Democrats & Liberals Archives

July 2004 Archives

July 31, 2004

What is the price? What is the risk?

Would you support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic?

Is your love of America grounded in the love of the principles embodied by the Constitution?

Would you risk your safety in defense of the Bill of Rights?

How many lives is defending the Constitution worth?

» Continue reading "What is the price? What is the risk?"

Posted by Al Maline at 2:40 PM

July 30, 2004

Right On Schedule

A couple weeks ago, I blogged on a New Republic report about the Bush administration asking Pakistan to deliver a High-Value Target - any important al Qaeda operative - in July, "'it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston."

» Continue reading "Right On Schedule"

Let the honeymoon begin!

Question: How do you bring down a superpower?

Answer: You bankrupt it.

Question: How do you bankrupt an economic superpower?

Answer: You get it to spend recklessly.

Question: How do you get a superpower, with the largest economy in the world, to spend recklessly?

Answer: You get it to strike out from fear at risks it doesn't understand.

» Continue reading "Let the honeymoon begin!"

Posted by Al Maline at 8:47 PM

Make Them No Promises and You'll Tell Them No Lies

I know enough about politics and government to know that you shouldn't expect specifics about real policy from a political campaign. You'll always get answers divorced from context, divorced from what they really might try to do. It's been my observation that many times having a politician keep promises is the worse thing for their constituents.

The phrase "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it." comes to mind. So does the 455 billion dollar deficit that we all owe to Bush's promised and delivered tax cuts. The obvious question arises:

"What would you have us do?"

» Continue reading "Make Them No Promises and You'll Tell Them No Lies"

This is Not America

The United States of America is supposed to be a land where its citizens have certain unalienable rights and protections. But time and again, Americans continue to have their rights violated in the name of fighting terrorism. Two seperate news items demonstrate the breadth of these violations in recent weeks.

» Continue reading "This is Not America"

Posted by blipsman at 3:42 PM

July 28, 2004

A More Perfect Union

Last night I spent a few hours watching a Democratic Convention focused on uniting a nation divided by serving the interests of people everywhere with its voice. It is a voice revitalized by Barack Obama, the black child of an immigrant father and an American mother running for the Senate from Illinois. His speech was a brilliant blend of affection for this nation and what it means in the world and hope for a future in which that meaning is realized.

» Continue reading "A More Perfect Union"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 8:16 AM

July 27, 2004

The Democratic National Convention - Day 1

As Christopher Walken’s SNL character, The Continental, would say, 'Wow-weee, Wow, Wow, Wow!’

If this is the kind of tightly scripted, impact achieving sort of prime-time Convention that the DNC’s Terry McCauliffe has in store for the next three days, the other networks may consider breaking into their steady stream of reality shows and mid-summer replacements!

» Continue reading "The Democratic National Convention - Day 1"

Meteoric Rise for Obama

Two weeks ago, the Democratic party selected Barack Obama as the keynote speaker for the Democratic Convention, which began yesterday in Boston. Tonight he will headline the "Lifetime of Strength & Service" night.

So who is Barack Obama and where did he come from? And what does he mean to the Democratic party?

» Continue reading "Meteoric Rise for Obama"

Posted by blipsman at 11:43 AM

July 26, 2004

Will Young Voters "Rock The Vote" in 2004?

In the early '90s, the "Rock The Vote" campaign did the unthinkable - deliver young people to the voting polls. Some attribute the high turnout to voter frustration with the first Bush administration, while others believed Perot may have been the reason for the surge. Others still would like to believe that a sax-wielding Bill Clinton may have somehow connected with the young'ins like, as some out-of-touch columnists have stated, "an Elvis Presley for Gen-X."

Will young voters care enough about the 2004 election to have their voice heard? Are they the pivotal swing votes this time around, or is it just a lost cause to chase the under-30 vote? » Continue reading "Will Young Voters "Rock The Vote" in 2004?"

Posted by Ivan at 7:06 PM

Drink Deeply or Not At All

Will somebody please think of the children? What about family values? What about consumer choice?

Then again, what about our constitutionally guaranteed rights to the exclusive control over distribution and alteration of artistic and documentary works?

This is the can of worms Representative Lamar Smith hopes to open up with a bill designed to end the Movie Industry's litigation with Cleanflicks and other family filters.

» Continue reading "Drink Deeply or Not At All"

July 25, 2004

The Dubya Code*

Dad had always told Barb and Jenna to knock before going into Ashcroft’s office. Now they wish they had listened, because when they strolled in to ask “Uncle John” about their latest legal troubles they were treated to a horrifying sight, which I will reveal in the next paragraph.

*This post is optimized for readers of The Da Vinci Code. Others may get a few yucks anyway.

