Wednesday :: Sep 29, 2004

If You Can't Count On Your Neighbors, ...

by pessimist

Owwer Leedur likes to make-believe that he deserves to be the pRetzeldint of every American. But many disagree: Former Maine Governor Angus King, who supported Bu$h in 2000, Ron Reagan, son of the Republican 40th President, John Eisenhower, son of the Republican 34th President, have all endorsed John F. Kerry for President.

So does the local newspaper in Crawford, Texas:

Bush's Hometown Newspaper Endorses Kerry

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - The newspaper in President Bush's adopted hometown of Crawford threw its support on Tuesday behind Bush's Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry. The weekly Lone Star Iconoclast criticized Bush's handling of the war in Iraq and for turning budget surpluses into record deficits. The editorial also criticized Bush's proposals on Social Security and Medicare. "The publishers of The Iconoclast endorsed Bush four years ago, based on the things he promised, not on this smoke-screened agenda," the newspaper said in its editorial. "Today, we are endorsing his opponent, John Kerry."

It urged "Texans not to rate the candidate by his hometown or even his political party, but instead by where he intends to take the country."

Angus King endorses Kerry

Former Gov. Angus King, an independent who says he voted for George W. Bush four years ago, endorsed Democratic challenger John Kerry on Tuesday and criticized Bush for his handling of the economy and the war in Iraq. King, a one-time Democrat who became an independent before his first run for governor in 1994, said he has not publicly endorsed a presidential candidate in the past quarter century. But he said "the case for change is overwhelming" as Bush seeks a second term. "I think the country is in the most significant danger in my lifetime," said King, 60. "I wouldn't be here unless I thought there was a grave threat to the future of the country."

A man who writes about military subjects would understand something about grave threats - and here's one supporting John F. Kerry, one whose father had to face grave threats as a military officer and as President:

Why I will vote for John Kerry for President

As son of a Republican President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, it is automatically expected by many that I am a Republican. For 50 years, through the election of 2000, I was. With the current administration’s decision to invade Iraq unilaterally, however, I changed my voter registration to independent, and barring some utterly unforeseen development, I intend to vote for the Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. John Kerry.

Now more than ever, we voters will have to make cool judgments, unencumbered by habits of the past. Experts tell us that we tend to vote as our parents did or as we “always have.” We remained loyal to party labels. We cannot afford that luxury in the election of 2004. There are times when we must break with the past, and I believe this is one of them.

THE Presidential election to be held this coming Nov. 2 will be one of extraordinary importance to the future of our nation. The outcome will determine whether this country will continue on the same path it has followed for the last 3½ years or whether it will return to a set of core domestic and foreign policy values that have been at the heart of what has made this country great.

The fact is that today’s "Republican" Party is one with which I am totally unfamiliar. To me, the word "Republican" has always been synonymous with the word "responsibility," which has meant limiting our governmental obligations to those we can afford in human and financial terms. Today’s whopping budget deficit of some $440 billion does not meet that criterion.

Responsibility used to be observed in foreign affairs. That has meant respect for others. America, though recognized as the leader of the community of nations, has always acted as a part of it, not as a maverick separate from that community and at times insulting towards it. Leadership involves setting a direction and building consensus, not viewing other countries as practically devoid of significance. Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance.

In the Middle East crisis of 1991, President George H.W. Bush marshaled world opinion through the United Nations before employing military force to free Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Through negotiation he arranged for the action to be financed by all the industrialized nations, not just the United States. When Kuwait had been freed, President George H. W. Bush stayed within the United Nations mandate, aware of the dangers of occupying an entire nation.

Today many people are rightly concerned about our precious individual freedoms, our privacy, the basis of our democracy. Of course we must fight terrorism, but have we irresponsibly gone overboard in doing so? I wonder. In 1960, President Eisenhower told the Republican convention, "If ever we put any other value above (our) liberty, and above principle, we shall lose both." I would appreciate hearing such warnings from the Republican Party of today.

The Republican Party I used to know placed heavy emphasis on fiscal responsibility, which included balancing the budget whenever the state of the economy allowed it to do so. The Eisenhower administration accomplished that difficult task three times during its eight years in office. It did not attain that remarkable achievement by cutting taxes for the rich. Republicans disliked taxes, of course, but the party accepted them as a necessary means of keep the nation’s financial structure sound.

The Republicans used to be deeply concerned for the middle class and small business. Today’s Republican leadership, while not solely accountable for the loss of American jobs, encourages it with its tax code and heads us in the direction of a society of very rich and very poor.

