Thursday, August 31, 2006

John Kerry on Bush’s American Legion Speech: America Less Safe, More Divided Because of Failed Policies

Cross posted from The Democratic Daily:

George W. Bush started up the spin machine today in a speech to the American Legion, in attempts to "rally the American people behind him on the Iraq war and national security." In deep denial, Bush just doesn't get that he's not going to regain the support he once had. He's squandered the trust and faith of the American people, by declaring, like a broken record that the U.S. must "stay the course" in Iraq.

Aware that he's floudering pitifully in the polls, Bush once again "invoked the approaching anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks to rebut that view." John Kerry issued the following response to Bush's empty rhetoric today:
America’s veterans and American troops don’t need misleading speeches, they need the President to finally tell it straight and finally change course in the civil war in Iraq. By any measure, five years after 9/11, America is less safe and more divided because of President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld. Enough with slogans and staged speeches calculated to divide here at home while things get worse in Iraq, Afghanistan, and across the Middle East. No more rhetoric while Osama bin Laden is on the loose, homeland security is under funded and our borders are porous. No more speeches from an administration that has shortchanged our soldiers and allowed a $1 billion shortfall in our veterans’ health care budget. We need leadership that is better at destroying terrorists than it is at talking about terror for political gain.

And speaking of "propoganda" the WaPo reported today that "U.S. military leaders in Baghdad have put out for bid a two-year, $20 million public relations contract that calls for extensive monitoring of U.S. and Middle Eastern media in an effort to promote more positive coverage of news from Iraq."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kerry on Changing the Voting Laws

Cross posted from Liberal Values

This story from earlier today on John Kerry is so poorly written I didn’t even bother to link to it earlier, until I found that it has received considerable attention in the blogosphere. Kerry sent out an email supporting Ted Strickland, who is running against Ken Blackwell for Governor of Ohio. Kerry noted problems with voter suppression in Ohio:

On one side is Ted Strickland — a good man admired by Democrats and Republicans alike. On the other side is his Republican opponent, Ken Blackwell, who has used his office to abuse our democracy and threaten basic voting rights.

This isn’t just rhetoric. As you know, in 2004 while serving as a co-chair of George W. Bush’s 2004 Presidential campaign in Ohio, Secretary of State Blackwell oversaw the state’s 2004 election. He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote. Is he ashamed of what he did? No — he’s emboldened by it.

Since 2004, he has twisted the election process even more, adding new voting regulations that have created confusion and controversy. His legacy as Secretary of State? Putting partisanship ahead of the electorate’s fundamental right to vote. That’s not just a reason not to promote him as Governor; it demands a grassroots mission to stop Ken Blackwell from getting a further grip on power in Ohio.

The article confuses the issue by reporting, “ Multiple lawsuits by outside groups were unsuccessful in challenging Ohio’s 2004 election. One case filed by the League of Women Voters is still in U.S. District Court in Toledo. It claims Ohio’s election system discriminates against minority voters.”

This confuses two separate issues, voter suppression and claims that the election was “stolen” and leads to analysis which fails to understand the situation such as this from Decision ‘08:

So Kerry didn’t contest it, a recount showed Bush won by over 100,000 votes, and no lawsuits contesting the results have been successful either - yet John Kerry, a sitting U.S. senator, doesn’t mind sowing public distrust of the democratic process for temporary political gain, at a time when voter cynicism is sky high.

Some like Robert Kennedy, Jr.along with some irresponsible bloggers are making noise with unsubstantiated claims that the election was stolen. They continue to spread absurd arguments about the exit polls and stealing of votes. This is not what John Kerry is talking about here.

John Kerry has been speaking out about measures which suppress the vote since the election. He is not saying the election was stolen. There is no way to know to what degree these measures affected the result. He is not even saying that all of the measures are illegal. The problem is that Blackwell’s actions may have been llegal under Ohio law, but should not be. Therefore the comments on court decisions are irrelevant to Kerry’s argument. What Kerry is saying is that changes are needed in the laws, and that the way to accomplish this is to elect Ted Strickland rather than Ken Blackwell.

John Kerry Revives 2004 Election Allegations

John Kerry is turning up the heat with some allegations of election improprieties by the Ohio Republican who oversaw the deciding vote in 2004 -- Ken Blackwell.

In his latest fundraising effort for fellow Democrats, an e-mail will be sent on Tuesday to 100,000 Democratic donors asking them to support U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland for governor of Ohio.
The bulk of the e-mail criticizes Strickland's opponent, GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, for his dual role in 2004 as President Bush's honorary Ohio campaign co-chairman and the state's top election official.

"He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote," said Kerry's e-mail.

Kerry's e-mail says Ken Blackwell "used his office to abuse our democracy and threaten basic voting rights."
Multiple lawsuits by outside groups were unsuccessful in challenging Ohio's 2004 election. One case filed by the League of Women Voters is still in U.S. District Court in Toledo. It claims Ohio's election system discriminates against minority voters.

As reported here earlier, the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports shows Strickland leads Blackwell by an "intimidating 57% to 32%."

RELATED POST: John Kerry: Ken Blackwell Has Used his Office to Abuse our Democracy

Monday, August 28, 2006

John Kerry: One Year Later, Action is the Only Option

Cross posted from The Democratic Daily:

In another photo-op moment today, Bush claimed today that he sees renewal after Katrina, but also suggested that buck stops at what money Congress has already approved.

Of the $110 billion in hurricane aid approved by Congress since Katrina struck a year ago Tuesday, just $44 billion has been spent. The Bush administration has released $77 billion to the states, reserving the rest for future needs.

"Hopefully that'll work. Hopefully that's enough," Bush said after visiting a company here that has restarted its business of building and repairing boats. "It's certainly enough to get us through the next period of time."

In reaction to President Bush's remarks today about Gulf Coast recovery on the eve of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Senator John Kerry released the following statement:

"Today President Bush said that step one of Gulf Coast recovery - removing debris - is almost complete. One year later, just moving one step forward is really taking two steps back when so many steps remain. During my visits to the Gulf Coast, I've talked with small business owners about what they need to rebuild and recover. They're disheartened at the response of the federal government. More than half of those who applied for disaster loans have been denied help from Washington and left with nowhere to turn. The majority of businesses have not yet reopened and they keep wondering how they are going to survive.

"Right after Katrina, Senator Mary Landrieu and I proposed getting grants and bridge loans out to residents immediately. We suggested working with bankers and other experts right away to get loan applications processed immediately. We sought to increase business opportunities for small local firms by establishing that they get 30 percent of federal contracts and 40 percent of subcontracting dollars. But the Bush Administration has been blocking these proposals at every turn.

"President Bush said optimism is the only option. The most successful business people in America will tell you that optimism alone doesn't keep their doors open. Photo ops won't get the Gulf Coast back in business. Action is the only option. There's no excuse for continuing to delay real, bipartisan solutions."

Jennifer Loven of AP News reported that the "White House released almost no information on where Bush was visiting until minutes before he was to arrive, in part to lessen cumbersome security needs."

But the practice also prevents him from more freely interacting with residents.

It's always important to the boy king far from the maddening crowd...

Sunday, August 20, 2006

John Kerry on a Roll: Calls ‘Lieberman the New Cheney’ on ‘This Week’

John Kerry's on a roll issuing smack downs like throwing out a one-two punch. Last night Kerry issued a verbal smack down to George Allen for his divisive, bigoted comments made last week... Today on 'This Week,' John Kerry nailed Joe Liberman as the New Cheney. OUCH!!!

