hope you're voting today. I don't plan to be harping on here so regularly
anymore. Hey, thanks for reading. Good luck to us all.
leave you with some strong words from some smart people.
is a link to information on a new book called Crossing
the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age
by Michael C. Ruppert. This is potent stuff. Not for the weak at heart.
To learn about the author, go to fromthewilderness.com
that's a little much, at least take the time to read this. You won't
find this point of view on the network news. I reproduce it in full
to original in TheAustinChronicle.com)
Letters at 3AM
Welcome to the Situation
BY MICHAEL VENTURA
The administrations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton,
and George W. Bush, as well as the candidacies of John Kerry and
Ralph Nader, all relate to what may be called the Situation –
a Situation that they have not and will never discuss frankly. Which
is not entirely their fault. Whatever mix of ambition, self-deception,
and fear that each must struggle with – for they are merely
human and we all struggle with such weaknesses – they also
know that Americans of the left as well as the right are an immature
people hell-bent on remaining immature. The mass media market immaturity
so successfully because Americans crave immaturity on a mass scale.
Most of our entertainment and fashion, as well as the presentation
of most news, and virtually all our phenomenally effective advertising,
assumes that one must not treat Americans as adults – and
America eats up such condescension manically, if not happily. No
one can hope to lead by confronting the Situation honestly and directly.
So each concocts his own brand of gibberishy cant, shaded to his
constituency, and hopes his rap will give him enough cover to deal
with the Situation as he sees fit. And the Situation is this:
The great days of the United States of America are over. Nothing
will bring those days back. It's too late. The damage has been done.
There is no possible political, military, or economic solution.
The general prosperity of the Fifties and Sixties (as opposed to
the one-sided prosperity of the Nineties) is irretrievable. The
capacity of the U.S. to lead the world has been drained. The only
question is how America will decline – gracefully, clumsily,
or tragically? Will we decline with our Constitution intact? Will
our decline make us more tolerant and interesting, or meaner and
more dulled? Britain declined drastically between 1914 and 1950,
yet still produced great literature and a leader of the caliber
of Winston Churchill. France declined just as badly, yet still had
the cultural power to produce influential art and philosophy. Europe
as a whole declined during the 20th century, but retained the intellectual
vitality to reinvent itself for the 21st and become another kind
of power. How will America decline? At this moment in history, that
is the important question: How will America decline?
Look briefly at some specifics of the Situation:
China has become a manufacturing colossus while our factories are
gone or going, for keeps. Our agriculture is on welfare: 18% of
U.S. farm income comes from government subsidies; what happens to
U.S. agriculture when we're too broke to sustain such subsidies?
China invests vast sums a year in its infrastructure, on all levels,
from cultural and educational institutions to grand construction
projects; we're spending comparable sums futilely in Iraq while
our infrastructure, on all levels, crumbles. We're fighting for
oil in the Middle East; China is in negotiation with Russia to have
oil piped through its backdoor – while, through its front
door, it has a sweet deal with Australia for natural gas (while
we spend millions "defending" Australia against –
China!). We've allowed our corporations to become non-national entities.
Not only are they financing the rise of China, moving our manufacturing
to China or to its sphere of influence, but through off-shore tax
havens and the like these so-called American businesses contribute
next to nothing to the only entity empowered to ensure our domestic
tranquility: the federal government. As to our heavily indebted
federal government, its solvency is now supported mostly by Asians
buying our bonds. Why do they buy our bonds? Because the American
consumer is still the engine of world prosperity. How is this possible?
Because of credit cards and the like. Without the American way of
credit, we'd be in a depression. The paramount fact: The United
States (as opposed to its nominally American corporations, which
demonstrate no allegiance) is now important economically only because
of its citizens' consumption. That consumption is fated to decline
while in the near future – maybe five years, maybe 10 –
China will prosper enough for its 1.3 billion citizens to become
significant consumers. There are so many of them that they don't
have to consume as much as we do to become the world's economic
engine; if, individually, they consume merely one-fifth of what
we do, they will surpass us in buying power. When that happens,
China and Southern Asia can support their own growth and will have
no more use for us. Then they need not defeat us militarily. They
have merely to stop buying our bonds. Or even to threaten to stop
buying our bonds. America will have the choice of being either severely
destitute or following China's lead – perhaps both! That is
To cope with the Situation, each of the five men mentioned in the
first sentence of this column has had, beneath his pointless rhetoric,
George H.W. Bush tried to proclaim a "new world order."
The U.S. still had enough credibility, manufacturing clout, and
consumer strength to lead and control the big changes that were
afoot – or so Bush the First hoped. He temporarily secured
both our oil dominance and our world leadership. But he couldn't
be honest with our childish voters about the Situation, so he was
accused of not having the "vision thing," though in fact
he did. He lost his moment and his momentum, and America lost its
last chance at dominance. (Do not take this to mean that I approved
his policies. He sold out the American worker in order to retain
American world clout. I'd rather we not be dominant. I'd rather
we grow up.)
Bill Clinton knew the score. He opted for a relatively soft landing.
His plan: Let the corporations have whatever they want – given
the makeup of Congress and the immaturity of the American voter,
they'd get it anyway (so his thinking went); serve big business,
but keep the American way of life more or less viable. Thus his
priority was to balance the budget. I hate the way he balanced it;
for instance, with a double-digit lead in the polls in '96 he cut
school lunches for impoverished children to appease the right. Clinton
knew that our middle class is small-of-heart and run by fear, and
that they care nothing for the suffering of others as long as they're
taken care of. He balanced their budget. But say this for him: His
goal was that America decline gracefully, retaining most freedoms
and some privileges. With a balanced budget America wouldn't be
beholden to creditors, and would retain its agriculture and much
of its powerful consumer value. China would dominate the 21st century,
but would still need the U.S. as a junior partner, as the U.S. needed
Western Europe in the last half of the 20th century. With their
combined power, China and America could stabilize the world. So
Clinton hoped. Not an entirely ignoble plan.
George W. Bush sees things differently: America may be lost, but
the American elite must still call the shots on the world stage.
Screw the middle class as well as the poor, bankrupt the government
long-term for power short-term. His goal: a military solution. A
missile shield would allow us to dictate to China and Europe; even
a fake missile shield might be a playing card. Find any excuse to
root the American military in the Middle East. Its oil would be
under our command, while a poorer America would swell the ranks
of our "volunteer" forces. Gut the Constitution's checks
and balances, for belief in raw power admits no checks and balances.
Iraq is a mess? Inconvenient, but ultimately it doesn't matter as
long as the American military is committed to the Mideast. That
keeps everybody off balance. With everything so crazy, China will
hesitate, Europe will hesitate, and the American elite will have
enough time to move entirely off-shore, and then – screw America
too, who needs it? How will America decline in the Bush plan? Precipitously,
but the elite will still be the elite. That's all Bush cares about.
Ralph Nader says to the Situation: "End corporate welfare!"
His stance was barely viable in '96, when I voted for him, but now
it's '04 and the damage has been done. Corporations don't need us
anymore, yea or nay. Their profits are ultimately Chinese. Nader
can't fix that. His plan is politically unfeasible and economically
And John Kerry – he's like one of those damaged but functioning
Mars landers. Clinton's soft landing is no longer possible, but
bumpy is better than a crash. Given the Situation, make things as
bearable as possible. That's Kerry's real policy: Salvage what's
salvageable. His goal is straight from Mars: a damaged but functional
landing. It won't be pretty but it might work, and when all is said
and done we might yet have a functioning Constitution. With that,
we can pick up the pieces of what's left of America. Which is still
something worth fighting and voting for.
Osama Bin Laden continues
to taunt president Bush in a full translation of his recent video-tape,
previously only excerpted in the American media.
Shame. Bob Herbert speaks out. (excerpt)
... Also mind-boggling is the attempt by Republican
Party elements to return the U.S. to the wretched days of the mid-20th
century when many black Americans faced harassment, intimidation
and worse for daring to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
A flier circulating extensively in black neighborhoods in Wisconsin
carries the heading "Milwaukee Black Voters League." It
asserts that people are not eligible to vote if they have voted
in any previous election this year; if they have ever been found
guilty of anything, even a traffic violation; or if anyone in their
family has ever been found guilty of anything.
"If you violate any of these laws," the flier says, "you
can get ten years in prison and your children will get taken away
In Philadelphia, where a large black vote is essential to a Kerry
victory in the crucial state of Pennsylvania, the Republican speaker
of the Pennsylvania House, John Perzel, is hard at work challenging
Democratic voters. He makes no bones about his intent, telling U.S.
News & World Report:
"The Kerry campaign needs to come out with humongous numbers
here in Philadelphia. It's important for me to keep that number
That's called voter suppression, folks, and the G.O.P. concentrates
its voter-suppression efforts in the precincts where there are large
numbers of African-Americans. And that's called racism.
These are days of shame for the United States. (read
entire editorial at nytimes.com)
reminds you to VOTE
has a pretty good analysis of Bin Laden's new videotape. At least it
asks questions that struck me when I first heard the tape: Why has Osama's
rhetoric changed from taunting to justifying. It is an interesting shift
and it is discussed by Cole here: (excerpt)
The talk about being "free persons" (ahrar)
and fighting for "liberty" (hurriyyah) for the Muslim
"nation" (ummah) seems to me a departure. The word hurriyyah
or freedom has no classical Arabic or Koranic resonances and I don't
think it has played a big role in his previous statements.
I wonder if bin Laden has heard from the field that his association
with the authoritarian Taliban has damaged recruitment in the Arab
world and Iraq, where most people want an end to dictatorship and
do not want to replace their secular despots with a religious one.
The elections in Pakistan (fall 2002) and Afghanistan went better
than he would have wanted, and may have put pressure on him. He
may now be reconfiguring the rhetoric of al Qaeda, at least, to
represent it as on the side of political liberty. (read
whole article at alternet.org)
seems to me Bin Laden is positioning himself as a freedom fighter against
American mid-East policies in order to win the hearts and minds of the
world against Bush's America. This is a frightening development.
you want to read a really stupid commentary on the Bin Laden Tape, well
you can always count on David
Brooks, talking about John Kerry's empty soul. What a pile of steaming
ka ka. Does he get payed to write this stuff?
haven't checked in for a few days. Know why? It's just the same old
shit. The mud-slinging is so bad I had to take a break. Basically, the
Republicans have turned this country into a steaming pile of bile, spreading
HATE and FEAR so thick there's no turning back. They say the first casualty
of War is the truth. The casualty of this administration is the moderate.
You may think I'm a lefty, and maybe so, but I believe in compassion,
comunication, and compromise above all. Oh, so sorry, does that make
me a girlie-man? Soft on terror? Guess so. All that moderate stuff,
that's all out the window, in the dustbin, trampled under foot. Here's
on the subject.
Tuesday promises to be an eruption of demonic nastiness that'll make
Iraq look like a kid's birthday party. Here's some Seasonal fun from
Dowd, and an unexpected treat from alternet.com.
you haven't yet, might be worth checking out Bush's
Brain the book. If you haven't time for that, how about Bush's
Brain the film? If you haven't time for that, you could try reading
L.A. Times article. No time? How 'bout reading the excerpt below?
Rovism regards any form of compromise as weakness.
Politics isn't a bus we all board together, it's a steamroller.
No recent administration has made less effort to reach across the
aisle, and thanks to Rovism, the Republican majority in Congress
often operates on a rule of exclusion. Republicans blocked Democrats
from participating in the bill-drafting sessions on energy, prescription
drugs and intelligence reform in the House. As Rep. George Miller
(D-Martinez) told the New Yorker, "They don't consult with
the nations of the world, and they don't consult with Congress,
especially the Democrats in Congress. They can do it all themselves."
article at truthout.org)
matter what, do not underestimate Karl Rove and his disdain for YOU.
national debate has been framed by the right wing, which is Bush's greatest
achievement. We have Kerry saying he'll KILL every terrorist, he's out
KILLing geese and waving a gun around, and the environment is never
mentioned by the media as a campaign issue. It is telling that the only
debate in which the environment was a topic was the one in which citizens
asked the questions. Here's a summary of the problem for all you swing
voters who might want a different issue from Iraq and the Economy with
which to make your decision: (excerpted from a speech by Robert F Kennedy,
the nation's premiere Environmental attorney and author of Crimes
Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals are Plundering
the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy)
They have concealed their radical agenda from the
American public using Orwellian rhetoric. When they destroy the
forest, they call it the Healthy Forest Law; when they destroy the
air they call it the Clear Skies Bill. And most insidiously they
have put polluters in charge of virtually all the agencies that
are supposed to protect Americans from pollution. The head of the
Forest Service is a timber industry lobbyist. The head of public
lands is a mining industry lobbyist who believes that public lands
are unconstitutional. The head of the air division at EPA is a utility
lobbyist who has represented the worst air polluters in America.
The second in command at EPA is a Monsanto lobbyist. The head of
Superfunds, an agency critical to quality of life here in Oregon,
is a lobbyist whose last job was teaching corporate polluters how
to evade Superfunds.
If you go through all the agency heads, sub-heads and secretaries
in the Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Department
of Energy and EPA, you'll find the same thing: The polluters are
running regulatory agencies that are supposed to regulate them.
And these are not individuals who have entered government service
for the sake of the public interest, but rather specifically to
subvert the very laws that they are in charge of enforcing. This
is impacting our quality of life in America in so many ways that
we don't know about because the press simply isn't doing its job
of informing the American public, scrutinizing these policies, connecting
the dots between the corporate contributors and the dramatic decline
in American quality of life that we are now experiencing.
Yeah, we've all heard about the Orwellian thing. But here's the part
where Kennedy get's to the crux of the matter: For all you die-hard
capitalists and free-marked types, this is the real crime perpetrated
by this administration:
Environmental injury is deficit spending. It's
a way of loading the costs of our generation's prosperity onto the
backs of our children. There is no stronger advocate for free-market
capitalism than myself. I believe that the free market is the most
efficient and democratic way to distribute the goods of the land.
It's also the best thing that can happen to the environment because
a true free market encourages efficiency and the elimination of
waste, and waste is pollution.
So free market capitalism does not pollute our environment. It's
always the suspension of free market rule. In a true free market
economy, you can't make yourself rich without making your neighbors
rich, without enriching your community. So what polluters do is
make themselves rich by making everybody else poor. They raise standards
of living for themselves by lowering quality of life for everybody
else, and they do that by escaping the discipline of the free market,
by forcing the public to pay their production costs. You show me
a polluter and I'll show you a subsidy. I'll show you a fat cat
who's using political clout to escape the discipline of the free
whole article at truthout.org)
that Republicans used to be the conservation party. Well I wouldn't
blame you if you didn't remember. It's been a while.
people who like lists: 100
Facts and 1 Opinion | The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration
tired of hearing George Bush talk about Kerry's record in the Senate.
And I'm glad Kerry is finally getting a moment to speak for himself:
I've spent thirty-five years dealing with these
kinds of issues. When I came back from fighting in a war, I fought
against the war here in America. As a senator, I led the fight to
stop Ronald Reagan's illegal war in Central America. I helped expose
Oliver North and Manuel Noriega. I've been at this for a long time.
You know, I led the initial efforts to change our policy on the
Philippines - which ultimately resulted in the elections, and became
part of the process that helped get rid of Marcos.
I negotiated personally with the prime minister
of Cambodia, to get accountability for the killing fields of the
Pol Pot regime. I've negotiated with the Vietnamese to let me and
John McCain in and put American forces on the ground to resolve
the POW-MIA issue. I've spent twenty years on the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee; I've been chairman of the Narcotics Terrorism
Subcommittee. I have five times the experience George Bush does
in dealing with these issues, and I know that I can get this done.
the Kerry interview at RollingStone.com)
this article. These are the words of a thoughtful, solid public servant.
This man deserves a chance. We deserve a break.
in Bush's America, Marriage is down, Abortion rates are up.
Under Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion
rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000
more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would
have been expected before this change of direction.
For anyone familiar with why most women have abortions, this is
no surprise: Two-thirds of women who have abortions cite "inability
to afford a child" as their primary reason (Minnesota Citizens
Concerned for Life). In the Bush presidency, unemployment rates
increased half again. (read
entire article at HoustonChronicle.com)
DON'T THINK THAT ANY MORE FACTS, INFORMATION, ARGUMENTS, REPORTS WILL
CHANGE THE MINDS OF THE BUSH-CHENEY FLOCK. NOTHING WILL CHANGE THEIR
new survey reveals that Bush supporters choose to keep faith in
their leader than face reality.
the good folks at The American Conservative Magazine are hesitating
to vote for Bush (excerpt)
KERRY's THE ONE
... It is ... an election about the presidency of George W. Bush.
To the surprise of virtually everyone, Bush has turned into an important
president, and in many ways the most radical America has had since
the 19th century. Because he is the leader of America’s conservative
party, he has become the Left’s perfect foil—its dream
candidate. The libertarian writer Lew Rockwell has mischievously
noted parallels between Bush and Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas
II: both gained office as a result of family connections, both initiated
an unnecessary war that shattered their countries’ budgets.
Lenin needed the calamitous reign of Nicholas II to create an opening
for the Bolsheviks.
Bush has behaved like a caricature of what a right-wing president
is supposed to be, and his continuation in office will discredit
any sort of conservatism for generations. The launching of an invasion
against a country that posed no threat to the U.S., the doling out
of war profits and concessions to politically favored corporations,
the financing of the war by ballooning the deficit to be passed
on to the nation’s children, the ceaseless drive to cut taxes
for those outside the middle class and working poor: it is as if
Bush sought to resurrect every false 1960s-era left-wing cliché
about predatory imperialism and turn it into administration policy.
Add to this his nation-breaking immigration proposal—Bush
has laid out a mad scheme to import immigrants to fill any job where
the wage is so low that an American can’t be found to do it—and
you have a presidency that combines imperialist Right and open-borders
Left in a uniquely noxious cocktail. (read
full article at amconmag.com)
On this site, my
main preoccupation continues to be spin, the media, and how the Hell
half of America has gotten so off track. You should be following the
Broadcast Group story, and the CIA
report suppression, but all I want to talk about here is the degredation
of thought at the hands of the Republican party.
Outraged pundits ignore Bush's lies: False indignation
remains cornerstone of post-debate strategy
The New York Observer
... Fake indignation has become a standard feature of post-debate
spin by Republicans whenever they feel that their man did poorly.
They played the same game on Al Gore in 2000, with considerable
help from their press claque, by focusing on minor errors that they
transformed into falsehoods. Now they hope that this degrading charade
will erase George W. Bush's inadequate performance at the podium
by stirring phony anger over the "lesbian" remark -- which
scarcely drew any attention in the first flush of Mr. Kerry's decisive
It is remarkable indeed that the Cheney remark could obscure the
truly stunning moment in the last debate, when the President claimed
that he had never expressed a lack of concern about Osama bin Laden
-- when the videotape showed that was exactly what he had said two
years ago. And it is amazing, too, that the President can get away
with denying that he has made any serious mistakes during his first
term, when the disastrous errors are so obvious. (read
full editorial at workingforchange.com)
Prize–winning investigative reporter Seymour "Sy" Hersh
has some harsh words to say about our foreign policy.
The past two years will "go down as one of the
classic sort of failures" in history, said the man who has
been called the "greatest muckraker of all time" and (paradoxically)
the "enfant terrible of journalism for more than 30 years."
While Hersh blamed the White House and the Pentagon for the Iraq
quagmire and America's besmirched world image, he was stymied by
how it all happened. "How could eight or nine neoconservatives
come and take charge of this government?" he asked. "They
overran the bureaucracy, they overran the Congress, they overran
the press, and they overran the military! So you say to yourself,
How fragile is this democracy?" (read
full article at www.berkeley.edu)
the Administration, drunk on power, is stepping up its rhetoric against
the city that bore the brunt of 9/11 and hosted the RNC. How many more
times on this site will I assert that WE ARE ENTERING A TIME OF CIVIL
WAR IN THE U.S.A.
During the closing weeks of the 2000 presidential
campaign, at a campaign rally, George W. Bush spotted a veteran
political reporter and turned to Dick Cheney, standing next to him
on the platform, to remark, "There's Adam Clymer, major league
asshole from the New York Times." "Oh yeah, big time,"
replied Cheney. Unbeknownst to them, their locker-room exchange
was caught by an open microphone. Four years later, nobody connected
with the Bush-Cheney campaign appears even slightly concerned about
being caught denigrating the Times; they're more than happy to do
it on the record, as the White House has all but declared open warfare
on the nation's leading newspaper. (read
full article at salon.com)
Suskind's article on Bush in the Times is essential reading. (excerpt
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we
call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who
''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible
reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles
and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really
works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we
act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality
-- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new
realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort
out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left
to just study what we do.''
And for those who don't get it? That was explained to me in late
2002 by Mark McKinnon, a longtime senior media adviser to Bush,
who now runs his own consulting firm and helps the president. He
started by challenging me. ''You think he's an idiot, don't you?''
I said, no, I didn't. ''No, you do, all of you do, up and down the
West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called
Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don't care. You see, you're
outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America,
busy working people who don't read The New York Times or Washington
Post or The L.A. Times. And you know what they like? They like the
way he walks and the way he points, the way he exudes confidence.
They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops,
his jumbled syntax, it's good for us. Because you know what those
folks don't like? They don't like you!'' In this instance, the final
''you,'' of course, meant the entire reality-based community.
'Faith can cut in so many ways,'' he said. ''If you're
penitent and not triumphal, it can move us to repentance and accountability
and help us reach for something higher than ourselves. That can
be a powerful thing, a thing that moves us beyond politics as usual,
like Martin Luther King did. But when it's designed to certify our
righteousness -- that can be a dangerous thing. Then it pushes self-criticism
aside. There's no reflection.
''Where people often get lost is on this very point,'' he said after
a moment of thought. ''Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection
and not -- not ever -- to the thing we as humans so very much want.''
And what is that?
''Easy certainty.'' (read
whole article at nytimes.com)
someone makes this point.
To the Editor:
As a resident of Massachusetts, I am offended by the president's
repeated efforts to single out the state from the rest of the United
He is the president of the "United States," not the "United
States less Massachusetts."
Such narrow-minded parochialism not only erodes the unity of the
country, but it also shows a lack of compassion. I urge the president
to remember that a lot of the good things that happened to this
country started from these hallowed grounds.
Even today, this place of learning brings innovations in science
and technology and an effort to better understand human values to
the rest of the country.
Somnath Mukherji, Arlington, Mass., Oct. 14, 2004
wouldn't get away with saying "those yahoos from Texas" in
you're following the Sinclair
News story. All part of our decent into Civil War, thanks to Republican
debate. Each man showed his best side. The choice should be clear. Here's
a vivid editorial from Thomas Friedman in the Times: (excerpt)
Lastly, politicizing 9/11 put a wedge between us and
our history. The Bush team has turned this country into "The
United States of Fighting Terrorism." "Bush only seems
able to express our anger, not our hopes," said the Mideast
expert Stephen P. Cohen. "His whole focus is on an America
whose role in the world is to negate the negation of the terrorists.
But America has always been about the affirmation of something positive.
That is missing today. Beyond Afghanistan, they've been much better
at destruction than construction."
I wish Mr. Kerry were better able to articulate how America is going
to get its groove back. But the point he was raising about wanting
to put terrorism back into perspective is correct. I want a president
who can one day restore Sept. 11th to its rightful place on the
calendar: as the day after Sept. 10th and before Sept. 12th. I do
not want it to become a day that defines us. Because ultimately
Sept. 11th is about them - the bad guys - not about us. We're about
the Fourth of July. (read
you noticed that Bush's new line for John Kerry is the one he used to
use for Osama Bin Laden? "You can run but you can't hide."
There you have it, the Republicans aren't for America, they are for
the Republicans. Everyone else is the Enemy. To Karl Rove Democrats
and terrorist are one and the same. Are these people in full possession
of their facilities? These evil clowns could learn from Republicans
like Bob Barr that Conservatives
Have Plenty of Cause to Abandon Bush.
you are aware of the Sinclair
Broadcast Group's intention to air an Anti-Kerry movie two weeks
before the election. Turns out Sinclair Ventures is deep into defense
Lone Star Iconoclast, a Texas newspaper, endorses
Kerrry in its editorial, and recieves threats from it readers. Some
of our staunchest patriots seem to HATE free speech and democracy.
tomorrow will highlight two Americas. Paul
Krugman offers a pre-emptive look at Bush's line of attack.
if you're watching, keep an eye out for Bush talking in code to his
Bush Opposes Dred Scott: It's code for Roe v. Wade.
on the campaign. Meanwhile, a soldier's Mom asks why her boy has
to buy his own equipment? (hint: Cheney's privatized military)
... Support our Military? Why is the government
not fully supporting and protecting our Military? Issue everything
they need or do not send them until they have it! I was not fortunate
enough to have been born RICH. I have to scrounge to help my son.
My family, his wife, and her family got together to help my son purchase
everything he was "required" to have. I have met other Marines
and their families who are in the same situation. Apparently our "Commander
and Chief" meant SEND YOUR MONEY TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN AND
RELATIVES, because the government is unable to do so. This administration
is NOT PUTTING THEIR MONEY WHERE THEIR MOUTH IS!!
This is just one reason why I will vote for
Senator Kerry! I believe that under his command, all or our Military
personnel will be treated fairly and equally. I also believe that
he will have a PLAN to bring ALL our children home! I also support
Senator Kerry because I believe if the need arises to call again on
our Military, President Kerry will not send our children into situations
without everything they need to protect themselves and their lives!
I sent my letter to John Kerry but I also
sent it to the following people. President George W. Bush, Representative
Robert S. Rangel/Committee on Armed Services, Senator John Warner/Committee
on Armed Services, Representative Robin Hayes, and Senator Elizabeth
Dole. The only people who cared enough to read my letter and respond
was John Kerry’s office. I wonder why no one else cared! (read
entire letter at truthout.org)
BUSH LOSING EVEN LOYAL SUPPORTERS
If you had the time to read the Times article referenced below, then
this from CNN
is a fine follow up.
We are living in an era where the strategy is to cannibalize opposing
positions and use them as devastating self-inflicting weapons. This
strategy demolishes all hope for a vigorous and objective debate. We
are reduced to emotional cat-calling.
Undeclared War New York Times Magazine, Published: October
Essential reading. Though I am distracted by the odd bias of the author--
some desire he shows to be won over by candidate Kerry-- when we get
to the issues (half way through the article!) we see, at least, a coherent
depiction of the Kerry Doctrine on Terrorism. It is essential that this
alternative view on our strategy of survival and dignity be articulated.
The sad fact seems to be America is not ready for this conversation.
The author of the article barely seems to be.
Prestowitz tells how the Republicans are no longer "conservative"
but RADICAL. (MotherJones.com)
Hope springs eternal.
AMERICA'S DEMOCRACY IN AFGHANISTAN
A day before the second presidential debate, Bush's rational for war
is becoming self-satire:
Bush is beginning to sound desperate:
President Bush defends the war in Iraq on the grounds that Saddam
Hussein had "the means and intent" to produce weapons
of mass destruction. (read
whole article at msnbc.com)
Morrison for U.S. Congress in Texas! Get Tom Delay out of office!
You know Tom Delay? He's the majority whip, and he makes George Bush
look like a moderate! But let him tell you in
his own words.
all for today. Let's see if the petulant one can control himself tonight.
The petulant little turd George Bush is so pissed he lost the debate
last Thursday that he's overhauled his line of attack in a desperate
bid to reclaim his lead. It's taken his script-doctors nearly a week
to come up with this zinger:
After running through a litany of what he said were
Mr. Kerry's vacillating positions, Mr. Bush said, to roars of laughter
and approval from his audience of supporters in Wilkes-Barre, "You
hear all that and you can understand why somebody would make a face."
whole article at NYTimes.com)
glad those Bush supporters find this all so amusing. Hey, at least they're
going to rallies. The question is, how did we come to this? Here's a
gloomy point of view about voting, American apathy, and the rest of
the world from San Francisco commentator Mark Morford.
Don't Americans Care? Do you know who Halliburton is? Dick Cheney?
How about Karl Rove? Alas, most Americans don't
Well well well.
to give major speech on Wednesday (today) because he couldn't get
it right in the debates.
Flip-flops on allowing torure. Bowing to preasure like a kid who
couldn't get away with it.
Was Right About the "Global Test"- Jefferson or Hitler?
Bush is harping away about the "Global Test" Kerry quote ad
nauseum. These guys are like washed-up ad men.
yeah, the VP Debate... Have you noticed how both parties promise to
KILL KILL KILL as many terrorists as possible? How about "bring
them to justice"?
our media will analyze the truth of each candidate's numbers. That would
seem to me to tip the scales rather significantly. For example, I have
always heard the figure spent in Iraq up to now was $200 Billion. Cheney
seems to dispute that. I have been lead to believe that Hussein was
not a sponsor of Al Qeada. He seems to dispute that as well. Cheney
said he'd never met John Edwards before. That's a bit far-fetched. Also,
Cheney advised you to get your facts from factcheck.com.
I think he'd be surprised where that leads...
Let's see what Darth Cheney has to say tonight. Will he reel it in,
or reveal his TRUE IDENTITY?!
Paul Krugman in today's New York Times editorial: (excerpt)
... Now it's Dick Cheney's turn.
Mr. Cheney's manufactured image is as much at odds with reality
as Mr. Bush's. The vice president is portrayed as a hardheaded realist,
someone you can trust with difficult decisions. But his actual record
is one of irresponsibility and incompetence.
Case in point: Mr. Cheney completely misread the nature of the 2001
California energy crisis. Although he has stonewalled investigations
into what went on in his task force, there's no real question that
he placed his trust in the very companies whose market-rigging caused
In tonight's debate, John Edwards will surely confront Mr. Cheney
over that task force, over domestic policies and, of course, over
Halliburton. But he can also use the occasion to ask more hard questions
about national security.
After all, Mr. Cheney didn't just promise Americans that "we
will, in fact, be welcomed as liberators" by the grateful Iraqis.
He also played a central role in leading us to war on false pretenses.
No, that's not an overstatement. In August 2002, when Mr. Cheney
declared "we now know Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire
nuclear weapons," he was being dishonest: the administration
knew no such thing. He was also being irresponsible: his speech
pre-empted an intelligence review that might have given dissenting
experts a chance to make their case.
So here's Mr. Edwards's mission: to expose the real Dick Cheney,
just as Mr. Kerry exposed the real George Bush. (read
whole editorial at nytimes.com)
we're watching old Dick, let's recall the wounded soldiers who's lives
will never be the same again since fighting the Bush/Cheney War of choice.
Hearts, a new book of photos and essays on the 16,000 wounded Americans
back from Iraq:
After having seen a couple of his buddies turn up
dead in a ditch during high school, Tyson Johnson decided to leave
his Prichard, Alabama home and make something of himself "because
I knew where my life was headed."
So he joined the National Guard first, and then, for a bonus of
$2999, he joined the army.
"Well, uh, shrapnel down the back, shrapnel that
came in and hit my head, punctured my lungs. I broke both of my
arms. I lost a kidney. My intestines was messed up. They took an
artery out of my left leg and put it into this right arm. They pretty
much took my life. Pretty much."
He has trouble teaching his son how to count on his hands because,
"You can see my fingers is messed up." Cpl. Tyson Johnson
is 100 percent disabled, cannot support his family – and the
National Guard wants its bonus back. (full
book profile at alternet.org)
did just fine in Iraq.
the first debate, George W. Bush intoned:
"If I were to ever say, "This is the wrong
war at the wrong time at the wrong place," the troops would
wonder, "How can I follow this guy?"
true Mr. President.
you heard about FOX News posting bogus
Kerry quotes on their website after the presidential debate? Are
you reading The
Progress Report daily? A good source of news in your busy day.
A big week begins. With polls in a dead heat, the Vice-presidential
Assumes New Importance. (Washington Post analysis)
THE HOT SEAT
David Brooks is given a lot of credit as a moderate conservative pundit.
I have always found his editorials manipulative and ingenuous. In particular,
his analysis of the debate between Kerry and Bush is dependent on a
ridiculous, widely proliferated assumption: That Bush is acting within
a higher moral code than the pragmatic "lawyerly" Kerrry.This
is hogwash, and dangerous as well. Bush's policies have caused the death
and suffering of countless thousands, while lining the pockets of corporations
and cowards. Is this God's will? To make the rich richer while polluting
our planet? This is inexplicable and irresponsible propaganda.
is in pursuit of policies that will reduce economic inequity and bring
consensus to the world community. Bush is not. It is preposterous that,
after he failed miserably to say one thing of clarity in the debate,
we are being told by one of the nation's top "intellectual conservatives"
that Bush has a higher calling than Kerry.
does not need to lay out his "guiding principals". He is a
civil servant trying to make moral decisions.
America needs to get religion there's a church on every block. We don't
need a deluded preacher in the White House. (COMIC
had this to say in the debate: I am a Jesus lover, and I "know
how the world works." Well blow me down. Half of that statement
is true, anyway.
at this claptrap from Brooks:
and Sensibility By DAVID BROOKS (edited where indicated)
... The atmosphere of Kerry's mind is rationalistic.
He thinks about how to get things done. He talks like a manager
or an engineer.
The atmosphere of Bush's mind is more creedal or ethical. He talks
about moral challenges. He talks about the sort of personal and
national character we need in order to triumph over our enemies.
His mind is less coldly secular than Kerry's, but also more abstracted
from day-to-day reality.
When John Kerry was asked how he would prevent another attack like
9/11, he reeled off a list of nine concrete policy areas, ranging
from intelligence reform to training Iraqi troops, but his answer
had no thematic summation. If you glance down a transcript of the
debate and you see one set of answers that talks about "logistical
capacity" or "a plan that I've laid out in four points,"
or "a long list" of proposals or "a strict series
of things" that need to be done, you know that's Kerry speaking.
If, on the other hand, you see an answer that says, "When we
give our word, we will keep our word," you know that is Bush.
When you see someone talking about crying with a war widow, you
know that's Bush.
These contrasting casts of mind influence how the two men see the
world - for example, how they define the enemy. On Thursday night,
Bush defined the war on terror as a broad moral and ideological
struggle. He said, "We have a solemn duty to defeat this ideology
Bush believes that Iraq is a crucial battlefield in the war because
a free Iraq will be a rebuttal to radical Islam right in the heart
of the Arab world.
Kerry, on the other hand, defined the enemy in narrow, concrete
terms. He emphasized that it was Osama bin Laden who attacked us.
He emphasized the need to defeat Al Qaeda's network. He called Iraq
a diversion from defeating that network.
Each cast of mind comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. The
mechanically minded Kerry is much better at talking about realities
like securing the Iraqi border. On the other hand, he is unable
to blend his specific proposals into guiding principles.
That's why he's been fuzzy about the big things over the entire
course of his career. That's why he has changed his mind on big
issues with such astonishing rapidity. That's why he gets twisted
into pretzels, like vowing to continue fighting the Iraq war, which
he says was a mistake to begin.