Sen. Kerry, in whom I am willing to place my trust, has demonstrated that he is courageous, sober, competent, and concerned with fighting the dangers associated with the widening socio-economic gap in this country. I will vote for him enthusiastically.

I celebrate, along with other Americans, the diversity of opinion in this country. But let it be based on careful thought. I urge everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, to avoid voting for a ticket merely because it carries the label of the party of one’s parents or of our own ingrained habits.

John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, served on the White House staff between October 1958 and the end of the Eisenhower administration. From 1961 to 1964 he assisted his father in writing The White House Years, his Presidential memoirs. He served as American ambassador to Belgium between 1969 and 1971. He is the author of nine books, largely on military subjects.

One person whose parent is currently touted as a symbol of the Republican Party has similar feelings:

Reagan junior warns Bush: ‘stop hijacking my father’s reputation’

Ron Reagan lives with a constant legacy of his father – in name, but also in his strong sense of right and wrong.

Reagan, a broadcaster and writer, told the Sunday Herald that he is determined to speak out about the tactics of the Bush administration in this election campaign – especially when viewed against the struggle of the 2000 result. He said: "The reality of this administration is so ugly that most Americans, even those who are more or less opposed to the administration, really don’t want to come to grips with that. This is an administration that has cheated to get into the White House. It’s not something Americans ever want to think about their government. My sense of these people is that they don’t have any respect for the public at large. They have a revolutionary mindset. I think they feel that anything they can do to prevail – lie, cheat, whatever – is justified by their revolutionary aims."

Reagan accused Bush of trying to re-invent himself in the mould of his father, who was near-idolised in the US as an immensely strong president in the face of the cold-war threat. Reagan said: "This administration will use whatever they can – they will try to hijack that legacy, they will pretend that Mr Bush is the reincarnation of my father. I don’t feel terribly happy about that; I certainly don’t remember Bush being at any Thanksgiving dinners. I don’t know Mr Bush well, but from what I can gather, he’s nothing like my father as a man."

Ironically, Reagan says he sometimes finds Bush "amusing, when you see pictures of him on his ranch with his little chainsaw as if he actually does any work there".

Although confirming he has no ambition to stand for political office himself, Reagan admitted that his address to the Democratic convention in July raised eyebrows, not least with his family. "I wouldn’t want to be a politician, because politicians are constrained in what they can say. My mother probably gets a little nervous if I’m too rough on George Bush – I mean, she has to speak to these people every once in a while. But she knows I have to speak my conscience."

His conscience drives Reagan to campaign on a single, personal issue – stem cell research. The Bush administration is firmly against it, so stem cell research receives just $25 million in federal funding and has evolved into a political hot potato . Reagan’s convention speech received a standing ovation, in tune with public opinion that shows three quarters of Americans favour more stem cell research. But Republicans and the Christian right (a considerable voting force in the US) continue to brand it immoral and equate it with abortion. "This is an issue that has become extremely divisive in American society," he said. "They always say a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged – well, I wonder how they would feel if a child or a loved one developed diabetes or Parkinson’s, and then see where they lie on the debate. Most people have no difficulty in choosing between a petri dish and a human being."

Even the first lady Laura Bush has been tasked with opposing it – despite her own father dying, like Reagan Sr, after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s. She stated last month: "To hear people say that a cure for Alzheimer’s is at our fingertips is just not right."

Reagan has a sharp reply to her assertion. "If Laura Bush went back and did her homework, she would see that nobody thinks there is a cure around the corner for Alzheimer’s. Diabetes, Parkinson’s and spinal injuries will come first in the search for therapies. It was thought that stem cell research would help Alzheimer’s, but it’s clear other things will come first. Mrs Bush was either uninformed or disingenuous in her comments, but perhaps, with federal funding, we could address the issue properly."

In the run-up to polling day on November 2, Reagan will be keeping an eye on the three key television debates pitting Kerry against Bush in front of the nation for the first time. Reagan is quietly hopeful of a Kerry comeback, but is realistic about the impact the media has on the campaign. "Kerry has made a slight comeback in the polls, but it doesn’t really matter how many people watch the debates. When Gore and Bush debated four years ago, Gore did a better job, but the press focused on his mannerisms and his make-up and ignored Bush’s lies. The American media is not healthy.

