Thursday, July 31, 2003

Front Lines: Kerry Campaigns in New Hampshire

Durham resident Wayne Burton didn’t know John Kerry when they were both serving in the Vietnam War in 1968, but he got a chance to meet him in 2000, and on Wednesday night Burton again saw him, this time at Hilton Park.

"He represents the hopes of my generation," Burton said in support of Kerry. "I like his position on re-engaging the country and his appeal to young voters."

"I have a plan to put America back to work," said Kerry. "It’s the middle and working class of America who deserve to have money put in their pockets.

Click here for the link. We finally got a little good press.
Kerry Campaign Thwarts Big Lug

The "nine dwarves" dude in the MSN hatchet job piece from yesterday has a section on his blog about how he coudln't get his picture made with Senator Kerry. Here's a link. Be careful, reading it will remind you of what the Bush crowd is all about.

Speaking of which, scroll down to yesterday's post about the MSN piece and read what the Bush blog guy has to say. He wanted to stick his two cents in. Follow his link to get a load of that Bush Blog! Isn't it funny that the guy decided to chime in on that subject?
John Kerry in NH tonight: "Real Democrats don't walk away from the middle class"

At a forum in Dover, New Hampshire tonight Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry will deliver remarks on the economy.

John Kerry will say, "George W. Bush has the worst economic record of any President since Herbert Hoover. Since Bush took office, our country has lost 3 million jobs and has turned a record surplus into record deficits.

I promise to restore the nearly three million jobs lost under George W Bush in my first 500 days in office. The Kerry Administration will reenergize the small businesses that are America's economic engine; close the corporate loopholes that insulate big businesses from competition; bring down health care costs that are strangling America's business; and make sure that our workers have the skills to compete in the 21st century economy.

"I'm proud that I opposed the President's tax giveaway and when I'm president I'll stop these tax cuts for the wealthiest among us because they're unfair and unaffordable. Democrats agree that the Bush Administration's tax giveaways for the wealthy have left America's workers hurting but there are real differences within our party about to restore economic growth and create jobs. Real Democrats are straight about who they'll fight for. Real Democrats don't walk away from the middle class. They don't take away a tax credit for families struggling to raise their children or bring back a tax penalty for married couples who are starting out or penalize teachers and waitresses by raising taxes on the middle class."

Earlier this year, Kerry outlined his commitment to restoring the jobs lost under the Bush Administration.

Link to Official Site
News from the Campaign Trail

Senator Kerry and Howard Dean are now dead locked in a newly released poll in New Hampshire. Link. Speaking of Dean, Senator Kerry distinguished himself from Dean yesterday on the campaign trail. Kerry said he would not repeal the Bush tax cuts on the middle class and poor. Mr. Dean said he would. Link.

In the article, Mr. Dean is quoted as saying: "(Kerry) is basically telling you something that can't be done," Dean said. "You can't fund special education, pay for health care and start to balance the budget again unless you do roll back all the tax cuts."

Sounds like Walter Mondale's 1984 statement: "Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I," he said. "He won't tell you, I just did."

Democrats will have to decide if Dean's tax increase pledge will be a winner in the fall.

It is a choice we can make. We can beat Bush, but we need a centrist candidate to do it. Read More.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Chris Suellentrop Does a Hatchet Job

Chris Suellentrop is a "reporter" for MSNBC. He did a real number on John Kerry yesterday. Take a look.

Here's a basic summary of the article: first, John Kerry's staffers try to keep him away from a young man who has a blog that ridicules Democrats. This is somehow seen as a problem. The blogger takes pictures of candidates with him and then posts nasty remarks about it. Sounds like something a smart campaign staff would do to me.

Second, our reporter talks about "the Dean veterans," and that's what he like to call him. Sullentrop picks one guy out of all the people he sees who is critical of Kerry and puts his remarks in the report. This is an old trick that bad reporters use. Find the one person at the event who has a beef and make him the headline.

Next, he starts telling us how all of the Kerry supporters want Kerry to start acting like Howard Dean. Well, I can tell you that's not entirely true. I like Kerry the way he is. I like a man who sounds like he has enough intelligence to lead this country. I also like a guy who can run on more than one issue.

The final part of the hatchet job tells how one of Kerry's staffers is down in the dumps about the Dean surge. Suellentrop, violating every standard of journalism, tells him what a great guy Dean is, blah blah blah. He ends the piece telling how the staffer is being "consoled" by another staff member. Give me a break.

Now, if you have a minute, take a look at the fluff piece the same "reporter" ran on Howard Dean.

A summary: 1.) Dean rides around in a borrowed van and eats ice cream. Rock and Roll! Maybe Gov. Dean and Sullentrop went through Iowa chasing tornadoes. That's the image he's giving us.
2.) Dean is on a roll and our reporter just can't disagree.
3.) Dean's not really angry- he just looks that way on TV. Sullentrop says he's a nice guy- which he probably is. So is John Kerry. I know.
4.) The reporter says: At this point in the trip, I’m in the midst of a full-fledged Dean swoon. Hey, at least he admits it!

Its not a personal thing at all. Chris Suellentrop did a hatchet job on Bob Graham, Carol Moseley-Braun and Al Sharpton. too. I am sure there will be more to come, he has some other candidates to attack.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

John Kerry's Statement on Iraq Before the War

One of the people running for President of the United States has been going around the country makingstatements about John Kerry's support for the Iraqi War. This particular candidate never misses an opportunity to let everyone know he was against the war. The following text is long, but if you are trying to get a serious grasp on Senator Kerry's stated position before and after the war, look at the evidence yourself. Don't listen to his rival doing an angry man act.

This is the text of the speech that John Kerry made on the Senate floor.

Mr. President, I thank my good friend from Arizona for his introduction and for his generous comments about the role that Senator Hagel and I have played.

My colleague, Senator Hagel, and I share seats on the Foreign Relations Committee. We have both followed this issue for a long period of time.

Obviously, with respect to an issue that might take Americans to war, we deserve time, and there is no more important debate to be had on the floor of the Senate. It is in the greatest traditions of this institution, and I am proud to take part in that debate now.

This is a debate that should be conducted without regard to parties, to politics, to labels. It is a debate that has to come from the gut of each and every Member, and I am confident that it does. I know for Senator Hagel, Senator McCain, and myself, when we pick up the newspapers and read about the residuals of the Vietnam war, there is a particular sensitivity because I do not think any of us feel a residual with respect to the choices we are making now.

I know for myself back in that period of time, even as I protested the war, I wrote that if my Nation was again threatened and Americans made the decision we needed to defend ourselves, I would be among the first to put on a uniform again and go and do that.

We are facing a very different world today than we have ever faced before. September 11 changed a lot, but other things have changed: Globalization, technology, a smaller planet, the difficulties of radical fundamentalism, the crosscurrents of religion and politics. We are living in an age where the dangers are different and they require a different response, different thinking, and different approaches than we have applied in the past.

Most importantly, it is a time when international institutions must rise to the occasion and seek new authority and a new measure of respect.

In approaching the question of this resolution, I wish the timing were different. I wish for the sake of the country we were not here now at this moment. There are legitimate questions about that timing. But none of the underlying realities of the threat, none of the underlying realities of the choices we face are altered because they are, in fact, the same as they were in 1991 when we discovered those weapons when the teams went in, and in 1998 when the teams were kicked out.

With respect to Saddam Hussein and the threat he presents, we must ask ourselves a simple question: Why? Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations have agreed to limit or give up? Why is Saddam Hussein guilty of breaking his own cease-fire agreement with the international community? Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster? Why did Saddam Hussein threaten and provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and deceive the inspection teams previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all of the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents?
Does he do all of these things because he wants to live by international standards of behavior? Because he respects international law? Because he is a nice guy underneath it all and the world should trust him?

It would be naive to the point of grave danger not to believe that, left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world. He has as much as promised it. He has already created a stunning track record of miscalculation. He miscalculated an 8-year war with Iran. He miscalculated the invasion of Kuwait. He miscalculated America's responses to it. He miscalculated the result of setting oil rigs on fire. He miscalculated the impact of sending Scuds into Israel. He miscalculated his own military might. He miscalculated the Arab world's response to his plight. He miscalculated in attempting an assassination of a former President of the United States. And he is miscalculating now America's judgments about his miscalculations.
All those miscalculations are compounded by the rest of history. A brutal, oppressive dictator, guilty of personally murdering and condoning murder and torture, grotesque violence against women, execution of political opponents, a war criminal who used chemical weapons against another nation and, of course, as we know, against his own people, the Kurds. He has diverted funds from the Oil-for-Food program, intended by the international community to go to his own people. He has supported and harbored terrorist groups, particularly radical Palestinian groups such as Abu Nidal, and he has given money to families of suicide murderers in Israel.

