Tuesday, August 31, 2004

'We Can, We Must' Win Terror War

Kerry: 'We Can, We Must' Win Terror War

By Nedra Pickler, Associated Press Writer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, seizing on President Bush's suggestion that victory in the war on terrorism might not be possible, declared Tuesday that "we can, we must and we will win the war on terror."

Kerry told about 1,000 people gathered at a late-night airport rally that he would fight a smarter, more effective war by bringing in help from allies who have been opposed to Bush's military leadership.

Kerry said he has not been watching the Republican National Convention on television this week, but he has been reading coverage of it in the newspaper.

"All they're talking about is the war on terror, which the president yesterday said he doesn't think we can win," Kerry said in his first campaign appearance since the beginning of the convention. "Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you something: We can, we must and we will win the war on terror."

Bush said in an interview aired Monday on NBC's "Today" show that he didn't think the war on terror is winnable. On Tuesday, he told the American Legion that "we may never sit down at a peace table, but make no mistake about it, we are winning and we will win."

Kerry was to address the American Legion, the nation's largest veterans organization, on Wednesday. He planned to use the speech to spell out what he sees as Bush's miscalculations on the war on terror and declare that he has the best plan to win, said Kerry adviser Joe Lockhart.
"When the president admits that he's not confident they can win the war on terror, that's what people in politics call a problem," Lockhart said.

Kerry Blogger "tennesseeanforkerry", who was at the late-night rally reported this on the Kerry Blog 1:23 AM:

"Great speech by Kerry this evening before 2000 people standing crammed into a hangar at the Nashville airport. It all began with the wonderful sight of the campaign plane pulling into view the wide open front doors of the hangar where people had been standing for 2 hours. Tremendous cheers came from the crowd as Kerry descended the onto the tarmac and walked into the hangar, greeting a score of local veterans along the way. "

"The stage was complete with the leaders of the Tennessee Democratic party starting with Governor Bredesen, Congressmen Cooper, Gordon, and Ford, and Mayor Purcell of Nashville. A surprise treat was the appearence of John Glenn who looked like he could still fly in a Mercury capsule. And just like Glenn, John Kerry proved that he too has "the right stuff"."

Sunday, August 29, 2004

80 Questions for George W. Bush

On the eve of the Republican National Convention is New York City, a few Kerry Bloggers have posed the following questions for George W. Bush:

1. Why is it that you did not inform congress of the CBO's estimate that the Medicare bill was going to cost more than you promised even your own congress? (They had set a limit)
2. Why did you sign it months before you told anyone it would cost more?
3. Why did Cheney choose to fight to hold on to his energy meeting records, right up to the Supreme Court?
4. How many secrets of what you have done, are we going to discover after you have departed?
5. What joy have you brought to this world? Our people are booed at the Olympics-Powell could not even go there...The world despises us, the middle glass is mired in debt, there is more poverty, less education, less first responders, less security (except for you and congresses shelter) less of everything. You have almost succeeded in ripping the hope from the hopeful in America.
6. How much does a gallon of milk cost?
7. How many total deaths & casualties in Iraq war? (U.S.Coalition/Iraqi/Journalists/Workers)
8. If you knew then what you know now, would you have invaded Iraq?
9. Did you foresee the Iraq war costing 200 billion dollars and thousands of American soldier’s lives & limbs?
10. Do you know who exposed Valerie Plame as an undercover agent?
11. What is the percentage of earnings a working class family pays for housing? Food? Healthcare?
12. What is the effect of healthcare costs on the economy? Employment?
13. Would you advise your daughters and nephews to enlist for service in Iraq? Have you?
14. Now that you have liberated Iraq, will you support their desire for a Fundamentalist government?
15. Why did the lucrative school testing contracts, which are the main part funded from the "No Child Left Behind" bill, get passed along to your cronies?
16. Can you bring us up to date on the Enron investigation?
17. Can you bring us up to date on the Halliburton investigation?
18. Can you bring us up to date on the Harken investigation?
19. Recently, a Fox News reporter was fired for refusing to report a lie. She sued for wrongful termination, but on appeal, the courts held that the United States has no law that requires news to be true. Do you support this opinion?
20. Your father has had several skin lesions removed from his face. Why do you oppose environmental legislation that would reduce skin cancer rates?
21. Do you believe that certain parts of the Constitution are outdated?
22. How many convicted felons are currently serving in your administration?
23. In your State of the Union speech, you stated that the presence of "25,000 liters of anthrax ... 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin ... materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent ... upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents" posed an imminent threat to this nation.
24. Where are the WMD?
25. How did you get your position in the TANG considering your extremely low test score?
26. And to follow-up, how did you get an Honorable Discharge when you failed to complete your service?
27. Who short sold United and American right before 9-11?
28. After Andrew Card notified you on 9-11 that America was under attack, why did you spend almost 20 minutes reading a story about a pet goat?
29. How do you plan to balance the social services spending in Iraq vs. in the United States?
30. Your first round of tax cuts resulted in a loss of over 2 million jobs. You promise your next tax cut will create 1 million new jobs. Can you do the math?
31. Three times, you have stated that it would be easier if you were a dictator. Why do you think that's funny?
32. What possessed you to use the 9/11 national tragedy as a punch line in your 'Trifecta' joke? And to follow up, why did your partisan republican audiences laugh with you?
33. Why did you ask the president of Brazil if there are any blacks there?
34. Why did your administration lobby Tom Daschle to drop the investigation of 9-11?
35. Why haven't you let the public see the 800-page 9-11 investigation report?
36. Are you actually afraid of Helen Thomas?
37. When Florida was called for Gore, why did you insist that results were going to change?
38. How do you explain the worldwide animosity America now faces? Would you agree that the sentiment is more anti-Bush than anti-America?
39. Why didn't you take steps to protect the hospitals, museums and nuclear power plants in Iraq?
40. Where is Saddam Hussein?
41. Where is Osama bin Laden?
42. Why didn't you remove any doubt about your presidency by demanding a full recount of the Florida vote?
43. If universal healthcare is important for Iraq, why not here?
44. Will you take the tests that you require schoolchildren to pass?
45. Why did you tell the FBI to back off the bin Laden family?
46. You know that your National Security Advisor lied about the possibility of commercial aircraft being used as weapons. Why didn't you fire her?
47. How many federal employees were fired following the catastrophic intelligence failures on 9/11?
48. What will you do to make sure elections are properly audited in the next election?
49. Why did you and Secretary of State Colin Powell cite a forged document as evidence of Iraq's alleged nuclear program?
50. Can you explain why did NORAD deviated from Standard Operating Procedure on the morning of 9-11, failing to scramble jets? If not, can you tell us the status of that investigation?
51. Why did your spokesperson deny that you were drafting a second Domestic Security Enhancement bill (Patriot Act II)?
52. With Homeland Security initiatives like First Responders being under-funded, how do you reason that creating more foreign enemies is making us any safer?
53. Can you explain why $50 million allocated to investigate the Columbia Shuttle disaster, yet only $3 million was allocated to investigate 9-11?
54. Why has your Justice Department consistently refused to supply information to Congress on how the USA PATRIOT Act is being implemented, especially in light of the fact that passage of the act was conditional upon adequate oversight by Congress? 55. Why are you so obsessed with secrecy? Do you have something to hide?
56. Why did you renege on your campaign promise to support the Kyoto Treaty on global warming?
57. Why did you fail to fund your "Leave No Child Behind" initiative?
58. Where were you, Mr. Bush, between 1972 and 1973 when you were supposed to be in the national guard?
59. How do you justify the budget cuts for veterans benefits at precisely the time you are ramping up the military for permanent war?
60. Is it true that you are recruiting soldiers in Mexico?
61. Why did you and others in the White House start taking Cipro right after 9/11? What did you know that the rest of the American people didn't?
62. Would your administration be more concerned with finding the anthrax killer if republican senators and the Washington Times had been targeted?
63. Do you think anyone buys your 'cowboy' act? Isn't your 'ranch' a cynical campaign prop?
64. It has been reported that you said, "who cares what you think?" to a man that questioned your policies in Philadelphia. Is this 'compassionate conservatism' or simple contempt?
65. Mr. Bush*, do you still "not give a damn" where Osama Bin Laden is?
66. When was the last time you gave a speech before an audience that was not handpicked?
67. Do you believe that dissent is unpatriotic?
68. Why are people who would protest your appearances rounded up and arrested before the events, held without charges, and then released?
69. In 1989, you reportedly said that you are a media creation. Has anything changed?
70. Do you believe that the apocalypse is underway?
71. What is your role in the apocalypse?
72. When will Christ return? What are the signs?
73. How can you expect people to be excited about your “Ownership Society” when they cannot pay their bills and put food on the table?
74. How many people are really unemployed?
75. Why are there no unemployment extensions?
76. What are your real plans for Social Security?
77. How can you expand reforms to higher grades and junior colleges, stressing basic skills for the workforce of the future, when NCLB has not been successful?
78. Why did you cut funding for Mine Safety Enforcement by $15 Million?
79. What exactly does "catastrophic success” mean?
80. What does “Separation of Church and State” mean to you?

Kerry Supporters in the San Fernando Valley!

Out on the streets of the San Fernando Valley today there was a lot of Kerry action going on...

