Sunday, November 30, 2003

Storied Past, Golden Résumé, but Mixed Reviews for Kerry

Published: November 30, 2003

In 1971, when most of his rivals for the presidency were in college, in graduate school or just beginning ambitious but still anonymous careers, John Forbes Kerry was already a decorated combat veteran of two tours in Vietnam and such a prominent leader of the antiwar movement that "60 Minutes" profiled him and the correspondent Morley Safer asked, "Do you want to be president?"

"Of the United States?" Mr. Kerry replied. "No."

But then his face broke into a broad grin that suggested the idea had crossed his mind more than once, and he added, "That's such a crazy question at a time like this, when there are so many things that have to be done, and so many changes that have to be made, that I'm not sure you can set out and do those things and at the same time, you know, keep people as happy as you have to."

Now, after an odyssey — as a prosecutor, lieutenant governor and, for nearly 20 years, junior senator from Massachusetts — Mr. Kerry is running for president at last, and he is having trouble keeping people as happy as he has to. In an unsettled time, he has become a prisoner of the golden biography that was built to propel him. As he turns 60, he is struggling to explain the relevance of his lifetime experience, both to party insiders who have long had mixed feelings about him and to a new generation of antiwar activists for whom Vietnam is distant history.

Mr. Kerry wants it to be simple. "Gary Hart endorsed me the other day by saying, `I subscribe to the quaint notion that when somebody runs for the president of the United States, they ought to be qualified for the job,' " he told an audience in New Hampshire last month. It was a bit of nominal understatement he often uses — one that does nothing to mask a patrician undertone of disdain for both President Bush and his Democratic rivals.

But it is not simple. Having spent much of his career as a loner and an outsider, he finds himself fighting the impression that he is a quintessential Washington insider, yesterday's news.

In fact, there have always been two parallel, conflicting interpretations of John Kerry's life and career. More than most politicians, he has battled an enduring gap in perceptions: there is the circle of longtime friends and family who know and love him, and then there is a more skeptical collection of colleagues, contemporaries and critics who seem more or less persuaded that he does not add up.

Is Mr. Kerry the idealistic teenager who worshiped John F. Kennedy and the New Frontier's notion of public service? Or is he a careerist who aped the young president with the same initials, volunteering for service on a Navy patrol boat that was the Vietnam equivalent of PT-109?

Is he an indifferent legislator who used the Senate as a launching pad for high-profile investigations, or a born leader with a natural executive temperament who chafed at routines, took on thankless tasks and yearned to break free?

Is he a perpetual equivocator, who voted for the resolution authorizing war with Iraq but against the money to pay for rebuilding? Or is he attuned to the complexity of most issues and unwilling to reduce his answers to sound bites? Is he arrogant and aloof or shy and private, a thoughtful man who writes poetry and has taken up classical guitar as a way to relax?

Depending on who is doing the telling, John Kerry is all of those things.

"It takes longer than 30 seconds to explain him," said his friend Bob Kerrey, the Nebraska Democrat who spent years alongside Mr. Kerry in the Senate and is a fellow Vietnam veteran. "He's a very smart, well-read, balanced human being. You can't squeeze that into a 30-second description, and it's harder for him."

Comparing Senator Kerry's recently published letters home from Vietnam with his own, Mr. Kerrey marveled: "I'm writing home asking for food, for money. He's mapping out a world geopolitical strategy. It's phenomenal how deep his thinking goes at that stage of life. He's a man of considerable stature."


Saturday, November 29, 2003

One of my rare (hopefully VERY rare!) rants against someone on our side, against Bush.

Normally I prefer to reserve my vents for arch-right wing liar and would-be dictator, unelected "President" George Bush, and to use my other pieces in praise of our Knight-in-Shining Armor, sent to rescue us from the evil of Sauron or Vader or The Borg (Bush), John F. Kerry!

I will make rare exceptions to this policy, this being one.

In a recent message board post, this blog's owner EXCELLENTLY points out that the ultimate showdown for Dean vs. another candidate (like Kerry, my favorite, or Clark) will be between centrists and leftists.

Let me add Rational Leftists on the centrist side.

It would seem to me, that a leftist who is dominated more by their rational side than their emotional side would be much more afraid of Bush and his extreme right-wing conservatism than of any left or center candidates on the Democratic side.

As the nine or ten major candidates against Bush are all against Bush's policies as a whole, differing only on specifics, I want any one of them to be President rather than Bush. But my greatest need is not to get a specific Dem as President, but to send Bush packing.

Bush is our greatest fear, and I and at least two other people I know of have become MUCH more politically active in the last year as a result of Bush's policies. I am sure many more are to come. One just became active in the last week. When the chips are down, even though many of us are very leftist, we will not vote for the most leftist candidate. We will vote for the candidate with the most NATIONAL clout against Bush.

We will vote for John Kerry as our nominee, because we know it is Kerry that has the most national security experience, the most experience at doing what is right for Veterans, and the most principled, thoughtful methods for developing MODERATE policies that can appeal to both capitalists (tax exemptions for small business and dividends) and to progressives (more health care and education, more universally), to veterans and to peaceniks, to the elderly and to the young, to women, minorities, and small business, to the working poor and to the widows and widowers living on stock dividends.