I mention these not because they are a cause to go to war in and of themselves, as the President previously suggested, but because they tell a lot about the threat of the weapons of mass destruction and the nature of this man. We should not go to war because these things are in his past, but we should be prepared to go to war because of what they tell us about the future. It is the total of all of these acts that provided the foundation for the world's determination in 1991 at the end of the gulf war that Saddam Hussein must: unconditionally accept the destruction, removal, or rendering harmless underinternational supervision of his chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems ..... [and] unconditionally agree not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear weapon-usable material.

Saddam Hussein signed that agreement. Saddam Hussein is in office today because of that agreement. It is the only reason he survived in 1991. In 1991, the world collectively made a judgment that this man should not have weapons of mass destruction. And we are here today in the year 2002 with an uninspected 4-year interval during which time we know through intelligence he not only has kept them, but he continues to grow them.

I believe the record of Saddam Hussein's ruthless, reckless breach of international values and standards of behavior which is at the core of the cease-fire agreement, with no reach, no stretch, is cause enough for the world community to hold him accountable by use of force, if necessary. The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons.

He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation.

The Senate worked to urge action in early 1998. I joined with Senator McCain, Senator Hagel, and other Senators, in a resolution urging the President to ``take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end his weapons of mass destruction program.'' That was 1998 that we thought we needed a more serious response.

Later in the year, Congress enacted legislation declaring Iraq in material, unacceptable breach of its disarmament obligations and urging the President to take appropriate action to bring Iraq into compliance. In fact, had we done so, President Bush could well have taken his office, backed by our sense of urgency about holding Saddam Hussein accountable and, with an international United Nations, backed a multilateral stamp of approval record on a clear demand for the disarmament of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. We could have had that and we would not be here debating this today. But the administration missed an opportunity 2 years ago and particularly a year ago after September 11. They regrettably, and even clumsily, complicated their own case. The events of September 11 created new understanding of the terrorist threat and the degree to which every nation is vulnerable.
That understanding enabled the administration to form a broad and impressive coalition against terrorism. Had the administration tried then to capitalize on this unity of spirit to build a coalition to disarm Iraq, we would not be here in the pressing days before an election, late in this year, debating this now. The administration's decision to engage on this issue now, rather than a year ago or earlier, and the manner in which it has engaged, has politicized and complicated the national debate and raised questions about the credibility of their case.

By beginning its public discourse with talk of invasion and regime change, the administration raised doubts about their bona fides on the most legitimate justification for war--that in the post-September 11 world the unrestrained threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein is unacceptable, and his refusal to allow U.N. inspectors to return was in blatant violation of the 1991 cease-fire agreement that left him in power. By casting about in an unfocused, undisciplined, overly public, internal debate for a rationale for war, the administration complicated their case, confused the American public, and compromised America's credibility in the eyes of the world community. By engaging in hasty war talk rather than focusing on the central issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, the administration placed doubts in the minds of potential allies, particularly in the Middle East, where managing the Arab street is difficult at best.

Against this disarray, it is not surprising that tough questions began to be asked and critics began to emerge.
Indeed over the course of the last 6 weeks some of the strongest and most thoughtful questioning of our Nation's Iraq policy has come from what some observers would say are unlikely sources: Senators like CHUCK HAGEL and DICK LUGAR, former Bush Administration national security experts including Brent Scowcroft and James Baker, and distinguished military voices including General Shalikashvili. They are asking the tough questions which must be answered before--and not after--you commit a nation to a course that may well lead to war. They know from their years of experience, whether on the battlefield as soldiers, in the Senate, or at the highest levels of public diplomacy, that you build the consent of the American people to sustain military confrontation by asking questions, not avoiding them. Criticism and questions do not reflect a lack of patriotism--they demonstrate the strength and core values of our American democracy.

It is love of country, and it is defined by defense of those policies that protect and defend our country.
Writing in the New York Times in early September, I argued that the American people would never accept the legitimacy of this war or give their consent to it unless the administration first presented detailed evidence of the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and proved that it had exhausted all other options to protect our national security. I laid out a series of steps that the administration must take for the legitimacy of our cause and our ultimate success in Iraq--seek the advice and approval of Congress after laying out the evidence and making the case, and work with our allies to seek full enforcement of the existing cease-fire agreement while simultaneously offering Iraq a clear ultimatum: accept rigorous inspections without negotiation or compromise and without condition.

Those of us who have offered questions and criticisms--and there are many in this body and beyond--can take heart in the fact that those questions and those criticisms have had an impact on the debate. They have changed how we may or may not deal with Iraq. The Bush administration began talking about Iraq by suggesting that congressional consultation and authorization for the use of force were not needed. Now they are consulting with Congress and seeking our authorization. The administration began this process walking down a path of unilateralism. Today they acknowledge that while we reserve the right to act alone, it is better to act with allies. The administration which once seemed entirely disengaged from the United Nations ultimately went to the United Nations and began building international consensus to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. The administration began this process suggesting that the United States might well go to war over Saddam Hussein's failure to return Kuwaiti property. Last week the Secretary of State and on Monday night the President made clear we would go to war only to disarm Iraq.

The administration began discussion of Iraq by almost belittling the importance of arms inspections. Today the administration has refocused their aim and made clear we are not in an arbitrary conflict with one of the world's many dictators, but a conflict with a dictator whom the international community left in power only because he agreed not to pursue weapons of mass destruction. That is why arms inspections--and I believe ultimately Saddam's unwillingness to submit to fail-safe inspections--is absolutely critical in building international support for our case to the world.
That is the way in which you make it clear to the world that we are contemplating war not for war's sake, and not to accomplish goals that don't meet international standards or muster with respect to national security, but because weapons inspections may be the ultimate enforcement mechanism, and that may be the way in which we ultimately protect ourselves.

I am pleased that the Bush administration has recognized the wisdom of shifting its approach on Iraq. That shift has made it possible, in my judgment, for the Senate to move forward with greater unity, having asked and begun to answer the questions that best defend our troops and protect our national security. The Senate can now make a determination about this resolution and, in this historic vote, help put our country and the world on a course to begin to answer one fundamental question--not whether to hold Saddam Hussein accountable, but how.

I have said publicly for years that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein pose a real and grave threat to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. Saddam Hussein's record bears this out.
I have talked about that record. Iraq never fully accounted for the major gaps and inconsistencies in declarations provided to the inspectors of the pre-Gulf war weapons of mass destruction program, nor did the Iraq regime provide credible proof that it had completely destroyed its weapons and production infrastructure.

He has continually failed to meet the obligations imposed by the international community on Iraq at the end of the Persian Gulf the Iraqi regime provide credible proof war to declare and destroy its weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems and to forego the development of nuclear weapons. during the 7 years of weapons inspections, the Iraqi regime repeatedly frustrated the work of the UNSCOM--Special Commission--inspectors, culminating in 1998 in their ouster. Even during the period of inspections, Iraq never fully accounted for major gaps and inconsistencies in declarations provided to the inspectors of its pre-gulf war WMD programs, nor did the Iraqi regime provide credible proof that it had completely destroyed its weapons stockpiles and production infrastructure.