"I do think Kerry has an uphill battle on his hands, and it’s of his own making. He made a huge mistake in saying: ‘If we knew what we know now, we would not have gone to war.’ He should have come out forcefully and said he made a mistake about the war in the first instance." The war in Iraq, and the Bush administration’s attitude after September 11, are viewed by Reagan as 'terrible'. "September 11 was a huge opportunity for the Bush administration. When you read accounts of insiders who were close to the top of the administration on September 11, it’s shocking. Within hours of this terrible atrocity they were looking for opportunities to take advantage of it. They turned it into a situation where they could attack Saddam, who had nothing to do with September 11. This wasn’t a wake-up call for them."

In a recent book called Five Minutes With The President, for which Reagan wrote the foreword, he called on Bush to look into his heart and ask what kind of Christian he really is. He told the Sunday Herald that he would like to hammer home to Bush the consequences of his actions.

"I would ask him whether he felt that the innocent Iraqis and Afghans who died under our bombs were going to heaven as he imagines it. I think the answer to that would be very telling about Mr Bush’s character and his outlook on the world."

To have an outlook on the world, shouldn't one have a world to look out upon? the Washington Post thinks so - and feels that John F. Kerry is the better choice to protect that world:

The Choice on the Environment

The president himself has flip-flopped, as his campaign would put it, on the question of the urgency of climate change, first expressing interest in the issue, then walking away from it, then delaying discussion by proposing "further studies."

By contrast, the record of Sen. John F. Kerry reflects a long and deep commitment to environmental regulation, although not necessarily a rigid or dogmatic one: In debating environmental votes with his staff and outsiders he does talk about the need to balance environmental and economic concerns. Still, his voting record is one of the most pro-environmentalist in the Senate. He has voted repeatedly for measures that would enforce strict observance of the Clean Air and Clean Water acts as well as wilderness protection. He has more than once helped defeat bills that would allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Mr. Kerry's environmental positions cannot be described as unusually creative: He has generally backed the regulatory consensus, which even supporters agree could usefully be updated. Yet that consensus has, over several decades, produced cleaner air and water, and preserved more wilderness. Simply rolling it back without replacing it would achieve nothing except a reversal of those gains. Far preferable would be a president interested in modernizing environmental rules without abandoning their ultimate goal: a better environment.

It isn't just the natural world that needs an improvement in its environment. Former President Jimmy Carter feels that, in addition to repairing Florida's Habitat for Humanity after four hurricanes hit Jebbie the Butt's GOP thiefdom hard five times (Ivan twice, remember!) the Florida voting booth environment needs some attention as well.

Still Seeking a Fair Florida Vote
By Jimmy Carter
Monday, September 27, 2004; Page A19

After the debacle in Florida four years ago, former president Gerald Ford and I were asked to lead a blue-ribbon commission to recommend changes in the American electoral process. After months of concerted effort by a dedicated and bipartisan group of experts, we presented unanimous recommendations to the president and Congress. The government responded with the Help America Vote Act of October 2002. Unfortunately, however, many of the act's key provisions have not been implemented because of inadequate funding or political disputes.

The disturbing fact is that a repetition of the problems of 2000 now seems likely, even as many other nations are conducting elections that are internationally certified to be transparent, honest and fair.

It is unconscionable to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation. It is especially objectionable among us Americans, who have prided ourselves on setting a global example for pure democracy. With reforms unlikely at this late stage of the election, perhaps the only recourse will be to focus maximum public scrutiny on the suspicious process in Florida.

Suspicion. some voting blocs deal with this as a daily concern. One such group would like for both campaigns to come tell them what their candidates propose to do about their life of fear despite being American citizens:

Muslims invite Bush, Kerry to meetings in swing states, including Michigan

A coalition of Muslim groups has invited both presidential campaigns, plus statewide and local candidates, to discuss civil rights in meetings in the key swing states that also have large numbers of Muslims: Michigan, Ohio and Florida. The Muslim community wants the candidates to combat discrimination and ethnic profiling. "We need to hear it loud and clear. We need to hear it without hesitation," Al-Akhras said. "Our civil liberties unfortunately have deteriorated so much the people are afraid, intimidated and scared." The Kerry campaign has pledged to send a representative to the Michigan meeting, state CAIR director Celena Khatib said.

Last week, a telephone survey of 1,700 Muslims conducted jointly by Zogby and Georgetown University showed 76 percent support for Kerry. The poll had an error margin of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

Nearly every Ohio mosque has had registration drives after Friday afternoon prayers, the most heavily attended service of the week, Al-Akhras said. "We had one lady volunteer who brought us 500 names," said Ahmad Al-Akhras, president of the Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic relations. "It is outstanding."