John Kerry is the only candidate whose policies will appeal to the South (veteran's issues, originally supported Bush's war resolution until proven that we were conned), the North (stronger pro-union laws, tougher restrictions on pollution), the East (keep Bush's exemptions for stock dividends and add new exemptions for small business), the West (small business, pro-choice, 20% alternative energy by 2020, stronger health care availability especially helpful for the elderly and legal immigrants), and the Midwest (focus on wind power, which would greatly help Midwest farmers who live in the windiest states).

See?!? Dean doesn't know a thing about broad-based coalition building. Kerry does, and has been doing it at the FEDERAL level, for dozens of years. Dean has none of this experience, except at the State level.

Now, all this talk about moderation and coalition-building. Does this mean Kerry lacks backbone, that he lacks principle? Hardly! EARLY in his political career, shortly after a selfless heroic war effort, Kerry formed the Vietnam Veterans Against the War group, an anti-Vietnam war group (at a time when it was still popular to be pro-Vietnam) which later became one of America's leading organizations for Vietnam Veterans. He explains, in a logical fashion, why each of his policies has certain loopholes and restrictions. For example, he has explained that his tax plan will reverse all of Bush's tax cuts that favor only the rich, but not the ones that favor the middle class, and even add new ones, for the working poor. He explains why each cut is needed or is not needed, in order to help low-income or middle-income families or why it would only give significant help only to those making $100,000 a year or more (which he does, by the way, and his wife is extremely wealthy beyond description, so this is a VERY principled move on his part).

I have examined his tax plan thoroughly, and all I can say is: Kerry's logic checks out. His tax plan is rationally constructed, to help only those who need the help the most or who would increase hiring of other people the most. Dean's tax and foreign policy plan is illogical, and is emotionally directed against anything and everything Bush has done, regardless of who it may help or hurt or of who might be helped by placing well-thought out special exemptions for small business, the middle class, or the elderly low-income.

I agree with Kerry and Dean that 99% of what Bush has done has hurt the people. I disagree with Dean that you gain people's support by throwing out the 1% that has gone to people who needed it most. The rich, yes, they can do without the extra 10% or 20% or whatever. The middle class? No, taking 1% from them is more hurtful than taking away 20% from the rich, and I can tell you EMPHATICALLY, here in the South (and probably nation-wide, too), that 1% can and WILL cost you votes.

Dean, you are not really anti-Bush. Dean, you are really anti-logic.

JOHN KERRY is anti-Bush, is compassionate, and knows how to use logic to beat Bush and to help the people!!!

Friday, November 28, 2003

Daily Distortion #62

Wednesday, November 26

George W. Bush said:
"I twice led Congress to pass historic tax relief for the American people. We wanted tax relief to be as broad and fair as possible, so we reduced taxes on everyone who pays taxes."

When: October 16, 2003

"One million children living in military and veteran families are being denied child tax credit help" in President Bush's tax cut. "More than 260,000 of these children have parents on active military duty."
[Children's Defense Fund, 6/6/03]

Monday, November 24, 2003


Here's my coalition, which includes my first choice for President:

John Kerry for President
Sen. John Edwards for Attorney General
General Wesley Clark for Secretary of Defense
Governor Howard Dean for Secretary of Health and Human Resources
Ambassador Carol Mosely Braun for Secretary of State
Senator Joe Lieberman for Secretary of the Treasury
Congress Dennis Kucinich for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Reverand Al Sharpton for Secretary of Education

For the first time in our history we’d have a real administration with real leaders in all the important positions. But my point is:

Why doesn’t each of the candidates commit himself or herself to including all the other candidates in the government? Then, instead of having one victorious presidential candidate who has to convince the backers of the “losers” to lick wounds and join him, the whole group would start seeing the effort as a group enterprise.

After all, the name of the game is getting rid of the Bushies and getting the country back on track. If you’re all together, how can you lose?


Monday, November 24

“Another priority of the federal government will be to have a Medicare system of which we can be proud, a Medicare system that will include prescription drugs for all seniors, a Medicare system that understands that some seniors have to choose between food and medicine. That’s not our vision for the country,” Bush said.

When: November 4, 2000

Here's who will benefit from the Medicare Bill under consideration:

- The Pharmaceutical Industry: $139 Billion In Windfall Profits Over Eight Years, a 30% Profit Increase. Continues to block re-importation of safe American drugs from Canada. [Washington Post, 10/31/03; Boston University Health Reform Program, 10/31/03; Associated Press, 11/22/03]
- Private Insurance Companies: $12 Billion In Subsidies to compete with Medicare and other incentives [Associated Press, 11/22/03]
- Nursing Homes and Hospitals: “Bar Medicare from capping the amount it covers for various therapies offered by health care providers such as nursing homes.” [Washington Post, 11/22/03]
Kerry meets with Kennedy in D.C. to discuss Filibuster...