A trip to the Studio City Farmer's Market found a large crew manning the Kerry Table that has been there for well over a year now. I found the group to enthusiastic and well informed on Kerry's positions. Also down the way from the Kerry table was Studio City Neighbors for Peace & Justice who also had a wealth of anti-Bush material.

I was wearing my favorite "No More Bushit 2004" t-shirt, which always get's a wealth of postive commentary. I ran into Tony who was sporting a classic, "He's Not My President" t-shirt. We had a mini protest of our own going on!

After the Farmer's Market I headed over to the local Raplh's supermarket in NoHo (North Hollywood) and I was pleasantly surprised by this new addition to the local tabling effort...

They've Got the Whole World in Their Hands!

(AP Photo/Joe Cavaretta )

(REUTERS/Henny Ray Abrams)

Protesters carrying an inflatable globe join tens of thousands of others who showed their opposition to the policies of the Bush administration by marching in front of Madison Square Garden, site of this week's Republican National Convention, August 29, 2004.

United for Peace and Justice organized the march which gathered 360 groups to protest the policies of the current administration the day before the convention opened.

Elections Protest Slideshow

Hundreds of Thousands March Against Bush in NY

"Hey Ho, Hey Ho, Bush Has Got to Go."

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators toting colorful banners and shouting "no more Bush" took to the streets of New York on Sunday, the day before the Republican convention was to open, to decry the U.S.-led war in Iraq and President Bush's policies.

Organizers for United for Peace and Justice coalition estimated 400,000 people marched for more than five hours in summer heat and humidity. Police declined to estimate the size of the crowd, but it stretched out more than a mile along two main avenues in central Manhattan.

"I am just burning with anger about what our country is doing," said protester Cornelius Boss, an ex-Marine from Columbus, Ohio, about Bush's foreign policy...

Hundreds of people lay on the grass in the park and formed a massive human peace sign...

In the march, people of all ages and demonstrating on a wide array of issues from the war, to health care, the environment and the economy, chanted, "Hey Ho, Hey Ho, Bush Has Got to Go."

"He (Bush) is ruining the country that I knew as a child growing up," said Joan Azulay, a retiree from Austin, Texas.

One group carried 1,000 coffins as a tribute to American soldiers dead in Iraq and to highlight what they see as the true cost of the war there.

UFPJ march organizer Leslie Cagan told Reuters that the event had gone "very, very well" and "people have come to protest the Bush administration on very many issues, but today we were united in speaking out against the Bush agenda."

Massive anti-Bush rally in New York

Tens of Thousands Protest Bush in NYC

No Major Violence Reported at NYC Protests

Hiding The Real Bush Views--At the Convention, And On The Blog

It is no surprise that the Republican National Convention will feature whatever moderates they can dig up and hide those with views more representative of the Bush Administration. The same principle just might explain why they don't allow comments on their blog.

The most common assumption is that they are afraid of liberal dissent, but in reality they have far more to fear what their own supporters would write about. This might spill the beans, and let the general public know how extreme the current Republican Party has become under George Bush.

Presumably, if Bush supporter were allowed to comment on the campaign's blog, we would see the same type of discussion as is present on other conservative boards, and what we often see from trolls on liberal blogs.

When discussing foreign policy, we would see Bush supporters excited about the prospect of a more interventionist foreign policy, with Bush supporters excited about going into countries such as Iran, and maybe even Saudi Arabia, in a second term. So much for pretending their foreign policy is based upon fighting terrorism.

Getting to domestic policy, we would see the excitement from Bush supporters over how Bush's proposals for Social Security and Medicare would finally kill off these programs as we know them. So much for compassionate conservatism.

Undoubtedly we would also see the argument going around in conservative circles that separation of church and state is a myth. Even some traditionalist conservatives, who respect the principles this country was founded upon, might become a bit nervous over some of the views which are commonplace among Bush's supporters, and key advisors.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Keeping Perspective

There's been quite a bit of negativity surrounding a couple of polls which now show Kerry behind Bush, but within the margin of error. The joke going around is "John Kerry read that this was his race to lose, and he's giving it his best shot." Some of the negativity this week reminds me of the feelings a couple of month before the Iowa caucus, when people had Kerry written off. What is important is what happens on voting day, and there is a lot more to come in this campaign.

This could be the high point of Bush's campaign (and could stretch through the immediate post-convention bounce.) Right now polls reflect all the negative impact of the Swift Boat Liars' attacks without yet reflecting his defense. All the articles from the last few days verifying Kerry's war record could help in the end, and there may yet be a backlash against Bush's negative campaign tactics.

Kerry's advertising campaign is also on a hiatus this month. Initially Kerry planned to refrain from any advertising in August to save the matching funds, but did ultimately have to respond to the Swift Boat ads. Full resumption of the ad campaign in September should also have an impact.

We must also look at the task each candidate has to face. The undecided voters believe Bush has done a poor job, but don't yet feel comfortable about Kerry.

Bush must convince people who already dislike him to vote for him. He's trying to do this by making Kerry seem even worse. Kerry just has to win over the people who don't know enough about him--they already dislike Bush.

Perhaps this election will also come down to whether people vote based upon the trivial arguments of the Bush ads, or look at the big picture.

If people decide on Bush's terms, then Bush will win based upon all the nonsense in the ads. The Republicans are masters of going negative and obfuscating the real issues.

If Kerry can get people to look at the big picture, as to what type of country and world we will have for the next decade, and ignore the nonsense attack ads, then he wins.

Right now the media, especially cable news, is concentrating on the type of arguments seen in the attack ads. In September and October, Kerry will further define the differences between himself and Bush, and further show where this country is going should we be faced with four more years (and perhaps four more wars).

This difference will also be seen in the debates as the two candidates get a chance to show the direction they want to take the country in. Kerry can present an alternative to Bush's future of a United States isolated in the world, with a government reduced to the point of doing little more than helping the super-wealthy.

When confronted with these differences, hopefully most Americans will want to be part of the world community, and understand that this is essential to waging an effective war on terrorism. Hopefully they will understand the need to preserve Social Security and Medicare, and to protect the air we breath and water we drink.

This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw yesterday:

Save The World
Vote for Kerry

Friday, August 27, 2004

They Voted for Bush in 2000; Kerry in 2004

Now that Kerry has been hurt by negative advertising, there have been some suggestions that Kerry needs to go negative. There may be some need to hit Bush harder, and I suspect that Kerry plans to do so as we get closer to the election, but there are also risks to running negative ads. Here's my suggestion as to how to somewhat go negative while minimizing the risks of being perceived as negative.

I suggest a series of ads (if they would be willing to go along) of prominent people who have endorsed Kerry saying they supported Bush in 2000, but now are supporting John Kerry.

I'd start this with Lee Iococa, who did ads for Bush in 2000 but now supports Kerry, and have him talk about the economy.

I'd include the retired generals and national security experts who have endorsed Kerry, the Nobel Award winning scientists, the economists, and business leaders. This would highlight the major issue, and have people attack Bush for his failings, without Kerry appearing to be negative. Such a series could also generate some media buzz, and we've seen with recent ads how the media can greatly increase the impact of ads.

As long as I'm laying out my fantasy ad series, I'd conclude it just before the election with Donald Trump repeating what he has said in interviews, both that the economy does better under Democrats, and that he'd fire George Bush for his handling of Iraq.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

O'Neill In Cambodia

We got lucky with the finding of the tape of O'Neill saying he was in Cambodia (per the previous posting here), contradicting his current statements. While there's been plenty of evidence backing Kerry's side on the other questions raised by the Swift Boat Liars, there has been no good evidence for either side on the Cambodia issue. Some articles have come out arguing that it was possible for Kerry's account to have been true, but no good evidence.

The Cambodia question came down to a question of Kerry's word versus O'Neill's word. All of us here (other than the trolls) were already willing to take Kerry's word over O'Neill's, especially considering the number of lies his group was already caught in.

Finding the tape of O'Neill's statement that he was in Cambodia clinched this issue for Kerry on two counts. It further tipped the balance, if this was necessary, as to who to believe if it should come down to Kerry's word versus O'Neill's word. It also makes Kerry's report of having been in Cambodia sound much more plausible now that we know that O'Neill was there.

I Was In Cambodia Before I Wasn't

Maybe that's not exactly what O'Neill said, but that sure sums it up.

The AP also sums it up with this headline:

Swift Boat Writer Lied on Cambodia Claim

Wed Aug 25, 7:17 PM ET

By ELIZABETH WOLFE, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The chief critic of John Kerry's military record told President Nixon in 1971 that he had been in Cambodia in a swift boat during the Vietnam War — a claim at odds with his recent statements that he was not.
"I was in Cambodia, sir. I worked along the border," said John E. O'Neill in a conversation that was taped by the former president's secret recording system. The tape is stored at the National Archives in College Park, Md.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday, O'Neill did not dispute what he said to Nixon, but insisted he was never actually in Cambodia.

"I think I made it very clear that I was on the border, which is exactly where I was for three months. I was about 100 yards from Cambodia," O'Neill said in clarifying the June 16, 1971, conversation with Nixon.

Chad Clanton, a spokesman for the Democratic presidential candidate, said the tape "is just the latest in a long line of lies and false statements from a group trying to smear John Kerry's military service. Again, they're being proven liars with their own words. It's time for President Bush to stand up and specifically condemn this smear."