Watch the interview with George Stephanopoulos here:

John Kerry blasted Senator Joe Lieberman this morning on 'This Week' for "continuing his bid in the Connecticut Senate race despite a narrow loss to newcomer Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary earlier this month." Kerry came out strong with his support of Ned Lamont last week, when he used his 3 million strong email list in a fundraising pitch for Lamont, Daniel Akaka and Bob Menendez.
"I'm concerned that [Lieberman] is making a Republican case," Kerry told ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in an exclusive appearance.

Kerry accused the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate of "adopting the rhetoric of Dick Cheney," on the issue of Iraq.

"Joe Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut," Kerry added, insisting Lieberman's stance on Iraq, "shows you just why he got in trouble with the Democrats there."

Kerry called Lieberman's independent bid a "huge mistake" and applauded businessman-turned-politician Lamont as "courageous" for challenging Lieberman on the war.

Addressing his own views on Iraq, John Kerry stated bluntly with complete candor, "The course of this country in Iraq is making the world more dangerous." Ed O'Keefe of ABC News typically mischaracterzied Kerry's vote in reporting on the interview:
Kerry, the Democrat's nominee for president in 2004, supported the 2003 Senate resolution that ultimately led to the invasion of Iraq, and was criticized throughout his White House bid for then opposing a measure funding continuing operations in that effort. The Bush campaign seized on what they described as Kerry's wavering views on Iraq, which in part led to the senator's 2004 election defeat.

O'Keefe goes on to note that "Since 2004, Kerry has steadily sharpened his opposition to the Iraq war, calling for a steady withdrawal of U.S. troops beginning last year."

"Iraq is not the center of the war on terror," Kerry told George Stephanopoulos in today's interview, as he asserted that, "Iraq is in a civil war; of course it's in a civil war." In April, John Kerry was one of the first to recognize that Iraq was in a civil war, in an OP/ED in the NY Times, that prefaced a powerful speech on the Senate floor calling for a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.

Kerry told Stephanopoulos that "he supports the efforts of Senator John Warner, R-Va., to introduce a second resolution on Iraq if and when the country descends into outright civil war." The general consensus is of course that it has, Kerry said he "believes that moment has come."

He reiterated, "We have to set a date for the withdrawal," before concluding, "The absence of diplomacy is putting our troops at greater risk and is reducing our ability for success."

Speaking on the uncertain ceasefire involving Israel, Lebanon and Hezbollah, Kerry said "the near-month-long violence "set back" Hezbollah, but did so "at a greater cost to Israel.""
Kerry also criticized President Bush's approach to the troubled region.

"I know that I would have handled the diplomacy," he said.

Kerry connected the hostilities between Israel and Lebanon to Iraq, once again proclaiming, "I believe the president's policy in Iraq is a disaster of catastrophic proportions." He said his more diplomatic approach to Iraq might have prevented the instability the region currently faces.

Discussing the possibility of an '08 run for president, Kerry "remained uncommitted, but dismissed early polls that seem to frame Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., as a leading contender."
"George, you're talking to somebody who was once 30 points down," Kerry said. "My decision [to run] … will not be based on any poll. It will be based on my vision for the direction of the country."

No potential '08 candidate has a clear, stronger progressive platform in my opinion. Kerry's "vision for the direction of the country," is needed now more than ever.

John Kerry Smacks Down George Allen for Divisive Comments

Last night at an Indian-American Community Event that was closed to the press event, John Kerry held George Allen accountable for his divisive, bigoted comments made last week. Kerry said, "We need to stop the politics of name-calling and division that push us apart and separate us."

Here's the partial transcript of Kerry's comments about George Allen, from the closed to press event, as released to The Democratic Daily:
“It was so disappointing to hear one of my colleagues make comments that have no place in Virginia, no place in our country, and certainly no place in the United States Senate. George Allen singled out a lone Indian-American college student for ridicule in front of a crowd of mostly white voters. After using a word I won’t repeat, he added insult to injury when he said: “Welcome to America.”

Well, to Senator Allen I think it’s time we said ‘welcome to the twenty first century’ where slurs and slights aren’t a laughing matter. Welcome to a new day where we refuse to accept insults made about Indian-Americans that, if we heard them about African Americans or Jews or Hispanics, would be the end of a political career.

Welcome to our America, where immigration is a source of pride and not a punch line. Welcome to a politics where a young Indian American born in Fairfax Virginia can tell a US Senator: “I’m just as American as you are.” And welcome to Virginia where it’s clear some Republicans need reminding about the “truths” a real Virginian—Thomas Jefferson-- wrote were “self evident” two hundred thirty years ago. And if you ever want a test of whether Republicans are ashamed of George Allen or just embarrassed by him, it comes on November 7th when we have a chance to say ‘welcome to the United States Senate-- to his Democratic opponent, Jim Webb.’

We need to stop the politics of name-calling and division that push us apart and separate us. These times we live in are too important for that kind of distraction from what counts most. This is a time for leadership, and this is a time for truth. It’s no accident that the first words of our first declaration as a free nation were “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” and truth remains America’s bottom line.” – John Kerry

If the Republican's don't get why their financial edge is shrinking, they are missing the point that Americans get that the "first words of our first declaration as a free nation were “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” and truth remains America’s bottom line.” The time for divisive politics has never been so glaringly clear.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Republicans Lose Edge on Funding

The news just keep getting worse and worse for the Republicans. Republicans are no longer successful in fooling people into voting for them because of their claims on keeping us safer from terrorism. Bush’s approval remains low in multiple polls. Security Moms are returning to the Democrats. The South is more receptive to Democrats. Support for Republicans is plunging in the heartland. They must write off any hopes in the Northeast. Even K-Street is abandoning the Republicans, believing they are on the verge of losing control of Congess. The Deputy Prime Minister of Great Britain describes George Bush as “crap.” Republican commentator Joe Scarborbough asks Is Bush an Idiot? The one thing Republicans typically had going for them has been an edge with regards to funding. The Washington Post reports they are even losing this advantage:

The traditional fundraising advantage held by incumbent lawmakers — which Republicans have regarded as a safety wall in their effort to keep control of Congress — has eroded in many closely contested House races, as many Democratic challengers prove competitive in the race for cash.

In a year of bad omens for the GOP, the latest batch of disclosure forms filed with the Federal Election Commission offers one more: Incumbency no longer means that embattled Republican representatives can expect to overwhelm weakly funded Democratic challengers with massive spending on advertising and get-out-the-vote efforts.

There are 27 Republican incumbents classified by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report as the most vulnerable to losing reelection this fall. These incumbents still boast a clear fundraising edge, but it is much less pronounced than in years past. According to calculations made from FEC data, the Democratic challengers in these races have raised about 60 percent of what their opponents have collected and have about the same percentage of cash on hand.

At this point in the 2004 election cycle, by contrast, Cook listed nine Republican incumbents as similarly vulnerable. Their Democratic opponents had been able to raise 42 percent of what their opponents collected, and challengers’ cash on hand was a lower percentage. There were similar disparities in the 2002 cycle.

Of this year’s 27 most vulnerable incumbents, 14 face challengers who have raised at least $1 million, according to FEC reports. At this point in 2004, no Democratic challenger had raised $1 million. What’s more, all but one of the 27 Democratic challengers has raised at least $400,000 — a figure that many election experts consider a minimum price of entry for candidates hoping to mount a credible campaign. Taking into account all House races, 36 Democratic challengers have cleared the $400,000 threshold.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kerry Playing Better in the South

Cross posted from Liberal Values

The South was a problem for Democratic candidates in 2000 and 2004, but John Kerry is showing that things may be different in 2008. Check out this account of a recent visit to South Carolina:

Kerry finally plays well in S.C.