Sen. John Kerry talks with fellow Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy in Kennedy's Capitol Hill office Sunday, Nov. 23, 2003 in Washington. The two senators were talking about a potential filibuster on the Medicare legislation currently being debated in the Senate.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Kudos to the Kerry Campaign from The Left Coaster:

Sunday :: Nov 23, 2003

Kerry and Dean Begin Counterattack to RNC Ad

Either as a sign of desperation at falling poll numbers, or an attempt to test drive a theme for next year at a small cost of only $100,000, the Republican National Committee began running an ad this weekend in Iowa questioning the patriotism of Democrats who attack Bush’s war on terrorism. Although the message doesn’t go so far as calling Democrats unpatriotic for attacking Bush for his alleged war on terror, the basic message is that the Democrats are wrong for attacking a president who is fighting a war on terror....

Democrats on the weekend chatfests went on the attack against the ad, and John McCain regrettably defended the ad.

And Sen. Ted Kennedy, appearing with McCain on "This Week," said the ad was "an attempt to stifle dissent." "They are basically in this ad saying if you're questioning this policy, you're against the war on terror," the Massachusetts Democrat said. "That's wrong."...

But in a particularly impressive example of quick response media, both the Howard Dean and John Kerry campaigns already have response ads rolling out against the ad and the Bush campaign as early as tomorrow in Iowa. No other campaigns appear to be as quick to the draw as the Dean and Kerry camps, and better still, the Kerry campaign already has their ad posted to their website tonight.

Good for them, and the Kerry ad is pretty damn good to boot.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Kerry Lays Out 100-Day White House Plan

By HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press Writer

LACONIA, N.H. - Democrat John Kerry, acknowledging that his quest for the presidency has been "a difficult humbling experience," sought Friday to regain his political footing with a blueprint for his first 100 days in the White House.

The Massachusetts lawmaker, who squandered a lead in this critical early voting state, cast President Bush as out of touch with ordinary Americans and portrayed himself as the best qualified Democratic alternative.

"What George Bush has given all these people — and so many others — is a raw deal," Kerry said as he promised to fight for veterans, parents, business owners and people needing health care. "He's favored tax cuts for the wealthy and special favors for the special interests over what's fair for middle-class Americans."

Kerry started his campaign as the presumptive front-runner, but he quickly was overtaken by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in New Hampshire, which holds the first binding primary Jan. 27. In Iowa, where Democrats caucus Jan. 19, Dean is tied with Rep. Dick Gephardt, but Kerry is close behind in most polls.

Continue reading the story.....

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry criticizes President Bush and accuses him of siding with pharmaceutical and insurance companies in a new television ad that began airing Thursday in New Hampshire.

"George Bush believes that what's good for the drug companies and insurance industries is good for America, and he's wrong," the Massachusetts senator tells a group of people in the ad.

Watch the Ad here....

Media Player 56K
Media Player DSL
Real Player 56K
Real Player DSL

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry speaks at a breakfast meeting of the Capital Tiger Bay Club, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

"I will not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in America, and I will not raise taxes on the middle class." - John Kerry

November 18, 2003 - Slate Magazine - by William Saletan

If you rely on the major newspapers, you probably learned just two things about Saturday night's Iowa Democratic Party presidential forum: Howard Dean was attacked, and Hillary Clinton overshadowed the candidates. That's a shame. We journalists allowed our boredom and biases to distract us from what voters need to know. We shouldn't have written about Dean and Clinton. We should have written about John Kerry and Dennis Kucinich.

Last week, I made fun of Kerry's campaign shakeup and his promises of a new theme. Saturday night, he unveiled that theme, and you know what? It's terrific. On a series of issues, Kerry contrasted President Bush's promises with what Bush has delivered, leading the crowd in a refrain against each "raw deal." With a nod to FDR, Kerry promised a "real deal, where we stand up and fight for working people … where we make our economy an economy that's based on people and products."

The word "real" was explicitly aimed at Bush, whom Kerry accused of playing "dress-up" in his famous celebration of victory in Iraq. "I know something about aircraft carriers for real," said Kerry. "If George Bush wants to make national security the issue of this campaign, then I have three words for him that I know he understands: Bring it on!" Kerry's supporters took up the chant, but Kerry made clear that his message also targeted Dean: "We are a Democratic Party that offers real solutions, real leaders—the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, and Bill Clinton. … We need to offer answers, not just anger. We need to offer solutions, not just slogans. So, Iowa, don't just send them a message next January. Send them a president."

This is what Kerry's message should be, because it's who he is. He's the guy to whom battlefield bloodshed is real and foreign policy isn't a foreign language. It's what distinguishes him—now that Wes Clark has bowed out—from every other contender in Iowa. Kerry isn't pretending to be the guy who makes your heart race. He's saying, go ahead and have your fling, but when it's time to marry, you know who to count on.

The other guy standing in Kerry's way is Dick Gephardt. Today's Los Angeles Times treats Iowa as a two-man contest, asking, "Will Dean's Passion Trump Gephardt's Wallet Issues?" It's an odd concession, given that both Dean and Gephardt would repeal the parts of the Bush tax cuts that benefit the middle class. Even in a Democratic caucus, a third candidate should be able to make headway by hammering the front-runners on this issue. That's what Kerry did Saturday. "I will not balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable people in America, and I will not raise taxes on the middle class," he pledged. Embarrassingly—for us, not for Kerry—not a single newspaper in the Nexis or Factiva database ran that quote.

