Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Bohemian Mama Blog
I might like John Kerry as Nominee More If.........

Bohemian Mama originally posted this on her diary over at Kos and there are some spirited comments. She says she's "glad people are at least talking about things", and she's "always wanting to learn more."

I understand exactly how she feels.

My question is--what lesson didn't he learn from Viet Nam that would have lead him to miss the important fact that Bush was surely going to take pre-emptive action against Iraq? Kerry must have known the UN would just be, for Bush, a polite stop-over visit with a step-over attitude. We all knew it...why didn't he?

Related article: (subsc. or free one-day pass req.)
Will Deaniacs pull a Nader on the Democratic Party?

Some of the insurgent's supporters say they're going to take their idealism and go home --- but most of them will probably get over their bitterness and support the nominee.

Jake Tapper/ABC news
Stealth Negativity?

Recording Reveals Kerry Operative Dissing Dean in Campaign Call
Caught on Tape

But two nights ago, Cornell College psychology professor Suzette Astley, a Dean volunteer in Lisbon, Iowa, received a phone call from a Kerry's Cedar Rapids headquarters — in which, she says, a Kerry volunteer had some less than kind things to say about Dean regarding his foreign policy experience, being from a largely white state, and so-called "environmental racism."

Since a documentary filmmaker was staying with Astley, the exchange, which has been confirmed by the Kerry campaign, was caught on videotape.

"Does your candidate know that you're saying these kinds of things, unsubstantiated claims on the phone representing Sen. Kerry?" Astley asked 19-year-old volunteer, Jacob Thomas, on the tape, a copy of which was obtained by ABCNEWS.

Soon, she asked to speak with Kerry's regional field supervisor, with whom she launched a complaint.

"I am just really offended by the call I got tonight," she said. "The person who was talking to me was taking things out of context, repeating unsubstantiated reports to me, and I find that really offensive."

Democrats: This is the time to look at yourselves most honestly

A righty-writer at World Net Daily hopes that "the RNC provides a 24x7 cable show for McAuliffe and, in the interim, invites all those outraged with yet another clownish moment from the Alfred E. Neuman of American politics to skip the getting mad and go straight to the getting even via a donation" to the Bush campaign."
While the AWOL situation deserves mainstream media treatment (see the actual/true story here), you cannot treat it lightly and clumsily. Talk about gaffes from Howard Dean....Terry McAuliffe tends to act like a verbal bull in a China-shop while a more detached demeanor would suffice. I am more than a bit angry with McAuliffe myself for what I watched him fully allow to happen with the Howard Dean candidacy. His actions (or failure to act when Dean rightly appealed to him about professionaly interfering in all the unfair media treatment) led me to suspect that he was a biased party chairman. Comments I have heard from him and Carville and Begala since that incident have further fed that suspicion.
Although it is a harsh statement by WorldNet Daily columnist and I'm not inclined to drink the koolaid of Bush-defenders, when I read this following statement, some of it "hit home".
"McAuliffe's decision to deny that service in the national guard is service in the military – even as thousands of national guard have served in Iraq – is a blunder larger than any of his others, and trafficking in discredited urban myths gives you a glimpse of McAuliffe's desperation to turn the conversation to anything except Kerry's way-left voting record, or his role in the Dean meltdown, or the failure of Wes Clark to capture any significant support outside the loon caucus."
I hope Democrats will take a good, hard, honest look at themselves and understand that the Peter Jennings of the so-called "liberal" media will not let sleeping dogs lie. Jennings was the one who started this Michael Moore-deserter baiting. The Democrats had best find just the right way to get the truth out there and shut up the mealy-mouthed media-baiters while they can. Situations like this could easily spin out of control. Judging from McAuliffe's treatment of Howard Dean in his own party's primary, I can't say I have faith he'll understand what he needs to do.
New Yorker Magazine/Comment
What Hutton and Kay reveal Seymour M. Hersh has reported in this magazine, senior members of the Bush Administration did press the intelligence agencies to provide evidence supporting the President’s claim that Iraq represented a grave danger. Other journalists have made similar charges.
We know that Vice-President Dick Cheney, who continues to insist that some W.M.D.s might be found, visited the C.I.A. several times before the war for face-to-face meetings with Iraq analysts, and that senior Pentagon officials were running their own intelligence operation, the Office of Special Plans. Until a full account is provided, the suspicion will remain that in Washington, as in London, the handling of intelligence had more to do with persuading the public to support a war that had already been decided on than with calmly assessing threats. Whatever finally emerges, the C.I.A. should not be used as a scapegoat. Intelligence, by its very nature, is usually uncertain and often wrong. It should always be treated with skepticism and caution, two attributes that were, and are, conspicuously missing from the Bush White House.
Top four reasons Bush and media can't claim they were 'misled'

And Cheney appoints his own interrogator! ;)
Hey! Some fair investigation that'll be!

