Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Bush team refuses teacher admission to rally

Bush team refuses Social Studies
teacher admission to campaign rally

I'll bet she'll have a great lesson to teach her fall class.

Bush campaign staffers tore up a 55-year-old social studies teacher's ticket and refused her admission because she sported a small sticker on her blouse that touted the Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards.

"I had my ticket and photo identification, but they would not let me in because of this sticker," said Mead, a teacher at Traverse City West Senior High, who said she has seen Queen Elizabeth and Pope John Paul in person.

"I have never found this kind of screening anywhere in my travels around the world. I can't imagine being denied access to hearing the president of the United States speak."


Helen Thomas Tough on Kerry

Helen Thomas Tough on Kerry

Some very tough love for Kerry from Helen Thomas. I've said this several times now. If he wants to convince those hardest to convince--the ones who want to vote for him but demand clarity--John Kerry needs to put his clearest heartfelt thoughts on leadership (his thoughts in 2002, now, and the time in-between) in black and white and send it to the N.Y. Times.

Put your finger on the pulse, Senator Kerry.

Listen to Helen Thomas.
Listen to what's in the wind.
Listen to the hearts of troops that no longer beat.
Listen to the families of those troops like Army Capt. Humayun Saqib Khan of the Germany-based, 201st Forward Support Battalion, 1st Infantry Division. He wrote home in a letter: "This is a mess, why are we here? This is such chaos. We should be coming home instead of being here."

His family wants him to be remembered as a peacemaker..someone who cared about his fellow man.

Listen to the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Gregory E. MacDonald. Like you, Senator Kerry, he was a cerebral man, but he never made it home to tell his nation what you were able to tell our nation. He was a scholar who wanted to create peace in the Middle East. Greg told his friends many times that he would support any candidate who stood up forcefully against this war because it was wrong and was not sold on evidence, but lies and ideology.

Many of us have sons and daughters who are thinking of joining the service. They are loving and caring people. Even after Viet Nam, we have been a trusting people. Until this Iraq mess; this Iraq lie.

We need to trust now more than ever.

Put your finger on the pulse, Senator Kerry.

A Republican Clears His Conscience

A Republican Clears His Conscience

War in Iraq was a mistake

An unexpected four-page statement from retiring Rep. Doug Bereuter (R) of Nebraska must be driving Karl Rove to drink. Rep. Bereuter has stated it's his belief that it was a mistake for the Bush administration to have launched military action in Iraq, especially without a broad and engaged international coalition. He said his vote on the Iraq resolution was based on what he had been told about the WMD threat from Iraq. He stated: "Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action."

I can recall, prior to the preemptive strike on Iraq, being told that "we can't wait for the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud." The 16 words about Niger used calculatingly in the 2003 State of the Union speech stil ring out alarmingly in my mind.

Rep. Bereuter knows he's right and he won't let his conscience be erased by politics.

You may wonder why my headline is so large.
If this was Zell Miller saying something contrary about a Democratic leader, Drudge would slather it all over his front page.

Kerry's Invitation from Grover

Kerry's Invitation from Grover

Political intimidator-extraordinaire Grover Norquist has sent John Kerry a cordial invitation to attend one of his infamous weekly Wednesday meetings. I guess Kerry's attendance, in these conservative minds, would be akin to Bush attending an NAACP function (which Bush, of course, has refused to do).

Sincere congratulations go out to Grover and Samah on their engagement.

Krugman vs. O'Reilly

Krugman vs. O'Reilly

Thanks to Jim Gilliam, we have reels of the intelligent Paul Krugman facing off with the anti-intellectual "just-shut-up-you're-stupid" Bill O'Reilly at CNBC/Tim Russert.
(You'll need Quicktime in order to view them).

"This is not your can't cut my mike."
--Paul Krugman to Bill O'Reilly

Here are a few of O'Reilly's fantastic Foxworld comments about his network:

"Colmes is a liberal( please!). Van Susteren is a liberal.(zzzzz) Shepard Smith is really nothing. (hmm-maybe he's right). We put more liberals on the air than conservatives (Bwah!). There are no talking points (see Outfoxed)."

Watch O'Reilly go nuts at the very mention of Media Matters. It's priceless. He compares Media Matters to the Ku Klux Klan.

Jim--a tip o'the hat to you. Thanks.

Popeye vs. Einstein

Here are my comments to Jim Gilliam's website:

Geez, turn down your speakers when O'Reilly bellows from the depths of his echoing "traditionalist" body cavern at the mention of "Media Matters". Ear plugs may be required.
I recommend ear plugs for most of O'Reilly's rantings. He fantasizes that if you don't agree with him you're a Commie elitist or a soft wimp or some other bullcrap generalization.
I watch him with the same expectations I'd have watching WWF. If someone chooses to enter his wrestling ring, they set themselves up for an anti-intellectual body-slamming, which only sates the bloodthirsty crowd.
I often wonder why any self-respecting liberal would grace his entertainment show and why Russert would even bother to give him the status he doesn't deserve by asking him to debate someone like Krugman. It's like watching Popeye debate Einstein. All Popeye's got is his can o'spinach. What fun is that?

Quote of The Day-Fareed Zakaria

Quote of The Day-Fareed Zakaria

"'s widely understood in the business world that having a good objective means nothing if you implement it badly."

--Fareed Zakaria from Why Kerry Is Right on Iraq, Newsweek

George Bush-Take That Ad Off The Air

George Bush-Take That Ad Off The Air

MoveOnPAC is going to air a new TV ad in the swing states where the Swift Boat defamers are airing their own Kerry-bashing ad. MoveOn is exposing the fact that Bush (with his own weak wartime service record) has refused to condemn the misleading commercials...allowing false advertising that attacks John Kerry, a man who asked to go to Vietnam and who served with dignity and heroism.