Speaking of Florida North, ...

Election boards overwhelmed
New registrations straining resources

For the armies of canvassers registering Ohio voters, citizen interest this election year is a dream come true. But to election boards across the state, inundated with tens of thousands of new registration cards, it's turning into a nightmare. Election boards across the state have hired extra staff members, extended working hours, or both. Some boards are processing cards 24 hours a day. "It's like Florida 2000, only before the election," said Dan Tokaji, an election-law specialist and assistant law professor at Ohio State University.

The New York Times reports today [Sunday, September 26, 2004] that the bulk of new registrations in Ohio have been in heavily Democratic areas. The New York Times found that in Democratic areas of Ohio - primarily low-income and minority neighborhoods - new registrations from January through July rose 250 percent from the same period in 2000. In comparison, the Times reports today, registrations increased just 25 percent in Republican areas. The Times surveyed 60 ZIP codes mostly in the core of big cities like Cleveland, Dayton, Columbus and Youngstown, where people voted two to one or better against President Bush four years ago. New registrations in those ZIP codes have tripled since 2000, to 63,000 from 17,000.

So crucial is the Buckeye State in this year's presidential campaign that groups from the Republican Party in tiny Brown County to the national mobilization effort America Coming Together are stepping over each other to locate every unregistered Ohioan. "Ohio's the subject of such a national focus that we're almost drowning each other," said Josh Gildrie, state coordinator for the New Voters Project. "It's absolutely amazing what's going on."

What's goin' on?

The result is a flood of new registrations and address changes in the biggest counties, nearly double the number submitted in 2000 that voter advocates worry will lead to confusion and lost votes on Election Day. The scramble is expected to intensify this week, as the Oct. 4 registration deadline nears. "We think this will be the sleeper issue in this election," says Kay Maxwell, national president of the League of Women Voters. "Plenty of people can fall through the cracks."

The big counties seem to have it worst. At Cuyahoga County's elections board, Ohio's largest, about 20,000 cards sat in small bins last week, waiting to be checked and entered into computers. Director Michael Vu said the board will spend about $175,000 on extra workers to process the cards. He expected to eliminate the backlog over the weekend.

John Williams, Hamilton County's elections director, said the Cincinnati area's backlog was still about 5,000 last week - down from 14,000. "This is an election unlike anything 30-year pros have seen," he said.

Judy Gallo, head of the Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition, said backlogs cut into the time that boards have to correct mistakes made by voters, canvassers or election employees.

Confusion about where to vote on Election Day could force more people to use the controversial "provisional ballots" - the special ballots given to voters who go to the wrong polling places. That is worrisome to voting-rights advocates because an Ohio law, which continues to be challenged, could result in many provisional ballots being tossed. Provisional ballots will be issued only to voters who, after giving their address, appear to be in the correct precinct but don't show up in registration rolls.

Voting-rights groups had hoped that Ohio would be more liberal about accepting ballots from voters in the wrong precincts. Poor communication with new voters, they say, will jeopardize the votes of thousands of Ohioans who may not know what precinct they are in. If errors on registration forms aren't fixed by Oct. 4, some new registrants may find themselves confused - or, worse yet, ineligible to vote - because of the processing delays, said Ohio Democratic Party spokesman Dan Trevas. "How do you vote if you're a first-time voter and you've never been told where your polling place is?" Trevas asked. "Do you just go around looking for American flags stuck in the ground?"

Normally, elections boards quickly alert new voters of mistakes or missing information by mail, giving them a chance to return a corrected card. This year, boards have flagged hundreds of cards with errors that voters don't yet know about. Some cards confirming a person's registration and directing them to a new polling place have been delayed by the backlog. "Our biggest concern is that so many people haven't received a confirmation card, leaving them wondering if their registration is valid," Gallo said.

Dennis Lieberman, the Democratic Party chairman in Montgomery County, said surveys show that most of the new voters appear to be Democrats. Volunteers have called a significant number of the 25,000 newly registered voters in Montgomery County, and three-quarters have identified themselves as Democrats. "On newly registered voters, if we can get them to the polls, it is a big asset for Democrats," he said.

Democrats in the state legislature have blamed Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican, for contributing to the backlog of more recent registrations. They say he has issued too many last-minute orders, some of which appear to conflict with each other, to county boards and has not adequately informed citizens how to properly register.