O'Neill served in Vietnam from 1969-70 and says in a recent book that he took command of Kerry's swift boat after the future Massachusetts senator returned home from the war.

O'Neill has emerged as a leading figure in the attacks on Kerry's war record. He is co-author of "Unfit for Command," which accuses Kerry of lying about his record, and is a member of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has aired two television commercials harshly critical of Kerry.

In the book, O'Neill wrote that Kerry's accounts of having been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of 1968 "are complete lies."

"... Kerry was never ordered into Cambodia by anyone and would have been court-martialed had he gone there," he wrote. O'Neill wrote that the Navy positioned its own craft along the border area to make sure no American vessels strayed across the border from Vietnam.

In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week" O'Neill said: "Our boats didn't go north of, only slightly north of Sedek," which he said was about 50 miles from the Cambodian border.

Kerry's campaign has acknowledged that he may not have been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve of 1968, as he has previously stated. The campaign says Kerry does recall being on patrol along the Cambodia-Vietnam border on that date, although it's unclear if he crossed into Cambodia.

Referring to the tape of the Oval Office meeting with Nixon, O'Neill criticized Kerry for making claims, including in the Senate, that he was in Cambodia.

"I've never represented on the floor of the Senate, or told people 50 times like John Kerry did that I was in Cambodia. That never happened. And I don't think he was ever there either," O'Neill said.

The snippet of taped conversation surfaced after more than a week of controversy surrounding claims that Kerry lied about his actions in a war in which he won five military medals. The Democrat and his allies have vigorously attacked such claims as a smear, laboring to undermine the charges as well as cast doubt on the men who are making them.

For his part, Kerry accused the swift boat group of being a "front group" that was doing Bush's dirty work.

The Bush campaign denies any involvement with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.


Associated Press writer Jennifer C. Kerr contributed to this report.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Fight Back With The Facts; Kerry 2004 Reference Library Back Up And Running

The Kerry 2004 Reference Library now has almost 1000 articles providing the case for voting for John Kerry and refuting the attacks. As some of you found yesterday, the Kerry 2004 Reference Library was down most of yesterday, and frequently over the weekend, with server problems. These appear to have been fixed and the site is working fine today at:


Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Former Enterprise Captain Jon Luc Picard has come under harsh attacks in his campaign for President of the Federation Council from a group calling itself Starship Captains for Truth. This group charges that Picard's claims for defeating the Borg following the battle at Wolf 359 have been exaggerated. They note that Picard had been assimilated by the Borg prior to the battle and could not have led the defenses, and also blame Picard for not acting soon enough to prevent the heavy casualties suffered at Wolf 359. Starship Captains for Truth also questioned the veracity of Picard's accounts of entering the Romulan neutral zone.

Picard's actions on the Enterprise have been defended by crewmen aboard the Enterprise, as well as by Star Fleet documentation and articles on numerous Star Trek fan sites. Investigations into Starship Captains for Truth reveal that several of them are actually Changlings from the Dominion impersonating starship captains. The group has also been found to be financed by a shadowy group receiving funding from the Romulan Star Empire.

In commenting on charges raised by former Captain James T. Kirk, Picard responded by saying, "Kirk died years ago. Is Shatner's ego so huge that Kirk continues to speak even after his death?

Stones From Glass Houses: Bush-Cheney's Intelligence and National Security Record

Now that the Swift Boat Liars' attacks have been refuted by multiple sources, it is time to return to the more serious questions of failings of the Bush Administration to provide an adequate defense against terrorist threats.

From the American Progress Action Fund:

National Security
Stones From Glass Houses:
Bush-Cheney's Intelligence and National Security Record

President Bush and Vice President Cheney have repeatedly accused their opponents of trying to slash intelligence, defense, and national security spending in the lead up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In fact, the record shows that it is top members of the Bush administration who are guilty of the very charges they are now hurling.

CIA NOMINEE LED EFFORT TO GUT INTELLIGENCE: "President Bush's nominee to be the director of central intelligence, Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-FL), sponsored legislation that would have cut intelligence personnel by 20 percent in the late 1990s. Goss was one of six original co-sponsors of legislation in 1995 that called for cuts of at least 4 percent per year between 1996 and 2000 in the total number of people employed throughout the intelligence community... The cuts Goss supported are larger than those proposed by Kerry and specifically targeted the 'human intelligence' that has recently been found lacking." Goss proposed these major cuts well after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing made clear the United States faced a serious threat of terrorism. [Source: Washington Post, 8/24/04]

CHENEY LED EFFORT TO BLOCK KEY INTELLIGENCE REFORMS: The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) reported that in a March 1992 letter to Congress, then Defense Secretary Dick Cheney "defended the status quo and objected to proposed intelligence reform legislation, particularly the Director of National Intelligence position." In the letter, Cheney wrote that intelligence reforms proposed by Congress "would seriously impair the effectiveness" of government and specifically opposed empowering a director of national intelligence. Cheney wrote, "I would recommend that the President veto [the measure] if [it] were presented to him in its current form." FAS noted that as a result of Cheney's stance, "we now face many of the same problems, and the same proposed solutions, more than a decade later." [Sources: FAS, 8/5/04; Cheney letter, 3/17/92]

CHENEY LED EFFORT TO SLASH SIZE OF MILITARY: While the Bush-Cheney campaign has attacked its opponents for cutting the military, it was Cheney who admitted he led the effort to slash the size of the armed forces. In 2000, Cheney said that as defense secretary he "did in fact significantly reduce the overall size of the U.S. military." Specifically, The New York Times noted Cheney worked to "reduce active-duty troop strength" from 2.2 million to 1.6 million while making "deep cuts in the Reserves and National Guard." Those cuts have left the U.S. military stretched thin today. [Source: LA Times, 8/24/00; NY Times, 8/4/91]

CHENEY LED EFFORT TO ELIMINATE CRITICAL DEFENSE PROGRAMS: While the Bush-Cheney campaign has attacked its opponent for supposedly cutting defense spending during the 1990s, it was Cheney who repeatedly tried to cut defense spending at the very same time. In 1984, during the height of Cold War tensions, it was Cheney who said that if President Reagan "doesn't really cut defense, he becomes the No. 1 special pleader in town." Cheney urged Reagan "to reach out and take a whack at everything to be credible" and said "you've got to hit defense." Six years later, Cheney proudly told Congress, "since I became Secretary, we've been through a fairly major process of reducing the defense budget." He bragged that during the first year of his tenure, he "cut almost $65 billion out of the five-year defense program" and that subsequent proposals would "take another $167 billion out." While Cheney now claims his opponent "repeatedly voted against weapons systems for the military," like the Apache helicopter, it was Cheney in 1990 who bragged to Congress about weapons "programs that I have recommended for termination," including fighter jets, the Phoenix missile and "the Apache helicopter." [Sources: Washington Post, 12/16/84; Cheney testimony, 2/1/90; Cheney speech, 3/17/04]

BUSH ADMINISTRATION TOOK FOCUS OFF BIN LADEN: Reversing efforts in the fight against terrorism, a senior Bush administration official in April 2001 told CNN, "the U.S. government made a mistake in focusing so much energy on bin Laden." Similarly, AP reported in 2002 that the Bush administration's "national security leadership met formally nearly 100 times in the months prior to the Sept. 11 attacks yet terrorism was the topic during only two of those sessions." [Source: CNN, 4/30/01; AP, 6/29/02]

BUSH ADMINISTRATION TERMINATED PROGRAM THAT TRACKED AL QAEDA: "In the months before 9/11, the Justice Department curtailed a highly classified program called 'Catcher's Mitt' to monitor Al Qaeda suspects in the United States." [Source: Newsweek, 3/21/04]

BUSH ADMINISTRATION BEGAN EFFORT TO CUT COUNTERTERRORISM PROGRAMS: The New York Times reported that in its final 2003 budget request, the administration "called for spending increases in 68 programs, none of which directly involved counterterrorism...In his Sept. 10 submission to the budget office, Ashcroft did not endorse FBI requests for $58 million for 149 new counterterrorism field agents, 200 intelligence analysts and 54 additional translators. Ashcroft proposed a $65 million cut for a program that gives states and localities counterterrorism grants for equipment, including radios and decontamination suits and training." By comparison, "Under Janet Reno, the department's counterterrorism budget increased 13.6% in the fiscal year 1999, 7.1% in 2000 and 22.7% in 2001." The Washington Post reported that in its first budget, the White House left "gaps" between "what military commanders said they needed to combat terrorists and what they got." When Congress tried to fill those gaps, the administration threatened a veto. [Source: NY Times, 2/28/02; Washington Post, 1/20/02; Newsweek, 5/27/02]

Once the server problems with the Kerry 2004 Reference Library are resolved today, I'll start going thru the articles cited above and add them to the library. Check back later at: http://kerrylibrary.forumflash.com

Monday, August 23, 2004

Brothers in Arms

John Kerry's former crew mates vouch for his Vietnam war heroics in a documentary being released in the midst of a campaign debate about his actions as a swift boat skipper.

"Brothers in Arms," a first film by journalist Paul Alexander, features Kerry and four men who served with him on Patrol Craft 94, the last of three boats he commanded during the war and the one from which he won the Silver Star for chasing down and killing a combatant who threatened his crew with a rocket.

With testimony from crew mates who have campaigned by Kerry's side as a Senate candidate and now Democratic presidential nominee, the film is not the definitive word on what happened in the Mekong Delta. Kerry's critics are not interviewed in it.