MoveOn thinks Bush should pay the political price for his refusal to condemn the dreadful attacks.

It's going to be a pretty hefty price if the MoveOn ads are effective. Almost everyone I speak to in my own little town--- old/young, conservative/independent/liberal--- thinks the Swift Boat ads are rotten.

C-SPAN provides a video of John Kerry's 1971 appearance on the Dick Cavett Show where Kerry debates the Vietnam War with John O'Neill. O'Neill is the author of the book attacking Kerry's integrity titled "Unfit for Command".

John Kerry: Cincinnati VFW Speech

John Kerry: Cincinnati VFW Speech

"I will wage war with the lessons I've learned in war..and those lessons run deep."

"Strength is more than tough words," said John Kerry today in his speech to the VFW Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Senator Kerry said that "we didn't have to become a divided nation" after 9/11, yet we did.

"I know what I have to do in Iraq", he said as he explained we need international allies' wide support in order to steer our troops safely home.

"I will wage war with the lessons I've learned in war..and those lessons run deep."

Kerry asked: "What is our long term strategy to make America safer?" (TRANSCRIPT).

About the troops, Kerry said, "Never send them into battle withouit a plan to win the peace. That is essential."

He recommended 40,000 new troops (not in Iraq) but to relieve the pressure of the overtrstretch of the U.S. armed forces today. He said the "backdoor draft" must end.

"We need to do everything we can to avoid another 9/11." Kerry said that "winning the war on terror demands a team effort", working cooperatively with other nations to secure good intelligence. About terrorists, he said that "we need to get them before they get us".

He called upon Congress to create a central national intelligence director.

Long term success demands the use of national power, international cooperation, intelligence, economic policy, diplomacy, homeland defense...and more.
"I will fight a smarter and a more effective war on terror," he said.

He stressed the use of principles as well as firepower.

He said question for November is not simply "Who will lead America?", but also, "Will America continue to lead the world?"

Kerry stated this is not the right time to redeploy 70,000 troops as Bush has recommended. He went as far as to say that the redeployment was hasty and could be dangerous, especially the redployment of 12,000 troops from South Korea.

Before John Kerry got to the podium, the RNC had their uber negative attack machine in gear.

The RNC pulled out young Kerry's (circa 1971) criticism of the VFW and American Legion: "We will not quickly join those who march on Veterans Day waving small flags, calling to memory those thousands who died for the 'greater glory of the United States.' ... We will not readily join the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars." (as the Washington Times was happy to report).

Consider the reality of the Viet Nam conflict and its dreadful politics and it's not hard to understand how an incredibly intelligent young man who had fought in Viet Nam would have been disillusioned and confused about taking pride in what he'd had to do.

I respect young Kerry's confusion and disillusionment a hell of a lot more than George W. Bush never acknowledging that he wanted to avoid fighting in Vietnam altogether.

After having seen the speech, I don't think any vet in that Cincinnati audience today left with the impression that John Kerry didn't have the utmost respect for them and/or the deepest love for his country.

When he said "I will wage war with the lessons I've learned in war..and those lessons run deep," there was no question about what he meant.

They knew he was in-country back in the late 60s. A vet understand history better than you and me because he's faced the fire. I think they understand what John Kerry's talking about when he says he'll keep the faith with those who have served. It's a faith only a brother-in-arms might truly understand.

Norm Coleman Misleads on Jon Stewart's Show

Norm Coleman Misleads on Jon Stewart's Daily Show

I saw Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman totally mislead people last night on Jon Stewart's Daily Show. When Jon Stewart asked Coleman if it was true that a Rio Rancho, New Mexico audience for a recent Cheney-rally had to sign loyalty pledges in order to be admitted, Coleman said it wasn't true at all and it was a rumor started by "those 527s".

That was either a lie or a gross prejudice on Coleman's part.

It was in the news.

China warns Bush to follow international law

China warns Bush to follow international law

Beijing spokesman Kong Quan from China is warning Washington not to send the "wrong signal" to the East Turkestan terrorist force by releasing Guantanamo Bay detainees (from the autonomous Xinjiang region) to a random third country (vs. returning them to the Chinese government).

China's treatment of terrorists has been tough (as tough on terror as Bush has been), and I don't see where Bush would have the lawful (or the moral) authority to ignore China's request to get them back once they're released from Guantanamo. The Chinese have supported our war on terror thus far because they have seen that resistance to their own Chinese rule is led and fanned by Muslim extremists, usually egged on from outside China's borders.

Let's hope Bush doesn't decide to flip the bird to the rule of law and get China's feathers all ruffled. It's not the time to create tensions with foreign nations we need as allies fighting against terror. This is one of those sensitive issues where I have learned, from experience, to have shaken faith in Bush's possible reaction.

Albany Mosque Evidence Flawed?

Albany Mosque Evidence Flawed?

It's said there are possible flaws in a key piece of evidence in the recent case against two leaders of an Albany, New York, mosque accused of supporting terrorism. The error concerns a possible incorrect translation of one particular word. The word translators mistook for "commander" may have actually merely meant "brother". One of the accused men's attorneys has said it looks as if his client has been "framed". [LINK]

Don't stay the failing course in Iraq

Don't stay the failing course in Iraq

"Withdrawal [from Iraq] would be a blow to American credibility, but less so if it were deliberate and abrupt rather than a retreat under fire imposed by surging antiwar sentiments at home. (See Vietnam.)"

--Edward Luttwak, Time to Quit Iraq (Sort Of) , N.Y.Times op-ed