Madison Capital Times
Dean treated badly by most media
What if we lived in a parallel universe where Howard Dean was actually treated fairly by the media?... a place where Dean would be treated like the other candidates - criticized for his mistakes, complimented for his accomplishments and, above all, treated seriously when he discusses issues.....How would a Dean candidacy be faring today if the press gushed over him as it does John Edwards, or forgave him his trespasses as quickly as it does John Kerry, or overlooked the disorder in his organization as casually as it does the daily disaster that is Joe Lieberman's so-called campaign?
Dean has made mistakes, to be sure. But those mistakes have been amplified by a 24-hour-a-day news cycle, by late-night comics, by an Anybody-But-Dean army of cable television and talk-radio talking heads, and by Washington-centric newspaper columnists who never understood or particularly approved of Dean's decision to show up uninvited at the top of Democratic polls in late 2003.

....Democrats quietly admitted they would probably vote for Kerry or Edwards - candidates who just weeks ago were dismissed as losers but are now regularly referred to as "electable" by the media pack....
It is true that every disintegrating presidential candidacy since that of John Adams in 1800 has blamed the media for its decline. But in this case, Dean's complaints appear to be more credible than those of most damaged contenders.
How do we know? (SEE ARTICLE!)

NY Times
U.S. Comptroller General Warns About Magnitude of Deficits and Fiscal Risks

This is not a particularly sexy issue, so you won't see a lot about it on CNN. I suppose the likes of Grover Norquist and George W. Bush are just as glad it's not a hot, juicy story like Kobe, Condit, sharks, or mountain lions. They can quietly destroy our Social Security, Medicare, and other socially beneficial programs much easier this way. US Comptroller General David Walker realizes this is not an easy topic for the typical American to want to wrap their minds around. He warns that, if Americans are not educated and accurately informed, they may find themselves in fiscal peril before too long.
Long-term simulations from the legislative agency I head, the General Accounting Office, paint a chilling picture. Even before the new drug benefit was enacted, these simulations showed that by 2040 current policy could require a 50 percent reduction in federal spending or a doubling of taxes to balance the budget.

As Jefferson pointed out, truth and transparency are even more essential in the public sector. Government services -mail delivery, food inspection, Social Security and defense, to name a few - directly affect the well-being of every American. But sound decisions on federal programs and policies are nearly impossible without timely, accurate and useful information.

A top-to-bottom review of government activities to ensure their relevance for the 21st century is long overdue. From a practical standpoint, our elected representatives are not likely to get too far out in front of the American people when addressing complex and controversial issues. These fiscal risks, however, are a long-term problem whose impact will not be felt for some time. The understanding and support of the American people will be critical in providing a foundation for action.
A national education campaign to help the public understand the nature and magnitude of the long-term financial challenge facing this nation is essential. After all, an informed electorate is indispensable for a sound democracy. Young Americans especially need to become active in this discussion - because they and their children will bear the heaviest burden if today's leaders fail to act.
Washington Post Blasts Bush Budget
The Bush administration's 2005 budget is a masterpiece of disingenuous blame-shifting, dishonest budgeting and irresponsible governing...To keep running up these deficits is to stick future generations with a tab they won't be able to afford. The administration presents itself as blameless victim.. it doesn't take into account continuing costs in Iraq and Afghanistan...The biggest distortion is to present a snapshot of 2009 and stop there. Making the tax cuts permanent would cost $132 billion in the coming five years, but $936 billion through 2014. How Mr. Bush can adhere to this reckless course is the true "subject of concern."

The Hill
Grassley oddly confident about catching bin Laden "before November 2nd election"

I find all this certainty to be very, very strange. I have the distinct impression, from this and other stories I've read recently, that the Bushies have known where bin Laden is for a long time and have purposely held off capture until it can fit their political agenda.
Obviously, he’ll be caught between now and the election,” Grassley said Monday when asked if he’s disappointed that Osama bin Laden hasn’t been killed or captured.
“I think they’re on his trail now in a way they haven’t been all year,” Grassley said.
SEE: "Hmmmmmm....they are apparently"sure"of where Osama is now...why not go and grab him?"

Washington Post
George McGovern Speaks About 1972 and 2004
Isn't the big lesson of 1972 this: Beware a president whose campaign dishonesty got him expelled from office shortly after his landslide win? Is winning an election worth dishonoring the nation? Am I the one who should be ashamed about 1972?

It has always seemed to me that the leaders who are the quickest to send our boys and our young to war are those who have never known war themselves.

I'm proud of my war service, but today I'm more interested in peace. I certainly don't want any more wars like the one in Iraq -- a country that posed no threat to us and had nothing to do with Sept. 11, 2001. There seem to be no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.