A campaign ad sponsored by a group of swift boat veterans who did not serve directly under Kerry asserted his wartime injuries and combat actions had been exaggerated and that he did not deserve his Purple Hearts or Bronze and Silver stars.

President Bush, speaking after the ad that caused a great stir stopped running, said Monday that Kerry "served admirably and he ought to be proud of his record."

In "Brothers in Arms," opening at a New York theater on Friday just days before the Republican National Convention starts in the city, Kerry's mates relate the familiar story of their commander fearlessly ordering their boat to be beached in the thick of an enemy outpost, and hunting down a man who intended to fire a rocket at them. They also recount an ambush during which Kerry and his crew rescued survivors of another patrol boat that hit a mine.

Alexander's previous work includes a behind-the-scenes account of Kerry's run for the White House and biographies of Sen. John McCain and cultural icons James Dean and Sylvia Plath. He said he interviewed the crew over the last 18 months, beginning the project well before Kerry was a sure bet to become the presidential nominee.

In the film, Kerry and crew mates David Alston, Mike Medeiros, Del Sandusky and Gene Thorson talk about the bond they formed under fire and their lives since the war. "If anyone knows the truth of what happened to John Kerry in Vietnam, they do," he said. "Brothers in Arms" is their story."


This episode is a great test of how politics work in our country.

It is, first, a test of George W. Bush.

Bush claims that his highest priority is uniting the country in the war against terrorism. A president who would be a uniter and not a divider knows that cheap-shot politics can only further rend our nation and weaken his own ability to lead.

This is also a test for the media.

We see here a fascinating and ugly development in the politics of annihilation. A supposedly outside group raises money from close Bush supporters, staffs itself with political operatives close to Bush and the Republicans, and then puts up several hundred thousand dollars worth of television ads. This is, as one operative with years of experience in Republican campaigns put it, "a professional hit." Suddenly, questions about Kerry's service that were asked and answered months ago become big news again.

This is also a test of John McCain.

When he ran against Bush four years ago, McCain was smeared mercilessly. When McCain protested to Bush about the attacks at one of their debates during the 2000 primaries, Bush brushed him off. "John," Bush said, "it's politics."

McCain snapped back, "George, everything isn't politics."

McCain was right, and when he returns to the United States from a trip to Europe this week, he should stand up for that principle by suspending his campaigning for Bush's reelection until the smears against Kerry's Vietnam record stop. More than anyone, McCain is the person to make the case that slaughterhouse politics is particularly ill-suited to this moment in our history.

Questions about Bush's Guard Service Unanswered

At a time when Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has come under fire from a group of retired naval officers who say he lied about his combat record in Vietnam, questions about President Bush's 1968-73 stint in the Texas Air National Guard remain unresolved:

* Why did Bush, described by some of his fellow officers as a talented and enthusiastic pilot, stop flying fighter jets in the spring of 1972 and fail to take an annual physical exam required of all pilots?

* What explains the apparent gap in the president's Guard service in 1972-73, a period when commanders in Texas and Alabama say they never saw him report for duty and records show no pay to Bush when he was supposed to be on duty in Alabama?

* Did Bush receive preferential treatment in getting into the Guard and securing a coveted pilot slot despite poor qualifying scores and arrests, but no convictions, for stealing a Christmas wreath and rowdiness at a football game during his college years?

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A Veteran For Truth

Letters to the editor - The Telluride Daily Planet

A veteran for truth

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the new attacks on John Kerry's war record by a group calling itself the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." As for most veterans of any war and as people who know me will testify, it is not easy for me to talk about my experiences in Vietnam. However, because of these new ads and, I understand, a new book recently published by an old Charles Colson "Enemies List" hit man, I feel compelled to speak out. Unfortunately, the veterans featured in these attacks are being used by extreme right wing Bush supporters to spread their lies and malign John Kerry.

I feel that most of these veterans who are joining this attack are against Kerry for what he did after he was home from the war than for what he did in the war. If they are against him for his stance against the Vietnam War, that certainly is their right, but to spread lies and malicious innuendos about his time on the rivers of Vietnam is not morally right and does a disservice not only to Kerry, but to all those who served and were wounded or died in that war. The people who are using these veterans for their own means obviously do not care about that. They did the same thing to Senator John McCain and Congressman Max Cleland in 2000 with no remorse or care for the consequences.

To me what is worse is that by their silence, the current administration has not, with any real meaning, disavowed itself or distanced itself in anyway from any of these scurrilous attacks, past or present. I feel that this truly shows the Bush administration for what they really are and ultimately, who is truly responsible for these attacks.

Since I happened to be along on one of the "excursions" where the boats that we were on were attacked and after which Lt. Kerry was cited for valor, I thought it appropriate to give my recollection of that event. This happened on March 13, 1969. I was assigned as Psychological Operation Officer for the Swift Boat group out of An Thoi, Vietnam, from January 1969 to October 1969. As such, I was on No. 43 boat, skippered by Don Droz who was later that year killed by enemy fire. We were second in line while exiting the river and going through the opening in a fish trap when a mine blew up under the No. 3 boat directly in front of us and we started taking small arms fire from the beach. Almost immediately, another mine went off somewhere behind us. All boats, except the one hit, immediately wheeled toward the beach that most of the fire came from (a tactic devised by Lt. Kerry, I later learned) and commenced showering the beaches with so much lead, that it could probably be now mined there. The noise was of course, deafening.

Three things that are forever pictured in my mind since that day over 30 years ago are: (1) The No. 3, 50-foot long, Swift boat getting huge, huge air; John Kerry thought it was about two feet. (He was farther away from it than I). I think it was at least four feet and probably closer to six feet; (2) All the boats turning left and letting loose at the same time like a deadly, choreographed dance and; (3) A few minutes later, John Kerry bending over his boat picking up one of the rangers that we were ferrying from out of the water. All the time we were taking small arms fire from the beach; although because of our fusillade into the jungle, I don't think it was very accurate, thank God. Anyone who doesn't think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river.

The picture I have in my mind of Kerry bending over from his boat picking some hapless guy out of the river while all hell was breaking loose around us, is a picture based on fact and it cannot be disputed or changed. It's a piece of history drawn in my mind that cannot be redrawn. Sorry, "Swift Boats Veterans for the Truth"- that is the truth.

To say that John Kerry or any of us were on that river to intentionally collect Purple Hearts really does every soldier and sailor, past and present, a disservice. We were going up those rivers (with an ongoing casualty rate of 86 percent at the time) on the orders of the same people who approved of Kerry's medals and who are now joining in the attacks against Kerry. Unbelievable.

I would hope that the American public sees these evil extreme right wing attacks for what they really are and also pray that the veterans being used by these unpatriotic right wing extremist political operatives will divorce themselves immediately from them and speak to the real issues as to why they oppose John Kerry. I just don't understand how anyone can align themselves with those who intentionally and gleefully painted a decorated triple amputee (Max Cleland) from Vietnam as unpatriotic. I think that this is the most disastrous, un-American thing that can be done to our servicemen and women, especially now with another unending war going on. Your ends cannot possibly justify these means. Come on!

Jim Russell

Vietnam veteran, USN (1966-71)

“George Bush. Denounce the smear. Get back to the issues.”

With the Bush-Cheney campaign more intent on using its tired, old smear tactics than addressing the concerns of the American people, the Kerry-Edwards campaign Sunday unveiled a new television ad exposing the recycled Bush-Cheney attack campaign and urging the president to give the American people what they deserve – a discussion about the issues they face every day.

After four years of failed Bush policies, middle-class Americans are struggling. Good paying jobs have disappeared in record numbers. Health care costs have skyrocketed. American soldiers are fighting in Iraq, and America has failed to become as safe as we can be.

Yet even with so much work to do, the president is not talking about solutions. Instead, he and Karl Rove have flipped back to the well-worn smear page of their campaign playbook, last used against John McCain in 2000, and stood silent while their backers attack the service and honor of John Kerry and America’s veterans.

“This Bush backed smear is a case of Déjà vu for those who follow Rove and the president, but it is not what the American people deserve,” said Kerry-Edwards campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill. “John Kerry knows America can do better than lies and smear. That is why he and John Edwards have released a detailed plan to make America stronger at home and respected in the word. Their plan will strengthen the economy for middle-class families, create and keep good paying jobs in America, cut health care costs and make America stronger and more secure. That is what voters want to hear, not lies and smears, and it’s time the president realized that.”

In the 2000 Republican primary, then candidate Bush refused to disavow or condemn hateful and vicious attacks on McCain’s military record. The president is now doing the exact same thing – sitting silent while “Swift Boat Veterans for Bush” smear Kerry’s military service with proven lies.

Despite McCain calling the attacks on Kerry “dishonest and dishonorable,” Bush has yet to denounce them, just like he has yet to articulate his plan and vision for a second term.

Watch "ISSUES"!

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Thomas Oliphant Remembers John O'Neill

Smear by veterans may hurt Bush
By Thomas Oliphant, Globe Staff August 22, 2004

I HAVE VIVID memories of John E. O'Neill's first incarnation as an attack dog trained to go after John Kerry more than 33 years ago, using techniques that are quite familiar as he goes about the same task today. Like Kerry, he was a lot younger then, fresh from the war that still raged in Vietnam and still raged here as well. But then as now he was playing a carefully obscured role that made it nearly impossible to consider him an independent human being.