Bush, by contrast, is steadfast and resolute. But his weakness is
statecraft. That is the task of relating means to ends, of orchestrating
the institutions of government to achieve your desired goals.
Bush sometimes acts as if it's enough for a president to profess
his faith. But a coach can't just dream up a game plan. He has to
understand what his specific players can and can't do, and adapt
to those realities.
Bush launched a pre-emptive war even though his intelligence community
was incompetent. He occupied a country even though he didn't really
believe in, or work with, the institutions of government he would
need to complete the task.
Nonetheless, I suspect that the reason Bush's approval ratings hover
around 50 percent, despite a year of carnage in Iraq, is because
of the reason many of us in the commentariat don't like to talk
about: in a faithful and moralistic nation, Bush's language has
a resonance with people who know that he is not always competent,
and who know that he doesn't always dominate every argument, but
who can sense a shared cast of mind.
Brooks' editorials end with a condescending conclusion, which undermines
any hint of balance in the argument presented. For here he says Bush
may be incompetent, but there is a "faith-based" integrity
to the man that that smarty pants Kerry with all his thoughtful policy
stuff jest don't have. I can see Brooks sliding into that old authentic
Texas drawl as he writes those words.
you think I am over-reacting to Brooks, it's only because he is presenting
a dressed-up version of an insidious message out there. A message that
will be widely available on DVD this coming Tuesday! Here's entertainment
critic Frank Rich on the subject of "George W. Bush: Faith in the
... Though you can buy the DVD for $14.95, its makers
told the right-wing news service WorldNetDaily.com that they plan
to distribute 300,000 copies to America's churches. And no wonder.
This movie aspires to be "The Passion of the Bush," and
More than any other campaign artifact, it clarifies the hard-knuckles
rationale of the president's vote-for-me-or-face-Armageddon re-election
message. It transforms the president that the Democrats deride as
a "fortunate son" of privilege into a prodigal son with
the "moral clarity of an old-fashioned biblical prophet."
Its Bush is not merely a sincere man of faith but God's essential
and irreplaceable warrior on Earth. The stations of his cross are
burnished into cinematic fable: the misspent youth, the hard drinking
(a thirst that came from "a throat full of Texas dust"),
the fateful 40th-birthday hangover in Colorado Springs, the walk
on the beach with Billy Graham. A towheaded child actor bathed in
the golden light of an off-camera halo re-enacts the young George
comforting his mom after the death of his sister; it's a parable
anticipating the future president's miraculous ability to comfort
us all after 9/11. An older Bush impersonator is seen rebuffing
a sexual come-on from a fellow Bush-Quayle campaign worker hovering
by a Xerox machine in 1988; it's an effort to imbue our born-again
savior with retroactive chastity. As for the actual president, he
is shown with a flag for a backdrop in a split-screen tableau with
Jesus. The message isn't subtle: they were separated at birth. (read
whole article at NYTimes.com)
is all of this so upsetting? Because moral philosophy has preoccupied
the human mind since time immemorial and all of a sudden, a band of
self-interested hoodlums has claimed to have all the answers, and a
bewildered public, beaten down by commercialism and avarice is willingly
succumbing to this preposterous fiction. Martin Luther King, Gandhi,
George W. Bush. One of these things is not like the other.
a simple editorial on the debate that follows my line of thinking a
bit more succinctly.
Retreat Into a Substitute Reality By Sidney Blumenthal
The Guardian U.K.
After months of flawless execution in a
well-orchestrated campaign, President Bush had to stand alone in
an unpredictable debate. He had travelled the country, appearing
before adoring pre-selected crowds, delivered a carefully crafted
acceptance speech before his convention, and approved tens of millions
of dollars in TV commercials to belittle his opponent. In the lead,
Bush believed he had only to assert his superiority to end the contest
once and for all.
But onstage the president ran out of talking
points. Unable to explain the logic for his policies, or think on
his feet, he was thrown back on the raw elements of his personality
and leadership style.
Every time he was confronted with ambivalence,
his impulse was to sweep it aside. He claimed he must be followed
because he is the leader. Fate, in the form of September 11, had
placed authority in his hands as a man of destiny. Scepticism, pragmatism
and empiricism are enemies. Absolute faith prevails over open-ended
reason, subjectivity over fact. Belief in belief is the ultimate
sacrament of his political legitimacy. (read
full article at truthout.org)
One month from today we shall know the outcome of this infernal contest.
But America will not have resolved its differences I fear.
The first debate. A very revealing
evening. Let's see where the spin
takes it. David Brooks said the debate was a tie. So much for his credibility.
I'm sure for Bush's "base" he won, but Hanity looked a bit
shell-shocked last night trying to wrap his brain around Bush's performance.
The right wing spin-meisters seem to settle on calling Kerry "lawyerly",
versus Bush's "regular-guy". Someone has to remind them that
Bush is the leader of the free world and not a car mechanic.
mentioned Global Warming twice. That was music to this tree-hugger's
ears. Even Russia acknowledges there might be an grain of truth to the
speaking of spin, here's something: Lawmaker
expresses "dismay" that White House allegedly wrote Allawi