Democrats & Liberals Archives

March 2004 Archives

March 31, 2004

Air America

I've been listening to Air America today online (I'm not in one of the few markets that has it). Air America is the first attempt at nationwide Liberal talk radio, and it's been an interesting few hours listening to it.

» Continue reading "Air America"

Posted by LawnBoy at 5:56 PM

March 30, 2004

Lets All Grow Up A Little

Richard A Clarke is trying to tell the truth to those of us who will listen. I am in the process of trying to understand that truth because it has major implications for my grandchildren and yours. It is quite likely that by the time my beautiful four year old granddaughter is in her mid twenties I will be dead and gone. She will have most of her life ahead of her yet. By the time she is forty I will be ninety four if I live that long. I would like to live that long if I can remain healthy but the actuarial tables tell me that is unlikely.

Mortality is a strange recognition, made to our present knowledge only by human beings on this planet. It drives some of us to behave badly and others of us to behave better. If nothing else came out of the events of 9/11 it was a reminder to all of us that there are no guarantees in life about how and when it will end.

» Continue reading "Lets All Grow Up A Little"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 1:32 PM

Rice to Testify in Front of Commission

Facing mounting pressure from many fronts, the White House has reversed course and Condoleezza Rice will testify publicly and under oath to the Sep. 11 Commission, MSNBC reports.

Additionally, President Bush and VP Cheney will testify to the entire Commision instead of just in front of the two co-chairs of the committee. Their testimony will remain private, however.

» Continue reading "Rice to Testify in Front of Commission"

Posted by blipsman at 10:51 AM

March 29, 2004

To Rice or not to Rice?

National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice has been appearing on almost every politically-oriented talk show this week to explain that she wants to come before the 9/11 Commission again in order to clear up other people's testimony concerning the Bush Administration. Instead of sitting before the 9/11 Commission in public and under oath, like every other person called to testify (except President Bush who also objects to testifying under oath), she has decided she cannot as a matter of principle.

What Rice and the Bush Administration are saying it that is it a matter of principle that a sitting National Security Advisor is not supposed to sit before Congress, as it is a violation of laws governing the separation of powers between the three branches of the government. The 9/11 commission, of course, which is made up of many former US Senators and Representatives, isn't Congress, but a commission, whose members were selected by none other than George W. Bush. Rice's claim is totally ludicrous. Testifying would constitute no such violation of the separation of powers. So why make this move when the credibility of the current administration is at stake? What is she trying to hide?

» Continue reading "To Rice or not to Rice?"

Posted by Anthony at 5:10 PM

Bush: Keep Funding Terrorists

The Clarke controversy is interesting and it may have a huge impact on the election, but I'm going to talk policy again. While we're here in this column arguing about how lame President Bush's counter-terrorism policy was pre-9/11, the Republicans are over in their column trying to abolish Social Security.

I'm going to summarize President Bush's energy plan using the same criteria I used to discuss John Kerry's plan. A significant amount of the more than $20 billion we spend on oil from the Middle East finds its way into the hands of terrorists and finances schools that teach young Muslims to hate Americans. Also, OPEC has recently threatened to decrease output while the US is simultaneously struggling to replenish its strategic reserve, causing gas prices to rise significantly. I believe we need a plan that makes the United States totally independent of foreign oil for its energy needs. The President's plan does not meet that criteria.

» Continue reading "Bush: Keep Funding Terrorists"

March 28, 2004

Somalia Revisited

Somalia was a failure in one regard. We did not get Mohammed Aideed.

But was it as much of a failure in other senses? Not really. Reading Richard Clarke's book Against All Enemies, I came upon a series of facts that some of you might find interesting, facts that contradict the impression that the focus on the Black Hawk Down incident has created.

How can Clarke be so sure? He was the White House coordinator on the operation, first under National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and then under Tony Lake, his immediate successor.

» Continue reading "Somalia Revisited"

March 27, 2004

The Right vs. Richard Clarke: Indignation And The Hollow Dodge

I’ve been anxious this week, trying to get a sense of the fallout and impact of Richard Clarke’s political bombshell. Moreover, I would like to see how the sum total of this week’s events has played with the American electorate.