As The New York Times reported last week, O'Neill had been selected by Richard Nixon's White House to counter the profound impact that Vietnam Veterans Against the War were having on public opinion in the spring of 1971. As the Times also reported, Nixon's political henchman, Chuck Colson, had specifically recruited the Navy lieutenant, like Kerry a swift boat commander in the war, to debate the antiwar movement's freshest star on Dick Cavett's television program.

Those facts, however, only scratch the surface of a put-up-job that resonates today as President Bush tries to campaign against someone who has the military credentials and background he lacks. The more complete truth is that O'Neill was recruited to front for something the Nixon White House was experienced in creating out of thin air -- "citizens" groups that supported various embattled administration policies.

O'Neill was not just O'Neill. He was presented to a disbelieving press corps as the spokesman for something called Vietnam Veterans for a Just Peace. In those days, Nixon was much too intelligent to set up a dummy operation of "veterans" in favor of the war; back then people were dying and killing on behalf of "peace with honor." Representing this letter-head operation, O'Neill was recruited not just for the Cavett show, but to debate Kerry in other forums and to make appearances on Nixon's behalf. He got pep talks directly from Nixon, who had a fixation with Kerry's appeal.

What gets short-shrift these days is that Nixon also wanted to bend heaven and earth to find some aspect of Kerry's Vietnam service -- anything -- that could be used to discredit him. In fact, much of what we call today the politics of personal destruction was pioneered by Nixon's White House. He had a firm control of a fearful government in those pre-Watergate days -- and he used it.

His navy secretary back then was an elegant fellow from Virginia, who today is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. John Warner's people found nothing to whet Nixon's appetite in 1971, and Warner says today (in the spirit of a more outspokenly disdainful John McCain) that Kerry deserved his medals and that the process by which they were awarded was beyond reproach. That just happens to be the reason that the Nixon people put all their eggs in the basket of creating a political force (O'Neill) to try to counter Kerry's appeal.

Read all of Thomas Oliphant's column here:

Bush Health Care Plan Seems to Fall Short

Like so many of Bush's plans, his healthcare plan proves to be lacking...

If the Republican-controlled Congress enacted President Bush's entire health care agenda, as many as 10 million people who lack health insurance would be covered at a cost of $102 billion over the next decade, according to his campaign aides.

But when the Bush-Cheney team was asked to provide documentation, the hard data fell far short of the claims, a gap supported by several independent analyses.

Projections by the Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, academics and the campaign's Web site suggest that under the best circumstances, Bush's plans for health care would extend coverage to no more than 6 million people over the next decade and possibly as few as 2 million.

"There's little reason to expect that there would be any reduction in the overall numbers of Americans without health insurance," Brookings Institution health policy expert Henry J. Aaron said. "We're swimming against a rather swift current in our efforts to reduce the number of uninsured, and the power of President Bush's proposals to move against that current is, it seems to me, very, very limited."

Read the entire article here:

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Old Tricks

A front group for the Bush campaign called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" is continuing to spread their lies about John Kerry's military record. Their statements have been contradicted by official Navy records, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune and every man who served under John Kerry -- yet George Bush refuses to condemn their tactics. Through his silence, George Bush is approving their action. And Bush campaign officials in Florida are even promoting events for this front group.

Enough is enough. No matter what these Bush campaign shills now say, John Kerry's commanders remarked in 1969 that, "In a combat environment often requiring independent, decisive action, LTJG Kerry was unsurpassed." In fact, all of John Kerry's performance reports (available on our website) display an absolutely heroic record of service.

View the Ad here: http://www.johnkerry.com/video/player.php?video=082104_old_tricks

Journalist & Former Swift Boat Commander Breaks 35 Year Silence

An American journalist who commanded a boat alongside John Kerry in Vietnam broke a 35-year silence Saturday and defended the Democratic presidential candidate against Republican critics of his military service.

The former commander's statements came a day after the Democratic nominee filed a complaint with federal officials that accused the president’s re-election campaign of breaking the law over a TV ad that denigrates Kerry's Vietnam war record.

Weighing in on what has become the most bitterly divisive issue of the 2004 campaign for the White House, William Rood of the Chicago Tribune said the tales told by Kerry's detractors are untrue.

"There were three swift boats on the river that day in Vietnam more than 35 years ago -- three officers and 15 crew members. Only two of those officers remain to talk about what happened on February 28, 1969," he wrote in a story that appeared on the newspaper's Web site Saturday.

"One is John Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate who won a Silver Star for what happened on that date. I am the other."

Before now, wanting to put memories of war and killing behind him, Rood had refused all requests for interviews on the subject, including from his own newspaper. "But Kerry's critics, armed with stories I know to be untrue, have charged that the accounts of what happened were overblown." he wrote.

"The critics have taken pains to say they're not trying to cast doubts on the merit of what others did, but their version of events has splashed doubt on all of us."

"It's gotten harder and harder for those of us who were there to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there," he added.

Swift boat skipper: Kerry critics wrong

"This is what I saw that day", By William B. Rood

Oh No! Not Another Swift Boat Liar Post!

John Kerry’s Bronze Star Citation was awarded for his actions on March 13, 1969. It’s a really inspiring paragraph, even in the steely style of a military report. We are now in the rather strange position of seeing a decorated vet’s service called into question, especially given the poor military record of the election thief.

So, the allegations against John Kerry are being made by some Vietnam vets. The primary accuser is Larry Thurlow. He received his bronze star the same day, for the same action and now claims JK was not under fire. Therefore if Thurlow is telling the truth, he took a medal he didn’t deserve. Thurlow would have been lying in 1969 along with Kerry. If Thurlow is lying now, his credibility is obviously zero. Thurlow was lying then or he is lying now. The question is, has he been lying since 1969 or since 2004?

From I Like to Write.

Friday, August 20, 2004

U.S. Vets Make Case for Kerry in Vietnam

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

HANOI, Vietnam - Vietnam veterans supporting John Kerry for president made their case Friday in the heart of what was once enemy territory.

Calling President Bush a draft dodger, the veterans in Hanoi donned T-shirts emblazoned with "Americans Overseas for Kerry" and showing Bush's face with a line crossed through it.
They said they share a brotherhood with Kerry, who was wounded in Vietnam's southern Mekong Delta and received three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star.

The informal gathering came a day after Kerry denounced a television ad sponsored by a Republican-leaning group that featured Vietnam veterans accusing him of exaggerating his service record.

The veterans and other American businessmen in Vietnam have ordered 100 T-shirts to sell for $5 apiece with the proceeds going to support Kerry's campaign...

The men had nothing good to say about Bush, who served stateside in the Texas Air National Guard during the war.

"The guy doesn't deserve to be called a veteran or a patriot or anything else," said John Lancaster, of Hamburg, N.Y., who lost the use of his legs after being shot near Hue in 1968.

"It's pretty egregious to have taken that path and then try to wrap yourself in a flag to send American servicemen to a war to die and get wounded," added Andre Sauvageot, a career military man who spent nine years in Vietnam.

Volunteer Links Anti-Kerry Flier to GOP

A volunteer for John Kerry said Friday he picked up a flier in a Bush-Cheney campaign office in Gainesville, Fla., promoting Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group the Bush campaign has insisted for weeks it has no connection to.

The Kerry campaign e-mailed the flier to news organizations Friday, declaring that the Bush-Cheney campaign was "busted" for coordinating "in their smear campaign against John Kerry."...

The flier distributed at Alachua County Republican Party headquarters promotes a weekend rally sponsored by "Swift Boat Vets for Truth" and other groups...

Swift Boat Liars Tied to Bush Campaign

Damfa's Complete Proof. John Kerry's contention these people are tied to the Bush campaign is proven.

Yet Another Dishonest Attack Ad

The swiftboat liars against Kerry aren't giving up, despite the growing evidence of the dishonesty of their attacks. Today's ad continues to display their dishonest tactics, as they take statements from John Kerry out of context.

The following is from coverage of the latest attack ad from CNN:

The latest ad from the swift boat group selects quotes from Kerry's testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971 about fellow soldiers. He is seen saying, "They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads," "randomly shot at civilians," and "razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn."

Selected comments

Not shown on the ad is Kerry's preface to those comments, in which he said he is reporting what others said at a conference of Vietnam veterans in Detroit. Instead, a member of the Swift Boat group refers to the statements as "the accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam."


While I respect Kerry for his courage in fighting an unjust war, others might disagree. However, they should at least show such disagreement by arguing with Kerry's actual statements, not by taking his statements out of context.

The above selection is from:

Also check out the Kerry 2004 Reference Library for more information.

This, and additional articles, on Kerry protesting the Vietnam war are at:

Information on Kerry's Vietnam record, and debunking the recent attacks, is at:

Thursday, August 19, 2004

The Power Behind a Button: Taking Senator Kerry’s Message on the Road

Over the past year or more, as an internet activist for the Kerry campaign, I have met many wonderful people. Mary MacElveen earned my life long respect in my early months campaigning for John Kerry on many of the Democratic Yahoo Groups. And so with respect, I share with you all this essay from Mary:

The Power Behind a Button: Taking Senator Kerry’s Message on the Road

By Mary MacElveen

August 16, 2004

Buttons worn on any person tell what they are all about. Buttons can represent our more humorous side, or what our beliefs are, to those that are derogatory in nature.