» Continue reading "The Dubya Code*"

Posted by Woody Mena at 9:16 PM

July 24, 2004

Friday's Trash

Like a number of other interesting pieces of ‘inside politics’ one learns by watching NBC’s West Wing, there is the notion of the ‘Friday Trash’. The news cycle that begins on Friday leading into the weekend is the period when most folks are not paying attention to the news, reading newspaper, nor a time conducive to breaking stories. Therefore, inside the Beltway, it’s the preferred time to put out press releases or stories considered inconsequential – and, those desperately needed to be disregarded, as such.

» Continue reading "Friday's Trash"

July 23, 2004

Right Regulation

Arguments today about government regulation often degenerate into citations of examples intended to prove either that there is too much regulation or too little regulation. Of course it is easy to find such examples to support either argument, which suggests to me that "too much vs. too little" is the wrong argument. Regulations are not, nor can they ever be, a perfect tool for enforcing responsible behavior on the part of individuals and corporations. Does that mean we should start eliminating them every time we see a case where someone is unjustly hurt or inconvenienced by their enforcement? Of course not!

» Continue reading "Right Regulation"

July 22, 2004

How Will Bush Try To Steal the Election... This Time?

President Bush may have stolen the 2000 Presidential Election. That can be argued either way.

It's now four years later and things are different. We're not the same naive country that allowed the debacle in Florida. We're now a wiser, kinder, gentler nation. Our priorities are different now. We won't be fooled again. Right?

That being said, how will Bush try to steal the election this time around? Thankfully, there's OctoberSurprise.net, dedicated to find out how you, the average American voter, thinks W will circumvent the electoral process.

» Continue reading "How Will Bush Try To Steal the Election... This Time?"

Posted by Ivan at 5:18 PM

July 21, 2004

Take Responsibility

Nice timing. a year of investigation, and they choose now to leak it, with the 9/11 commission's report and the Democratic convention coming up. Admittedly, Sandy Berger made a Boneheaded mistake, but he did not attempt to rewrite history. The documents in question were never taken from the archive, and the whole "stuffing documents in the socks" thing has not so far been substantiated outside of the leak.

» Continue reading "Take Responsibility"

Makeover Time

Move over 'Peanut Boy'. President Bush is looking to bag his own Nobel Peace Prize.

George W. "I'm a war president" Bush, speaking before a hand-picked crowd of Republicans in Iowa, redefined himself as a peace president. "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president." He then blasted Kerry for being soft on military spending.

July 20, 2004

The Promisekeepers

I have made it a point of steering clear of the intense and often lengthy WatchBlog debates on abortion, due to not being passionate about my stance, not being properly informed, nor being born a woman. (Although, the subject matter is a sure bet to win the WB Agitator Of The Month award.)

» Continue reading "The Promisekeepers"

July 19, 2004

Hate

With the way the Right has talked about the Left these days, you would think that Bush is chased around Washington D.C. by a mob of pitchfork wielding liberals. Again and again, the subject of conservative thought and Right Wing talk is just how much the Left hates Bush. They say its a blinding, unreasoning hatred born out of things like jealousy at his tremendous successes on the war on terror and on the economy. They explain it by saying that he's given back those tax dollars that we Democrats are addicted to taking away from people, and that's just ticking us off. And of course, the liberals are traitors to all that is right, good, and God Fearing. It must be hate that has them oppose Bush, right?

» Continue reading "Hate"

Oil Stains

Here's an interesting little essay by Paul Roberts titled "The Undeclared Oil War". Apparently China and Japan are locked in a bidding war over access to Russia's Siberian oil fields.

"The petro-rivalry has become so intense that Japan has offered to finance the $5 billion pipeline, invest $7 billion in development of Siberian oil fields and throw in an additional $2 billion for Russian "social projects" -- this despite the certainty that if Japan does win Russia's oil, relations between Tokyo and Beijing may sink to their lowest, potentially most dangerous, levels since World War II."

» Continue reading "Oil Stains"

July 18, 2004

Vacation

My wife and I took a vacation last week at the beach. We watched the ocean and listened to its background noise while we read and cooked and slept and smiled and smiled and smiled. Smiling is really relaxing, I can recommend it. We worked at a few things that needed to be attended to immediately. But for the most part we were living the life of the totally unplugged and it was a far, far kinder world we lived in than the one we returned to this morning.

» Continue reading "Vacation"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 3:05 PM

July 16, 2004

Makin' Whoopi

When I learned that Whoopi Goldberg had gotten fired by Slim Fast for telling an off-color joke about President “Bush”, my first reaction was outrage: How dare she?! Where did she get the idea that it was acceptable to make a genital-related joke about the President? We didn’t hear that kind of garbage when William Jefferson Clinton was in the White House!!!

» Continue reading "Makin' Whoopi"

Posted by Woody Mena at 9:24 AM

A House Divided

John Kerry addressed the 95th annual NAACP convention Thursday and used the opportunity to contrast himself with the president - the simple difference between being there and not being there, along with the deeper significance of our representatives working to find common ground.

When you’re president, you need to talk to all the people – and that’s exactly what I intend to do. I will be a president who truly is a uniter, not one who seeks to divide our nation by race, riches or any other label.
» Continue reading "A House Divided"

Posted by Joseph Briggs at 9:09 AM

July 15, 2004

A Thin Skin

Politics is a tough business. It's not at all like a corporation, where the CEO takes the input of trusted advisors and the bulk of the employees remain silent at their desks. In many ways, politics turns that model upside down. The employess have the final say, the trusted advisors are expendable and the work of the CEO is under constant scrutiny by an outside force: the media.

Politics takes a pretty thick skin. Add that to the growing reasons to send George Bush back to the world of private enterprise.

» Continue reading "A Thin Skin"

July 14, 2004

10 Partisan Myths

In last week's Newsweek (yep, I'm behind in my reading), there was a very interesting article called 10 Partisan Myths. It's an excerpt from Peter G. Peterson's new book, Running On Empty : How The Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It. I'd love just to copy the whole article, but that'd be immoral and illegal, so I'll just highlight the five myths he claims each party holds dear. The Democratic myths are about entitlements, and the Republican myths are about taxes.

» Continue reading "10 Partisan Myths"

Posted by LawnBoy at 9:49 PM

One thing I'll Miss About Bush - His Hot Daughters

Look, let's face it - the tide is turning against the Republicans. Just a few months ago, Dubya looked invincible. The Dems were a disheartened bunch, looking for leaders and someone with that "Clinton Magic©." Now, it looks like the ride is over. Conservatives are starting to jump ship and the Administration is now trying to solidify their base by trying to pass an amendment to ban gay marriage.

Regardless, the one thing that I'm going to miss is the one good thing that Dubya has given the country - hot twins.

» Continue reading "One thing I'll Miss About Bush - His Hot Daughters"

Posted by Ivan at 4:09 AM

July 13, 2004

The Panic Room

Somewhere, in that often cited, yet non-existent manual on Presidential campaign good manners, I’d bet there is a rule obligating a candidate to defer in time and comment, upon the occasion of his opponent’s selection of a Vice-Presidential running mate. Bush’s phone call to John Kerry on that Tuesday Primary evening in which the Dem nominee amassed the needed delegate count, was a reminder of our forefathers resolve to instill civility in our political process. However, unlike every other violation of the honorable and principled conduct befitting the Executive Branch - that this administration promised in the 2000 campaign to restore if elected - Dick Cheney’s F-bombing on the floor of the Senate actually clocks in as a minor infraction.

» Continue reading "The Panic Room"

"Democracy Is Best Taught by Example"

Unfortunately, our nation is again proving that we don't set a very good one. A key foundation of a successful democracy is the open discussion and debate of issues.

Such public discourse becomes difficult, however, when large media companies loyal to one party control a lion's share of the outlets.

» Continue reading ""Democracy Is Best Taught by Example""

Posted by blipsman at 2:50 PM

Hanky-Panky

Governor Jeb Bush and his merry band of Florida Republicans got caught trying to pull some hanky-panky with the voter rolls. Again. This time, in addition to disenfranchising thousands of eligible Democratic-voting blacks, they tried to add thousands of ineligible Republican-voting Cubans.

» Continue reading "Hanky-Panky"

July 12, 2004

The Straight & Narrow

The Senate began debating the Federal Marriage Amendment after rushing it past the Senate Judiciary hearings without a complete customary review and despite the pervasive understanding that there aren't enough votes to pass the measure. With this lack of support juxtaposed to the hysterical urgency the issue has been given, the amendment has been accused of being a political ploy.

» Continue reading "The Straight & Narrow"

Posted by Joseph Briggs at 11:34 PM

Should Bush replace Cheney?

There's been some speculation about Bush replacing Cheney. With the issues of Halliburton scandals, the fabled link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and the F-bomb, there are some good reasons for Bush to consider it. Even more interesting is this poll by Newsweek (full details).

According to this poll (with all the caveats necessary for a single poll four months before the election), Bush/Cheney lose to Kerry/Edwards by 6%. However, Bush/Powell and Bush/McCain win by 9% and 2%, respectively (Bush/Frist does even worse than Bush/Cheney). Should Bush drop Cheney for Powell or McCain?

» Continue reading "Should Bush replace Cheney?"

Posted by LawnBoy at 5:34 PM

July 11, 2004

Remember...What is Best in life!

I recently encountered a photoshop fake on the site SomethingAwful.com that had me in stitches. Essentially, it was a Smokey the Bear contest, and this one had Smokey and bunch of cute forest critters with banners that read "Crush Your Enemies", "See Them Driven Before You", "And Hear The Lamentation of Their Women", and at the very bottom, "Remember...What is Best in Life!"

Why am I musing on the joke of some irreverent web satire? Because at the heart of the joke is the very thing that has gotten us into trouble in the War on Terror.

» Continue reading "Remember...What is Best in life!"

July 10, 2004

The Feedback Whine

Positive feedback, in scientific terms, is a process that runs away with itself, like sugar levels in a diabetic. Negative feedback is what nature usually uses to prevent this. With a non diabetic, its the release of insulin to drop blood sugar before it becomes dangerous.

Microphones are vulnerable to feedback, of course, taking the speaker noise, and feeding it back in a loop to the speaker itself. We call the irritating result the feedback whine. Guess what? We're getting the same thing from the administration.

» Continue reading "The Feedback Whine"

July 9, 2004

What Should Ralph Do

Watching Ralph Nader on TV is always interesting now that he is running for President again. A lot of people blamed him for the fact that Bush was able to steal the last election but Ralph is not the one to blame for that atrocity. Nor is he to blame for the lame leadership in Congress over the last several years that first debated rancorously over impeaching a President for leaving smegma on an aides dress. Then to top that they failed to debate about the Patriot Act, none of them even read it before passing it in an abrogation of responsibility that boggles even my overheated imagination.

» Continue reading "What Should Ralph Do"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 9:17 AM

July 7, 2004

Scorched Earth

I spent months in a train station in Little Rock. It seems now as if I lived there, a transient alien and paid campaign staffer 750 miles from home. It also seems so brief and sharp, the countless hours spent pounding out code and watching the polls and making great friends.

And nurturing an intense dislike of the competition.

The season was too short and my candidate too late. Under normal circustances - a longer primary season, a longer campaign for the candidate - the dislike would have been diluted, spread out like finite grains of salt in an ever-widening pool of water. But the time simply could not be stretched to dissipate the competitive storm in which I saw the faces of those other candidates in the months between October and February.

» Continue reading "Scorched Earth"

July 6, 2004

Bounce

I never knew who said it, but it was a veteran of Massachusetts’ politics that remarked of past John Kerry campaigns, ‘…they always finish strong’. The nominee’s campaign is pacing this Fourth of July news cycle as if they were playing the ’92 election duo Carville and Begala in an Aaron Sorkin script. Somewhere in cyber ‘freeper’ world, theories must abound of a triumvirate Liberal operative co-ordination, charting the release of Bubba’s book, an ‘opening’ favorable to securing a top box office debut for ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’, and capped off by a post Independence Day holiday media event of dominating proportion!

» Continue reading "Bounce"

July 5, 2004

The Political Spectrum

Much is being made about our "deeply divided nation" these days. I heard a radio talk show host yesterday declaring that we've been polarized into extremes, as he was espousing a more "balanced" position. But I know that Americans are not typically political extremists. So what gives? Well there is a lot of labeling of politicians as extremists going on. And as a result there's a lot of shrill talk on both sides about how dire the effects of the other guys being in power is/will be. But, while we may at times correctly note elements within our political system which are extreme, we miss the point if we think that the divisiveness is about extremism.

» Continue reading "The Political Spectrum"

July 2, 2004

GOP Underestimates Stern at its Peril

It's time to give Howard Stern his due. I have not considered myself a Howard Stern fan -- until recently. And I have never lost sight of the fact that Howard Stern's primary interest is Howard Stern -- and he's the first to admit that too. But he is also a citizen of the United States that cares deeply about what is happening to freedom of speech, the coming out of the religious right and the cowboy mentality in the White House that's applied to important issues -- from waging war to using stem cells for medical research.

» Continue reading "GOP Underestimates Stern at its Peril"

Posted by 9thwave at 6:32 PM

July 1, 2004

Lost In Translation

One would think, given the pre-emptive onslaught of Moore-Mashing prior to the opening of Fahrenheit 9/11, the film and its director would certainly get the Richard Clarke/Paul O’Neill Beltway celebrity makeover. Amid the unearthing of supposedly treasonous, anti-American soldier and French coddling quotes, (accurately attributed to the hero of the Cannes Film Festival), Republicans and Bush supporters confidently predicted that the film’s scurrilous lies will be exposed and made obvious to the American electorate, once its been released.

» Continue reading "Lost In Translation"

Tortured Logic

"At least", they say, "we are not as bad as Saddam was."

"Look at those decapitations, see why Abu Ghraib was necessary?"

"You liberals care more about terrorists and insurgents than your own people."

There's always an excuse, really, always somebody who has done worse, always some ad hominem comment that allows one to avoid the issue of one's own behavior. But at the heart of each rationalization is both a concession to our darker sides, and a masking ambiguity that robs us of our good judgment.

» Continue reading "Tortured Logic"