harvard University as an assistant to the president and a lecturer." Read more in Part 5 of the Boston Globe Series....

This series from the Boston Globe has offered a wonderfully unbiased view of John Kerry, the man and the politican.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

My biggest complaint about Howard Dean - He's a Loud Mouth.

I'm sorry, I hate to go there, but I have been saying for sometime now that the biggest problem I have with Howard Dean is that he is so hot-tempered and such a loud mouth. He started his campaign spewing and has barely slowed down to take a breath. This disturbs me. If elected how will he handle sitting down at the table to discuss nuclear weapons with other foriegn powers? Here's my point:

From Q & A with Howard Dean, June 1, 2003 L.A. Times
"How would you try to stop the development of nuclear weapons in North Korea and Iran?"
"I would first sit down at the table with them, as this president has refused to do. I think with Iran and North Korea, we must be smart as well as tough; there are diplomatic pressures that we can apply, and we must never take the option of force off the table. But a step-by-step engagement process - the goal of which would be normalized relations - is clearly the best option." I don't feel that Dean is capable of sitting down at the table and not picking a fight.

Further I don't feel that he fully answers the questions he is asked:

From Q & A with Howard Dean, June 1, 2003 L.A. Times
"Should income taxes be cut? If so, how? If not, why not?"
We don't need more tax cuts. What we need is more jobs. This president has done unspeakable things to the economy. Unbalanced budgets that go on forever undermine the economy". Did I miss the answer?

Finally, I know politicians are famous for making complaints and accusations against their competition, however I feel that Dean started a little too early in his campaign:

"His rivals, though, have not appreciated what they view as false characterizations of their positions and outright lies.

Dean, for example, apologized to Edwards after his March comments at the California convention, but he refused to apologize after making the same accusation about Kerry.

"It's a real political problem for the self-described 'straight-talk candidate,' "said Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan."

It appears I am not alone in my feelings about Howard Dean. Read more... "Mistakes, regrets -- Dean's had a few" By Glen Johnson, Globe Staff, 6/18/2003.

"Howard Dean's fire-breathing campaign rhetoric has inspired some party activists, but the inaccuracy of some remarks, as well as his characterizations of some rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, has prompted him to issue several apologies this year."....

'Garrison Nelson, a University of Vermont political science professor who has watched Dean over two decades, said the shoot-first, apologize-later pattern has been prevalent throughout the former governor's political career.

"Howard's a pop-off. I've been the target of his pop-offs, too," Nelson said. "He is a loner who keeps his own counsel. He also has a very short fuse."

The professor linked the behavior to Dean's history as a doctor.

"'That may seem like a non sequitur, but doctors do not get challenged. They live in the rarefied profession where they are not challenged. Lawyers get challenged. Professors get challenged. But Howard pops off when he gets challenged," Nelson said. "At some point you run out of apologies."'

Aloof is far more appealing to me. Though John Kerry does not actually strike me as aloof. Often people who are considered cold and aloof, are silent observers. Watching, listening, absorbing, assimilating before they speak....

I consider that to be a worthy trait in a President. That's why John Kerry has my vote.

When the White House Feared Kerry - By, Howard Kurtz
Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Every once in awhile, a political profile comes along with a lead so dazzling that it almost redefines the way we think about someone.

Its usually based on old-fashioned journalistic digging - the poring-over-documents kind - rather than breathtaking writing.

That's what the Boston Globe has just done with John Kerry.

Bottom line: Richard Milhous thought Kerry was a phony.

This could be gold in a Democratic primary: Tricky Dick, back in the Watergate era, being so worried about John Kerry that he was practically awarded a spot on the enemies' list.

"In the New Republic's online 'TNR Primary,' my former Boston Phoenix colleague Michael Crowley - who wrote an entertainingly (and perhaps excessively) tough profile of Kerry last year -- gives him a 'General Likeability' grade of 'A' on the campaign stump. Crowley also notes that the Globe series reinforces Kerry's 'special moral authority' in going up against the Hero of the Texas Air National Guard, George W. Bush."

Dean is running a sorry campaign, says the Boston Globe:
"Howard Dean's fire-breathing campaign rhetoric has inspired some party activists, but the inaccuracy of some remarks, as well as his characterizations of some rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, has prompted him to issue several apologies this year."

There's more...Read it all here....