When U.S. Sen. John Kerry announced he was coming to South Carolina to talk about health care and raise money for the state Democratic Party, one could almost hear the groans from Greenville to Charleston.

What’s that liberal Yankee doing down here? We showed him two years ago what we thought of him.

South Carolina voters preferred President Bush by a wide margin, 58 percent to 42 percent.

Skeptics said the Massachusetts Democrat would be lucky to draw a dozen or so people.

Kerry had the last laugh when he hit the state late last month. The reception also seems to show the could-be presidential candidate will treat the state differently than in 2004.

Overflow crowds greeted Kerry at a Charleston town hall meeting and a Democratic rally in West Columbia. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley introduced him at the town hall gathering.

Party officials say they were not prepared for the response.

Some 400 people jammed into the Woodmen of the World hall in West Columbia to hear Kerry. An estimated 250 were turned away, organizers said.

“We ran out of food,” said Kathy Hensley, chairwoman of the Lexington County Democratic Party.

Hensley said she has not seen anything like the reception Kerry received in her 50 years around politics. “I was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing.”

The senator had to tear himself away from the crowd, observers said. People followed him out the door to his car, hoping to shake his hand or get an autograph.

Almost two years after his presidential bid ended in defeat, Kerry has embarked on a cross-country campaign. He insists he’s not running for president. But everyone knows better.

Call it what you want. He’s testing the waters.

Charleston attorney Waring Howe Jr., a Democratic National Committee member, said Kerry is serious about it, “almost to the point you can expect he actually will” run.

In his S.C. visit, Kerry looked and acted like a presidential candidate — smiling, grasping for outstretched hands and offering thumbs up as he made his way through the crowds.

He took off his suit jacket and spoke from a small platform that somewhat cramped his style.

He attended private receptions and met with key party officials, seeking their support.

Some, like former S.C. Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian, were not swayed. They still remember 2004, when Kerry kicked off his presidential bid in South Carolina, never to return again.

That angered Democrats across the state.

“He wrote us off after two months,” Harpootlian said. “His track record is not one that I want to see repeated.”

Nationally, Kerry came close to winning. He has said he would be in the White House today if 60,000 Ohioans had switched votes.

To which Harpootlian responded, “Yeah, if Napoleon had had B-52 bombers, we’d all be speaking French.”

Harpootlian said Kerry lost because he couldn’t connect with white Southerners. So, he wrote off the South.

Democrats need a candidate like Bill Clinton, one who has broad appeal, and can attract Southern voters, Harpootlian said. He’s leaning toward former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, he said.

“I think you’ll see a different campaign next time,” said James Dukes, Kerry’s S.C. director in 2004 who now is interim director of the state party.

Kerry plans to return to the state one more time before the Nov. 7 mid-term election.

Should he become a candidate in 2008, Kerry says he’ll treat S.C. differently.

Translation: He’ll pay more attention to us.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

John Kerry on Ruling Declaring NSA Wiretaps Unconstitutional

As reported here earlier, a federal judge has ruled today that the Bush administration's domestic spying program is unconstitutional and has ordered that it be ended immediately.

Senator John Kerry issued the following statement on the federal judge’s ruling today that the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and must be stopped immediately:

“The court ruled today that no one is above the law. Now we need an honest debate and constructive steps, not another public relations onslaught from an administration that’s good at hiding the truth and spinning the politics and sorely lacking when it comes to making America safe in the world or bringing people together at home.”

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales jumped on the decision almost immediately saying the Bush Administration "disagrees with the ruling and has appealed."

"We also believe very strongly that the program is lawful," he said in Washington, adding that the program is "reviewed periodically" by lawyers to determine its effectiveness and ensure lawfulness.

John Kerry Continues Fight for Lamont, Candidates Making Iraq a Central Issue

Today, marks day two of John Kerry's national fundraising effort for Ned Lamont, Daniel Akaka, and Bob Menendez. Yesterday caused a stir in the media, as news outlets reported Kerry was revving up his political machine to raise money for anti-war candidates.

Kerry will tap into his 3 million person email list for a second time in 48 hours, to continue his national fundraising effort for three Senate candidates who Kerry said yesterday, "have had the courage to stand up against the Bush Administration’s broken policy in Iraq." Below is a copy of the email:

Dear Friend,

People who live in white houses shouldn't throw stones.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove should know better, but it's no surprise they don't. For almost five years now, every time they've got their backs to the wall politically, they play "the fear card." The latest example: Dick Cheney claiming that Democratic candidates who dare to challenge the Bush White House on Iraq are "emboldening terrorists."

What's worse, and startling, is that in Connecticut Joe Lieberman is now echoing their intolerable rhetoric attacking the Democratic Senate nominee.

It won't work. We won't let it work.
Read more »

John Kerry Applauded for His Fight to End Genocide in Darfur

Today, the Genocide Intervention Network awarded Senator John Kerry an A+ -- a perfect score for his strong support of aggressive U.S. action to end the genocide in Darfur. The Genocide Intervention Network is a non-profit organization working to stop genocide around the globe.

“The genocide in Darfur is inexcusable. It is a tragedy that shocks the conscience of everyone who cares about human rights and basic human dignity,” John Kerry said. “The United States has a moral obligation to do everything we can to protect the people of Darfur from the widespread killings, enslavement and ethnic cleansing, and I’m going to keep pushing Washington to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk and take action to permanently end these atrocities.”

Read more »

John Kerry Revs Up His Political Machine

While the Cowboy in Chief was playing Bono Wednesday on the back of a Harley, trying to look cool while pitching B.S. about the economy, a man who really owns and rides a Harley was busy "revving up his online political machine."

John Kerry's fundraising engines were roaring on Wednesday, when he "tapped his 3 million-person e-mail list on Wednesday to deliver a fundraising appeal" for Ned Lamont. The media was a buzz with the news that Kerry was backing "anti-war candidates."

John Kerry is a man on a mission these days. He's taking on the Republican machine. He's backing candidates who share his views. He's determined to help drive the Democrats back into control of the Senate and the House this fall. When you hear him speak, you know he means business.

Ed Schultz pegged it Tuesday when he said to Kerry at the end of an interview with him -- “a lot of things that you said running up to ‘04, it’s a huge I told you so right now.”

The glow has gone out of Bush's star, he's still dipping in the polls, but meanwhile, Kerry's star is rising and it's burning brighter with validation every day.

Taking the opportunity to put his star power to work, John Kerry said in his fundraising email, "Ned Lamont has caused a national stir by successfully challenging the Bush position on Iraq that ignores the utter failure of the President's policy."

The Kerry e-mail also touted two Democratic Senate incumbents facing tough fights this fall, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Daniel Akaka of Hawaii. Both oppose the war.

"Ned, Dan and Bob have been attacked mercilessly for acting with such conviction and are locked in close must-win races," said Kerry, D-Mass. "It's time to reward their courage."

Over the past year, John Kerry has traveled back and forth across the country to raise money and help candidates he believes in. Kerry "praised Lamont, Akaka and Menendez" in his email, for taking a hard line against Bush's Iraq policies in their campaigns for Senate seats.

"Despite the 'warnings' coming from consultants, political pundits and naysayers in Washington, each of these candidates is making the mess in Iraq a central issue in their campaigns," Kerry said. "If we want to reward their courage, we've got to commit ourselves to pulling them through to victory."