Believing that more new voters will be Democrats than Republicans, State Sen. Teresa Fedor, a Toledo Democrat, accused Blackwell of politicking. "Blackwell's provisional voting directive is off the mark and amounts to nothing more than cooking the vote," she told reporters last week.

Carlo LoParo, a spokesman for Blackwell, said the secretary's directives have sought to clarify concerns raised by the presidential campaigns, political parties and advocacy groups. "If you look at the directives, we've liberalized standards," he said. "We're steering toward voter enfranchisement and the even-handed administration of Ohio election law."

Pointing The Partisan Pinky of Blame

Some local election officials say voter groups bear responsibility for the registration backlog because they have turned in too many cards that are duplicates or incomplete, forcing the boards to track down the voters. In Cuyahoga County, for instance, Project Vote and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, worked together to submit the most cards. But they also produced the highest percentage - about 15 percent - of incomplete cards. Candy Roberts, ACORN's voter registration coordinator, said the organization had problems at first but tightened its procedures to reduce errors and possible fraud. "We can't tell when we meet someone on the street if they're not being honest with us," she said.

Republicans have been critical of Project Vote, ACORN and other groups that pay canvassers to register voters, many in Democratic-leaning areas. Jason Mauk, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party, said sloppy work by the groups has overloaded election boards. He also said the barrage of cards has opened the door to fraud. "Our concern is that cases of fraud will slip through," he said. "This could raise challenges to ballots and wreak havoc on Election Day."

Meridith Imwalle, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State, said voter registrations are at unprecedented levels around the nation. But despite the hassles, elections officials strive to increase participation, she said. "As long as people are getting in by the deadline, they'll be processed and I think everything will run smoothly," she said.

Ohio will be very important to George Warmonger Bu$h'$ chances for re-(s)election. Considering what is happening across the state line in Pennsylvania, the impulse to ensure that Ohio goes GOP through the use of dirty tricks increases exponentially:

Kerry creeps ahead in latest Pennsylvania poll
Quinnipiac University survey shows voters against Iraq war.

Rising anti-war sentiment has helped Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry regain ground against Republican George Bush in Pennsylvania, a volatile swing state. Kerry, who was trailing Bush by a single percentage point (49 percent to 48 percent) less than two weeks ago, now leads Bush 49 percent to 46 percent among likely and "leaning" Pennsylvania voters, according to a poll released Tuesday by Quinnipiac University of Hamden, Conn.

Despite a barrage of advertisements attacking his security bona fides, Kerry's modest bounce in Pennsylvania comes from an increasing anti-war sentiment — propelled by increased violence and the continued beheading of hostages, Quinnipiac pollster Clay F. Richards said. Kerry also has sharpened his criticism of the war in recent weeks. "The war is the issue," Richards said. "People are looking at Kerry to see if he has a better answer."

The Massachusetts senator's lead, however, is still within the survey's statistical margin of error.

The Polling Method

Between Sept. 22 and Sunday, Quinnipiac pollsters sampled the opinions of 1,125 registered Pennsylvania voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points. The poll also asked questions of a smaller sample of 726 likely voters, resulting in a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac poll result also includes heavily courted undecided voters, who are leaning more toward Kerry than they are Bush. Among likely voters whose minds are already made up, Kerry holds a 46 percent to 44 percent lead. The undecideds include "Casey Democrats," the conservative Democrats from the northeastern and southwestern sections who are just as likely to vote Republican as Democrat, Richards said. The group also includes women, including the so-called "Security Moms," who have placed questions of terrorism and safety at the top of their priorities, Richards added.

Other Questions

Just three weeks ago, Pennsylvanians were evenly split at 47 percent each in their support for the Bush administration's war on Iraq. Now, more voters (49 percent to 43 percent) say going to war was the wrong thing to do. The Quinnipiac poll's findings mirror an ABC News/Washington Post poll also released Tuesday, which shows half of all nationwide voters disapprove of the way the administration is handling the 17-month-old conflict. So far, more than 1,000 American servicemen and women, including many from Pennsylvania, have died.

And just a day before their first head-to-head match-up in Florida, nearly nine out of 10 (89 percent) of the Quinnipiac poll respondents say they're either very likely or somewhat likely to watch Bush and Kerry's televised debate. More than half of all respondents (54 percent) say the debate will play a role in how they vote on Election Day, compared with 45 percent who say it will have little or no effect on their final decision. Such responses are usually obligatory — few voters want to admit publicly that they're not paying attention to the race. But this year that interest appears to be genuine, Richards said.

The new Quinnipiac canvass continues to show deep dissatisfaction among voters over the country's direction. Six in 10 respondents said they were very or somewhat dissatisfied with the way things are going in the nation, compared with 38 percent who were satisfied or very satisfied. That slip in morale hurt Bush's public standing among Pennsylvania voters. In the last Quinnipiac canvass ended Sept. 16, 42 percent of respondents said they had a favorable impression of the president, compared with 40 percent who said they did not.

In the Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday, Bush's negatives outweighed his positives, with 40 percent saying they had an unfavorable impression of the incumbent president, compared with 36 percent who viewed him favorably. Kerry, conversely, managed to reverse his standing. Two weeks ago, more Pennsylvanians said they had an unfavorable impression of the Massachusetts senator than those who viewed him well. In the new Quinnipiac survey, 35 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of Kerry, compared with 33 percent who did not. Still more than 1 in 4 voters (27 percent) said they had a mixed impression of him.

Despite the deep skepticism over the war, Pennsylvanians continue to believe (52 percent to 39 percent) that Bush is better-equipped to fight terrorism.
Kerry, on the other hand, continued his dominance on economic issues. More than half of respondents said they thought Kerry would do a better job on the economy and health care than Bush.

Similar concerns are showing up in what has - up to now - been considered the Solid Republican South:

Why Virginia Is Tilting Toward Kerry

A win for Kerry in Virginia, or even a competitive finish here, would qualify as fairly stunning political news. Virginia did not go for either Clinton or Carter, both Southern Dems. In fact, it hasn't voted for any Democratic presidential candidate since 1964 and has long been the most reliably Republican state in the South.

The slow erosion of GOP support in exurban neighborhoods is happening all over the country, including south of the Mason-Dixon line. But nowhere else in the South is this phenomenon more likely to have electoral consequences than in Virginia. Don Owens, a tax attorney, is voting for the Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in his life because Bush has been "untrustworthy," and because of the deficits. Ken Powell, an investment banker, says his whole firm, ever-Republican, is wavering, a change he calls monumental: "They look at the deficits and health care and education problems and, for the first time, they're not sure the Republicans are going to hand over a better country to their children."

This is Navy country, and the man organizing it is Michael Steven Myers, who grew up here as a barracks brat son of a Naval officer. After his wife died two years ago, he moved back to his home state of Virginia and, after his first-ever registration as a Democrat, has now, improbably, immersed himself in the Kerry campaign. Late nights, he corners drunk old vets at fried-chicken joints and harangues them about what Bush has done to their benefits. He said he's converted a few: "There's a lot of guys who have told me, 'Mike, there's no way I'm going for your guy, but I can't vote for Bush'."

"It's leadership," he told me. "That's the reason everyone here voted for Bush in 2000. Even the Republicans, they tell me they know they ain't getting it now."

Anyone who is paying even marginal attention to world and national events knows just how important leadership is right now, and if they are the slightest bit honest, they have to admit - even if only to themselves - that the leadership of the Bu$hCo (mis)Administration leaves much to be desired - unless you are a major shareholder of Halliburton just like a certain pRezdint of Vice is.

So now, more than before, it is important to recognize that the Republican Party of George Warmonger Bu$h will do anything to enhance their diminishing chances. There is too much opposition to their agenda for world domination from all across the political spectrum, and people have much more mobilized than they have been in previous elections. This effort by those Americans seeking a more hopeful future than we've seen lately will have to be thwarted if Bu$hCo is to stay in power, and we already know that, as Ron Reagan says above, that "anything they can do to prevail – lie, cheat, whatever – is justified by their revolutionary aims" - aims which have no benefit whatsoever to the American 99.

If the United States was supposed to be a hereditary plutocracy, the revolutionary plutocrats who created this nation would have set it up that way. They didn't. Responsibility thus falls upon all American patriots of whatever stripe to rise to the defense of their nation just like our ancestors did and oust the tyrants and their minions from our shores. To paraphrase Minuteman Capt. John Parker, we will stand out political ground. We won't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a political war, let it begin here.

9/11 widow Kristin Breitweiser lays down the word:

"I have a 5-year-old that lost her father and [who] thinks a dad is an image in a photo. She has no idea that a dad is supposed to be real and hug you. I want to know that she's going to be safer, that when she grows up she's not going to die because of payback for a bad foreign policy."

To Arms! The Bu$hie$ Are Coming!

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pessimist :: 8:14 PM :: Comments (4) :: Digg It!