Knowing that my family and I were headed on vacation, I decided to wear my “Kerry for President” button to make a statement to those that saw it, which direction I wanted for our beloved country. While I have other buttons, which mock George W. Bush where a red line goes across his face as well as a red line going through the letter W, I chose not to wear those, but only to promote Senator Kerry’s positive message. I wanted my message to represent him in only the best light and be reflective of his acceptance speech at our convention. I wanted a conversation with my fellow Americans that we who do support Senator Kerry also have a love of country and are patriotic as well. After all, this is our country too and we all have the right to disagree with her present course.

We were headed out by car to Colorado where our starting point was New York. We would have to go through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and then our final stop Colorado. Some are battleground states where others are red and blue states. My mission was to treat every American that I met along the way with respect and heighten their awareness of what is happening now in Washington, D.C. under Bush’s misguided leadership.

Our first full stop was in Ohio, where we needed to eat breakfast, where I bumped into a man named John who was a big burly guy and also a truck driver. He saw my button and immediately stated that he too was a “Kerry fan” and thought that George W. Bush was “just plain stupid, just like his father was” There was no having to convince this man of anything, only to keep talking to others to vote for Senator Kerry. It was then back on the road to take Sen. Kerry’s message westward bound.

Our next stop was for lunch in a small restaurant called Wings America, where on the way out again, a member from the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Association) wanted to discuss politics with me. He said while independent, he could go either way. Ah, my way in. So, I discussed jobs being shipped overseas, the need for all Americans to have medical care and for seniors to get affordable drugs here in America, and he said, he loved Kerry’s message and was disappointed with Bush. Again, I said, to relay what Senator Kerry is about to others along his way and he said he would.

But, not all people were receptive to Senator Kerry and one woman in Nebraska described him as looking like Frankenstein and I thought to myself, is this really the way people select their leaders? I could have said back to her, “Bush looks like a chimp” but refrained from doing so. It was at that point, where I really zeroed in on her and said, while Bush lied about WMD, close to one thousand soldiers have died and he has not attended one of their funerals. I was not about to let her thinking stay as it was without it being answered back. I told her that I too love my country and that I wanted the respect of her restored immediately and that would not happen with Bush as our president. I told her I wanted a president that fights a true war on terrorism.

She then asked where was I on September 11th, and I said sixty miles from New York City and I was frightened that Long Island maybe the next target being that it was so close. I stated to her, “I wanted to know where the hell our president was” and “why was it we did not hear from him for hours?” I told her living in close range to a terrorist attack was quite different from where she lived close to one thousand miles away. I also stated some within my community were lost in the towers, and I am still angry that he ignored the warnings given him. I think the latter statement hit her. She could not react to that.

In Colorado, I met up with three people. Where two were from Iowa and one was from Massachusetts. All three of them were for Senator Kerry and one lady from Iowa even wanted a Kerry button. I had one to give her and she was very thankful. I told them to keep Kerry’s message going and going.

Also, in Rocky Mountain State Park, I met up with a man from Georgia who too said he was for Kerry, but felt his vote would not count since Georgia is a solid red state. I said to him, to keep pounding Kerry’s message into the hearts of his fellow Georgians. I also met three more from Colorado who were going for Kerry. Many that I spoke with in Colorado were voting for Kerry and were sick of Bush.

Again, in Iowa, a man said he might do a write in vote, that is when I told him of what Kerry was all about and what he wanted to do for our country, he liked what he heard and said that he would look into Kerry and I said to go to johnkerry.com to read up more. He thanked me.

In a truck stop in Elkhart, Indiana I met up with a young man working behind a counter who said, “I am all over Senator Kerry like a hawk and follow his speeches from the convention to any stop he makes” Very promising. I told him to keep Kerry’s message alive when he speaks with family and friends and he said, “No problem” Quite frankly, I thought this young man was going to jump over the counter or out of his skin with his enthusiasm for taking our country back. It was so good to see a young person this excited.

In Cedar Points, Ohio a young man said, “John K. all the way!” He loved Senator Kerry, but his aunt and uncle did not. But, at least I was able to say in front of them, why I too love Senator Kerry. Who knows a family discussion could have taken place after I said that. Also, in Cedar Points, Ohio, I met up with a former liberal Republican (Did not know one could be liberal and Republican at the same time) who was now a moderate Democrat. She was reading Bill Clinton’s book, “My Life.” She said that Bush is dangerous to women’s rights and fears he may “union bust” She is very frightened by him and is also talking to others to vote for Kerry.

It was then time to eat at the TGIFs in Cedar Points, where our waitress Heather said this after seeing my Kerry button, “If Bush gets back in, I am leaving this country.” On our check she wrote, “Dump Bush”! I am left to wonder what her boss said to that and laughed at reading it. It made me feel great. All around Cedar Points, Ohio while riding the many rides, I wore my button with pride and not one person made a negative remark to me and I got so many smiles as people saw it. Many people come to Cedar Points from all over this country and that was the perfect place to wear it.

While traveling through these many states, I saw more pro Kerry bumper stickers and only saw two Bush/Cheney 04 bumper stickers. One of my favorite bumper stickers was, “Be Patriotic, Vote Bush Out” and another one, “I Did Not Vote for the Son of a Bush”! Both had me laughing and realizing that perhaps Americans are getting it. In Colorado, I even saw one that said, “Climbers 4 Kerry.”

All in all, I had many great conversations with my fellow Americans staying on message, a positive one at that and where I hope that I made a difference. In all my travels, I did not see one Bush button. I wonder if those that still do support him are somewhat embarrassed to show it openly. Who really knows? All I do know that during my vacation, and especially after our convention, I felt the urgent need to keep Kerry’s message out there where hopefully and with hard work, he will become President John F. Kerry.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth Credibility Sinking...

Military Records Counter a Kerry Critic
Fellow skipper's citation refers to enemy fire

Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry's most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.

In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.

But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."


Republican Congressman Says Iraq War Was Mistake

Wish a few more of them would admit that Bush didn't need to start this war.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Breaking ranks with the White House and his Republican leaders in Congress, Rep. Doug Bereuter of Nebraska has said in a letter to constituents the U.S. military action in Iraq was a mistake.
The Iraq war was a "costly mess" with no quick way out, wrote Bereuter, vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a senior member of the House International Relations Committee.

"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action especially without a broad and engaged international coalition," he said in the letter dated Aug. 6.

Republican leaders in Congress have supported President Bush's decision to invade Iraq on grounds that it had weapons of mass destruction that posed a danger to the United States. No stockpiles of such weapons have been found.

But Bereuter, who has resigned his seat in the House of Representatives to become president of the Asia Foundation, expressed dismay over the decision to go to war.

"The cost in casualties is already large and growing, and the immediate and long-term financial costs are incredible," he wrote, reflecting on his 2002 vote in favor of a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq.

"Our country's reputation around the world has never been lower and our alliances are weakened," he added.

"Now we are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess and there is no easy and quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world."

The White House had no comment on the letter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Statement from Kerry National Security Advisor Rand Beers on Missile Defense

In response to President Bush's remarks in Pennsylvania today, Rand Beers, Kerry National Security advisor issued the following statement:

"Despite this administration's near obsession with missile defense, the greatest threat facing our homeland comes from terrorists who would do us harm. In the months preceding 9/11 George W. Bush and his closest advisors were preoccupied with missile defense and their misunderstanding about the threats we face continues to this day."

"John Kerry believes an effective missile defense is crucial to our national security strategy. But John Kerry also understands the importance of facing our most pressing national security threats while continuing to develop and deploy a national missile defense which we know will work."

Ex-Navy chief: Kerry earned Nam medals


WASHINGTON - The Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said yesterday that John Kerry "deserved" his combat medals for heroism in Vietnam, which some vets have disputed.
Sen. John Warner, an ex-Navy secretary under President Richard Nixon, particularly defended the process by which Kerry won his highest honor, the Silver Star.

"I'd stand by the process that awarded that medal, and I think we best acknowledge that his heroism did gain that recognition," Warner (R-Va.) told CNN's "Late Edition."

Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Hearts as a Navy Swift boat commander in the Mekong Delta in February and March 1969.

"We did extraordinary, careful checking on that type of medal [the Silver Star], a very high one, when it goes through the secretary," Warner said. "I feel that he deserved it." Like Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Nixon - both Navy vets of World War II whose war service was later questioned - Kerry has had to face recent allegations in TV ads from others serving near him in Vietnam claiming that he lied about his combat heroism.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam prisoner of war, has condemned the ads - but President Bush has not.

Last week, Bush told CNN'S Larry King that Kerry served nobly in America's longest war, adding only that his Democrat opponent "is justifiably proud of his record in Vietnam and he should be."

Bush's strategy has been to portray himself as a "Sept. 12th" President who better understands the post-9/11 world than Kerry, who he implies would lead America with a Cold War, or "Sept. 10th," mentality.

Yesterday, Bush-Cheney counselor Mary Matalin became one of the highest-ranking campaign advisers to lend credence to the claims by Kerry's unhappy shipmates who believe he served dishonorably.

"Kerry ought to stop this. He's running his campaign predicated on four months of service 35 years ago in the middle of the Cold War," Matalin told "Fox News Sunday."