Kerry to Speak in Los Angeles - Thursday, June 26th. Come out and show your support.

Next week, Thursday, June 26th, John Kerry will be attending the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Candidate Forum on the Environment on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles.

The Forum will provide an extraordinary opportunity for John Kerry to highlight his 30 years of leadership on the environment. Although other presidential hopefuls will be attending the event, John Kerry has the strongest record of environmental accomplishments among the candidates.

We hope you will join us and welcome John Kerry to Los Angeles and to show your support for his ongoing efforts to protect the environment and our quality of life here in California.

We are inviting you to join other Kerry supporters prior to the Forum outside the main entrance of Ackerman Union on UCLA's campus at 3:15 p.m. The entrance is on the northwest corner of Ackerman Union. Click here for a map of the campus: For better detail click on the northeast sector.

This will be one of the first opportunities John Kerry has had to meet with Californians in the Los Angeles area since the campaign started, and he is looking forward to thanking you for your time, energy, and support.

Please click here to send us an email letting us know you will be coming: (

Again, people should be at the main entrance to Ackerman Union no later than 3:15 p.m.

John Kerry's list of accomplishments on environmental issues is unrivalled. He was a leading voice in the successful fight to block the Bush Administration's effort to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He has worked with John McCain to raise fuel efficiency standards in the US. And as a longtime supporter of Earth Day, John Kerry recently announced his support of the Million New Voters for the Environment Campaign, an effort by the Earth Day Network to register one million new voters to ensure support for environmental protection.

If you have questions or would like to attend, please email us at

Californians for Kerry is very excited about this great opportunity. We look forward to meeting you in person in Los Angeles!

See you next Thursday, the 26th at 3:15 p.m. at UCLA.

Californians for Kerry

I'll be there! Please spread the word and come out to support John Kerry!
Senator Kerry wants your support, a Letter from John Kerry to members..

Please cast your vote for John Kerry, in the MoveOn.Org Primary.

Dear MoveOn Members,

Three words sum up why we need to take action today: The Supreme Court. I need you to join me in keeping the Supreme Court out of the hands of right wing ideologues. I am prepared to filibuster, if necessary, any Supreme Court nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose, on civil rights and individual liberties, and on the laws protecting workers and the environment.

If you agree with me that there should be no equivocation, no double-speak, no avoidance of the issue, then sign my online petition today at:

I will deliver this petition to Senate Democratic Leader, Tom Daschle, and the Ranking Democratic Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pat Leahy, as well as their counterparts on the Republican side of the aisle - Majority Leader Bill Frist and Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch. We will assure that they hear our voices loud and clear that we will oppose a nominee who would turn back the clock on a woman's right to choose, on civil rights and individual liberties, and on the laws protecting workers and the environment.

The criteria are basic: Any person who thinks it's his or her job to push an extreme political agenda, rather than to interpret the law, should not be a Supreme Court Justice. Any person who thinks it's his or her job to carry out the President's political agenda, rather than to provide justice to ordinary Americans, should not be a Supreme Court Justice.

Make no mistake, we need to take back the White House in 2004 and that's why I'm running for President. When I'm President there will be no John Ashcroft trampling on the Bill of Rights - but before I become President we must stop George W. Bush from using the Supreme Court to carry out the President's political agenda, rather than to provide justice to ordinary Americans.

The differences today are clear: George Bush wants to criminalize the right of women to choose, he's willing to take us back to the days of back alleys, to gag doctors and to deny families the right to plan and be aware of their choices. And don't take my word for it: just look at who they've already tried to ram down our throats: Judges like Charles Pickering and Priscilla Owen who have long records of opposition to Roe v. Wade, have sought to restrict laws barring sexual discrimination, have supported a ban on interracial marriage, and have worked to narrow laws on gender discrimination. Or Judges like James Leon Holmes who dismissed arguments for the availability of abortion for rape victims claiming that conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami. Each year in America, over 30,000 women become pregnant as a result of rape or incest; snow falls in Miami roughly once every 100 years.

I believe America should move forward and advance our right to privacy and equal rights, the civil rights, and the right to choose in this nation.

No one is better at demanding action and holding government accountable than MoveOn.Org - and together we can stop the Bush right-wing juggernaut by mobilizing the United States Senate to reject any Bush Supreme Court nominee hostile to the rights of women to choose.


John Kerry

Sign the online petition at

Watch "Courage", a video about John Kerry, by following these links:

The Forgotten War
I guess you would have to say that Afghanistan is now "the forgotten war." How far have we strayed from capturing Bin-Laden? Who remembers the brave men and women in Afghanistan that are now largely forgotten by the rest of the world while the United States and England try to get a straight answer from our leaders about Iraq?

Wasn't it the Taliban that gave Bin-Laden a place to hide? Wasn't the mission to "smoke them out of their caves," and find them? We had a good man in place- Hamid Karzai, and now we have walked away from him while he sits in Kabul without our help. Where is the nation building? How is the hunt for Bin-Laden going? When was the last time you heard Mr. Bush mention Bin-Laden at all? All of these are proper questions to ask. It isn't unpatriotic to hold Bush accountable for this. It is right and proper. It is our duty.

I struggle with this issue myself as I support John Kerry. It makes me wonder if I truly am playing politics. I hope I am not. I can remember the anguish I felt on September 11th. I remember how I wanted to support George Bush and the war. Then I slowly began to understand that he can not get the job done. Tora Bora and the airlifting of 800 Pakistani Al-Qaeda prisoners in a Pakistani transport plane to safety convinced me we were mishandling the situation.

It is not too late. We can still get it done in Afghanistan. It is going to take real commitment. It is going to take intellectual honesty. A multilateral approach to building a true nation in Afghanistan , and now Iraq, can happen. It can happen with us, but not without us.

It starts with Regime change, here. Now.

Lies, more lies, and Bush

"I will not let him off the hook throughout this campaign with respect to America's credibility and credibility to me because if he lied he lied to me personally," Kerry said.

Sounds about right to me.
Senator Kerry has now opened a 10 point lead on his nearest challenger in the latest New Hampshire poll. In third place is Senator Lieberman of Connecticut. The second and third place candidates are tied with Kerry when their numbers are combined. The poll was based on responses from 600 likely New Hampshire voters. About 25-29% of the voters still have not made up their minds.

In Iowa, Rep. Dick Gephardt leads Senator Kerry, who is in second place.

This is very good news for Senator Kerry's campaign. If he wins in New Hampshire it could knock out some of the other candidates, especially the ones who only have regional followings.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

George Bush knows that he can reshape the country for many decades to come. How will he do it? If he is elected in 2004, Bush will have a chance to name 2-4 Supreme Court justices.

Bush would likely appoint far right conservatives who would pursue the following agenda:

1.) Restrict a person's right to privacy. The far right talks a lot about "The Gay Agenda," but those are just code words for Goevrnment telling people how to behave in their own homes.

2.) End a Woman's right to choose.

3.) Create a state funded church, where the pulpit is used to reinforce Bush's warped Messainic vision of himself- funded by you the taxpayer.

4.) End every New Deal, Great Society and New Frontier program, "Privatizing" everything.

5.) Strike down future Democratic legislation for 50 years to come.

6.) Ashcroft type laws to stifle Civil Liberties.

The stakes are very high in this election. We must work every day with every ounce of energy we have to stop Bush and elect John Kerry. Check out the following article for more information.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

John Kerry's Lighter Side... If he keeps this up, he might actually become president.
By William Saletan SLATE.COM June 16, 2003

Gesturing to a nearby piano, he joked that for a minute there, he thought he'd been booked for a recital. He recalled Bill Clinton's suggestion that presidents be allowed to serve three terms. "I promise just to serve two terms," said Kerry, adding, "Republicans do it differently. ... They just have the son repeat the father's whole first term." His language was salty and boisterous. "What the hell's going on?" he teased. As the audience got into it, he demanded, "Yeah, applaud! Come on!"

Leaving the reception, Kerry climbed onto a motorcycle outside. A woman who had just seen him speak called out, "Senator, you're not arrogant, and you're not aloof." Kerry didn't answer. He just looked up at her, raised a devilish eyebrow, and gunned the motor.

Do I hear Harley Rider's For Kerry out there!
Vote for John Kerry in the Primary Poll - Tuesday, June 24

Please sign up to participate NOW in the Presidential Primary poll at, which will take place Tuesday, June 24 starting at 12:00 AM through Wednesday, June 25th 11:59 pm.

MoveOn is working to bring ordinary people back into politics. With a system that today revolves around big money and big media, most citizens are left out. The organization is a catalyst for a new kind of grassroots involvement, supporting busy but concerned citizens in finding their political voice. Please sign up and vote for John Kerry in their poll at

This is no straw poll: MoveOn does real politics. Founded by some Silicon Valley entrepreneurs as a way for liberals and others to electronically register their rage at the impeachment lunacy of 1998, MoveOn has already become a force in American politics. It has coordinated its members to lobby Congress on a host of issues, was a center of opposition to the Iraqi war, and has proved itself as a source of grass-roots campaign contributions ($4.1 million in 2002) to progressive candidates.

Currently Dean is leading Kerry in MoveOn's straw poll. We must change that. Please get the word out to participate in this action! An endorsement from MoveOn would be another big boost for Kerry! Make some noise for John Kerry!

Q & A with John Kerry, The L.A. Times - June 15, 2003
What are the most important steps the federal government can take to invigorate the economy?

"I want to create jobs now by giving a middle-class tax cut through a payroll-tax holiday that puts money in the pockets of all workers now; by restoring confidence in our economy with fiscal responsibility the way President Clinton did over eight years; by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to lift more working-poor families out of poverty; by investing in schools, cities, transportation, housing, rural communities; by investing in the jobs of the future through a plan to declare energy independence and put Americans back to work."

Would you explicitly require that anyone you nominate to the Supreme Court commit to upholding the Roe vs. Wade decision that guaranteed a legal right to abortion?

"I'd appoint Supreme Court justices who agree that the right to privacy - the bedrock of Roe vs. Wade - is a constitutional right. I believe that, after years of Republican court-packing and a Bush administration which has argued the need for "conservative" judicial appointments, it's imperative that we stop ideological efforts to take us backwards Moreover, when I am president of the United States, there will be no John Ashcroft trampling on the Bill of Rights."

Read More!
More to Kerry's life and political career than Vietnam...

There is much more to Kerry's life and political career than Vietnam, of course. He has a strong record in support of gay civil rights, small business, environmental causes and campaign-finance reform. In the presidential race he has outlined programs to promote public service, boost alternative energy and expand medical coverage while seeking to contain health-care costs. He calls for repealing Bush's upper-income tax cuts in favor of a payroll tax "holiday" that would give more money to low- and middle-income earners and, Kerry says, put more than 1 million people back to work overnight.

But Vietnam is what sets Kerry apart, much as it did McCain, another war hero who ran for president chiefly on his resume.

Kerry weaves it into casual conversation - "I haven't seen things this screwed up since I got back from Vietnam," he says, kicking it around with the boys at the firehouse in Ottumwa, Iowa - and trumpets it from the stage at town hall meetings. "I can bring a voice to our party that is different from any other candidate," he tells a Friday night crowd of 200 in nearby Burlington,"because I know what it means to fight in a war."

The implicit message is that only a Democrat with unquestioned military credentials can hope to beat the nation's terrorist-fighting commander in chief. Or as Kerry puts it, less subtly, "It takes more than landing on an aircraft carrier with a Navy pilot to make up for a failed economic policy." He knows a few things about such landings, Kerry says to partisan whoops, "having worked with aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin."

"One of the reasons I am running for president is precisely to hold this president accountable" on issues like education, Kerry says.

Read more in The L.A.Times - The Massachusetts Senator, a Decorated Veteran, Mixes Strong Liberal Credentials With a Pro-War Stand on Iraq - June 15,2003
By Mark Z. Barabak, Times Staff Writer

The Beers endorsement seems to have boosted the Kerry campaign quite a bit. I think that as time passes, people will see that Senator Kerry is a man for the moment when it comes to dealing with Terrorism. Bush really dropped the ball when he abandoned Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and then manipulated intelligence to get us involved in Iraq.

Beyond Bush's mistakes, people are going to like the fact that Senator Kerry's 1997 book "The New War," addressed the issue of international crime and terrorism and that he has 18 years experience on international issues. There is only one candidate that can stand toe to toe with Kerry in the Democratic primary (on this issue) and that's Joe Lieberman. Graham and Gephardt also have some credibility on terrorism but I think its fair to say that they don't compare well to John Kerry.

Rand Beers was a top advisor to George Bush and to the last three elected Presidents- Reagan, Bush 1 and Clinton. I don't think it is coincidence that Beers is an expert on international crime. He knows who can handle the issue best: John Forbes Kerry.
John Kerry, Enemy to Nixon

The Boston Globe is continuing its riveting series on Kerry's history, this time moving to tackle his immediate post-combat roles as an anti-war activist.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Stunning Portrait of Kerry's Vietnam Experience in The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe is running a seven part series on John Kerry's candidacy. Part two discusses his Vietnam travails, and how that chilling experience molded him.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Ex-security aide blasts terror war

"THINGS WERE dicey," said Rand Beers, recalling the stack of classified reports about plots to shoot, bomb, burn and poison Americans. He stared at the color-coded threats for five minutes. Then he called his wife: I'm quitting.

Beers's resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss. All of which points to a question: What does this intelligence insider know?

"The administration wasn't matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They're making us less secure, not more secure," said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism. "As an insider, I saw the things that weren't being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out."

However it was viewed inside the administration, onlookers saw it as a rare Washington event. "I can't think of a single example in the last 30 years of a person who has done something so extreme,” said Paul C. Light, a scholar with the Brookings Institution. "He's not just declaring that he's a Democrat. He's declaring that he's a Kerry Democrat, and the way he wants to make a difference in the world is to get his former boss out of office."

Shortly after that, Beers joined the Kerry campaign. He had briefly considered a think tank or an academic job but realized that he "never felt so strongly about something in my life" than he did about changing current U.S. policies. Of the Democratic candidates, Kerry offered the greatest expertise in foreign affairs and security issues, he decided. Like Beers, Kerry had served in Vietnam. As a civil servant, Beers liked Kerry's emphasis on national service.

Looks like John Kerry just pulled a rabbit out of his hat! Strong on National Security - John Kerry!
Commander in Chief Falls Off Idiot-Proof Segway

Well here Bush is falling off a Segway. Apparently he forgot to turn it on.

No, this isn't relevant to whether Kerry would be a better President than Bush. But it's funny, and considering that the media covers every trivial problem of every Democratic candidate, I think it's fair play.
Bush fails on national service

Bush is overseeing the slashing of the budget of Americorps, despite his promises to raise the number of Americorps volunteers by 50%. No doubt this is just an honest mistake. No doubt.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Democrats Need a Serious Voice on National Security

Bloggers like businesspundit consistently echo what smart Democrats already know. Swing voters who aren't partisan and aren't angry like President Bush because he is considered strong on national security. They say that Bush is willing to deploy troops to Syria or wherever if that country steps out of line, and that protects us back here. And that makes them feel good. But it underscores a deeper point that the eventual nominee will have to tackle: Americans do not trust Democrats on national security.

Fighting this misperception isn't easy. The number of terrorist incidents has declined dramatically in 2002, and we won a war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's hard to describe why we aren't safer. It's even harder to describe that the Bush administration is terribly remiss on terrorism (they did zero on terrorism before 9/11), and that Clinton - whose efforts stopped FOUR major Al Qaeda attacks organized to take place on the millenium - actually was very hard on it. One line from a GOP congressman suggests the difference between the parties. In mid-90s, during the battles over the government shutdowns, one GOPer said 'I trust Hamas more than I trust my own government.' Hamas, of course, is the hard-line terrorist organization bombing Israelis pretty consistently over the years. That the Republicans are trusted and Democrats are not is, in a word, crazy. But it's a fact.

Howard Dean, Dick Gephardt, John Edwards - these are all good men. But they have no credibility on national security whatsoever. John Kerry not only has credibility because of his wartime experiences, he is attacking the Republicans where they are most vulnerable: OIL. Americans know that our dependence on oil is the cause of massive security problems, and they also know that Bush is in hock to oilmen. So John Kerry's plan for oil independence isn't only smart policy, it's good politics. It's in fact one of the only ways to attack the Republicans effectively on national security. You can scream and shout about how the Republicans are liars or thieves or hacks or whatever, but that's not going to work among anyone except those who already believe this stuff. Saddam was a bad guy, and Americans won't exonerate him on the basis of narrow legalism about Weapons of Mass Destruction, however deceptive the pretense for war. Three Presidents badmouthed him constantly and pointed out Iraq as a strategic threat to the US, and you don't reverse that perception, nor should you. It is a fair perception.

John Kerry is finding other ways to attack the Republicans on national security. Oil is part of it. National service is part of it. Having a real veteran in the White House who has the gravitas to make life and death decisions, that's part of it too.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Kerry to Unveil Energy Independence Policy
Friday, June 13, 2003 - The Washington Post

Today in Iowa, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) will outline his plan to free the United States from its dependence on Middle East oil, calling it a matter of national security to find alternative energy sources to power the country's economy.

"No foreign government can embargo clean, domestic, renewable sources of energy, and no terrorist can seize control of them," Kerry says in the prepared text of his speech that was made available yesterday.

Kerry promised "boldness to match the challenges" needed to convert the country from its reliance on foreign oil and accused President Bush of embracing an energy policy "of big oil, by big oil and for big oil."

The Democratic presidential candidate said he would set a goal of energy independence within a decade by helping to subsidize the development of more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, raising fuel-efficiency standards and investing royalties from drilling rights into research and development of alternative energy sources. Among his goals, he said, would be for the country to produce 20 percent of its electricity from alternative energy sources by 2020.

"George Bush persists in pursuing a course that can only be described as energy dependence, an approach, that despite all his boasts about a stronger America, will actually risk our hopes, make us weaker and make both our economy and our country more vulnerable to blackmail by hostile powers."
A Note on Kerry's Health Care Plan

Kerry's plan puts greater emphasis on cost controls than Dean's does. Kerry would have the federal government cover patients whose annual medical bills are very high so insurance companies don't have to spread the cost of paying for their care among everyone else. The Massachusetts senator says new technology could cut overhead by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Kerry said Bush's tax cuts were unfair and promised to roll them back if elected.
HAMPTON, N.H. June 8

"Twenty-one million Americans don't get anything under the Bush tax relief plan," he said, comparing Bush's economic policy to Sammy Sosa's cork-filled bat.

"It looks real at first and then it turns out to be fake, and you can only use it for so long," he said.

"I bring the ability to be strong and right at the same time," he said.

He reiterated his health care plan, his environmental record, and his commitment to campaign finance reform. But he spent much of his time talking about foreign relations.

He said the war on terrorism is an intelligence operation.

"We cannot let George W. Bush continue to fake it to this country and pretend this is a military maneuver," he said.

How you can help John Kerry

Forward the following to your friends:

I noticed that you're interested in John Kerry's Presidential campaign. I want to let you know that there are some online resources available for people who want to know more about Kerry or who want to know how they can help John Kerry get the Democratic nomination. This is not a normal election; it is one of the most critical elections in our country's history, and we simply cannot afford to lose. Leftist angry rhetoric feels good, but it will lose us the election. John Kerry, by contrast, is a decorated Vietnam veteran with a stellar record of liberal accomplishment. I first noticed him when he led the congressional fight for more money for fighting AIDS in Africa, something that didn't bring him accolades but did save lives. He's experienced, effective, and principled, and exactly the man to lead us to victory in 2004.

Max Cleland, veteran Senator from Georgia, and scores of others recognize this, and I hope you will too. Join other volunteers in John Kerry's Online Grassroots Effort!

MEETUP with other Kerry supporters!

SIGN-UP for the Kerry listservs!

READ MORE about Kerry!

Thanks for allowing yourself to get spammed. Also, sorry for the spamming.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

From Altercation and The Washington Post

"Harold Meyerson, reading the Pew study of world attitudes:"

"The number of people holding a favorable view of the United States has plunged in the wake of the war. Last summer the percentage of Germans who viewed us positively was 61 percent; today it’s 45 percent. In France, our favorability rating has declined from 63 percent then to 43 percent now. In Spain, where Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's government supported the war, U.S. favorability ratings are down to a scant 38 percent."

"That's the bad news. The good news is that these same people are able to distinguish between Americans and their misguided leaders in a way our Neocon-dominated punditocracy cannot."

"For the rest of the planet, the problem isn't Clinton's guys, it's Bush. In nation after nation, people affirm democratic ideals that they still generally associate with the United States -- but not with its president. In the 21 nations polled last month, respondents in 17 said that the problem with the United States was "mostly Bush" rather than "Americans in general."

We can put a strong leader - John Kerry in the White House and change the world view!
Organize Support for Kerry Online.
Bush's crime is worse than Nixon's

It Is becoming increasingly clear that the Bush administration
lied to the American people and the world about Iraq. In the
face of the lack of evidence of a chemical or biological weapons
program that provides an imminent threat to our country, or a
link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, President Bush, Colin Powell,
Condoleezza Rice, and Dick Cheney have started spinning
extraordinary explanatory tales to obfuscate the truth.

In this case there is a simple explanation for the lack of weapons
findings, and it is Bush's desire to test the power of Bush's new
empire. His crime, which resulted in a war supported by few and
opposed by many, is much worse than Nixon's Watergate break-
in or Clinton's sexual indiscretion. Bush's crime erodes the trust
needed for democratic government and makes war and death the
province of a small clique at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

IT IS time for the public and the media to recognize that the effect
of the Bush policy has been a putsch of democracy. Perhaps the
opposition party will consider the damage done by its previous
acquiescence and act to regain our confidence by calling for the
impeachment of this clique.

Boston University School of Public Health

This story ran on page A22 of the Boston Globe on 6/11/2003.
Fickle Deanies

Much has been made of the Dean grassroots movement, both positively and negatively. It's exciting to watch, but is Dean another McGovern who will take the party down in 2004 with angry and idealistic rhetoric, or is he another Reagan who will usher in a new Democratic age? It's difficult to say, but this post from a Dean supporter isn't encouraging on the Reagan front:

I just learned that Dean is pro-death penalty in The Nation. I suppose this is good for those who want Dean to be perceived less as a liberal, but it may be a deal-breaker for me.

The death penalty is wrong, pure and simple. How does Dean adopt the mantle of Wellstone while supporting institutionalized killing? I'd assumed that because Dean was a medical doctor, that, on principle, he would oppose the death penalty. Does anyone else see a contradiction between taking an oath to 'first, do no harm,' and advocating, even in limited instances, belting a human being to a table and injecting them with lethal chemicals?

Aside from pointing out that Kerry is against the death penalty (except for terrorists), doesn't this suggest that the Dean supporters might not be so pragmatic after all? If people hear that 'it's my way or the highway,' Americans will simply shrug in 2004 and say 'It's Bush's way.'
Veteran Max Cleland Endorses John Kerry

Former Senator and war hero Max Cleland endorsed John Kerry for President today.

Veterans' advocate and former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia said Tuesday he is endorsing Sen. John Kerry, a fellow Democrat, for president.

Cleland, who now teaches at American University in Washington, said he believes Kerry, of Massachusetts, is the kind of person who can bring the country through its current troubles.

"He's my fellow Vietnam veteran," Cleland said in a telephone interview from his university office. "He and I bled and almost died on the same battlefield and he's got the qualities we want in a president with our country threatened from terrorists abroad and with the economy."

Max Cleland, despite losing three limbs in heroic service to his country, was called unpatriotic in the 2002 election by George W. Bush, and lost his Senate seat because of it. It was one of the more disreputable parts of the 2002 midterm elections, and the moment of clarity when it was obvious that there is no compromising with the GOP. That's why this endorsement by such a respected veteran, politician, and victim of a GOP-orchestrated smear campaign is so special.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

An poignant and eloquent thought from John Kerry on June 1. 2003 in Burlington, IA.

"The question has to be asked of our generation, what will they write about us?" Kerry said. "I refuse to be a part of the first generation that left this nation worse than they found it." Read more from this story.

I can't help but wonder the same myself. That's why I am backing John Kerry, because I believe he can ensure that that does not happen.
From The L.A. Times: '04 Democrats See Plus in Iraq Weapon Hunt

Even candidates who supported the war, and find themselves in a somewhat more awkward position, are raising questions about the administration's credibility and whether, wittingly or not, Bush misled Americans about the reason to go to war.

"If the intelligence community had a massive failure here, or if the administration has distorted the intelligence it was given, those would be legitimate issues," Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts said Friday at a campaign stop in Iowa.

Where are those WMD's? Perhaps a post in the Baghdad Times would help? Lost WMD's. If found, please call G.W. Bush. Cash reward for best WMD's.
Gay Rights? Kerry's your Man

John Kerry voted AGAINST the Defense of Marriage Act, which banned gay marriages across the country. He was one of the few Senators to do so. He's also pro-trade, pro-environment (with an incredible strong record), and willing to use force abroad. Yet more reasons to support John Kerry for President. Join up!
Why Kerry is Fighting, Part Two

The Republicans he deemed 'radical' are indeed just that. Kerry knows that America is an idea in action, and is running so that we can preserve it. I'm reproducing here some issues that we went over in 1998 with Clinton's impeachment, because that was really the first overt sign of the power-grab, as well as Kerry's eloquent speech on the floor defending Clinton from removal from office.

A terrific discussion of historians versus journalists in Salon shows just how important this election is.

Some of the key "right-wing fanatics" who peddled "tainted, planted, unfounded, retracted, distorted, misleading and plain nonexistent evidence" that led to a "Kafkaesque" political "show trial" have more power than ever in politics and the media -- and have, it seems, actually benefited, personally and politically, from their attacks on the Constitution. The current corrected revised accounts by journalists leave the misimpression that only a few marginal right-wing zanies of passing importance were involved in the illegitimate effort to bring Clinton down. As the now uncontested facts around impeachment show, that is hardly the case.

Four examples:

One of the chief members of the "cabal of right-wing fanatics" was Theodore Olson, who, as counsel to the rabidly right-wing American Spectator, oversaw the notorious Arkansas Project that spread some of the most vicious lies about Clinton. (Olson was also one of the supposedly impartial "experts" who signed the petition attacking the historians in 1998.) In testimony before the Senate, Olson denied any involvement in the Project -- but that testimony was later fully documented as false. Yet Olson is now solicitor general of the United States, appointed by President Bush and approved by the Senate during the confusion that accompanied Sen. Jim Jeffords' defection to the Democrats in 2001. Among Olson's current tasks is selecting hard-right nominees for the federal judiciary, with whom the Bush administration is now trying to pack the courts. Many of those nominees are, like Olson, closely connected with the radical activist circles within the Federalist Society, the right-wing lawyers' group that also produced several of the so-called "elves" who plotted Clinton's downfall.

Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas did more than any House Republican to coerce his colleagues into supporting impeachment. DeLay privately threatened moderate Republicans who would not go along, using right-wing fundraisers and 60 designated whips to do his dirty work for him. "Coming out of the election," Republican congressman Peter King later said, "I didn't hear anyone discuss impeachment. It was over. Then DeLay took over." One by one, the moderates caved in to what DeLay and his minions were calling "the Campaign." At the time, DeLay was the House majority whip. Since then he has been promoted for his "deranged" attack on the Constitution by being named House majority leader.

In 1998, Bret Kavanaugh was a conservative lawyer on the staff of Kenneth W. Starr's Office of Independent Counsel. He coauthored the salacious so-called Starr Report that became the basis for the illegitimate articles of impeachment -- and the basis for Starr's aggressive testimony to Congress, in violation of the Constitution, that led the office's chief ethics advisor, Samuel Dash, to quit in protest. Today, Bret Kavanaugh is deputy legal counsel at the Bush White House.

In 1995, Michael Chertoff was chief counsel for Sen. Alphonse D'Amato's Senate Whitewater Committee that churned endless baseless allegations against the Clintons. Since then, he has served as Attorney General John Ashcroft's assistant atop the Department of Justice's criminal division (and a leading force behind the authorship of the so-called PATRIOT Act) and been nominated by George W. Bush to the federal bench.

And Kerry knows this. Read here his speech during Clinton's impeachment trial:

...let me say as directly as I can that no amount of inflated rhetoric, or ideological or moral hyperextension can lift the personal, venial aspects of the President's actions to the kind of threat to the fabric of the country contemplated by the Founding Fathers. I must say that I am truly somewhat surprised to see so many strict constructionists of the Constitution giving such new and free interpretation to the clear intent of the framers.

And I have, frankly, been stunned by the overreach, the moral righteousness, even the zealotry of arguments presented by the House managers.

No matter the words about not hating Bill Clinton, no matter the disclaimers about partisanship, I truly sensed at times not just a scorn but a snarling, trembling venom that told us the President is a criminal and that 'we need to know who our President is....

...I do not suggest that this was the right wing conspiracy bandied about on the talk shows. But I ask you--are we not able to acknowledge that this was a legal and political war of personal destruction--not just a civil rights case?

And we cannot simply dismiss the fact that all of this turmoil--these entire proceedings--arise out of this deeply conflicted, highly partisan, ideologically driven, political civil rights case with incredible tentacles into and out of the office of the independent counsel.

This is not Bush-lite.