Andrew Miga, reporting for AP News, said, "Lamont's upset victory last week was viewed by many as a referendum on Iraq and Bush's handling of the war."

I view it as another referendum as well -- that John Kerry was right when he stepped up to the podium at Faneuil Hall in Boston in April and said, "the most important way to support the troops is to tell the truth, and to ensure we do not ask young Americans to die in a cause that falls short of the ideals of this country." The time for the politics of fear and lies is over. American's deserve the truth, just as our troops do.

Ned Lamont gets it, Robert Menendez and Daniel Akaka get it -- and John Kerry is revving up his political machine to help the three of them cruise to victory in November.

UPDATE: The Cowboy in Chief could take some lessons from the Real Deal...

FactCheck Exposes RNC Attacks on Murtha and Dean

Cross posted from Liberal Values. has exposed dishonest RNC ads attacking John Murtha and Howard Dean. In a report entitled RNC Ad Mischaracterizes Murtha they write in their summary:

A Republican National Committee Internet ad uses video of Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania to make it seem he said something that he didn’t. What Murtha said was US allies think the US presence in Iraq makes America a bigger threat to world peace than North Korea or Iran. He was citing overseas public opinion polls. The RNC ad edits his remarks to make it sound as though Murtha himself is asserting that thought.
The same ad attracted widespread attention from liberal bloggers who pointed out evidence that an image of Democratic party chairman Howard Dean had been touched up to give him the hint of a Hitler moustache. The RNC quietly cleaned up the Dean image after being called out.

The full article compares what the RNC claims Murtha said to what he really said. The claims Murths said, “We’re more dangerous to world peace than North Korea or Iran.” Murtha actually said, “Fifty-six per cent of the people in Spain think it’s more dangerous, the United States is more dangerous in Iraq than Iran is. Every one of our allies think that the United States being in Iraq is more dangerous to world stability and world peace, every one of our allies, Great Britain, every single country, they think it’s, we’re more dangerous to world peace than North Korea or Iran. That says something.”

This is a typical Republican tactic. When the facts and all reasonable arguments support the Democrats they try to cheat by misrepresenting the views of the Democrats. They resort to such strawmen arguments because they are incapable of offering a meaningful argument to counter the real positions of the Democrats.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Lieberman is Out of Sync with the Dem Party, Kerry Blasts Lieberman’s Use of ‘Scare Tactics’

The Hill reports that "A group of Senate Democrats is growing increasingly angry about Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-Conn.) campaign tactics since he lost the Democratic primary last week."

If he continues to alienate his colleagues, Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November, according to some senior Democratic aides.

In recent days, Lieberman has rankled Democrats in the upper chamber by suggesting that those who support bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq by a certain date would bolster terrorists’ planning attacks against the U.S. and its allies. He also sparked resentment by saying last week on NBC’s Today show that the Democratic Party was out of the political mainstream.

It's not the Democratic party that is "out of the political mainstream," it Joe Lieberman who is out of sync with the party -- big time. Last night in an interview on The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur asked John Kerry about Joe Lieberman's comments that the Democratic party's policy on Iraq would strengthen terrorists. Kerry called Lieberman's "scare tactics" a "disgrace" -- Listen Here.

"That's bunk. That's scare-tactic bunk. And it's an unfortunate statement from somebody of Joe's quality, and I regret it....

I'm not going to stand for those scare tactics , that's exactly what the Republicans have been doing for the last years. They avoid a real discussion by throwing out a slogan and they scare people....

It's a disgrace that people are playing to the lowest common denominator of American politics, which is fear."

The buzz around the Hill is that is IF Lieberman does manage to retain his seat in the Senate come November, he could lose his seniority in the Democratic caucus. No one is making a firm commitment to that prediction, however:

So far, at least 26 Democratic senators have said they are supporting Lamont, including Reid, according to a survey conducted by The Hill. Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Democratic leaders would make no decisions about committees until after the election.

Bob Geiger has the full breakdown of Democratic Senators who are supporting Lamont here, as well as the hold outs still supporting Lieberman.

John Kerry Gives a Stump Speech in MA

Editor's Note: On Sunday, John Kerry was the guest at Democratic Party fundraiser in Lexington, MA. One of our readers EventualTruth, sent this recap of the Victory '06 Lexington barbeque on Sunday August 13, to share with our readers:

First, compliments to the gracious hosts Derek and Alexis Brooks for having a great barbeque with plenty of food and drink, and a very special guest. They had rather short notice when asked if they would be hosts to the event, but came through with flying colors.

Mr. Brooks, during his introduction of the Senator, told the crowd of roughly 120 people that his backyard deck had been nonexistent up until the phone call from the Victory '06 camp. He immediately called the contractors in to finish the deck so it would be ready for the barbeque in six days'time. (Senator Kerry joked later on in his speech that he would be available for parties if anybody needed any renovations done in a hurry.)

After the introduction, Kerry nimbly hopped onto an honest-to-goodness tree stump that was a leftover from the recent backyard renovation. This prompted him to remark that it was his very first time ever giving a literal stump speech.

All in all, the speech was very much off the cuff and relaxed. Kerry did mention Romney's utterings about Iraq, and condemned them, saying that Romney has no idea what he is talking about and was completely wrong about staying the course - that he was being simplistic.

Recounting something a guest had said to him earlier about Dems not having a message, he kindly, but firmly corrected that misconception by saying that the Dems indeed have a message which is loud and clear;
Tell the truth, fire the incompetents, fix healthcare, become energy-independent, etc.

On a local level, Kerry urged all of us to keep fighting to get a Democratic governor elected, because after 20 years of incompetent Republicans in the Corner office, it was time for a change. He praised the efforts of volunteers and campaign workers, but cautioned that even though we had a great number of precinct captains already in place, many more were needed.

Kerry then segued nicely back into national politics by stressing the importance of electing Democratic governors and secretaries of state all across the country so we could be assured that all voters would be allowed to cast their ballot, and that all votes would be counted.

Senator Kerry closed with an apology, having to run out so quickly. He finished his speech with a conversation he had at the airport the previous day with the person checking his bags;

The checker had obviously recognized him and greeted him with the following;
'Mr. President, hello! I voted for you and you should be president now. You'd do a much better job than Bush. But I do have to take your toothpaste, sir. That's not allowed on the plane anymore. Please run for president again.' (or something to that effect)

The whole crowd cheered and laughed at that, and the Senator was off.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

John Kerry on the Ed Schultz Show

John Kerry was on the Ed Schultz Show today talking to Big Eddie about his plan for health insurance for all Americans, and also discussing Iraq and the Middle East conflict.

Incase you missed it, like I did, you can Listen Here.

George Will Gives Credit to John Kerry, Again: 'The Triumph of Unrealism' - Indeed

It all seems a little unreal, to have George Will giving John Kerry credit twice in a couple of days. It's a triumph indeed, for those of us who have known all along that "John Kerry was Right" on so many levels.

Cooperation between Pakistani and British law enforcement (the British draw upon useful experience combating IRA terrorism) has validated John Kerry's belief (as paraphrased by the New York Times Magazine of Oct. 10, 2004) that "many of the interdiction tactics that cripple drug lords, including governments working jointly to share intelligence, patrol borders and force banks to identify suspicious customers, can also be some of the most useful tools in the war on terror." In a candidates' debate in South Carolina (Jan. 29, 2004), Kerry said that although the war on terror will be "occasionally military," it is "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world."

Will's criticism of the Bush administration flies in the face of their claims that Democrats are weak on Terror and don't understand the dynamics. Clearly, one Democrat, John Kerry was on the money, light years ahead of the cabal in charge and George Will had no problem slapping down the "senior administration official," who insisted on "anonymity for his or her splenetic words," when denying "the obvious, that Kerry had a point."

The official told The Weekly Standard:

"The idea that the jihadists would all be peaceful, warm, lovable, God-fearing people if it weren't for U.S. policies strikes me as not a valid idea. [Democrats] do not have the understanding or the commitment to take on these forces. It's like John Kerry. The law enforcement approach doesn't work."

George Will knocks down the "senior administration official's" claims with a wallop, arguing as the Carpetbagger Report puts it, that "the Bush administration's approach to combating terrorism is entirely backwards, and its explanation for failure is incoherent"...

This farrago of caricature and non sequitur makes the administration seem eager to repel all but the delusional. But perhaps such rhetoric reflects the intellectual contortions required to sustain the illusion that the war in Iraq is central to the war on terrorism, and that the war, unlike "the law enforcement approach," does "work."

The official is correct that it is wrong "to think that somehow we are responsible -- that the actions of the jihadists are justified by U.S. policies." But few outside the fog of paranoia that is the blogosphere think like that. It is more dismaying that someone at the center of government considers it clever to talk like that. It is the language of foreign policy -- and domestic politics -- unrealism.

Foreign policy "realists" considered Middle East stability the goal. The realists' critics, who regard realism as reprehensibly unambitious, considered stability the problem. That problem has been solved.

For a view of the chorus chiming in on "Kerry was Right" -- see here, here, here and here. Of course, it's something we can't say enough around at the Dem Daily...

RELATED SOUND CLIP OF THE DAY: Ed Schultz tells John Kerry, "a lot of things that you said running up to '04, it's a huge I told you so right now."

Sunday, August 13, 2006

John Kerry, Groomsman

Yesterday was a big day for one member of John Kerry's Boston staff -- Setti Warren, the deputy state director for Senator John Kerry's Boston office. Warren was married yesterday to Elizabeth Tasker Plummer, a daughter of Janet M. Plummer of Andover, N.H., and C. Randall Plummer of Washington, at Saltwater Farm in Tenants Harbor, Me.

The couple met during Mr. Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign, when she was working on the senator’s advance team and Mr. Warren was his trip director. Mr. Kerry was a groomsman at the wedding.

Congratulations to Setti Warren and his bride, known as Tassy. I had the pleasure of meeting Setti many times during the '04 campaign. Rumor has it that the wedding was attended by members of Kerry's Washington and Boston staff.

John Kerry Defines Republican Failures in the Fight on Terror and Stumps for Iraq Vet Patrick Murphy

In my post below, I noted that pundits are looking to the outcome of the Connecticut Senate race as a prediction on the '08 presidential race. Potential '08 candidates are stepping up to define their positions on Iraq and other hot topics issues. John Kerry has virtually remained outspoken against the Bush administration since the '04 election on a host of issues. His strong call for withdrawal from Iraq, has become cornerstone of the '06 elections and Kerry takes every opportunity he can to point to the Bush administration's massive failures on both Iraq and national security.

On Friday, in a tele-conference with the press and bloggers, John Kerry was in full on offense mode when he stated that "the war in Iraq has harmed the nation's security."

Kerry grabbed on to the news of the disrupted plot as a "stark reminder" that Osama bin Laden still remains at large. Kerry said the latest thwarted terror plot shows that Al Qaeda has "grown in strength" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Noting that the priorities of the Bush administration are in the wrong places, Kerry told the press that "The U.S. has become more isolated."

"Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda have succeeded in isolating the United States," Kerry, a Democrat, said during a conference call organized on behalf of Patrick Murphy, a Democratic candidate in a Pennsylvania House race. "Afghanistan and Pakistan are where the fight against Al Qaeda is, not in Iraq."

The conference call with John Kerry and Patrick Murphy, was to highlight the recent flip flop of Murphy's opponent on his position on Iraq. Commenting on Bucks County Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick's recent stand against Bush’s “stay-the-course” policy in Iraq, John Kerry said, it is nothing but a “short-term political ploy.”

Republicans roll out the slogans, Kerry said, but "slogans like "cut and run" are just that... slogans." We need real plans, Kerry told the press, Patrick Murphy has real plans. "Congress is on the wrong track, Patrick Murphy is ready to bring real leadership to Washington."

Murphy, who spent more than 12 years serving his country in the military, said he found it "appalling that someone would change their position as a political ploy." Fitzpatrick, a freshman Congressman offers no plan or solution with his recent flip flop on Iraq -- it reeks of opportunism, as did the stunt pulled by his Congressional Chief of Staff Mike Conallen did, during the tele-conference.

Responding to a question from Mark Wagner of Congress Daily on whether the '06 election will "be a referendum on the war" John Kerry said:

"It's not just one issue, no. That's part of the failure of leadership. The failure of Katrina, the failure still of New Orleans. The failure of North Korea. The failure with respect to Global Planet change and the need to take effective measures to protect the generations of the future. The failure to address healthcare. The failure of the deficit, the failure of education spending, NCLB has not been fully funded for one single year since it was passed. I think it's the entire priorities and the direction of this administration. Signing statements, hundreds of them that differ from the Congress and the interpretation and the intent of Congress .. which the court has even now chastised him for. You can run down a list of things about an administration that I believe is out of touch and out of control."

A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle asked if the Republican attacks on the Democrats are "losing credibility since he was a candidate a couple of years ago."

"Yes, I do. I think they are losing credibility because the American people are tired of being fed fear instead of real leadership. What Patrick Murphy and I are saying is, we want to win the war on terror. We believe we have a more effective way of waging the war on terror. We believe we can protect America's interest more effectively. We believe we can put America in a stronger position and the only way to succeed in Iraq is to get a political and diplomatic solution - you can not resolve it militarily. So this administration is leading us in the wrong direction. We believe we can fight a more effective war on terror and make America safer. Simple.”

Asked to comment on the Republican fundraising email sent out on the heels of the "thwarted terror plot," John Kerry responded, "Are they raising money for Tony Blair? It's a grab isn't it."

"Look, we've learned over the last couple of years, and certainly one of the lessons that I've learned, that these guys are prepared to say anything, do anything, stretch the truth, and always to try to scare Americans one way or the other... and take credit for things that they not necessarily up front on..."

John Kerry made it clear closing out the tele-conference what the "stark contrast" is between the Republican leadership, the young veteran candidates who are running for office this year, including Patrick Murphy:

"I think Patrick Murphy has made it clear why he's running for Congress, which is what this is about. I think that the leadership that he offers is a stark contrast to the go along, get along scratch your back corruption that has engulfed Washington and the Republican party in the last couple of years. The fact is that his leadership and his knowledge of military issues, his service to this country in Iraq, empowers him to speak with a credibility that is vital to our deliberations. I think these Iraqi veterans that have come back, the Persian Gulf veterans and others who are running for Congress bring a very special quality. They know what it means to send young Americans to war. I think that's really the important thing we out to be focusing on."

George Will: Kerry Was Right on Terrorism

This morning on This Week George Will was asked what we can take from the breaking up of the terrorist plot in Great Britain. George Will–yes George Will–said that Kerry had a point and quoted from John Kerry during the South Carolina Democratic debate on January 29, 2004:

KERRY: The war on terror is less — it is occasionally military, and it will be, and it will continue to be for a long time. And we will need the best-trained and the most well-equipped and the most capable military, such as we have today.

But it’s primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world — the very thing this administration is worst at. And most importantly, the war on terror is also an engagement in the Middle East economically, socially, culturally, in a way that we haven’t embraced, because otherwise we’re inviting a clash of civilizations.

And I think this administration’s arrogant and ideological policy is taking America down a more dangerous path. I will make America safer than they are.

Cross posted from Liberal Values

DeVos Goons Try to Silence Web Site

Cross posted from Liberal Values.

Dick DeVos, who is trying to use the Amicare/Alticore fortune to buy the Michigan Governor's office (as a stepping stone to the White House--see below) doesn't seem to like bad publicity. In July the Grand Rapids Press ran a story entitled Alticor leaders cheated investors, suit says, with the suit naming Dick DeVos. Quixtar Blog and Michigan Liberal are reporting on a letter received from Scott Larsen who runs the website. The letter was from attorneys representing Alticor denying the validity of the suit, accusing Larsen of bias, and request that he "Please take immediate action to correct your website's misleading impression of the Wardrop lawsuit."

I am not in a position to judge the merits of the case. Perhaps DeVos is innocent of this. It is even possible that Scott Larsen is biased. What a shocking discovery this would be: there are biased web sites out there which take sides in a political race. Who would have thought this could happen? It is even conceivable that such biased web sites would link to articles with negative information about a candidate from local newspapers. Who would have guessed that this could take place out on the internets?

Enough sarcasm? After the DeVos attorneys, who apparently are unaware of the First Amendment, harass little web sites, will they next go on to try to prevent editorial writers from writing biased editorials opposing DeVos or supporting Jennifer Granholm? As Quixtar wrote:

The First Amendment allows us to be biased. People may not like that but it's our right to be as biased and unfair in our coverage of public figures and corporate entities as we desire. As long as that coverage is true (and sometimes when it isn't) our speech is protected. There's absolutely nothing obligating us to be fair and balanced and communicate all sides of any given issue.

It's that very freedom that allows companies like Alticor and Quixtar to publish reams and reams of rosy reports and testimonials without sharing less rosy reports and complaints. No law requires Alticor, Quixtar or Dick DeVos to publish criticism or unfavorable reports in publications they control. It's their right to be biased. That's the American Way!

Such disregard for civil liberties is just one reason to be very afraid of Dick DeVos succeeding in his political ambitions. I've previously reported on the far right wing organizations he supports with an agenda to increase the role of religion in public life and government.

Don't think you're safe from Dick DeVos if you don't live in Michigan. John Kerry has warned, while campaigning for Jennifer Granholm, that Dick DeVos has already purchased the web address (copy of email below). I verified this at whois:

Domain Name..........
Creation Date........ 2004-12-18
Registration Date.... 2004-12-18
Expiry Date.......... 2007-12-18
Organisation Name.... Richard Devos Iii

Note the date. Well before winning the nomination for Governor, DeVos was looking ahead to other offices. Besides purchasing this domain, he has also purchased several others, including for Senate as well as President.

Copies of older posts on Dick DeVos have been included in the blog entry at Liberal Values.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Spitzer's Message

Cross posted from Liberal Values

I've often been impressed with the way Elliot Spitzer gets out his message. For example, see his article Capitalism With A Democratic Face. (Also available in the Kerry Reference Library.) Spitzer takes on the sterotype of liberals spread by the right wing as opponents of capitalism, concluding with:

By taking up the mantle of efficient, forward-looking, and market-oriented government action, Democrats can move from being a party that simply opposes Bush's tainted version of laissez-faire to one that advocates for the progress that comes with real market freedom. It is a powerful argument, a true argument, and it is ours for the making.

Now that he is running for Governor of New York, Spitzer is showing the same skill in getting out the right message. Check out these ads. Really, these are ads which are worth looking at. Kos didn't believe a political ad firm could have made commercials this good, so he did some digging about who made them:

The ads are written by screenwriter, Madison Avenue maven, and political novice Jimmy Siegel and produced by Moxie Pictures. Siegel worked until recently at the legendary firm BBDO. He put together the Super Bowl Visa ad with Bob Dole and the "Yo, Yao" ads with Yao Ming.

Democrats have wondered how they can counter the right wing noise machine without copying their deceit and hatred. Eliot Spitzer may have found the way.

Around the Blogosphere

A blog round up from Liberal Values:

Huffington Post (James Boyce): Can I Ask A Dumb Question? What's An Islamic Fascist?

Put the two together and you have? Well, a system of government oppressively controlled through terror and censorship where the religion is Islam and there's a policy of belligerent nationalism. But Osama Bin Laden does not run a government, the terrorists in Iraq aren't a government, the 9/11 hijackers weren't fascists, so who are the Republicans saying is a threat here?

Sounds to me like we're not fighting terrorists anymore, because it sure sounds to me like we're about to fight Iran.

The Moderate Voice: Joe Lieberman and the Jews

Lieberman is not entitled to anyone's vote just because he shares their religion or even if he shares a lot of their views. He has to execise political skills that successful politicians who took controversial or even downright hated stands have for years. He has to earn it.

Dispatches from the Culture Wars: More StACLU Nonsense

Here's the problem: they think that the ACLU opposes all law enforcement, all wiretaps, all infiltration of groups, and so forth. That's simply false. The ACLU does not oppose all forms of search, seizure or surveillance, including any of the above. They do demand, as does the 4th amendment, that there be probable cause and that a warrant be issued authorizing the search (and yes, wiretaps and the like are searches).

The Lippard Blog: Hate mail from suggestion that Jesus was a liberal

There's a website,, which suggests that Jesus was a liberal. . . This site has provoked some interesting hate mail which seems somewhat at odds with what Jesus would do.

Ottascope Musings: Under what authority?

Under what authority are we still engaged in combat operations in Iraq? Does a state of war exist in Iraq? Are we there to stabilize the nation, what? These aren’t purely academic questions.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bush and Cheney's Reign of Error

Cross posted from Liberal Values

The Philadelphia Daily News warns about Bush and Cheney's Reign of Error. They are justifiably upset with Dick Cheney:

Yesterday, Cheney bashed those who voted for Democrat Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Senate primary, claiming that these votes would encourage "al Qaeda types" to think that "they can break the will of the American people."

The idea is that since 18-year incumbent Joe Lieberman lost based on his support for Iraq, Americans opposing the war are waving a white flag of surrender to terrorists.

This is stunningly ignorant logic, as well as annoyingly consistent with the Bush administration's fundamentalist myth that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden - a claim by now well-discounted, most notably by a presidential commission.

And yet the presidential fog machine has continued to belch out its Iraq-al Qaeda-link fumes to the extent that a recent poll suggests that 64 percent of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein had strong links to al Qaeda. More people than ever now believe, according to a new poll, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

They are not willing to let Dick Cheney get away with this type of illogic any more, and note how dangerous to the country he is:

Has Cheney completely lost it?

The latest terror scare is upsetting enough: It is bound to lead to havoc and chaos both domestically and internationally. It could damage the economy if fears on flying are sustained. It reopens the profound wounds of 9/11, a scab we should figure by now will never completely heal.

But the real terror is this: While our Vacationer- in-Chief and his vice president shut down dissent, and discourage questions about the way our government has directed our intelligence and military resources toward a single target in Iraq, we are no closer to understanding or dismantling the threat of al Qaeda.

Cheney's remarks underscore just how unsophisticated our understanding of terrorism is. We have no more understanding of the global forces at work that lead so many to want to bomb and destroy innocent lives than we did five years ago.

America's latest crisis is not what happened in Connecticut; it's what was going to happen in airplanes over the Atlantic.

The immoral and ridiculous claims coming out of the Bush administration's reign of error could ultimately be responsible for the kind of casualties that al Qaeda can only dream of.

Lawrence O'Donnell Believes Lieberman Will Drop Out

Lawrence O'Donnell writing at Huffington Post believes that Joe Lieberman will drop out in September to avoid a humiliating loss:

Now, both Clintons and everyone else in the Party are carrying Lamont on their shoulders. By late September, Bill Clinton will be onstage hugging his new best friend and starring in Lamont commercials. Connecticut's much better liked senator, Chris Dodd, will be campaigning for Lamont this time. The Clinton and Dodd defections will cost Lieberman ten points in Connecticut. If Dick Cheney continues to say nice things about Lieberman, it'll cost him another ten points. And Lieberman campaigning alone, all alone, will look bitter, very bitter. His smile will look faker than ever. Voters aren't drawn to bitter.

I sure hope he is right on this. I'd rather have Bill Clinton going all around the country hugging Democratic candidates.

Cross posted from Liberal Values.

Bush and Republicans Continue Fall in Polls

George Bush showed a mild recovery in approval earlier in the summer. His recovery, which was limited as his approval remained under 40% in most polls, has ended. The latest AP-Ipsos Poll shows his approval is back down to 33%, matching his low from last May. The large majority who disapprove of George Bush include many people who voted for him back in 2004 but now plan to vote for Demcrats in this fall's Congressional elections.

When the polls first started showing approval of under 40%, Bush worshippers would frequently attribute this to bias in the polls. If there is "bias", then Fox News shares it as their poll shows Bush's approval at 36%. They found that 48% would vote for a Democrat for Congress while only 30% say they would vote for a Republican. This eighteen point edge for Democrats is up from eight points in mid-July.

Cross posted from Liberal Values.

US Trails World in Accepting Evolution

Cross posted from Liberal Values

A survey published in Science finds that the United States ranks 33 out of 34 countries studied on acceptance of evolution. At least we beat Turkey. (Hat tip to Stranger Fruit via The Lippard Blog and Panda's Thumb.) Still doubt we are in danger of becoming a theocracy?

Update: Since I originally posted this on Thursday, there has been increased coverage. LiveScience unsurprisingly finds this to be due to a combination of ignorance of basic science and the spread of fundamentalist religious beliefs. The problem is worse in the United States due to American fundamentalists interpreting the bible more literally:

The analysis found that Americans with fundamentalist religious beliefs—defined as belief in substantial divine control and frequent prayer—were more likely to reject evolution than Europeans with similar beliefs. The researchers attribute the discrepancy to differences in how American Christian fundamentalist and other forms of Christianity interpret the Bible.While American fundamentalists tend to interpret the Bible literally and to view Genesis as a true and accurate account of creation, mainstream Protestants in both the United States and Europe instead treat Genesis as metaphorical, the researchers say.

“Whether it’s the Bible or the Koran, there are some people who think it’s everything you need to know,” Miller said. “Other people say these are very interesting metaphorical stories in that they give us guidance, but they’re not science books.”

There is further discussion at Pharyngula which puts the blame on the Republican Party.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

John Kerry on Thwarted Airline Terrorist Attacks

Last night the as the British news outlets began to report on the foiled airline terrorist plot in the UK, I thought here we go again. I went to sleep thinking about the foiled plot and hoped it would not affect travel here in the U.S.; I was wrong. I awoke this morning to find we were under Red Alert.

British authorities said Thursday they have disrupted a sophisticated and well-advanced terrorist plot to blow up U.S.-bound airliners using liquid explosives, arresting 21 people who police said had planned to commit mass murder over the Atlantic Ocean.

Police said they were confident they had the "main players" in custody, but authorities in London and Washington ordered a full-scale security clampdown at U.S. and British airports out of concern that other plotters may still be at large.

John Kerry released the following statement on the thwarted terror plot:

"We are all incredibly grateful and fortunate that British authorities were able to prevent these attacks before more innocent people could be killed by these ruthless murderers.

"This is a stark reminder that the war on terrorism is global, and extends far beyond Iraq to our very shores. Terrorism is the biggest threat to Americans' security, and this event exposes the misleading myth that we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here. In fact, the war in Iraq has become a dangerous distraction, and a profound drain on our financial and military resources.

"Nearly five years after the attacks of 9/11, we are not as safe as we can and must be. Osama bin Laden is still on the loose. The 9/11 Commission's recommendations to secure our most vulnerable infrastructure remain virtually ignored. And, homeland security funding has been cut for cities like Boston and New York.

"It's clear that staying the current course in Iraq is not making the American people any safer at home or abroad, and has hurt our fight in the war on terror. We need to put the focus back where it belongs, and make America as safe as it can and must be."

Kerry Was Right on Terrorism

The Carpetbagger Report shows how today's announcement on the terrorist plot shows that Kerry got it right on Terrorism. They recalled how Bush bashed Kerry back in 2004:

"Kerry said, and I quote, 'The war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering law enforcement operation.' (Audience boos.) I disagree. I disagree….. After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. With those attacks, the terrorists and supporters declared war on the United States of America — and war is what they got. (Audience applauds.)

The Carpetbagger Report quotes Will Bunch in noting that, "Most of the big victories in "the war on terror" have been racked up by cops, not by soldiers. Why, it's almost as if terrorism is a law-enforcement problem -- and less of a threat when it's handled well in that fashion." As The Carpetbagger concludes, "Today, however, helps highlight exactly what Kerry was talking about, and what Bush derided as nonsense to considerable Republican applause."

Cross posted from Liberal Values.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bush Would Lose to Gore and Kerry Today

Given the chance to rerun the last 2 elections in the U.S., voters would choose Gore and Kerry over Bush. Talk about your voter's remorse. Too bad for America and the world so many were asleep during the last two elections...

Adults in the United States would vote differently in a rerun of the last two presidential elections, according to a poll by Scripps Howard News Service released by Ohio University. 46 per cent of respondents would support Democrat John Kerry in a repeat of the 2004 ballot, while 40 per cent would vote for Republican George W. Bush.

The survey asked Americans to ponder their options in every U.S. presidential election held since 1964. Democrat Al Gore would receive the support of 46 per cent of respondents in the 2000 rerun, while Bush would finish second with 38 per cent.

Kos Once Again Attacks Kerry By Misquoting His Position On Iraq

Kos has frequently attacked John Kerry by misquoting his position and then attacking the position he falsely attributes to Kerry (similar to the tactics used by Karl Rove). Today he writes, “I can’t find the cite now, but I’ve read how Rove exhulted after Kerry said, at the Grand Canyon, that knowing what he knew then, he still would have invaded Iraq.”

Except that this is not what John Kerry said.Rove swift boated Kerry at the Grand Canyon by misquoting what he said. I understand why Rove did this–but why is Kos also spreading this false claim?

Kerry did not say “knowing what he knew then, he still would have invaded Iraq.”

What Kerry actually said is that he would have still voted to give Bush the authority to use force as a last resort–but also stressed he would have used this authority more effectivley, and not to go to war. Kerry repeatedly said he would have used the authority to seek a diplomatic settlement, and to force the inspectors back into Iraq. (Kerry later admitted he was wrong on the vote when the Downing Street Memos proved Bush was lying about his claims at the time of the IWR that he would use the authority to seek a diplomatic solution rather than to go to war).

It has long been a Rove tactic to divide the opposition in this matter. By spreading the false claims that Kerry supported going to war, Kos is just helping the Bush administration cover for their dishonesty and divide the opposition.

Cross posted from Liberal Values, with the post there including older posts from here on the IWR and how both Bush and Kos have distorted Kerry’s position

Today’s Podcast on John Kerry and Champion Cyclist Greg LeMond Ride for Cancer Research

On Saturday, John Kerry rode the 111 mile bike race the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge to raise money for cancer research. 99 cents out of every dollar riders raise during the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge goes directly to the Jimmy Fund, which supports the life-saving cancer research of the Dana-Farber Institute in Massachusetts.

John Kerry joined over 4,500 riders from over 35 states on the ride, including 200 fellow cancer survivors. Last week, Kerry enlisted the community to financially support the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge. Together they raised over 51K online for the Jimmy Fund. Kerry finished the ride in 5:49:29.

Kerry, along with legendary champion cyclist Greg LeMond recorded this podcast from the ride site. The podcast starts with an interview with Greg LeMond, 3 time Tour de France winner, and then Senator Kerry speaks before and after the race.

You can listen to the podcast here.

RELATED POST: John Kerry Takes the Fight Against Cancer Personally

John Kerry on Ned Lamont’s Victory in Democratic Senate Primary in Connecticut

Now that Ned Lamont has trounced Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic senate primary, Joe Lieberman has vowed to run an an Independent. Democratic members of the Senate are moving to distance themselves from Lieberman and stand behind the party nominee Ned Lamont, including some that supported Lieberman in the primary. The WaPo notes today that "many more [Democrats]are likely to come aboard the Lamont campaign on Wednesday."

John Kerry, said on July 5th that he would support the Democratic nominee in Connecticut, and he would campaign for Ned Lamont in the fall if Lamont won the primary. FireDogLake notes that "Frank Lautenberg, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer all called to congratulate Ned."

Kerry issued the following statement today, on Ned Lamont’s victory in the Connecticut Democratic senate primary:

“After an intense and competitive primary season, Connecticut Democrats have chosen their nominee and they’ve made a strong statement about the current course in Iraq which is failing our troops. I strongly support Ned Lamont for the United States Senate.

"I’ve worked with Joe Lieberman since our days in college together, and I respect his many contributions to our public life. But the Democratic Party stands for something, and the Democratic Party in Connecticut has made a choice. That choice will matter in November to the direction of our Party and the direction of our country. The events of the past months make even more clear the differences Democratic leadership would make for our country on Iraq, in making America safer, in having an economy that works for everyone, and in achieving energy independence. That’s who we are as Democrats, and that’s what we’ll be fighting for. It’s time for all Democrats to come together to support Ned Lamont. It’s time for Democrats to unite.”

Kerry is right on this -- the Democratic Party does stand for something and it's important that we stand together. Lieberman's move to run as an Independent is a divisive move that can only be seens as desperation by man not willing to concede defeat. There are key issues that Lieberman has failed the party on -- most notably, Iraq. Lieberman's hawkish stance on Iraq has been anthema to the party. Read more »

John Kerry Says Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson Should Resign After Further Security Lapses

Senate Democrats have called for Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson to resign in the wake of the news that the V.A. has lost another computer containing the personal data of veterans.

This time as many as 38-thousand vets may be affected.

Senator John Kerry stated his outrage yesterday, saying it's time to "fire the incompetents."

"Our veterans deserve better. Fire the incompetents. Americas’ veterans can not endure another “Brownie” in the Administration. Losing veterans’ most sensitive personal information must have consequences. There needs to be accountability."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Announcing the Liberal Values Blog

My new blog, The Liberal Values Blog, has opened this evening. Following is from our introduction:

I thought of myself as a values voter before this became an over-discussed topic after the 2004 election. In other words, I sometimes voted based upon my values, even if this conflicted with my economic interests. While this is the often said of recent Republican voters, my situation was the reverse of theirs. By values I did not mean the same thing as those who attributed moral values to conservative Republicans. The values I was concerned with are those values upon which this nation was founded: individual liberty, a Constitutional republic limited by the Bill of Rights and kept in check with separation of powers, religious freedom (including separation of church and state which is necessary to guarantee this), and free enterprise as opposed to corporate welfare and use of government to transfer wealth to the ultra-wealthy.

Recent years have created new challenges for those who hold liberal values. Conservatives demonized the word liberal to often mean big government, and even some liberals forgot the roots of liberalism in liberty. Organizations which have fought for our civil liberties, such as the ACLU, were placed under attack. The religious right has attempted to impose their views on the nation, trying to restrict a woman's rights to control her own body, limiting stem cell research, and restricting education when scientific knowledge contradicted their fundamentalist views. Following the attacks of 9/11, and the decision of the Bush Administration to play politics rather than act to ensure our nation's safety, liberals became the advocates of a strong and sensible foreign policy rather than one which weakens our standing in the world and undermines our national security.

In recent years I have fought these battles in the blogosphere at the Unofficial Kerry Blog, Light Up the Darkness, the Democratic Daily Blog, and DemBloggers (where many of my posts will continue to be cross posted). In developing this blog I intentionally stressed values rather than the name of a political party. While we are at an unusual moment when one political party has been taken over by extremists of the far right, I recognize that members of one political party do not necessarily have all the answers. It is my hope that this site appeals not only to Democrats, but to socially liberal Republicans who are unhappy with the direction their party is going, as well as to libertarians. As was the case at The Democratic Daily, I also plan to continue to blog about totally non-political topics from time to time.

Of course I will continue to cover news about John Kerry. Please join me over at The Liberal Values Blog.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Case Dismissed: Judge Dismisses Entire Sherwood vs. Kerry, “Stolen Honor” Lawsuit

Breaking News: The Democratic Daily has just received word that Sherwood vs. Kerry has been dismissed...

Yesterday, in a true victory against the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," the Federal Court in Philadelphia issued a decision dismissing a defamation case brought by Carlton Sherwood against Senator John Kerry and his Pennsylvania campaign manager Anthony Podesta.

The complaint had alleged that the Democratic National Committee and others sought to prevent Sherwood during the 2004 Presidential Campaign from distributing a movie entitled “Stolen Honor,” which dealt with Sherwood’s views of the Senator’s conduct after his military service during the Vietnam War.

The case was “dismissed with prejudice.” A “dismissed with prejudice” ruling means that Carlton Sherwood can never bring another lawsuit against John Kerry on this topic again.

Last October, I had reported here on the lawsuit:

"Carlton Sherwood and his band of twisted cohorts who defamed John Kerry, are suing John Kerry and a former campaign staffer, claiming that they defamed him."

The "dismissed with prejudice" ruling is a true victory against Sherwood and his right wing crew of liars and it proves the point that the progressive grassroots was right to stand up to Sinclair Broadcasting in 2004.

Everyone in the progressive grassroots should make it clear: We were right to stand up to Sinclair Broadcasting in 2004 and we were right to reject the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" twisted, distorted view of patriotism.

The real debate in this case is about Iraq and dissent. That is why Carlton Sherwood and his band of liars hate John Kerry. The federal court in Philadelphia did the right thing and acted responsibly to shut them down.

John Kerry is just as right now to stand up for a better course in Iraq, as he was right when stood up after Vietnam.

A complete copy of the ruling from the court is available here in PDF.


U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam said he found no evidence that Kerry personally made any of the statements, and furthermore, found that they were protected opinions.

"I do not believe any of these statements are actionable since they constitute expressions of opinion, and must be viewed in the context of a hard-fought political campaign," Fullam wrote in a ruling issued Thursday.

"More importantly, I am not aware of any basis for holding a political candidate personally responsible for statements made in press releases issued by his party's national committee," the judge wrote.