The other guy who deserved attention for his speech Saturday night was Kucinich. I've ragged on him almost as much as I have on Kerry. But while Gephardt and Kerry criticized Bush's Iraq policy on the grounds that it was hurting American standing in the world, Kucinich pointed out the policy's human cost, as opposed to its political one. Hours before the candidates spoke, the wires reported that U.S. forces had suffered their most deadly incident of the war. Yet the only thing Gephardt managed to say about Bush's policy was, "We're losing our allies by the day." Kucinich addressed the day's horrors more directly. He opened his speech by recalling his visits as a newspaper copy boy to families who had lost their sons in Vietnam.

Kucinich also showed more courage on trade policy. Gephardt usually talks about NAFTA in his speeches. He points out that he stood up to President Clinton on that issue. Not this time. With Sen. Clinton introducing the candidates—reading introductions their staffs had written—Gephardt omitted NAFTA from both his speech and his introduction. Kucinich, on the other hand, forced Sen. Clinton to introduce him as "the only candidate … who pledges to cancel NAFTA and WTO as his first act in office." That was as much of an affront as Kucinich was prepared to deliver. In his speech, he proclaimed, "This is the moment when we should be calling for … an America where a president will say, as I will say, I will cancel—I will work to achieve an America which works with the world community." Anyone who has followed Kucinich knows which word was going to follow "cancel" until he caught himself: NAFTA.

The most interesting thing about Dean's speech was his extensive recollection of the civil rights movement. This is becoming a staple of Dean's stump speech. He didn't add it till he got in trouble for appealing to voters who display Confederate flag decals. It's an adjustment, and that's fine. But while he's in the business of adjusting, Dean might want to stop saying of Bush, as he did again Saturday night, "The word quota … is a race-coded word." Nobody who uses the phrase "Confederate flag" to attract the support of white racists has any business complaining about somebody else using the word "quota."

Speaking of gaffes, did you catch John Edwards' boast that "no one is better prepared" to be president? And did you notice the reference to his dead son in his introduction? Edwards' "first child, Wade, died in 1996," said Sen. Clinton, reading from the text Edwards' campaign had given her. That's the first time I've heard Edwards bring up his family tragedy on the campaign trail. I wonder whether the reference was an accident or whether the publication of his book signals a new willingness to talk about his loss.

From the standpoint of the general election, the two most significant moments in this forum went overlooked by the media. The first was the singing of the national anthem, which was performed by the Des Moines Gay Men's Chorus. I'm a card-carrying advocate of gay civil rights and gay marriage, but for the millions of Americans who aren't there yet, entrusting the national anthem to a group of guys in black turtlenecks and neatly trimmed beards is way too in-your-face. It conveys a blindness to cultural reality that bodes ill for the Democratic Party in the red states.

The other revealing moment was Edwards' pledge to create 5 million jobs in the first two years of his presidency. Any presidential candidate knows it takes more than two years to enact an economic policy and see it produce results of that size. In other words, the pledge doesn't reflect Edwards' confidence that he can grow those jobs. It reflects his confidence that the economy will grow those jobs anyway. I don't suppose he'll credit them to the president whose policies are already in effect.

Monday, November 17, 2003


The stronger a candidate's showing in the early primaries, the better her/his chances of getting to the General Election against BUSH!!!

If you dislike Bush's policies, his dishonesty, his rampant disregard for the needs and wishes of YOU and all AMERICANS, PLEASE help John Kerry win the early primaries!


Depending on your available time and resources between now and January 27, it could be as extravagant as making a trip to IA or NH (take plenty of heavy layers!!!) or as simple as making a few phone calls from the warmth of your home.

You may give time, money or both, a little or a lot, depending on what you have.

Many options available:


DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF VACATION SAVED AT WORK?!? I know many people who do, myself included. Why not spend two weeks of it, one week where you and your spouse/domestic partner/children want to go (so they won't complain!) and one in Iowa or New Hampshire? The one in IA or NH won't be as much fun as the one in Maui. BUT IT WILL BE JUST AS EXCITING!

Saturday, November 15

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

When: March 17, 2003

What Bush claimed were weapons were weather balloons:

“Engineering experts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have come to believe that the most likely use for two mysterious trailers found in Iraq was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons rather than to make biological weapons, government officials say. The State Department's intelligence branch, which was not invited to take part in the initial review, disputed the findings in a memorandum on June 2. The fact that American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence were disputing the claims included in the C.I.A. white paper was first reported in June, along with the analysts' concern that the evaluation of the mobile units had been marred by a rush to judgment." --NYT, 08.09.03

Sunday, November 16, 2003


Clinton did not endorse any of the candidates, nor did she drop hints about which one she prefers to win the nomination. And her speech was notably lacking in the self-deprecating humor that she often includes in her prepared addresses.

The most rousing speakers were Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry and the front-runner in the race, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

In his speech, Kerry mocked President Bush for posing on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS. Abraham Lincoln in front of a sign reading “Mission Accomplished.”

He “thought we wouldn’t notice that the troops are dying every day,” Kerry shouted.

Kerry contended that Bush “has shown that he does not have the experience to be commander-in-chief.”

He added, “If George Bush wants to make national security the issue in this campaign, I have three words for him that I know he will understand: Bring it on!” — a jibe at Bush for taunting Iraqi terrorists two months ago.

Kerry also offered a dig at Dean, whose candidacy has tapped rank-and-file Democrats’ ire at Bush and at congressional Democrats who supported him on the issues of tax cuts and the war in Iraq.

We need to offer answers — not just anger,” Kerry declared.

North Carolina Sen. John Edwards also seemed to have Dean in mind when he said in his speech, “If we are the party of anger in 2004, we will not win.”

But Dean was unapologetic, continuing to denounce the Democratic leaders in Congress for not standing up to Bush on Iraq and on education policy...

Dean's speech leaves me wondering once again who will be running our country with Dean in office (so many things Dean says he will leave at the State level and now this) ...

“This election is not about electing Howard Dean president of the United States,” he said. “This election is about electing us president of the United States, we are all in this together.” ...

Does This mean WE can all move to the White House?

He told the crowd, “You have the power to take back this party and make it stand for something again!” — another dig at Gephardt and other congressional Democrats.

At the end of his speech, in a stentorian voice, Dean shouted the phrase “You have the power!” 14 times.

WE heard you the first time!


Let me repeat myself, one more time:


Saturday, November 15, 2003

"The Real Deal":

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry, center, plays ice hockey with city of Des Moines, Iowa, fire fighters in Urbandale, Iowa, November 15, 2003.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry wipes away sweat while talking with reporters after playing ice hockey with city of Des Moines, Iowa fire fighters in Urbandale, Iowa, November 15, 2003.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry talkes with reporters after playing ice hockey with city of Des Moines, Iowa fire fighters in Urbandale, Iowa, November 15, 2003.

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry, center, poses for a team photo after playing in a hockey game with Des Moines firefighters, Saturday Nov. 15, 2003, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
John Kerry is "THE REAL DEAL"!!!!!

Wonderful read...

"I'm told deer hang out here," says Sen. John Kerry, pointing toward the banks of the Merrimack River, where just now the fog is lifting. Cameramen crowd the narrow trail behind him, tripping over the loose vines. Still, Kerry is determined to carve out a contemplative space: "I imagine if you come down here when it's quiet, it must be really beautiful," he tells a local environmentalist. Then for a long time, he turns around and stares out onto the river, so that in photos of the event he appears to be alone.

At their most painful, presidential campaigns can be an occasion for a public identity crisis. How one weathers these moments depends on the candidate's personality. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), who lately announces a campaign relaunch just about every month, keeps a vaudeville good humor about it: A Joevember to Remember! Operation Liebermania!

Kerry, with his doleful brow, his old-man-of-the-mountain profile, does not wear the upheavals lightly. As a soldier in Vietnam he retreated to his typewriter to express his ambivalence about the war. Last Sunday evening, just before he announced he had fired his campaign manager and unleashed a week of headlines about where his campaign had gone wrong, Kerry was spotted walking in Boston Common at night, alone. (He says it was early evening, and his wife was with him.)

"Kerry thinks a lot," says David Leiter, a former chief of staff. "Some people say he is too thoughtful. But I want that in a president."

Last spring Kerry was atop the polls in New Hampshire by double digits. As a senator for 19 years from neighboring Massachusetts, he was a household name in southern New Hampshire, where 75 percent of the state's voters live, where many people are Boston transplants and where nearly everyone watches Boston TV. Howard Dean, the former governor of Vermont, was a nobody. Dean is now leading Kerry by 14 points.

Read more here...
John Kerry is "THE REAL DEAL"!

Kerry unveiled a new slogan for his candidacy -- "the real deal" -- designed to draw an implicit contrast with Dean, and Kerry said he will demonstrate that he is more electable than Dean or any of his other rivals.

"It's time for us to get serious in this party and pick somebody who can win and take back the White House, and I'm that person," Kerry told reporters at a local ice rink after a game of hockey with local firefighters.
It's all about the issues and communication...

The Kerry campaign broke the internet mold last week launching a new Internet Town Meeting! In just 7 days the John Kerry Internet Town Meeting has become the hot page on

Why is it so hot over over there... It's all about the issues and communication! Kerry supporters are like their candidate, strong on the issues and hot debaters! Just take a gander at the topics and you'll see something no other Democratic candidate is offering on the internet, a place to discuss the meat and potatoes of the race for the 2004 White House.

This was a bold move for the Kerry campaign and it has been well received by Kerry supporters and supporters of the other candidates as well. Among the hot topics of discussion are "Fighting for America's Veterans", "Iraq and Foreign Policy", Kerry On Women's Issues, Blog Topics, Campaign News and the ever popular Open Discussion.

Granted I am a bit biased about the John Kerry Internet Town Meeting, I have been a volunteer for the Kerry campaign for a few months now and I am considered to be very vocal in my support for John Kerry. However, sometimes someone comes along who just knows how to build a better mousetrap... or in this case a better web site!
An interesting view....