It is clear that in the 4 years since the UNSCOM inspectors were forced out, Saddam Hussein has continued his quest for weapons of mass destruction. According to intelligence, Iraq has chemical and biological weapons as well as missiles with ranges in excess of the 150 kilometer restriction imposed by the United Nations in the ceasefire resolution. Although Iraq's chemical weapons capability was reduced during the UNSCOM inspections, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort over the last 4 years. Evidence suggests that it has begun renewed production of chemical warfare agents, probably including mustard gas, sarin, cyclosarin, and VX. Intelligence reports show that Iraq has invested more heavily in its biological weapons programs over the 4 years, with the result that all key aspects of this program--R&D, production and weaponization--are active. Most elements of the program are larger and more advanced than they were before the gulf war. Iraq has some lethal and incapacitating agents and is capable of quickly producing and weaponizing a variety of such agents, including anthrax, for delivery on a range of vehicles such as bombs, missiles, aerial sprayers, and covert operatives which could bring them to the United States homeland. Since inspectors left, the Iraqi regime has energized its missile program, probably now consisting of a few dozen Scud-type missiles with ranges of 650 to 900 kilometers that could hit Israel, Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the region. In addition, Iraq is developing unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs, capable of delivering chemical and biological warfare agents, which could threaten Iraq's neighbors as well as American forces in the Persian Gulf.
Prior to the gulf war, Iraq had an advance nuclear weapons development program. Although UNSCOM and IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors learned much about Iraq's efforts in this area, Iraq has failed to provide complete information on all aspects of its program. Iraq has maintained its nuclear scientists and technicians as well as sufficient dual-use manufacturing capability to support a reconstituted nuclear weapons program. Iraqi defectors who once worked for Iraq's nuclear weapons establishment have reportedly told American officials that acquiring nuclear weapons is a top priority for Saddam Hussein's regime.
According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons. The more difficult question to answer is when Iraq could actually achieve this goal. That depends on is its ability to acquire weapons-grade fissile material. If Iraq could acquire this material from abroad, the CIA estimates that it could have a nuclear weapon within 1 year.

Absent a foreign supplier, it might be longer. There is no question that Saddam Hussein represents a threat. I have heard even my colleagues who oppose the President's resolution say we have to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. They also say we have to force the inspections. And to force the inspections, you have to be prepared to use force.
So the issue is not over the question of whether or not the threat is real, or whether or not people agree there is a threat. It is over what means we will take, and when, in order to try to eliminate it.

The reason for going to war, if we must fight, is not because Saddam Hussein has failed to deliver gulf war prisoners or Kuwaiti property. As much as we decry the way he has treated his people, regime change alone is not a sufficient reason for going to war, as desirable as it is to change the regime.

Regime change has been an American policy under the Clinton administration, and it is the current policy. I support the policy. But regime change in and of itself is not sufficient justification for going to war--particularly unilaterally--unless regime change is the only way to disarm Iraq of the weapons of mass destruction pursuant to the United Nations resolution.

As bad as he is, Saddam Hussein, the dictator, is not the cause of war. Saddam Hussein sitting in Baghdad with an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction is a different matter.
In the wake of September 11, who among us can say, with any certainty, to anybody, that those weapons might not be used against our troops or against allies in the region? Who can say that this master of miscalculation will not develop a weapon of mass destruction even greater--a nuclear weapon--then reinvade Kuwait, push the Kurds out, attack Israel, any number of scenarios to try to further his ambitions to be the pan-Arab leader or simply to confront in the region, and once again miscalculate the response, to believe he is stronger because he has those weapons?

And while the administration has failed to provide any direct link between Iraq and the events of September 11, can we afford to ignore the possibility that Saddam Hussein might accidentally, as well as purposely, allow those weapons to slide off to one group or other in a region where weapons are the currency of trade? How do we leave that to chance?
That is why the enforcement mechanism through the United Nations and the reality of the potential of the use of force is so critical to achieve the protection of long-term interests, not just of the United States but of the world, to understand that the dynamic has changed, that we are living in a different status today, that we cannot sit by and be as complacent or even negligent about weapons of mass destruction and proliferation as we have been in the past.

The Iraqi regime's record over the decade leaves little doubt that Saddam Hussein wants to retain his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and, obviously, as we have said, grow it. These weapons represent an unacceptable threat.

I want to underscore that this administration began this debate with a resolution that granted exceedingly broad authority to the President to use force. I regret that some in the Congress rushed so quickly to support it. I would have opposed it. It gave the President the authority to use force not only to enforce all of the U.N. resolutions as a cause of war, but also to produce regime change in Iraq, and to restore international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region. It made no mention of the President's efforts at the United Nations or the need to build multilateral support for whatever course of action we ultimately would take.
I am pleased that our pressure, and the questions we have asked, and the criticisms that have been raised publicly, the debate in our democracy has pushed this administration to adopt important changes, both in language as well as in the promises that they make.

The revised White House text, which we will vote on, limits the grant of authority to the President to the use of force only with respect to Iraq. It does not empower him to use force throughout the Persian Gulf region. It authorizes the President to use Armed Forces to defend the ``national security'' of the United States--a power most of us believe he already has under the Constitution as Commander in Chief. And it empowers him to enforce all ``relevant'' Security Council resolutions related to Iraq. None of those resolutions or, for that matter, any of the other Security Council resolutions demanding Iraqi compliance with its international obligations, calls for a regime change.

In recent days, the administration has gone further. They are defining what ``relevant'' U.N. Security Council resolutions mean. When Secretary Powell testified before our committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, on September 26, he was asked what specific U.N. Security Council resolutions the United States would go to war to enforce. His response was clear: the resolutions dealing with weapons of mass destruction and the disarmament of Iraq. In fact, when asked about compliance with other U.N. resolutions which do not deal with weapons of mass destruction, the Secretary said:
The President has not linked authority to go to war to any of those elements.

When asked why the resolution sent by the President to Congress requested authority to enforce all the resolutions with which Iraq had not complied, the Secretary told the committee:
That's the way the resolution is currently worded, but we all know, I think, that the major problem, the offense, what the President is focused on and the danger to us and to the world are the weapons of mass destruction.
In his speech on Monday night, President Bush confirmed what Secretary Powell told the committee. In the clearest presentation to date, the President laid out a strong, comprehensive, and compelling argument why Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are a threat to the United States and the international community. The President said:
Saddam Hussein must disarm himself, or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.
This statement left no doubt that the casus belli for the United States will be Iraq's failure to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction.

I would have preferred that the President agree to the approach drafted by Senators Biden and Lugar because that resolution would authorize the use of force for the explicit purpose of disarming Iraq and countering the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The Biden-Lugar resolution also acknowledges the importance of the President's efforts at the United Nations. It would require the President, before exercising the authority granted in the resolution, to send a determination to Congress that the United States tried to seek a new Security Council resolution or that the threat posed by Iraq's WMD is so great he must act absent a new resolution--a power, incidentally, that the President of the United States always has.

I believe this approach would have provided greater clarity to the American people about the reason for going to war and the specific grant of authority. I think it would have been a better way to do this. But it does not change the bottom line of what we are voting for.

The administration, unwisely, in my view, rejected the Biden-Lugar approach. But, perhaps as a nod to the sponsors, it did agree to a determination requirement on the status of its efforts at the United Nations. That is now embodied in the White House text.

The President has challenged the United Nations, as he should, and as all of us in the Senate should, to enforce its own resolutions vis-a-vis Iraq. And his administration is now working aggressively with the Perm 5 members on the Security Council to reach a consensus. As he told the American people Monday night:
America wants the U.N. to be an effective organization that helps keep the peace. And that is why we are urging the Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough, immediate requirements. Because of my concerns, and because of the need to understand, with clarity, what this resolution meant, I traveled to New York a week ago. I met with members of the Security Council and came away with a conviction that they will indeed move to enforce, that they understand the need to enforce, if Saddam Hussein does not fulfill his obligation to disarm.

And I believe they made it clear that if the United States operates through the U.N., and through the Security Council, they--all of them--will also bear responsibility for the aftermath of rebuilding Iraq and for the joint efforts to do what we need to do as a consequence of that enforcement.
I talked to Secretary General Kofi Annan at the end of last week and again felt a reiteration of the seriousness with which the United Nations takes this and that they will respond.

If the President arbitrarily walks away from this course of action--without good cause or reason--the legitimacy of any subsequent action by the United States against Iraq will be challenged by the American people and the international community. And I would vigorously oppose the President doing so.

When I vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary, to disarm Saddam Hussein, it is because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a threat, and a grave threat, to our security and that of our allies in the Persian Gulf region. I will vote yes because I believe it is the best way to hold Saddam Hussein accountable. And the administration, I believe, is now committed to a recognition that war must be the last option to address this threat, not the first, and that we must act in concert with allies around the globe to make the world's case against Saddam Hussein.
As the President made clear earlier this week, ``Approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.'' It means ``America speaks with one voice.''
Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies.

In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.

If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent--and I emphasize ``imminent''--threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has recognized a similar need to distinguish how we approach this. He has said that he believes we should move in concert with allies, and he has promised his own party that he will not do so otherwise. The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. And it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed.

Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances.
In voting to grant the President the authority, I am not giving him carte blanche to run roughshod over every country that poses or may pose some kind of potential threat to the United States. Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense under the standards of law. The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet. I emphasize ``yet.'' Yes, it is grave because of the deadliness of Saddam Hussein's arsenal and the very high probability that he might use these weapons one day if not disarmed. But it is not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing we have had suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack.
The argument for going to war against Iraq is rooted in enforcement of the international community's demand that he disarm. It is not rooted in the doctrine of preemption. Nor is the grant of authority in this resolution an acknowledgment that Congress accepts or agrees with the President's new strategic doctrine of preemption. Just the opposite. This resolution clearly limits the authority given to the President to use force in Iraq, and Iraq only, and for the specific purpose of defending the United States against the threat posed by Iraq and enforcing relevant Security Council resolutions.
The definition of purpose circumscribes the authority given to the President to the use of force to disarm Iraq because only Iraq's weapons of mass destruction meet the two criteria laid out in this resolution.

Congressional action on this resolution is not the end of our national debate on how best to disarm Iraq. Nor does it mean we have exhausted all of our peaceful options to achieve this goal. There is much more to be done. The administration must continue its efforts to build support at the United Nations for a new, unfettered, unconditional weapons inspection regime. If we can eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction through inspections, whenever, wherever, and however we want them, including in palaces--and I am highly skeptical, given the full record, given their past practices, that we can necessarily achieve that--then we have an obligation to try that as the first course of action before we expend American lives in any further effort.
American success in the Persian Gulf war was enhanced by the creation of an international coalition. Our coalition partners picked up the overwhelming burden of the cost of that war. It is imperative that the administration continue to work to multilateralize the current effort against Iraq. If the administration's initiatives at the United Nations are real and sincere, other nations are more likely to invest, to stand behind our efforts to force Iraq to disarm, be it through a new, rigorous, no-nonsense program of inspection, or if necessary, through the use of force. That is the best way to proceed.

The United States, without question, has the military power to enter this conflict unilaterally. But we do need friends. We need logistical support such as bases, command and control centers, overflight rights from allies in the region. And most importantly, we need to be able to successfully wage the war on terror simultaneously. That war on terror depends more than anything else on the sharing of intelligence. That sharing of intelligence depends more than anything else on the cooperation of countries in the region. If we disrupt that, we could disrupt the possibilities of the capacity of that war to be most effectively waged.

I believe the support from the region will come only if they are convinced of the credibility of our arguments and the legitimacy of our mission. The United Nations never has veto power over any measure the United States needs to take to protect our national security. But it is in our interest to try to act with our allies, if at all possible. And that should be because the burden of eliminating the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction should not be ours alone. It should not be the American people's alone.

If in the end these efforts fail, and if in the end we are at war, we will have an obligation, ultimately, to the Iraqi people with whom we are not at war. This is a war against a regime, mostly one man. So other nations in the region and all of us will need to help create an Iraq that is a place and a force for stability and openness in the region. That effort is going to be long term, costly, and not without difficulty, given Iraq's ethnic and religious divisions and history of domestic turbulence. In Afghanistan, the administration has given more lipservice than resources to the rebuilding effort. We cannot allow that to happen in Iraq, and we must be prepared to stay the course over however many years it takes to do it right.

The challenge is great: An administration which made nation building a dirty word needs to develop a comprehensive, Marshall-type plan, if it will meet the challenge. The President needs to give the American people a fairer and fuller, clearer understanding of the magnitude and long-term financial cost of that effort.

The international community's support will be critical because we will not be able to rebuild Iraq singlehandedly. We will lack the credibility and the expertise and the capacity.
It is clear the Senate is about to give the President the authority he has requested sometime in the next days. Whether the President will have to use that authority depends ultimately on Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein has a choice: He can continue to defy the international community, or he can fulfill his longstanding obligations to disarm. He is the person who has brought the world to this brink of confrontation.

He is the dictator who can end the stalemate simply by following the terms of the agreement which left him in power.
By standing with the President, Congress would demonstrate our Nation is united in its determination to take away that arsenal, and we are affirming the President's right and responsibility to keep the American people safe. One of the lessons I learned from fighting in a very different war, at a different time, is we need the consent of the American people for our mission to be legitimate and sustainable. I do know what it means, as does Senator Hagel, to fight in a war where that consent is lost, where allies are in short supply, where conditions are hostile, and the mission is ill-defined.
That is why I believe so strongly before one American soldier steps foot on Iraqi soil, the American people must understand completely its urgency. They need to know we put our country in the position of ultimate strength and that we have no options, short of war, to eliminate a threat we could not tolerate.

I believe the work we have begun in this Senate, by offering questions, and not blind acquiescence, has helped put our Nation on a responsible course. It has succeeded, certainly, in putting Saddam Hussein on notice that he will be held accountable; but it also has put the administration on notice we will hold them accountable for the means by which we do this.

It is through constant questioning we will stay the course, and that is a course that will ultimately defend our troops and protect our national security.

President Kennedy faced a similar difficult challenge in the days of the Cuban missile crisis. He decided not to proceed, I might add, preemptively. He decided to show the evidence and proceeded through the international institutions. He said at the time:
The path we have chosen is full of hazards, as all paths are ..... The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.
So I believe the Senate will make it clear, and the country will make it clear, that we will not be blackmailed or extorted by these weapons, and we will not permit the United Nations--an institution we have worked hard to nurture and create--to simply be ignored by this dictator.
I yield the floor.
Kerry is a Big Hit in Sioux City, Iowa

From the Sioux City Journal:

The new standard for size of crowd and enthusiasm in a Sioux City 2004 public campaign stop belongs to Kerry. Since the first stumping in mid-March by Rep. Dick Gephardt, Kerry holds the high-water mark for Democrats following Monday evening's festive gathering of 210 Siouxlanders at the Elks Lodge. Lots of the attendees wanted pictures with the senator.

Kerry said the administration has turned "to the lowest common denominator of politics, to the driving of wedges between different groups and constituencies, rather than asking our fellow Americans to join together in a common effort to take this country of ours to a better place, to complete the journey begun by our Founding Fathers."

Click for Link

Monday, July 28, 2003

Forty-four percent of voters say Kerry is more electable than Dean - only 17 percent say Dean has a better shot against Bush, the poll found.

July 28, 2003 - Poll: Kerry has the edge; N.H. Dems see sen. as 'electable'

"There's nothing normal about those Republicans," he said. "No conservative would allow deficits to run out of control, blur the lines of church and state or appoint an attorney general that tramples on the rights of Americans."

July 28, 2003 - Kerry makes stop in Ames

John Kerry is eloquent, caring and a candidate with a lot of class!

This Saturday, August 2nd, John Kerry will be riding in the Pan Massachusetts Challenge to benefit the Jimmy Fund, which has been instrumental in improving the quality of life for cancer patients around the world. We will be dedicating our website to the Pan Mass Challenge on Aug 2nd and hope that you will log-on to help support this important cause. Click here for more info on PMC.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Former State Assembly Speaker and Los Angeles Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa Endorses John Kerry for President
Sunday July 27, 2003

Antonio Villaraigosa, City Councilmember for Los Angeles' 14th District and former Speaker of the California State Assembly, today endorsed John Kerry for the Democratic nomination for President.

"John Kerry has an inspiring vision for America. He is truly committed to empowering our communities by creating good jobs, improving our public schools, and increasing home ownership," said Antonio Villaraigosa. "John Kerry has the best combination of character, policy-making experience, and national security credentials to get our neighborhoods and our country back on track."

City Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa was elected in March 2003, becoming the first modern candidate to defeat an incumbent in a primary election. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1994 representing the 45th District in the heart of Los Angeles and then he was elected Speaker of the Assembly in 1998.

As Speaker, Antonio was widely credited with re-establishing the stature of the State Assembly, restoring civility to that body and fostering an unprecedented era of bipartisanship. After serving in the legislature, Antonio ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 2001. He later served on the California Medical Assistance Commission, was the Cesar Chavez Senior Fellow in Public Policy at UCLA and is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Southern California.

"I am honored to have Antonio's support. An accomplished coalition-builder, he has served the people of California effectively in the state house," said John Kerry. "Antonio has led efforts to modernize California's public schools and provide millions of children access to health care. He will be a key leader in this campaign to make America stronger, safer and more secure."

John Kerry recently received the endorsements of other prominent California leaders including state Controller Steve Westly, state Treasurer Phil Angelides, and former Defense Secretary William Perry.

Read the L.A. Times Story ...

Antonio Villaraigosa is a great endorsement for Kerry here in Los Angeles and CA! Angelenos take note... we need John Kerry in the White House and Antonio Villaraigosa recognizes this!
Kerry Campaign News

Even though John Kerry continues to lead Howard Dean by 6 points and Dick Gephardt by a great deal more, the Kerry campaign is still out there fighting. If you are a registered Democratic voter living in Portsmouth, New Hampshire you may have had a visitor at your door Saturday morning, telling you why John Kerry should be president. Read More.

Here's a link to a very detailed tracking poll. you can take a look and see that most of the people in New Hampshire have not made up their mind yet, but that Kerry and Dean are the two candidates that things seem to be heading for.

From Iowa: Because of the large Democratic field in 2004, it will be difficult for a presidential candidate to win the AFL-CIO's endorsement before a nominee is determined, a top union leader said Saturday. Read More.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

One of the people on a Kerry listserv submitted this earlier today and i really liked it. I thought i woulod post it on the blog.

I am John Hale, a retired military Veteran, 25 years service, and
am 70% service-connected disabled - meaning I do Not receive my
Retired Pay because I recieve ONLY VA disability pay. From that "less than
a house payment" VA disability, I MUST pay 10% of my original Retired Pay for my family's Survivor's Benefit Plan. I entered service, by Draft, from College, during the height of the VietNam "War" (or, conflict). Upon returning home, I found that I was no longer eligible for my college scholarship and had to retake many of the courses I'd already taken because I was then eligible for the "GI Bill." Trying to find a job, I found prospective employers, including Civil Service, openly telling me, after questioning me on "where I'd been the last 2 years," openly tell me their "Veteran's Quotas" were over-filled, and that "I should go chill out" for a while.

Within 45 days, not being able to return to my Junior level in college, not getting my Full Scholarship back, and not being able to get a job, I elected to re-enter the service. I remained an additional 23 years until I was "retired" on the Permanent Disabled List, presumably because I was injured. That "injury" happened on the Wrong Side of the 20 Year Mark. Funny thing is, 12 years later, I get up at 3:30am and walk and light jog for 7 to 9 miles daily!

I am a registered Republican. I chose that registration for one simple reason: Each time I was "invited" for Jury Duty, I found myself dismissed - usually by the Prosecutor - because of my military and Law Enforcement background! Therefore, since the court's
recorder could not "leave my name off her list" and I would be called only to be dismissed, I changed parties. I've never been called for Jury Duty since - and that includes having moved to two different States! Shame, isn't it?

I am for John Kerry because he, sometimes singularly, has carried
the battle for Veterans Rights. He understands that "war" is to be
made -As The Last Option. He includes ALL the World's People in his concerns and his Agenda. He understands that ALL people from ALL walks of life make our Democracy Work - across the Globe. John Kerry is a Silver Star Veteran and is the Only Candidate who has the Earned Right to Make Opinion!

I grew up listening each night to my father's nightmares. Dad served in the China, India, Burma theater and never discussed his experiences. Even when I had the opportunity to want to discuss my own experiences with him, our "conversations" remained silent - we both knew... Now, my own two sons have grown up listening to their dad's nightmares. I stayed in the Service working hard to Ensure no other children need listen to their Fathers and Mothers screams and crying.

Only ONE thing makes nightmares go Away - Do Not Make War! Daniel Quinn, James Redfield are two authors who make excellent arguments, though considered idealistic, that we Humans need begin Understanding One Another! Funny thing is: I've attended religious services in every denomination out there except some that I haven't found yet. The Message, regardless of the Philosophy's Originator, remains the Same: "Experience Faith, Conduct Kindness toward One Another, Help Your Neighbor!"

John Hale
USN, retired
John Kerry Campaign News

Senator Kerry was in Ames, Iowa yesterday. In the linked article, you can read what he had to say about Iraq, Bush's Education policy and the tax cuts. I was really glad to see him point out that many of the people that are getting the "larger" tax rebate checks will be sending hefty sums of it back to the bush campaign. He also made a stop in Des Moines.

Senator Kerry will be in Sioux City next week and will make a Sunday appearance on Iowa television.

The Kerry team is setting up to slug it out in Maine. Here's an article about that state's primary.

Friday, July 25, 2003

The National Debt

There's no better illustration of what the Bush tax cuts are doing to the country than a look at the US debt clock. Take a look at this link. and hit refresh on your browser a few times for an update of our national debt.

Think for a minute after you do this....the last time we had a Democrat in the White House, he left office with a huge surplus.

We need to get the country back on track.
Senator Kerry Comments on the September 11th Report ...

In a statement on Thursday, John Kerry said, "Today’s 9/11 report is another reminder that we as a nation have to act urgently on the conclusions of the Hart-Rudman Commission. The truth is that this nation has a dangerous preparedness gap. The President can’t walk away from the truth, he must be straight with the American people about the work needed to make America safe. The Bush Administration needs to report immediately to the American people what has been done and what remains to be done to fill the intelligence gaps identified in the report. We should be shaking up the bureaucracy so intelligence is shared with officials who need it, thoroughly investigating visas -- not rubber stamping them, and cutting off terrorist financing by those at the highest levels of Saudi society."

You can see more at the Official Site.
John Kerry leads poll in New Hampshire

A new poll of 600 New Hampshire voters reveals that John Kerry maintains a lead in the Granite state. The poll shows that Senator Lieberman's support has now slipped to 6% with all of the other candidates, except Governor Dean, in single digits.

Governor Dean and John Kerry appear to be the two major candidates in this particular state.

Here's the scoop.

Kerry News

A new poll shows that most Democratic voters are undecided in the race for President with Gephardt, Kerry, Dean and Lieberman as the top four candidates. Here's a link to an AP story about it. If you go to the link, you can vote in an on-line poll.

Senator Kerry spoke via phone link to Meet-up groups in three South Carolina cities last night, as well as DC and Boston. He took questions from the group and urged everyone to bring three people to the next meetup.

Senator Kerry commented on the release of the September 11th report-

"The truth is that this nation has a dangerous preparedness gap. The president can't walk away from the truth, he must be straight with the American people about the work needed to make America safe. "The Bush Administration needs to report immediately to the American people what has been done and what remains to be done to fill the intelligence gaps identified in the report."

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Meet Up is tonight at 7 PM.

This is really going to be the first meetup that the campaign has taken seriously. You can go to the meetup near you and get to know others who have an interest in Senator Kerry's campaign. I think other candidates have done a good job of getting people to come to meetup. Now's your chance to check out Senator Kerry's and start building suport locally.

Here's a link.
Kerry's Record on Keeping Social Security Strong

As a United States Senator, John Kerry has consistently fought for measures to protect the retirement security of America's senior citizens and keep Social Security strong. In recent years, those efforts have focused on reserving Social Security's surplus revenue exclusively for the use of the Social Security program.

Senator Kerry has fought against efforts to raid the Social Security trust funds for unrelated purposes, including tax cuts and spending increases.
In the late 1990s, it became clear that efforts taken in 1993 to reduce the federal deficit were having a substantial impact on the budget outlook. Perhaps the most important Social Security vote in the last 10 years was the vote to pass the historic 1993 deficit reduction plan. In 1993, without a single Republican vote, Senator Kerry and a Democratic Congress passed a monumental budget plan to reverse the course of deficit spending. From 1992 through 1998, the federal unified budget went from a $290 billion deficit to a $69 billion surplus. Much of those gains were related to surpluses in the Social Security program. In 1999, the federal government ran its first surplus, excluding Social Security, since the 1950s. With the federal budget outlook reversed substantially from the early 1990s, Senator Kerry recognized an opportunity to strengthen Social Security for the long-term.

Throughout the late 1990s, Senator Kerry was a strong supporter of Senate Democratic budget resolutions designed to "Save Social Security First." Under the Democratic plan, only after they had put Social Security on a sound financial footing for the new century would Congress and the President consider using any remaining surpluses for tax relief or other initiatives. Democrats recognized that projected budget surpluses were far from certain. On the other hand, Congressional Republicans immediately proposed using projected surpluses to pay for new tax breaks, directly contradicting Senate Democrats' call to protect and strengthen our nation's retirement security program.

As a fiscal conservative, Senator Kerry also recognized that any surpluses should be used to reduce the national debt. That, in itself, would contribute to protecting Social Security by reducing the size of the national debt that would exist at the time the baby boom generation retires and the Social Security trust fund begins to pay out more than it receives.

In addition, Senator Kerry has consistently supported attempts to remove Social Security from general budget calculations so that the trust fund surpluses would not mask the size of budget deficits or artificially inflate the size of budget surpluses.

For several years, before new wartime demands altered the budget picture, Senator Kerry supported a real Social Security lockbox to protect the Social Security program from raids on its resources. Senator Kerry opposed Republican efforts to pass a phony Social Security lockbox that did nothing for Medicare, did not adequately protect Social Security, and established annual public debt limits that risked default. He opposed Republican efforts to include a trap door in lockbox legislation-any legislation that Republicans label "Social Security reform" could use Social Security surpluses for any number of purposes unrelated to paying Social Security benefits, including privatizing Social Security or paying for tax cuts.

In December of 2001, the President's Commission to Strengthen Social Security unveiled its recommendations for Social Security reform. All of the recommendations endorsed a partial privatization of the program. While Senator Kerry is open to considering various avenues of reform, provided they preserve and maintain benefits for recipients, he believes it is fundamental that the reform effort starts under a sound financial footing. For that to occur, Congress must resist the temptation to spend Social Security surpluses on unrelated causes.

Social Security has made tremendous strides in combating poverty among America's elderly. Forty-four million Americans receive Social Security benefits. Without Social Security, 52 percent of America's elderly would be below the poverty level. As a safety net for the nation's aged, widowed, orphaned, and disabled, Social Security is a success story. Nevertheless, the retirement and disabled benefits program faces serious tests in the years ahead. Demographic changes as our labor force ages will continue to place new pressures on the Social Security program. Senator John Kerry is wholeheartedly committed to protecting and strengthening the cornerstone of our retirement security system and looks forward to meeting Social Security's challenges in the 21st century.
Kerry's Record on the Environment

John Kerry has made environmental protection one of his top priorities as a United States Senator. His commitment to preserving the environment and protecting the public health comes from seeing first hand the damage that can be caused by pollution and a disregard of the environment. The Senator has worked on the local, national and international level to help preserve the natural world.

The people of Massachusetts have a special relationship with the natural world. From Cape Cod to the Berkshires, the citizens of the Commonwealth have organized to protect special environments all across the State. John Kerry has done all he can from the United States Senate to help them succeed. Here are just a few of the accomplishments of Senator Kerry and the local leaders of Massachusetts

Clean Air

• Senator Kerry has been a leader in the fight to protect New England’s air quality, especially from powerplants operating in the Midwest with few environmental safeguards. Pollution from those facilities is carried eastward to New England where it contributes to acid rain, smog and health problems. Senator Kerry has fought legislative efforts that would have interfered with Clean Air Act enforcement, and he called on the Clinton and Bush Administrations to pursue violators and enforce the law. This has been an important effort for the State of Massachusetts and local officials.

The Marine Environment

• When the Bush Administration signaled that it may overturn longstanding policy prohibiting oil and gas drilling off the coast of New England and especially in the fishing ground of Georges Bank, Senator Kerry moved to strengthen that prohibition. The Senator amended the law preventing drilling to ensure New England’s coast had the same protections are other federal waters. His provision became law in 2001.

• Senator Kerry was the lead cosponsor of the National Marine Sanctuaries Reauthorization Act of 2000 which increases funding levels for this national ocean program, including Stellwagen National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts. The Stellwagen is an important habitat for whales and other species central to the Massachusetts environment. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton.

Preserving Our Natural Landscape

• Senator Kerry was the original sponsor of legislation to designate the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Rivers as National Wild & Scenic Rivers. Identical legislation was passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Clinton.

• Senator Kerry cosponsored legislation to expand the Quinebaug-Shetucket National Heritage Corridor from 25 Connecticut towns into nine towns in southern Worcester County. The bill passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton.

• Senator Kerry sponsored legislation authorizing the National Park Service to study the Taunton River for designation within the National Wild & Scenic Rivers System. After Massachusetts officials testified before a key Senate committee, the bill passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton.

• Senator Kerry has worked closely with the City of Boston to prevent flooding and develop open space along the Muddy River which runs from Brookline through the Boston Fenway to the Charles River. The Senator authored an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act of 1999 authorizing the Army Corps of Engineers to study a comprehensive plan for the Muddy River. The legislation became law and the basis for additional study, funding and project development.

• Senator Kerry lead the effort to urge the White House to select the East Coast Greenway—a proposed non-motorized trail extending from Maine to Florida—as one of the National Flagship Millennium Trails. The Senator authored a bipartisan letter to the White House, and the trail was selected. The Massachusetts portion of the trail is planned to run up the Blackstone Heritage Corridor to Worcester, then east to Boston and finally to New Hampshire.

• Senator Kerry was a lead cosponsor of legislation to study the designation of the Upper Housatonic River as a National Heritage Area. The bill passed the Senate and was signed into law by President Clinton.

• Senator Kerry has backed efforts to revitalize urban open space. He cosponsored an amendment to the Department of Interior Appropriations Bill to increase funding for urban parks throughout the nation, including Boston, which strongly supported the amendment. The amendment was signed into law by President Clinton.

• Senator Kerry has backed increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund which funds parks and open space preservation in Massachusetts and throughout the country. An amendment he cosponsored to increase funding was signed into law by President Clinton.

• Senator Kerry sponsored legislation to convey Coast Guard property in Scituate, Nantucket and Plum Island. These conveyances will benefit the communities of Scituate, Nantucket Plum Island and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Massachusetts, which will use the property in Scituate.

Preventing Pollution

• Senator Kerry fought efforts to limit the ability of federal and state authorities to require the Department of Defense, the nation’s largest polluter, to comply with environmental and public health laws. This is an important issue for Cape Cod and other areas in Massachusetts working to protect water supplies and the environment from pollution resulting from Department of Defense activities.

• When a Senate committee moved to cut $20 million from the federal commitment to the Boston Harbor cleanup in the 1999 recission bill, Senator Kerry called on Senate appropriators to protect the funding. The cut, which had been inserted at committee markup, was struck and the funding was restored.

• Senator Kerry has joined with the entire Massachusetts and Connecticut delegations to support federal funding to assist Springfield and other Connecticut River Valley cities in reducing the pollution that flows into the Connecticut River.

While Senator Kerry has fought hard to help the people of Massachusetts preserve the Commonwealth and New England’s environment, he has also taken a lead in national and international environmental issues. Pollution knows no borders, and environmental degradation on the national and international level can affect all of us for generations to come. Here are just a few of the important issues on which Senator Kerry has been an advocate and leader for conservation.

Protecting Our Public Lands

Senator Kerry has lead the fight to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling. President Bush has pledged to lease the Refuge’s coastal plain, its biological heart, to oil and gas companies. The resulting development will industrialize the Refuge and forever degrade its pristine ecosystem. Senator Kerry believes the benefits of drilling are simply too small and that the Refuge should be protected for future generations.

Safe Drinking Water

Senator Kerry voiced his strong opposition to President Bush’s attempt to rollback drinking water standards for arsenic. According to the National Academy of Sciences, arsenic in drinking water may cause several forms of cancer, damage heart and blood vessels, and may contribute to birth defects. Fortunately, the Bush Administration reversed course and implemented the original proposal to reduce arsenic in drinking water.

Clean Air

Senator Kerry has successfully fought legislative efforts to block the enforcement of the Clean Air Act at power plants, and he called on the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration to pursue violators and enforce law. Power plant emissions contribute to smog, soot, acid rain, toxic deposition and health problems. Senator Kerry has joined a bipartisan proposal to limit mercury, sulfur, nitrogen and carbon dioxide (commonly called the Four Pollutant Bill) from power plants.

Senator Kerry joined with other Senators to urge the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can accumulate in ecosystems and species, especially fish, and harm public health. The Agency announced its intention to regulate mercury emissions from power plants for the first time in 2000.

Global Warming and Ozone Depletion

Senator Kerry has been a leader in the national and international effort to reduce the threat of global warming. The Senator has called on the Bush Administration to fix and finalize the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, an international agreement to reduce global warming pollution. He authored a successful amendment to the Fiscal Year 2002 budget resolution that increased funding for renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate change research. Additionally, he authored a resolution that passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee calling on the Bush Administration to engage in international efforts to mitigate the threat of climate change.

Senator Kerry authored bipartisan legislation with Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska that would require the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the first of its kind to be introduced in the Congress. This legislation would provide the framework for understanding how the nation can best reduce air pollution and the threat of global warming.

Senator Kerry joined with the late Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island and others to secure adequate funding for the implementation of the Montreal Protocol to Protect the Ozone Layer. Ozone depletion, caused by the emission of certain chemicals, increases UV radiation that is associated with short-term and long-term health effects. These include cataracts, ocular melanoma and other eye cancers, and death associated with cancers of the eye


Senator Kerry cosponsored legislation to increase federal support to restore polluted industrial sites to economic use. Called brownfields, many of these sites continue to pose environmental and public health threats and prevent the economic revitalization of neighborhoods around the nation. The bill was signed into law by President Bush.

The Marine Environment

Senator Kerry was a lead cosponsor of the Coral Reef Conservation Act, legislation to create a national program to preserve, sustain, and restore the condition of coral reef ecosystems. The bill was signed into law by President Clinton.

Senator Kerry cosponsored legislation to encourage the restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient project financing and enhanced coordination of federal and non-federal restoration programs. The bill was sponsored by the late Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island, and it was signed into law by Clinton.

Animal Welfare

Senator Kerry led the effort to fund the Animal Welfare Act. The funding, approximately $5.5 million, was dedicated to inspections, investigations and ensuring that animals raised and harvested for food are treated as humanely as possible. The effort was a leading initiative of the U.S. Humane Society. The funding was secured as part of the fiscal year 2002 budget.

Senator Kerry's concern for the environment has earned him a 100 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters (see his scorecard), an organization which closely monitors the environmental records of members of Congress. The League commended Kerry for his "unsurpassed leadership." The Sierra Club has stated that "there is no stronger advocate in the Senate for environmental protection than John Kerry." Kerry has also received a 100 percent rating from the Humane Society of the United States.
Jobs & The Workplace

It's no accident that America has the brightest, strongest, and most skilled labor force in the world. The United States' dominance in emerging industries and the knowledge economy reflects years of investment in education and training. But maintaining American leadership will require perseverance and commitment. And for our citizens who, through no fault of their own, fall on hard times, the American government should be prepared to lend a hand to help them get back on their feet.

I have always been a strong supporter of legislative proposals to reinforce and strengthen our education and job training system. In addition, I have advocated innovative, market-based policies to improve the knowledge and skills level of our labor force, such as tax credits for technology training and a tax exclusion for employer-provided education assistance. And while I have supported efforts to ensure a meaningful minimum wage for workers, I also support coinciding tax relief to offset the additional labor costs for employers. Finally, during periods of economic downturn, it is vitally important that government step in with expanded unemployment insurance benefits for those who find themselves temporarily out of work.

Kerry's Record on Jobs...
Responsible Leadership on the Economy

The United States has embarked upon an era of global economic competition in which American companies and American workers are going head-to-head against foreign businesses and workers for market share at home and abroad. I believe the international economic race is not a sprint but a marathon; winning requires endurance. Building endurance requires first and foremost training and investment in our workers. With knowledge having surpassed capital, labor and raw materials as the key resource in the new world economy, education in the schools and in the workplace must provide American workers with the capability to create and apply new technology and the flexibility to adapt to change.

Critical investments in education and technology must be accompanied by a concerted effort to achieve high standards of budget discipline and fiscal responsibility. With our national debt now well over $5 trillion, wasteful spending must not be tolerated. Paying down the debt creates a ripple effect throughout the economy - cheaper access to credit for American businesses, lower mortgage rates for home buyers, reduced auto loan rates, and lower inflation. During the 1990s, a national commitment to deficit reduction resulted in the longest peacetime expansion in history. In the 21st century, I believe that trend should continue. The government must use its resources wisely to ensure the economy runs efficiently.

My record reflects an unwavering commitment to job creation, economic growth and deficit reduction. From my assignments on the Senate's Finance, Commerce, Foreign Relations and Small Business Committees, I have been a strong advocate for measures to strengthen budget discipline, deliver targeted tax relief to working American families, sustain investments in research and development, expand capital formation, facilitate the creation and growth of small businesses, establish free and fair international trading rules and promote the export of United States products and services. With new trends and challenges emerging daily, I will continue working to ensure that American businesses and the American workforce remain at the forefront of our global economy.

Kerry's Record on the Economy...
Building Community & Ensuring Affordable Housing

America is facing an affordable housing crisis. For thousands upon thousands of low-income families, the disabled and the elderly, the cost of privately owned housing is simply out of reach.

According to the National Housing Conference, more than 14 million working families paid more than half of their income for housing in 2001. There is not one metropolitan area in the country where a minimum wage earner can afford to pay the rent for a two-bedroom apartment. And in areas like Boston, Washington, DC, and Long Island, a worker must earn $20 or more per hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment. That means teachers, janitors, social workers, police officers and other full-time workers are struggling to afford even modest housing in cities across the nation.

I am deeply disappointed that in the face of these problems, the Bush Administration is working to dismantle many federal programs that help Americans find affordable housing. The President's 2004 budget proposes cutting $2.45 billion from housing programs and eliminating the HOPE VI program, which has helped revitalize neighborhoods around the country. These cuts come on top of an earlier Administration action to abolish the Public Housing Drug Elimination Grant program. In total, the Bush Administration's policies have assisted in the loss of more than 50,000 affordable housing units since 2000, including 25,000 for seniors and 16,000 for families with children. I opposed these actions and will continue to press for legislation to restore these important federal programs and provide working families the help they need find an affordable home.

Kerry's Record on Building Community...

Putting Children First

Ours is the wealthiest country in the world. Yet our nation's commitment to children belies our great prosperity and wealth. One in six children lives in poverty, nationally only 12 percent of families eligible for child care assistance are lucky enough to receive it, and more than 9 million children under 19 do not have health insurance.

Early childhood development has been a passion of my wife Teresa and I for years. The earliest years of life are critical in shaping every child's future learning and development. You can't achieve reform of the public school system that Americans deserve and our economy demands without providing a healthy, safe, and supportive start for all children of pre_school age. We must take an approach to early childhood development programs and child care programs that reflects what we know to be true: children who begin school lacking the ability to recognize letters, numbers, and shapes quickly fall behind their peers. Students who reach the first grade without having had the opportunity to develop cognitive or language comprehension skills begin school at a disadvantage. Children who have not had the chance to develop social and emotional skills do not begin school ready to learn. I believe it is the obligation of government to ensure that all children have the opportunity to succeed.

Kerry's Record on Putting Children First...
Kerry's Record on An Energy Policy for America's Future

There are few issues as far-reaching as energy. Every day, American families and businesses need reliable and affordable energy to power our homes, cars, schools, stores, factories and offices. Energy is important to our economy, our prosperity and our way of life. Unfortunately, energy production and consumption can degrade our air, land and water and deplete finite resources. Every day, American service men and women put their lives on the line overseas to ensure that oil can flow from the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere to the corner filling stations here in America. For these reasons, decisions we make today will greatly touch our economy, environment and security for generations. Throughout his career, Senator Kerry has fought for a balanced national energy policy that enhances our use of fossil fuel energy, promotes domestic renewable energy like solar, wind, geothermal and biomass and promotes clean energy technologies such as efficiency and fuel cells. Senator Kerry has always fought for Massachusetts families and consumers facing high energy costs today. Some of his work for Massachusetts and the nation is outlined below.


Senator Kerry has led the fight to protect America’s natural treasures including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil and gas drilling. President Bush has pledged to lease the Refuge’s coastal plain, its biological heart, to oil and gas companies. The resulting development would industrialize the Refuge and forever degrade its pristine ecosystem. Senator Kerry believes the benefits of drilling are simply too small and that the Refuge should be protected for future generations.

When the Bush Administration signaled that it may overturn a longstanding policy prohibiting oil and gas drilling off the coast of New England, and especially in the fishing ground of Georges Bank, Senator Kerry moved to strengthen that prohibition. The Senator amended the law preventing drilling to ensure New England’s coast had the same protections as other federal waters. The provision became law in 2001.


Senator Kerry and Senator John McCain put forth a bipartisan proposal to increase the fuel economy of cars and trucks sold in America to between 32 and 36 mpg by 2015. By 2020, the proposal would save 2 million barrels of oil per day, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 127 million metric tons annually, reduce smog and ozone forming pollution by 201 million kilograms annually, reduce toxic emissions by 93 million kilograms annually, and save consumers $28 billion.

Senator Kerry is a lead cosponsor of the CLEAR Act to provide tax credits to consumers who purchase advanced technology vehicles. Using hybrid, electric, fuel cell and alternative fuel technologies, these cars, trucks and buses reduce our dependence on oil, cut pollution and save consumers money. Toyota, Honda and Ford will all have hybrids in the market starting in 2003, including S.U.V.s that will achieve 40 mpg on the highway.


Senator Kerry has called for the creation of a national renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent by 2020. Under this proposal, 20 percent of all electricity produced in the United States would come from renewable sources like wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.

Senator Kerry authored an amendment to the FY2002 Budget Resolution that increased budget authority for renewable energy, energy efficiency, research and other programs to reduce air pollution and mitigate global warming. The amendment passed the Senate.


Senator Kerry has called for a balanced energy policy including significant oil and gas production. He supports the exploration and development of vast tracks of state and federal land throughout the U.S., including in Alaska, in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. For example, Alaska recently completed a lease sale of 950,000 acres on its North Slope and has plans to lease another 7 million acres. The Department of the Interior has plans to lease 3 million acres of federal land in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Some 32 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, which British Petroleum (BP) has called one of the most promising reserves in the world, have been leased but are not, yet, in production. Senator Kerry also supports federal assistance in the creation of a pipeline carrying natural gas from the oil fields of Alaska’s North Slope to the lower 48 states.

Senator Kerry authored provisions in the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act to strengthen pipeline
safety, inspection and enforcement. There have been approximately 5,700 natural gas and oil
pipeline accidents nationwide, with 54 of them occurring in Massachusetts, since 1984. The
legislation has passed the Senate and awaits House consideration.

n the winter of 2000, New England was hit by skyrocketing heating oil prices. Senator Kerry called on Energy Secretary Richardson to organize a meeting to investigate the cause and solutions. The Summit took place in Boston, where Senator Kerry, industry leaders and officials from around New England joined Secretary Richardson to gather information and press for solutions.

Senator Kerry authored the Home Heating Readiness Act, a bill to require the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress on the readiness of the heating oil and propane industries to prevent and prepare for shortages. The Senator also cosponsored the Summer Fill Act, which encouraged consumers to fill tanks when fuel is relatively less expensive in the summer months. Both bills were signed into law by President Clinton.

Senator Kerry joined other New England Senators to secure funding to assist low income families facing high energy costs. Commonly referred to as LIHEAP, the program, whose funding exceeds $1.5 billion, is used to help families make regular payments in the case of emergencies and to improve home efficiency and lower heating and cooling costs.
Senator Kerry supported the creation of a Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve to respond to localized price shocks and a "swap" from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve of 30 million barrels to respond to short market difficulties. A reserve was created and a swap took place in 2000.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Harley-hopping senator campaigns at motorocyle museum - July 20, 2003
By Mike Hlas - The Cedar Rapids Gazette

ANAMOSA -- Motorcyclists are the most common of sights here, with riders from coast to coast pulling up to the National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame.
Saturday, however, a presidential candidate took a 2003 100th Anniversary Edition Harley-Davidson V-Rod for a spin through town.

Sen. John Kerry hopped on the Harley after his campaign event in the museum Saturday afternoon. The 59-year-old Massachusetts Democrat gunned the engine and then rumbled down Main Street, pulling out of sight for a few minutes.

But rather than roar into the Iowa countryside by himself, Kerry returned the $18,000 motorcycle to the museum.

"I felt a responsibility, so I came back," quipped Kerry, who owns a Harley.

Earlier, Kerry was no easy rider when it came to discussing President Bush's policies on education, the economy and health care.

Before a crowd of about 60, Kerry criticized the president for carrying out a war in Iraq without the support of the United Nations. He called for the Bush administration to seek U.N. assistance in bringing order to post-war Iraq.

"Now I read in the front page of the New York Times that some people in the ad ministration are arguing that it would be humiliating for them to go to the United Nations and ask them to be involved," Kerry said. "I refuse to allow false pride to get in the way of protecting any one of those troops on the ground in Iraq."

Last fall, Kerry voted for the Senate resolution granting Bush the right to attack Iraq with or without the United Nations. Kerry has recently said he and all Americans were "misled" by Bush, that the president made his argument for war based on flawed intelligence.

Kerry made no direct mention of the unsubstantiated passage in Bush's January State of the Union speech accusing Iraq of seeking uranium for a nuclear weapon from Africa. He did insist that before the war he told Bush to build a coalition of nations and not rush to war.

"Because the problem was never winning the military part of it," Kerry insisted. "It was always the winning of the peace.

"They clearly had no plan to win the peace.

"I want to get the target off those troops in Iraq. I want to win the peace by internationalizing the presence in Iraq, which means we need to bring the United Nations into this. Which we should have done before we ever got going."

Kerry Wins Health Care Primary - July 23, 2003

Bipartisan Panel of Experts Say Kerry Plan to Make Health Care Accessible, Affordable for all Americans Rates Above All Other '04 Candidates

John Kerry has the best health care plan for America - please email this to five of your friends who want better health care, and we can show George W. Bush that Americans won't tolerate his health care agenda by and for the big insurance companies!!

Proving that he has the big ideas necessary to put America back on track and win the White House in 2004, Senator John Kerry beat out Democratic opponents and President Bush in a National Journal ranking of all the candidates' health care proposals.

A panel of 10 health policy professionals, representing a range of organizations from the conservative Heritage Foundation to the liberal Urban Institute, all agreed that John Kerry's plan to make health care more affordable and accessible is the best choice for doctors, health care workers, businesses, and all Americans looking for a solution to the health care crisis that has plagued our country for too long.

Kerry's plan would cover 27 million uninsured Americans and reduce premiums for everyone by 10%. With a plan that zeroes in so intensely on both the rising costs of health care and the crisis of the uninsured, it's no wonder the top experts in the health care field think Kerry's proposal is the best of the bunch!

Read the Summary from the National Journal Report...
Statement by Senator John Kerry on Liberia - July 22, 2003

John Kerry said, "The humanitarian crisis in Liberia has become even more violent and tragic over the past few days, and it requires the immediate engagement of the international community and the United States. The Bush Administration has offered no plan to help end the increasing violence in spite of the pleas of the people of Liberia and the community of nations for the United States to demonstrate leadership.

Taking act in Liberia is the right thing to do, not only because of our special historical link to the country, but because failing states pose a direct threat to our national security. If we've learned anything from watching failed states in Afghanistan turn into terrorist hotbeds, we should know that it's in our security interests to respond to the chaos in Liberia before another breeding ground for terrorism and transnational crimes is created.

We must halt this cycle of death by working in partnership with the global community, instead of turning away as the Bush Administration has done again and again."

Senator Lieberman Attacks Again

Fox News is gleefully reporting that Senator Lieberman has once again attacked Senator Kerry, Senator Edwards and Gov. Dean. This is an attempt to (I can only guess) distance himself from the other candidates by swinging to the right of the party.

As proof that politics makes strange bedfellows, I offer this link the Fox News Story.

Somewhere a few days ago, I had another post about this, but it was a different attack.
John Kerry's Agenda

This "Slate" article came out a few hours ago. Its' pretty simplistic, but these are three issues that are really part of the Core of what John Kerry is campaigning on. You can also take a look at some of the other candidates and see how you like them compared to Senator Kerry.

Click here for the 411.