Originally published on August 16, 2004

Petty Politics in New York... Senate Candidate Airs "Boycott the Boss" Commercial

Leave it to a conservative to air a commercial like this:

Upset with Bruce Springsteen's effort to oust President Bush from the White House, the New York Conservative Party's candidate for the U.S. Senate is launching a "Boycott the Boss" television commercial.

"He thinks making millions with a song-and-dance routine allows him to tell you how to vote," Marilyn O'Grady says in the 30-second spot. "Here's my vote: Boycott the Boss. If you don't buy his politics, don't buy his music."

In a statement, O'Grady said Springsteen "has a right to say what he thinks, but we have an equal right to speak. Now that he's moved onto the political stage to bash my president, it is entirely fair to respond."

Springsteen was among more than 20 prominent musicians who announced on Aug. 4 that they would hold a series of anti-Bush fund-raising concerts under the "Vote for Change" banner in 28 cities in October.

"I feel this is one of the most critical elections in my lifetime," Springsteen told The Associated Press at the time.

Springsteen's "No Surrender" has become an anthem for Democratic Sen. John Kerry's presidential campaign.

A spokesman for O'Grady, Howard Lim, would not say how much the Long Island's ophthalmologist's campaign was spending on the commercial, in which she says, "I stand with President Bush and it's time to tame the liberal elite."

Read Bruce Springsteen's OP/ED published in August 5th's New York Times here.


Bruce Springsteen is excited to announce his participation in the Vote for Change concert tour. Between October 1 and October 8, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform at five Vote for Change concerts, sharing the bill with R.E.M., and Bright Eyes with a special appearance by John Fogerty.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Did Bush's Iraq Question Backfire?

George Bush tried to get an advangtage over John Kerry over the IWR vote. While Kerry's position on Iraq has been consistent and makes perfect sense, I cannot argue with those who say Kerry has often struggled with explaining this point when forced to do so briefly. See my earlier blog entry on this question for background on Kerry's positon:


At first George Bush seemed to have won some debating ponts by misrepresenting Kerry's answer, claiming Kerry said he would have voted to go to war, when actually Kerry voted to authorize war as a last resort if we were proven to be endangered and diplomatic efforts to resolve the situation failed. With the short attention span of reporters, if not the public, it is no surprise that many prefered Bush's easier to say account rather than Kerry's actual answer.

Bush may have gained some points before his selectively chosen rally crowds, but it is not as clear that he has done so with the general public. What Bush fails to understand is that many voters have ambiguous and contradictory views of their own on the war, balancing the feelings that it was good to get rid of Saddam,and important to stand up to tyrants if they should threaten us with WMD, but questioning if Bush acted honestly or in the best way. While Bush has managed to fool many into believing Kerry is a flip flopper, in doing so he has reinforced the view that he is overly ideological and inflexible.

Note this view from Ron Brownstein of the LA Times:


Pointing Out Kerry's Reluctance on Iraq May Spotlight Bush's Rigidity
Ronald Brownstein

August 16, 2004

There's something kamikaze about the past week's skirmishing between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry over Iraq.

By challenging Kerry to say whether he too would have invaded Iraq, Bush has targeted what may be Kerry's greatest weakness with voters: a reputation for vacillation and hairsplitting.

But Bush simultaneously may be spotlighting what many voters like least about him: a reluctance to change course even amid changing circumstances and a belief in his own decisions so unwavering that it straddles the line between confidence and arrogance.

Fareed Zakaria writes in the August 23 issue of Newsweek about Why Kerry Is Right on Iraq, available on line at:


Zakaria doesn't entirely understand Kerry's position, but does understand the importance of nuance and looking at the underlying assumptions behind each positon as he writes:

Kerry's answer is that it was a worthwhile objective but was disastrously executed. For this "nuance" Kerry has been attacked from both the right and the left. But it happens to be the most defensible position on the subject.

The Kerry 2004 Reference Library

The Kerry 2004 Reference Library has been formed with over 600 articles to help promote the campaign, debunk attacks, and provide ammunition against Mad Cowboy Disease. The addition of considerable more information is planned. It is hoped this information will be especially helpful for people writing letters to the editor or debating the issues on line. If you're in the middle of a hot debate (or troll bashing) open a second browser window with the Reference Library and quickly get the facts to make your case.

The project grew out of the News section of the camapign's official forum, but has now been greatly expanded. Articles are divided by topics, and are also searchable at the site.

While concentrating on reference articles on the candidates' background and the issues, some of the more interesting daily news stories are also included. There's even a section on The Wisdom of George W. Bush with quotes from the President.

Besides news, the site includes a discussion section, and an area where members can post information on their web sites, Kerry stores, or whatever else they are involved in.

The Kerry 2004 Reference Library is at http://kerrylibrary.forumflash.com

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Never A Hostile Question for Campaigning Bush

Well this title caught my eye... truth is no one is given the opportunity to ask anything that might be considered hostile or negative...

But would-be Bush hecklers face daunting obstacles: Loyalists handle giving out tickets to the event; home-made signs and banners are often forbidden; and in some cases access hinges on signing a loyalty oath.

"First priority goes to volunteers and supporters and then we reach out to people who are undecided and want to hear what the president has to say," according Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel.

The result is a friendly crowd eager to see the candidate they hope will win the November 2 election, while authorities banish protesters to heavily policed sidewalks blocks away.

Bush, Kerry Set for Three Debates

The nonpartisan panel that regulates presidential debates has scheduled three rounds between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry, organizers announced.

The first debate will be held Sept. 30 at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., the Commission on Presidential Debates said Friday. The candidates will sit at a table with moderator Jim Lehrer, anchor of PBS' "NewsHour," and discuss domestic policy.

A town hall-style meeting will be the format for the second debate, which will be held Oct. 8 at Washington University in St. Louis. Undecided voters, picked by the Gallup Organization, will question the candidates. Charlie Gibson, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America," will be the moderator.

Foreign policy will be the focus of the third and final debate, scheduled for Oct. 13 at Arizona State University in Tempe. Bush and Kerry will again sit around a table, and CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer will be the moderator.

A single vice presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland is planned for Oct. 5. This session, moderated by "NewsHour" correspondent Gwen Ifill, will feature Vice President Dick Cheney and his Democratic opponent, Sen. John Edwards, sitting around a table and discussing a wide range of topics. There also will be a question-and-answer period.

None of the debates will have opening statements, but each candidate will have two minutes for a closing statement.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Washington Post Editorial Round-Up

The Tax Cuts Re-Examined

THE DEBATE OVER the Bush administration's fiscal policy has been grinding on for three years, producing few concessions or apologies. Critics, including this page, say the tax cuts are not affordable; defenders retort that the president has a five-year plan to halve the deficit and that a combination of economic growth and entitlement reform can shore up the government's finances in the longer term.

To break out of this stalemate, we have taken a fresh look at these hopes for long-term salvation. We have assumed, for the sake of argument, that a second-term Bush administration could overcome the political obstacles to entitlement reform and pro-growth policies such as tort reform, and we have sought estimates for the impact of such reforms on government finances. For example, a jump in labor productivity like the one experienced in the 1990s would likely eliminate the deficit in 2014, which is otherwise projected to clock in at around 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, according to calculations by Alan J. Auerbach of the University of California at Berkeley and Peter R. Orszag and William G. Gale of the Brookings Institution. Or, to take another example, Medicare reform could theoretically cut the system's costs by 30 percent, according to Elliott S. Fisher of Dartmouth Medical School.

Volcanic Absurdity

WITH ALL THE heightened concerns about terrorism, you might think the Department of Homeland Security has something better to do with its time and energy than throw victims of natural disasters out of the United States. But that's because, like most Americans, you probably missed a recent notice in the Federal Register informing victims of a massive volcanic eruption on the Carribean island of Montserrat that they had to leave this country by February.

Bush's Two Albatrosses
By David S. Broder

The factors that make President Bush a vulnerable incumbent have almost nothing to do with his opponent, John F. Kerry. They stem directly from two closely linked, high-stakes policy gambles that Bush chose on his own. Neither has worked out as he hoped.

The first gamble was the decision to attack Iraq; the second, to avoid paying for the war. The rationale for the first decision was to remove the threat of a hostile dictator armed with weapons of mass destruction. The weapons were never found. The rationale for the second decision -- the determination to keep cutting taxes in the face of far higher spending for Iraq and the war on terrorism -- was to stimulate the American economy and end the drought of jobs. The deficits have accumulated, but the jobs have still not come back.

If Bush can win reelection despite the failure of his two most consequential -- and truly radical -- decisions, he will truly be a political miracle man. But as his own nominating convention approaches, the odds are against him.

Edwards Calls for Changes to Drug Plans

FARGO, N.D. - Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards called for changes to prescription drug programs ...

Continuing a push to court older voters, Edwards told an crowd of about 2,800 that he and Kerry would "stand up to these drug companies and stand up for the American people."

The North Carolina senator said that as president, Kerry would allow lower-cost prescription medications to be reimported from Canada and free the government to negotiate lower drug prices from drug companies.

He also said drug advertisements should include information about generic equivalents: "The American people need to know when there's a cheaper, equally good alternative."

Edwards Unveils Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs and Boost Economy

Kerry Campaign Helping With Florida Recovery!

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry does not plan to visit Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley because he's concerned his campaign entourage could distract from recovery efforts, he said Saturday.