Swords Into Plowshares
By David Brooks, Published: November 15, 2003 - The New York Times

I've been waiting for one of the trailing Democratic presidential candidates to give the following speech. Since none have, I'm offering it to them, free of charge:

My fellow Democrats, it's good to be back in New Hampshire today. But I'd like to throw away my stump speech and talk honestly about the state of this campaign.

I am losing. Howard Dean is crushing me. He has money. He has a movement. And he's had one other big advantage: no opposition.

From the moment his campaign took off, the rest of us contenders tried to mimic his success. We ratcheted up our attacks on the Bush administration. We became more combative. We attacked the war in Iraq. In short, we've tried to be better Howard Deans than Howard Dean. The results have been pathetic.

Oh sure, we sniped at him at times. We pointed out his flip-flops and his gaffes. But Dean's core strength is that he is tough enough to stand up to the Republicans. His supporters don't care if he's flip-flopped on issues or if he makes a gaffe or two. They just want to know he can take on Karl Rove.

Howard Dean is liberal aggression, and none of us have ever taken that on until today. But now I am relaunching my campaign around one simple slogan: Stop the War.

I don't mean the war in Iraq. I mean the war at home. I mean the partisan war between Republicans and Democrats that rages every day in Washington and produces behavior that would be unacceptable in any other arena of life. I mean the war that poisons our airwaves, clogs up our best-seller lists and stagnates our politics.

I've lived at the front: it's in Washington, D.C. This is World War I. Each party has its trench works. Each party has its heavy artillery. Anybody who dares wander from the predictable party lines and do something unorthodox gets his head blown off.

Nothing ever changes.

If Dean is our nominee, he may fight the Beltway wars more aggressively than other Democrats, but we will still be a nation at war. I have seen Dean up close. The man hates his opponents. His kind thrives only during times of domestic war.

If we nominate Dean, it will be bad for our party and bad for our country. It will be bad for our party because 40 percent of the voters in this nation call themselves moderates.

If we nominate Dean, George Bush will have a good shot at winning a large chunk of those votes. That's disgraceful after the partisan way George Bush has led this country. But it will be our fault because we nominated someone just as partisan on the other side.

But suppose Dean does win the White House. He'll propose some good legislation. I'll support it, but it will never get passed. Because each party will still be down in its trenches, and nothing will move except the bouncing of the rubble and the writhing of the wounded.

We've all seen the Dean style. If he is elected, we will be a nation at war every second of his term. I don't even want to think about what our country would be like after four years of that.

Remember when George Bush used to say he was going to change the tone in Washington? He lied about that. He couldn't even reach out to Jim Jeffords, a moderate in his own party. He was never going to reach out to Democrats. He is too intellectually insecure. He can't handle people who disagree with him, so he retreats into the cocoon of the like-minded.

I'm opting out of the game of tit for tat. I'm going to get us out of the trenches.

If I do nothing else in the Oval Office, I will free people to build new coalitions, explore new ideas and talk to one another for the first time in a decade.

This is an evenly divided country. That is the political fact of our time. It is about time we had a president who understands that, who has a strategy for governing in such circumstances. Howard Dean and George Bush do not. They just want to pound away and pound away and ram things through. More artillery, more troops, more screaming and more hatred.

As for me, I say no more war. I'm for movement. I'm for progress, and if you are, too, come along with me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

An interesting view from the "Right"...

Dean: Opting Out . . .
By George F. Will

Which brings us to Howard Dean's decision, made after an East German-style plebiscite among his faithful, to forgo government funding of his campaign for the Democratic nomination, thereby escaping spending limits. He will rely on the voluntary contributions of people who agree with him. What a concept.

Dean's sensible and entirely self-interested decision means he knows he can get more money on his own than he can from the government. He has discovered the obvious: The government, by its restrictions on the amounts and conduits of political giving, has turned something that exists in wild abundance in America -- money -- into a scarcity (as the postwar Labor government did with coal and fish).

The Internet has, as technology often does, raced ahead, leaving the creaking, clanking machinery of government regulation looking anachronistic. Dean is redundant proof of what opponents of campaign finance limits have always argued: Money validates strength more than it creates strength. That is, Dean is not attracting supporters because he has money, he is attracting money because he has supporters.

Campaign finance reformers have three premises: There is "too much" money in politics. Money is corrupting. And when government limits the amount, timing and content of paid political communication, it does not limit freedom of speech.

Too much money? John Kerry, praising the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, noted with dismay that "$3 billion was spent" on politics in 2000. Actually, that sum was spent on all federal elections in the 1999-2000 election cycle. Which means that in those two years Americans spent about half as much on the selection of a president, 435 members of the House of Representatives and 34 senators -- on democracy, that is -- as they spent on chewing gum.

Dean says his money cannot be corrupting. This is not just because his supporters are, of course, all altruistic but because much of it comes in small amounts. The average Dean contribution is $77. The average Bush contribution is $283.

Dean will derive a huge cash value, measured in many millions of dollars, from support he will get from just two immense interests that endorse him, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. But Dean, like most rhetorical supporters of limits on campaign spending, is an adjective fetishist. He is not offended by political participation through giving by interests, only by "special" interests.

There may be more moral vanity in Howard Dean than in any politician since Woodrow Wilson, which is why Dean is incapable of admitting that he has ever been wrong or changed his mind (about Medicare cuts, raising the retirement age, NAFTA, basing affirmative action on class rather than race, etc.). So now he says that unless he abandons public financing, his money will be gone when the primaries are over. Then Bush could spend to speak to the nation all summer, while he, Dean, would fall silent until after the Democratic convention, when he would get a fresh infusion of public money.

But notice that Dean's argument concedes what campaign finance regulators deny -- that money is tantamount to speech, and therefore limits on political money limit political speech. Note also that Dean refuses to limit the spending of his privately raised money in the primaries to the amount that his publicly financed rivals will be spending. Obviously his decision to rely on private money is motivated not just by fear of Bush after the primaries but also by his desire to outspend his rivals in primaries.

John Kerry, who married piles of money, may now decide to spend it. That decision is, legally and morally, between him and wife and is no one else's business. His spending will finance what he and other reformers say restrictions on political money do not restrict: speech. Good for him.

And it will be good for democracy if the Supreme Court is watching all this while it ponders the constitutionality of the McCain-Feingold campaign regulations.

DAILY DISTORTION #76 from the Kerry Campaign

Wednesday, November 12

"Dad and I will be the first two Environmental presidents"

When: October 3, 2000

Bush Suppressed Information on Climate Change: Bush Administration suppressed scientific information about climate change from a key Environmental Protection Agency report. The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tail-pipe emissions and could threaten health and ecosystems. [New York Times, 6/19/2003]

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Kerry Urges Administration to Promote Small Business Reservist Loan Program
Tue Nov 11, 5:44 PM ET

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today sent a letter to SBA Administrator Hector Barreto asking him to do more to promote the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan (MREIDL) program.

"Our reserve forces are carrying heavy burdens both at home and in the field," Kerry wrote. "Many reservists have been called up far longer than expected -- putting a severe strain on them, their families, and their small-business employers. I want to be sure our reservists and the small businesses that employ them know we are doing our utmost to minimize their financial worries."

In the letter, Kerry also urged Barreto to support the Small Business Military Reservist Tax Credit Act (S.1595), which Kerry introduced in September. This bill complements the MREIDL program by providing a tax credit to small businesses that make up the difference in pay for reservist employees called up and for hiring a temporary replacement.

"For small business owners, active service can be very disruptive when their reservist employees are suddenly called away from their families and jobs to serve our country," Kerry said. "We need to help these men and women and their businesses bridge the productivity and financial gap between troop deployment and the reservists' return to work."

The MREIDL program was introduced by Kerry in 1999 -- and enacted under Public Law 106-50, the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act -- to assist the thousands of small businesses that suffer when reservist employees are deployed.

Kerry to begin airing new ads in New Hampshire...

Sen. John Kerry's campaign said Monday that it will begin running new telivision ads that will portray Kerry as the candidate most ready to take on President Bush in the general election.

The ads are scheduled to begin airing Tuesday and will run in rotation with ads the campaign already has on the air.

View the Ad on Windows Media Player!

All of a sudden, John Kerry starts swinging
By Alex Beam
Globe Columnist, 11/11/2003

Call it John Kerry's last stand.

There are 77 days left until the New Hampshire primary, and, even with the Thanksgiving to New Year's blur, that is more than enough time for the junior senator from Massachusetts to overtake former Vermont governor Howard Dean in the Granite State polls. (continues)

Great news, right? OK, John...start swinging, and aim for the fences!!

Monday, November 10, 2003


Monday, November 10


“Seeing the care that these troops get is comforting for me and Laura. We should and must provide the best care for anybody who is willing to put their life in harm's way.”

George W. Bush on June 24, 2003

The President made these comments on the same day that his Administration announced it was cutting off access to its health care system for approximately 164,000 veterans. The Administration also is pushing a cut of $1.5 billion in military housing/medical facility funding, despite the fact that UPI reports “hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait - sometimes for months - to see doctors.”

John Kerry has been sending 99 of these daily distortions by George W. Bush to his past contributors or email requesters. I tried to find the link for anyone to look at on his website, but couldn't find it. Can anyone help me out here? Anyone can comment to my post.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Visit the new Forum at!

Welcome to the John Kerry Internet Town Meeting. This is your opportunity to participate in a nationwide discussion of the issues facing our country.
We call all Americans to raise their voices against special interests and stand up for our democracy.

It was this fight for democracy that Benjamin Franklin had in mind when he answered a Philadelphia woman who asked him what the Constitutional Convention had created: "A Republic, if you can keep it."

Welcome to the meeting!

Saturday, November 08, 2003

John Kerry will be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Tuesday, November 11th. Attend the show and show your support of John Kerry for President.

You can get Free Tickets the morning of the show (8:00 a.m.) at the NBC Box Office:
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno/Box Office
3000 W. Alameda Ave.
Burbank, CA 91523

All available Free Tickets are distributed to the public on a first come, first served (2) tickets per person basis the day of the show.

For more info about attending the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, click here.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Howard Dean, an "In Your Face" Sort of Candidate:

Photo from The Washington Post

In "Dean Apologizes for Remarks on Rebel Flag" by Jodi Wilgoren, Howard Dean says: "When people get in my face, I tend to get in theirs,”... "Al Sharpton was in my face last night and I was not going to step one step, half a step, backwards, and I don't care who's in my face." "I tend to be reflective rather later than sooner,"... "Now, unfortunately, we all know that nobody's personality is perfect. So the things that make me a strong candidate are also my Achilles’ heel."

These are not attributes of a sound Presidential candidate. If elected, I fear confrontations Dean might have with volatile leaders from other countries. How can the American public trust this candidate to “sit down at the table” with any foreign powers, with this propensity to “shoot from the lip.” A “strong candidate”, a strong leader thinks before he speaks.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Presidential candidates to speak on Agriculture, Rural issues

Four major Democratic presidential candidates have confirmed they will participate in the National Summit on Agriculture and Rural Life on November 15, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, in Des Moines, Iowa. The event is hosted by the League of Rural Voters and sponsored by KUNI Radio. Senator John Kerry, Governor Howard Dean, Representative Richard Gephardt and Representative Dennis Kucinich have all said they will speak during the event's afternoon plenary session.

The League of Rural Voters and a host of other rural advocacy groups have organized the Summit to showcase new and necessary directions in rural economic policy. The morning program will feature workshops centered on agriculture, environment, trade and rural development policy.
From tonight's Planned Parenthood Forum:

Dean and John Kerry did get into one typical debate-night tangle. After Dean suggested that Saudi Arabia could face sanctions for ties to terrorism, the Massachusetts senator replied, "Before you shoot from the hip and go off sanctioning Saudi Arabia ... it would be a good idea since they have 46 percent of the world's petroleum and we import 60 percent of it to know what the alternatives to our economy will be."

Al Sharpton wants to party with John Kerry's wife

A lighter note from CNN's Rock the Vote debate, November 4:

Boston-AP -- Al Sharpton may be a minister, but Senator John Kerry still doesn't want him to get too cozy with Kerry's wife.

Democratic presidential candidates were asked by one of the young people at a Boston debate last night who they'd most like to "party with."

Al Sharpton said he'd like to hang out with Kerry's wife -- Teresa Heinz Kerry. So Kerry anwered the question by picking Sharpton. He says that's so he "can keep an eye on" his wife.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich also picked Sharpton.

Senator Joe Lieberman said he'd "like to party with the young lady who asked that question."

By the way -- it was Teresa Heinz Kerry who was quoted by The Boston Herald yesterday as saying these debates are "silly."

Eight candidates squared off in the Rock the Vote debate aired on CNN last night.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Dean's attacks hurting party, Smith claims
LES BLUMENTHAL; The News Tribune

WASHINGTON - Congressmen don't normally get involved in presidential politics this early, but Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma says former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and his activist supporters are threatening to tear the Democratic Party apart and ensure the re-election of President Bush.

"I don't think it cuts in our favor if the electorate sees a frothing-at-the-mouth Democratic Party," Smith said.

Both in an interview and a guest column in the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, Smith said Dean has used "shameless opportunism" and "wedge politics" to divide the Democratic Party and fashion a message that could keep Bush in the White House and leave Republicans in control of Congress.

Smith said Dean has emerged as the leader for the Democratic presidential nomination by vilifying his opponents as "cockroaches" and denouncing their politics as "Bush lite."

"Dean needs to retool his strategy and stop pitting one part of the party against the other," Smith said.

Smith is one of the few members of Congress to have endorsed a presidential candidate and one of only two Democrats from Washington state. Smith announced his support for John Kerry months ago and has campaigned for the Massachusetts senator in Iowa.

Read the rest here, and comment!
Kerry hits Bush hard on war
Copyright © 2002 The Quad-City Times |
By Ed Tibbetts

After calling for a moment of silence to honor the members of a Davenport-based Iowa National Guard unit who were injured in a helicopter attack in Iraq, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry blamed President Bush for the status of the American war effort there.

At the same time, he said the United States should seek a broader role for the United Nations in the war. Kerry was in Davenport on Sunday night for a meeting with about 75 people at Union Station. It was his second stop in the Quad-Cities over the past two weeks.

Kerry, a Vietnam War veteran, supported the resolution authorizing war in Iraq but since has become a stern critic of the Bush administration’s war effort there. And as he did on his visit here two weeks ago, the Massachusetts senator spent a good deal of his time talking about the Iraq war and where he believes the administration went wrong.

Kerry said the United Nations was prepared to act in Iraq, but that the administration pushed too quickly for war, before the world community was ready.

“They were prepared to do what was necessary,” Kerry said. “They just didn’t think it was necessary then.” Kerry went on to say the situation in Iraq should be laid at the president’s door. “What we are witnessing today is the fault of George W. Bush,” he said.

Read the rest of the article here....

Keep the pressure on them, John! Continue to hit Bush hard for this war – that’s the ONLY place the criticism belongs. They’re running scared, because they know you’re right!