Did the unprecedented (and coordinated) offensive by the Bush White House, the GOP and willing enablers Roger Ailes/Fox News, succeed in drowning out Clarke’s assertions?

» Continue reading "The Right vs. Richard Clarke: Indignation And The Hollow Dodge"

March 26, 2004

Arrogance, Hubris or Stupidity?

It is becoming part of life to sit and watch people grow more and more arrogant in public. There used to be something called good taste that was supposed to govern such behavior. TV and Radio have completely eliminated that oddity from our public culture and that is OK as long as both still have a dial, or at least some way to turn them off. My idea of torture is to be trapped in a New York City Taxi with Howard Stern blaring on the radio and no common language with the Taxi driver. How I know that is it has happened to me on an endless airport run in rush hour traffic. It is one thing when a breed of cat so arrogant as to call themselves “Shock Jocks” stretches the limits of acceptable social behavior. In a way that is their niche in our cultural ecosystem. It is another when a President who has asked us to swallow a war that many of us think is a mistake then jokes about it in a public forum. That is I think a little beyond arrogance even and lines up with hubris quite nicely in my internal eye.

» Continue reading "Arrogance, Hubris or Stupidity?"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 12:12 PM

March 25, 2004

Unleash the Hounds!

"I am gravely disappointed. Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war."
-Lord Humungous, the Ayatollah of Rock and Rolla
From the film The Road Warrior

Attack politics. Sure, some people say that it's any kind of disagreement. But that's not necessarily the case. Attack politics, and negative campaigning are two different things. Let's face something first: as long as people disagree on what's right and get things wrong, negative campaigning will exist, whether it's done by the candidates themselves, or by proxy.

» Continue reading "Unleash the Hounds!"

March 24, 2004

Sure to Boost Troop Morale

Because Halliburton, the company formerly headed by VP Dick Cheney and currently accused of overcharging the U.S. government for fuel and meal service, hasn't paid its subcontractors in a timely manner, U.S troops in Iraq may see an end to hot meals.

Event Source, which serves 100,000 meals a day in Iraq, is owed $87 million from Halliburton. Because they are running low on cash, Event Source has already laid off staff in the U.S. and will soon have to serve only sandwiches to troops.

Posted by blipsman at 1:04 PM

March 23, 2004

Total Energy Independence

Has anyone checked out John Kerry's energy policy? It's good stuff. It's based on the concept of 'energy independence'. That's an idea that Democrats have nurtured for a long time, going all the way back to the Carter administration's response to economic and security dangers highlighted by the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.

President Nixon's response at the time was to stop service stations from selling gas on Sundays and limit gas purchases to ten gallons the rest of the week, until the Arabs decided to sell us oil again. In contrast, President Carter's plan was to make the United States totally self-sufficient for its energy needs. Carter's plan will probably be best remembered for its 55 mile per hour speed limit, but his energy policy had the effect of reducing oil imports from the Middle East by 87%.

» Continue reading "Total Energy Independence"

Look in the Rear-View Mirror!

Driving with one eye focused on the rear-view might be a way to avoid being run over by the Humvee behind you. Other than in times like those, the rear-view mirror should only be used when you are changing lanes in a big truck, not when you are about to change the people who run your government. Oh yes you should note how people voted during their career in the process of evaluating them for high office. In every case you will find inconsistent voting records on some issues and not on others. Except where people always voted for their personal agendas over the interests of the voting public, at least, you will find inconsistencies or apparent inconsistencies. In a twenty year or longer career in politics you should find some major inconsistencies in voting records regarding military spending. If you don’t there is something wrong with the person casting those votes. If the judgment of the politician in question is so poor that they never find a military expenditure that they don’t like they don’t belong in office in the first place.

» Continue reading "Look in the Rear-View Mirror!"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 12:20 PM

Fun with FundRace: Celebrity politics

A new website called makes it easy (and fun!) to find out which of your neighbors gave money to Presidential candidate campaigns. Check out some results I found below.

Searching in my New York City zipcode, I found two notable celebrities who donated money to Democratic campaigns:

Eve Ensler
16th St Productions
Howard Dean $2,000
200 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10003

Edward Norton
Alt NTN Inc
Dennis Kucinich $2,000
200 Park Ave South
New York, NY 10003

» Continue reading "Fun with FundRace: Celebrity politics"

Posted by Anthony at 9:13 AM

March 21, 2004

A Presidential Obsession

The revelations Richard Clarke has made in his book and on 60 Minutes should scare all Americans about their current president and his administration. Even as the wreckage of the Twin Towers lay heaped in a smoldering pile, Bush's administration was seeking out Saddam Hussein and Iraq as targets, not Afghanistan and Al Quaeda.

Already, the Bush administration has played it's bias and character assassination cards, seeking to impugn the hair-raising scandal of it all amongst it's constituency by claiming that the whole thing is just Liberal Lies by a guy hoping to get a job with John Kerry. The unfortunate fact is, though, there are too many sources corroborating Clarke's charges.

» Continue reading "A Presidential Obsession"

Bush Ads Hilight Administration's Hypocrisy

As if the American people needed one more example of the Bush Administration's hypocrisy, we need look no further than his latest round of political ads.

When the Iraq War was launched last year, the Bush Administration expanded a highly controversial policy banning reporters from photographing flag-draped coffins of soldiers who died in combat.

As USA Today noted last December:

» Continue reading "Bush Ads Hilight Administration's Hypocrisy"

Posted by at 6:22 PM

On Amending the Constitution

President Bush asked Congress a short while back for a constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. This seems to be fueling a lot of debate on the subject, mostly single minded diatribes by groups that fail to even consider another perspective than their own. By that, I refer to both sides of the debate.

» Continue reading "On Amending the Constitution"

Posted by Beau Wade at 3:11 PM

Palau Stays in “Coalition of the Willing” (Satire)

KOROR, Palau (WB) – President Tommy Remengesau announced today that, despite continuing security problems and apparent flawed intelligence on WMD, Palau still backs the US-led “Coalition of the Willing” that invaded Iraq. “We here in Palau firmly believe that the Iraq invasion was justified, even if the exact reasons are difficult to recall at this point.” Pressed for more details, Remengesau requested a “lifeline” from the assembled Western media, asking for a chance to poll the audience. He was turned down.

» Continue reading "Palau Stays in “Coalition of the Willing” (Satire)"

Posted by Woody Mena at 11:32 AM

March 20, 2004

Awaking a Sleeping Giant: 2004

The FCC assault against Howard Stern may bring out the much hyped and sought after "non-voter" in larger numbers this year than Ralph Nader could ever dream of doing. And in large enough numbers to be a deciding factor in this race. I'm not a big Stern fan -- most of his stuff is usually too juvenile or personally offensive in one way or another. But I've also found myself laughing out loud as I drive to work with him -- so I occassionally tune in.

For the past few weeks, however, I've been tuning in every day to hear his latest tirade against the religious right and the puppets (Bush and others) that have infiltrated our government. This isn't the disgruntled rantings of someone with his own agenda. Call me naive, but I believe Stern when he says he'd rather have nothing to do with politics. He has become concrete proof -- not theory or speculation -- that something "scary" is happening in this country with the intrusion of religious belief systems into public policy. Old school politicians are likely to write Stern off -- but his message is reaching people who otherwise believe election results don't really matter. Stern is saying loud and clear, in direct contradiction to Nader, that there is a difference -- a significant one -- between the Republican and the Democrat this year.

Posted by 9thwave at 9:26 PM

March 19, 2004

The McCain Mutiny

It's people like McCain who keep me from thinking that all the Republicans in Congress are mean-spirited, bitter, angry people like DeLay, Hastert, Frist, and Chambliss.

I have to admit, I was pretty excited when I heard McCain would entertain an offer to be Kerry's running mate, but I agree with him that he'd be a better president than vice-president. However the 'what-if' factor is enticing. I think it would have locked up the election for Kerry/McCain. In fact, I think if McCain had decided to run against Bush for the Republican nomination, surprising things would have happened.

» Continue reading "The McCain Mutiny"

March 18, 2004


Kevin Hayden has posted an excellent examination of why the conservatives claim that the Spanish people in their recent electoral choices were somehow appeasing Osama bin Laden..

If conservatives want to complain about what they perceive as the Spanish public's appeasement of terrorism, they should also acknowledge our own appeasement efforts in giving Osama bin Laden two of the things he's said he wanted - plus an excellent recruiting tool to boot.

» Continue reading "'Appeasement'"

Posted by at 11:22 AM

Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Strategic Defense Initiative has been science fiction from the start, and for the time being looks to remain that way. At first it was X-Ray lasers, ignited by nuclear bombs. They've actually been used... In a novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle called Footfall. Should technologically advanced elephant-like aliens ever invade, we'll know exactly what to do.

Then they switched genres to fantasy. Here, the magic forces of the Reagan and Bush administrations manage to bankrupt the Russians simply by overspending on defense. The magic part of it is the Russians never increased spending on their end. It reminds me of the Aztecs sacrificing human beings to ensure that the sun came up again the next day. Makes as much sense, too.

» Continue reading "Science Fiction and Fantasy"

March 17, 2004

Where’s My Money Bubba?

After all of the talk about class warfare in relation to the recent round of tax cuts I find out that the government has stolen my tax dollars collected for use in Social Security. That money was collected over most of my working life. The money that was taken from my salary in 1983 as a young consultant is missing. The money collected when I had young babies and was still struggling with college in between working sixty hours a week is also missing. So is the money that the government took from my salary when I had some success as the CEO of my own business.

Alan Greenspan just last week told us that we have to reign in our expectations for Social Security retirement. The same guy, Alan, also told us in 1983 that if we paid our Social Security Trust Fund taxes in advance the system would be there when we retired to ease our way.

» Continue reading "Where’s My Money Bubba?"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 2:25 PM

Filmed In RoveVision

It’s funny how fortunes, and for the sake of this argument - perception – can turn. I think back to those glossy business magazine covers of Enron’s Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling and the accompanying pulp piece lauding them as the envy of capitalism, itself.

I remember those words of reassurance, that the American voters should have faith in an MBA/CEO Presidential ticket. And finally, the aura of invincibility surrounding the Right-thinking, political strategist/wizard who, single-handedly reversed the conventional wisdom of mid-term elections, yet, failed to see the plot line lifted from an old West Wing episode, coming at him like a Wilbur Wood knuckle ball.

» Continue reading "Filmed In RoveVision"

March 16, 2004

What a difference 4 letters can make

Much fuss has been generated of late regarding a statement Presidential Candidate John Kerry was reported to have made, indicating that he had campaign backing from 'foreign leaders'. Enough of a stir was caused that Secretary of State Colin Powell was compelled to get involved, making the following joust at Kerry on "Fox News Sunday":

"I don’t know what foreign leaders Senator Kerry is talking about. It’s an easy charge, an easy assertion to make. But if he feels it is that important an assertion to make, he ought to list some names,” Powell said. “If he can’t list names, then perhaps he should find something else to talk about.”

Kerry declined to take the bait, declaring his business was his own. This appeared a bit oddly defensive in the midst of campaigning, but this recent Drudge report may shed some light, if substantiated.

» Continue reading "What a difference 4 letters can make"

Posted by tamsen at 1:38 AM

March 15, 2004

Sharpton endorses Kerry, but doesn't withdraw

Rev. Al Sharpton endorsed Sen. Kerry today, but decided not to formally withdraw from the race, so he can continue to "collect delegates."

Sharpton Gives Support to Kerry:

The seemingly contradictory remarks came after Mr. Sharpton settled for a 40-minute meeting in Washington with Mr. Kerry, who promised to push Mr. Sharpton's "urban agenda."
Posted by Anthony at 11:18 PM

March 14, 2004

Waffles for Breakfast

Here we are with one candidate trying to brand the other as a spoiled plate of waffles and the response being to call the folks spreading those canards lying hypocrites. We are off to the races here; in Russia there are few people who could care if Democracy ever enters into their lives. They would be satisfied if only they could keep food on the table or just keep the table indoors or for that matter keep even the table.

Both Candidates here have lived better than kings of old did and both are trying to make the country see that their way is best. In Russia there is no other candidate and the Press is firmly in the hands of friends of the man in power, Putin. Putin lives pretty well as leaders of large and powerful nations often do. The average citizen of Russia is not doing nearly as well as the average citizen here is doing. Whatever you can say about our hanging chads and swinging States, here our elections are grand entertainment for a wealthy nation.

» Continue reading "Waffles for Breakfast"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 7:13 PM

Abortion Debate Needs To Be Separated From Religion

Abortion, without a doubt, is one of the most controversial issues of our time--an issue that mixes religion with politics with public health and more.

But, when it comes to the political arena, abortion and religion need to be separated once and for all. In the political arena, abortion should be treated as a public policy issue, not a religious call-to-arms.

» Continue reading "Abortion Debate Needs To Be Separated From Religion"

Posted by at 5:49 PM

March 12, 2004

The Magic of Polling

It is well known that the specific question asked in a poll can greatly affect the results of the poll. For example, in abortion polling in 1985, over 50% said "yes" when asked if abortion is murder, but over 90 percent thought abortion was sometimes the best way out of a bad situation.

In light of these known variances, I'm confused by recent results in polling between Bush and Kerry.

» Continue reading "The Magic of Polling"

Posted by LawnBoy at 10:01 AM

March 10, 2004

The Emergent Pattern

Those who were hoping that the RNC's charges against was just an isolated incident will be very disappointed. According to CNN The Bush campaign has decided to file a complaint with the FEC concerning the Media Fund, a group which is funding ads in key battleground states criticizing Bush.

Used once, one could call this a tactic. But twice? And so neatly timed to coincide with the beginning of the Campaign? That's no coincidence- that's a strategy.

» Continue reading "The Emergent Pattern"

The new Pentagon Papers

There's a new report out today from a military officer who was in the Pentagon when the administration pressured the military intelligence to produce results that conformed to a push to war.

» Continue reading "The new Pentagon Papers"

Posted by LawnBoy at 5:39 PM

March 6, 2004

The Nation is Sinking, Save the Sacred Institutions First

There are more than a few times every week now when I think about how lucky I am that I found my fourth wife. My third wife divorced me after her miraculous recovery from an illness that she had shown no signs of before we were married. My second wife was still calling me up weekly and asking for more child support. Eventually she tired of that and sent me the kids to finish raising. Fair enough, her turn had lasted until they were teenagers; mine will apparently never end for which I am occasionally grateful. When I see my grandkids for instance, or they graduate from college or get a job that will give them some valuable experience.

My first wife was a sweet young girl when we got married and I was a high testosterone jerk with a serious attitude. We both breathed a sigh of relief when she decided to leave me in charge of my only asset, my aggressiveness. I could never be aggressive around her so I found myself tied in knots every time I raised my voice and that “I am in pain” look crossed her face. Life with Nene is the best, and the only time that I ever felt like marriage fitted me properly.

» Continue reading "The Nation is Sinking, Save the Sacred Institutions First"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 4:07 PM

Which context are we in?

The Democrats have a problem. The Republicans are no longer playing in the same reality as we are. When the Vice President can say:

If Democratic policies had been pursued over the last two-to-three years, the kind of tax increases both Kerry and Edwards are talking about, we would not have had the kind of job growth that we've had.

And not generate immediate demands for clarification, our reality must be in a different dimension. After all, in the past 9 months (June through February) only 294,000 job were created. 2,145,000 less than the Bush administration projected. But yet, people believe them. The facts are against them, they have no justification, and yet people believe them.

» Continue reading "Which context are we in?"

Posted by Al Maline at 12:14 AM

March 5, 2004

Gay Marriage Debate: Truth & Lies Vol. 1

In the aftermath of President Bush’s support for an Amendment to ban Gay Marriage, I vowed to fight this intolerant diversionary tactic, by educating the public (especially heteros!) and arming like-minded individuals with accurate, fact-based research on wide ranging subjects dealing with the gay lifestyles.

I will also bring to the reader’s attention, examples of lies, misinformation and hatred, perpetrated by those on the Right.

» Continue reading "Gay Marriage Debate: Truth & Lies Vol. 1"

Super Tuesday Quotes

Super Tuesday wasn't as exciting as everyone thought it would be back in January, but if it did anything, it signaled the start of the real race to the White House in November. These are some of my favorite quotes from Super Tuesday:

Robert Madden, 40, of Los Angeles, who voted for Kerry, said, "I'd vote for my cat if he could beat Bush. The guy's just destroying our country." [Guardian]

» Continue reading "Super Tuesday Quotes"

Posted by Anthony at 12:14 AM

March 4, 2004

Imagebound Campaign Ads

Well here we go folks; the ads are on their way. They are coming from the places where the deaths of thousands are put into images to enhance the reputation of the leader on whose watch they were killed. In the biggest ad campaign in the history of our Presidency the images haunting our eyes are those of the fallen World Trade Center.

And where was our President while this drama was being played out, during those first critical minutes when further tragedy might have been prevented? In a pure photo Op session with little children, and not deciding what our response would be to the attacks. We still had planes in the air headed toward the Pentagon and the Capitol Building when our President was told about the attacks of 9/11. He was a military pilot by training. He had advisors who should have known how to react to hijacked planes being used as weapons. What was his response? To fly away in Air Force One and stay out of touch with the people until it was all over.

» Continue reading "Imagebound Campaign Ads"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 11:06 AM

March 3, 2004

The Unending Game

Have you ever felt, at the end of the day, that you can't win, and that the barbarian hordes of the opposition are just set to over-run everything you hold dear?

Republicans, Democrats, moderates, and any number of other interest groups must feel this day in and day out. Not a day goes by that somebody doesn't try to frustrate somebody elses aims. Unity, it seems, is pretty hard to find.

» Continue reading "The Unending Game"

March 2, 2004

Super Tuesday: Kerry wins 9, Dean wins 1, and Edwards drops out

John Kerry won 9 of the state contests today, Howard Dean won his home state of Vermont, and John Edwards announced he will be dropping out of the race.

There are 21 more state contests left, but they are largely symbolic at this point, of course.

» Continue reading "Super Tuesday: Kerry wins 9, Dean wins 1, and Edwards drops out"

Posted by Anthony at 8:14 PM

He Said, He Said

There seem to be two sides to the story in regards to Jean-Bertrand Aristide's departure from Haiti this weekend. Aristide is claiming that the United States participated in a coup d'etat by "kidnapping" him and taking him out of the country. Supposedly he was wisked onto a plane headed for an unknown destination and kept onboard without any ability to communicate with the outside world or even open the window shades. According to his lawyer and Deborah Norville, who had both spoken with him immediately prior to his evacuation, there was no indication he was intending to leave.

Today, VP Dick Cheney said, "He made the choice to leave. He resigned the office of his own free will and left on a civilian aircraft which we chartered for him. He left with his security detail. This was his decision to go." State department officials are claiming, "There were strong indications that he was packing his bags for several days before this."

» Continue reading "He Said, He Said"

Posted by blipsman at 4:11 PM

Creationism and Evolutionism

The war over teaching Creationism and Evolutionism in public schools will continue throughout this election cycle, and it will probably continue for years to come. Gay Marriage is receiving much more news, but this issue also involves a dispute over allowing one particular religion to define government policy. The Georgia scandal received a lot of press, as the Board of Education tried to euphemize its way out of the controversy but instead became the source of national ridicule.

In my current home state, Missouri, a less publicized battle has started over teaching "intelligent design", a "scientificy" form of creationism that accepts that change happens, but asserts that the results of evolution are so amazing that some higher power must have been directing it all. While intelligent design is less overtly religious than direct Creationism, it doesn't hold up to scientific scrutiny - it assumes a religious answer and twists the scientific results to support it, and it makes an unsupportable assumption that randomness cannot lead to complexity.

» Continue reading "Creationism and Evolutionism"

Posted by LawnBoy at 11:01 AM

March 1, 2004

If 9/11 Changed Everything

If 9-11 changed everything, then why is the President only willing to talk about it for 1 hour to the 9-11 Commission?

Sure, a Presidents time is important. So lets put this into proper perspective:

» Continue reading "If 9/11 Changed Everything"

Posted by Al Maline at 11:44 PM

Revenge Of The Mooks

What could possibly cause the ‘Angry White Male’ to up and bolt a Red State? How about the alleged ‘censorship’ of one Howard Stern and the major hit to his pocketbook and ego? Or maybe, the miraculous conversion of an avowed Gore-hater and curmudgeon of the airwaves, Don Imus, with his stunning endorsement of John Kerry?

» Continue reading "Revenge Of The Mooks"