Kerry said he has instructed his Florida campaign staff to provide food, clothing, shelter or other assistance to people whose lives have been disrupted by the hurricane.

"For the moment, our focus is on all of the police and response personnel necessary not being diverted from a visitor and really focusing on the recovery itself," Kerry said.

"Teresa and I are really thinking about those folks and our prayers and our thoughts are with them in the next hours," he said. "And we hope very, very much that the recovery can proceed as rapidly as possible and lives can be put back together."

President Bush plans a Sunday tour of areas hit by the hurricane. Bush declared a state of emergency at the request of his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Kerry said he supports their efforts.

Kerry, Wrapping Up Cross-Country Tour, Cheered by 60,000 in Pacific Northwest

Well, this is refreshing!

Yesterday the big media sources seemed to reticent to report the size of the crowd at the Kerry Campaign Portland, Oregon event. In reference to the many photos supplied by the press there were references to "large crowds", "very large crowds", "big crowds"...

PORTLAND, United States (AFP) - Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry wrapped up a two-week bus and train tour of the United States in the Pacific Northwest, cheered by tens of thousands at a star-studded rally.

This election is too important for people to sit out," declared screen star Leonardo di Caprio, who described himself as an ecologist.

"A cleaner environment doesn't sacrifice the economic growth," di Caprio, joined by rocker Jon Bon Jovi, told the crowd.

"John Kerry would reduce our dependency on oil."

Kerry and his family arrived at the biggest rally of his campaign thus far to a swaying ocean of placards proclaiming, "Hope Is On the Way," and "Believe In America."

"Are you ready to put common sense in the leadership of this country?" Kerry asked the crowd.

"Are you ready for a new leadership in the United States?

"Because if you're ready, John Edwards and I are ready, because help is on the way!"

Kerry promised to be "a president who actually believes in science, a president who fights as hard for your jobs as he fights for his own."

Jim Rassman, an Oregonian and Vietnam veteran whom Kerry rescued under fire long ago, said, " I wouldn't want my kids to serve under this commander-in-chief," meaning President George W. Bush, who was also in the Portland area Friday.

Kerry's campaign was scheduled for three-day weekend break at one of his family homes in Ketchum, Idaho, before resuming on Tuesday with another two-week tour, this one concentrating on the economy.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Kerry Has Guts to Stop Nuke Waste

Columnist Jeff German - Las Vegas Sun

If the presidential race for Nevada's five electoral votes comes down to Yucca Mountain, which it should, Sen. John Kerry already has won the race.

The difference between Kerry and President Bush on this issue was as clear this week as the bright Southern Nevada sky after a summer rainstorm.

While Kerry, the Democrat, spent Tuesday and Wednesday in Las Vegas hammering home his opposition to Yucca Mountain at public event after public event, Bush, the Republican, let it be known during a single campaign appearance Thursday that he was determined to ram nuclear waste down our throats.

With Gov. Kenny Guinn and other top Republicans at his side, Bush offered no reassurance in a televised speech that he would stop sending the deadliest substance known to man our way. Instead he attempted to poke holes in Kerry's voting record on Yucca Mountain which, any way you look at it, is a zillion times better than the president's. Bush had one vote in 2002 and that was to recommend the project to Congress.

Kerry, on the other hand, whether chatting with local officials at a small town hall meeting or preaching to an overflowing crowd of an estimated 15,000 supporters at the Thomas & Mack Center, stepped up his tough anti-Yucca Mountain talk. And he backed it up with specifics. He appeared much more knowledgeable about the dangers of the project than he did back in May when he first promised that Yucca Mountain would not happen on his watch.

What impressed me the most was not Kerry's campaign rhetoric, but the depth of his opposition, which came into focus during a news conference Wednesday with a half-dozen local journalists.

In a relaxed mood, after addressing a group of friendly seniors in Henderson, Kerry said he's no longer even sure storing radioactive waste at a centralized location is the right way to go. That's a significant statement when you consider that some $20 billion in taxpayer money already has been poured into the still-unfinished Yucca Mountain project.

"The more I've looked at the issue and the more I've learned about it, the less comfortable I am with the concept of a repository," Kerry said.

It's why the Massachusetts senator said earlier during his visit that, as president, he would put the nation's scientists to work to once and for all find the best and safest way to deal with nuclear waste.

More than that, however, Kerry outlined how he would move to kill the dump.

He said he would start by finding an energy secretary and an interior secretary who share his anti-Yucca Mountain vision for nuclear waste. That sounded like an invitation for the likes of former Nevada governors Bob Miller and Richard Bryan, two of the fiercest Yucca Mountain critics, to update their resumes.

Then he said he would not only hold up the Yucca Mountain licensing process, but would also veto any anticipated congressional legislation aimed at lowering the safety standards for storing waste. The legislation is being contemplated by the pro-Yucca forces in Washington to circumvent a federal court decision that said the current standards by law are unsafe.

One thing that could interfere with Kerry's pledge to derail Yucca Mountain is pressure from the wealthy nuclear industry, which is desperate to move nuclear waste from power plants in 33 states. The industry has spread plenty of money around Capitol Hill, winning many friends.

But Kerry appeared undaunted.

When I asked him whether he was concerned about taking heat from the influential industry, he looked me in the eye and said in a confident voice, "I'm not worried about the pressure."

They are the words of a winner.

Oregon IS Kerry Country!!!

Make no mistake about it, John Kerry has made Oregon his own! From border to border, Kerry left no Oregonian behind.

First stop Medford, deep in southern Oregon conservative territory. A recent local poll has the southern part of the state dead even which is great news considering this area went to Bush easily in 2000. The rally drew a crowd of around 7,000 and had traffic backed up for two miles. What a sight!

Comments from the Mail-Tribune:

Volunteer Alex Grove of Ashland, who got an autograph from Kerry, said he now has a better measure of the man after meeting him in person and hearing his speech. "He’s just a real guy," he said.

Grants Pass resident Allen Primer, who received two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star for gallantry in action during Vietnam, criticized attempts to undermine Kerry’s war record as "sleazy and unprofessional."

Primer, who still has shrapnel in his hip and stomach, said the Republican-led charges against Kerry "don’t surprise me a bit. I expected it."


Next stop, Eugene. An overnight stay at Valley River Inn brought out lots of people hoping for a chance to see the future President. As one young voter put it, Kerry's missing out by not speaking in Eugene, he's got alot of support here. That is so true, maybe we'll get him next time. He did spend some time at a front porch event in Springfield, with the best Congressman in Oregon, Pete DeFazio. Springfield is another area that tends to lean Republican, more of a gun rights and local control sort of place. Glad to see Kerry go right in there and take his case directly to the people.

They met at the home of Jeff & Clair Kronser. Let's hope the visit convinced their neighbors, the Greens, to vote Kerry.

"I'm weeding because everyone else weeded," she laughed.

Details surrounding the presidential candidate's visit were already in place: The Kerry campaign had instructed Kronser not to talk to the press for security reasons; Green had been informed she won't be able to leave or enter her driveway for a four-hour period today; and a member of the Secret Service was expected to stand guard there Thursday night.

Green, 36, is a Democrat, and her husband is a Republican. She's still on the fence regarding Kerry, she said, and she hopes he will be persuasive."


Next stop... PORTLAND!!! What can I say. Reports are between 40,000 - 60,000!! I went to the Kerry/Dean rally in May and I thought it was huge with a little over 5,000 people. I can't even imagine what being in this crowd would have been like. Part of me is totally glad I didn't go and another part of me is kicking myself for not being there. But it was covered on every local channel, so I at least got to see the highlights and the full Kerry speech.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jon Bon Jovi started things off and really got the crowd going. I saw a bit of Andre and Teresa speak. As usual, the crowd loved Teresa. Next was Jim Rassmann who gave a great introduction and said the same thing I always say; if war is necessary, there's nobody I would trust more with my child's life than John Kerry.

Then it was ALL KERRY! He was a bit hoarse from two weeks on the road, but he talked about all the things that matter to Oregonians. Education, jobs, environment, energy independence, health care. The biggest applause though, was when he talked about the need for habitat for people who love the outdoors, and then said the thing he's been looking forward to for the last 2 weeks is windsurfing on the Gorge. The crowd went wild. We love outdoorsmen (and women) in Oregon, and I don't mean cutting brush for photo-ops.

The local news switched back and forth between Bush's invitation only event in Beaverton, with around 1,000 people, and the crowd at Waterfront Park. Bush spoke about NCLB and the closing gap in education. Kerry talked about Oregon's school report yesterday which has 200 of our schools rated failing, mostly because of the unfair testing methods of NCLB. Bush spoke about international relations with Tony Blair while Kerry spoke of a new respect for leaders of all countries. Bush spoke about creating a million jobs while Kerry spoke of the 23 million jobs created under Clinton and the new jobs that will be created through new energy technologies, manufacturing credits and enforcing trade laws. Bush spoke of tax cuts improving the economy while Kerry spoke of the CBO report released today that shows the tax burden has been shifted to the middle class. There's no comparison between the two, just don't understand how people can be so duped by Bush. One woman even got up and praised Bush and thanked him for his dangerous Guard service. That was different.

Anyway, it was a great Kerry day in Oregon. I'm still in awe of that crowd. If you're looking for a big Dem party this weekend, I bet Portland is the place to be!

One more pic: