Democrats & Liberals Archives

August 2004 Archives

August 31, 2004

Revisiting Compassion and Conservatism

This is the week, four years ago, when we were finally introduced to George W. Bush. The Republican convention of 2000 was his coming out party, as are most conventions these days. He seemed personable, down to earth, strong, a guy who could appreciate a little horseplay. He certainly seemed more lively than Al Gore, though the intelligence gap between them, even then, was clearly a chasm.

» Continue reading "Revisiting Compassion and Conservatism"

It's the Economy, Stupid!

While Bush continues to take credit for a growing economy, seems that only his boardroom buddies are feeling the improvement.

Meanwhile, the majority of the country continues to wait for this recovery that's yet to appear across the heartland, as today's Consumer confidence numbers suggest.

» Continue reading "It's the Economy, Stupid!"

Posted by blipsman at 5:19 PM

Truth and W’s place in the Guard

So there is a lot of reason to believe that W who is busy this week recalling the ghosts of 9/11 past to help him on his road to reelection lied when he said that he had no help in getting his soft slot in the National Guard during Vietnam. Now of course the Republican Press Machine is too busy this week laundering the war in Iraq and dry cleaning the economic news while pressing a crease in the President’s image as CIC to relate to this news. But they’ll be all over it soon.

» Continue reading "Truth and W’s place in the Guard"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 8:55 AM

Between Words and Actions

Iraqi bullets did not and still do not distinguish between the politics of one target or another. The crushing weight of the collapsing towers did not take one party's supporters and not the other side's. The terrorist didn't offload the Democrats from the planes that hit the towers, nor did they circle the planes while the Republicans escaped the twin towers. Most importantly, they did not care which party was in office when they put the planes into those towers, into the Pentagon. To them, there was and is no difference.

In the end, though, the policies do make a difference.

» Continue reading "Between Words and Actions"

August 28, 2004

Partisan Blinders

One thing I have noticed as I've become increasingly upset about the Bush Administration policies is that I've had an associated decrease in my understanding of why people continue to support those policies and the man who leads them. It is not that I haven’t tried; I read the papers, I occasionally run Google queries like “I like Bush because” or “Bush is a good President”. Most often the results of these queries are platitudes not insight. I read the red column on the right, but most of the postings there (like most of the postings on this side of the page) only bash the other guy or other party.

» Continue reading "Partisan Blinders"

Posted by Al Maline at 11:14 PM

A '527' Group For Truth

I am proud to declare, that I have been a card-carrying member of MoveOn.org since it’s inception during the Clinton/Lewinsky Inquisition period. And, ever since, they have been a powerful, articulate and savvy voice that perfectly represents me, and many others on the Left. Those on the Right have insisted at every turn that this organization is ‘radically Liberal’ (and ‘controversial’, according to CNN), hoping to marginalize its impact. And, in the same breath, they’ve used the so-called anti-Bush ‘Hitler Ad’ controversy as proof, never bothering to explain the details and facts involved.

» Continue reading "A '527' Group For Truth"

Bronze Star

My intent with this entry is to bring some of the more fragmented accounts of certain missions into greater relief. In the speed of commentary and article postings, it sometimes helps to get everybody on the same page as to the sequence of events.

I'm going to start with the Bronze star episode, and then move from there in subsequent article. I think an examination of the facts will be of value.

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August 27, 2004

Understated

In a rare show of personal insight, Bush admits to 'miscalculation' in post-war Iraq. The New York Times article that the above-linked BBC article cites is titled, Bush Dismisses Idea That Kerry Lied on Vietnam, since that issue is so important over here (NYT requires free registration, archived articles require purchase), and possibly since Bush's admission was little more than a token display in preparation for the circus of moderation planned for the upcoming Republican Convention.

» Continue reading "Understated"

Posted by Joseph Briggs at 10:56 AM

August 26, 2004

Common Sense Vs. Principles

Flip a coin 9 times. Each time it comes up heads. Is the tenth flip:


  1. Unlikely to come up heads
  2. Likely to come up heads.
  3. Neither likely or unlikely to come up heads.

» Continue reading "Common Sense Vs. Principles"

Posted by Al Maline at 8:24 PM

Bush Economy not going well

The Bush campaign has been trumpeting job growth as a reason to re-elect the President. That justification is extremely weak, with job growth numbers shrinking below the rate of population growth, and historical growth numbers revised lower [CBS MarketWatch]. Now the news for Bush and America is even worse; the Census Bureau reports that America is not doing well for the have-nots.

» Continue reading "Bush Economy not going well"

Posted by LawnBoy at 4:45 PM

August 25, 2004

The Power of a Personal Connection

Vice President Cheney, who many of us in the Democratic camp now see as one of the more intractable ideologues in the Administration, at least with respect to foreign policy, surprised many yesterday when he distanced himself from Bush's support of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

» Continue reading "The Power of a Personal Connection"

August 24, 2004

Bushworld

Chances are if the title of this rant strikes you as familiar, like its author, you may be in the possession of Maureen Dowd’s new book, Bushworld. It is the first ever collection of columns by the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist of the New York Times. She is one of my very favorite writers, to the extent that, if she is the Beatles, then that makes me The Rutles. I am about 40 or so pages into the tome, which is thick enough to provide a suitable counterweight to Bill Clinton’s My Life. Having finished the newly written Introduction, I had a number of uncontrollable giggles and filed away a few interesting bits of Bush Dynasty lore, for future idle conversations. However, it was my hijacking of the book’s title for a message board posting that proved fitting, and aided in putting the events of the past few weeks in proper perspective.

» Continue reading "Bushworld"

August 23, 2004

An Appeal To The Veterans

In 1971, John Kerry went to Washington in front of a foreign affairs committee chaired by one Senator Fulbright and blew the whistle on what he and his fellow veterans had been ordered to do in Vietnam. He related the stories of fellow veterans, a fact willfully neglected by his critics. Either that, or they call them liars or fakes.

Again, a political party is mobilizing to protect its political fortunes instead of the American people, and again such an administration will betray its soldiers by compromising them on supplies, moral guidance, and effective use of the work they do by their own blood sweat and tears. This time, they're asking for your help. I ask that you refuse that help.

» Continue reading "An Appeal To The Veterans"

August 22, 2004

An Asymmetrical Attack

If you want a good idea of how dangerous Al Qaeda is, it helps to compare what they invested with what we lost. They spent nineteen lives, we lost nearly two thousand, a ratio of about a hundred-to-one. In terms of money invested the 9/11 commission has a surprising conclusion.

In the first report on financing, the general conclusions are the same: the September 11, 2001 attacks cost somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000 -- not including the cost of terrorist camp training -- of which approximately $300,000 was spent in the United States. -CNN
» Continue reading "An Asymmetrical Attack"

August 21, 2004

Get In The Game!

I'm reading the 9/11 Committee report, and one of their recommendations is to promote moderate Islam as a counter to bin Laden's brand of extremism. The commission also notes polls showing support for the US in Muslim dominated South East Asia plummeting from 61% before the Iraq invasion to 15%.

Having just read that, I came across this article in my local paper, "US failing to reach out to Muslim leaders in S-E Asia",

» Continue reading "Get In The Game!"

August 20, 2004

"The Country Will Be Lost!"

Every election cycle there are those who predict doom and gloom should the country elect the "wrong" President. Never in my lifetime though, have so many been so earnest in their belief that the "wrong" result in November bodes terrible ill for our nation and our world. It may be that the extent of the concern is overblown, but I am sure from my conversations with people on both sides of the fence that the concern is genuine and heartfelt.

» Continue reading ""The Country Will Be Lost!""

Backdraft

Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani warned that Iran might launch a preemptive strike against US forces in the region to prevent an attack on its nuclear facilities.

I'm sure we could all see this coming. Do we pose a threat to Iran's national security? Of course we do. Do they have a right to preemptively strike at us because of this threat? According to our administration's practices, yes.

» Continue reading "Backdraft"

Posted by Joseph Briggs at 11:30 AM

August 19, 2004

Gulf Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Islamofascists

In George Lucas's recent Star Wars film, Both sides of the epic concluding battle are disposable. The Confederacy of Independent Systems fought with droids of varying shapes and sizes. The Republic fought with a recently found, all too convenient clone army, all bred from a single template- a bounty hunter named Jango Fett. They are blown up, shot up and generally knocked around like their eventual replacements, the stormtroopers.

» Continue reading " Gulf Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Islamofascists"

August 18, 2004

O'Reilly vs. "Kerry Haters"

Fox News table-pounder Bill O'Reilly has a message for the right-wing slime machine going after Kerry's war record:

I think the Swift Boat political advertisement calling Kerry a charlatan is in poor taste, and if this kind of thing continues it might well backfire on the Kerry haters. Most Americans are fair minded...

The whole essay is worth reading. I can't say that I've ever been an O'Reilly fan, but I think he "went sane" on this occasion.

Posted by Woody Mena at 9:31 AM

Playing the Terror Card

The GOP isn't very good at growing an economy, managing the environment, or doing nation building, but there's one thing they have down pat: Staying on message.

» Continue reading "Playing the Terror Card"

August 15, 2004

Sucker Bet

The conduct of war takes place in a nuanced world. Matters of life and death and committing troops to combat require a grasp of many very complex elements of warfare if their lives are not to be wasted. The objectives must be evaluated, potential win/lose results must be analyzed, and best case versus worst case outcomes must be tested and retested before that action is taken. In a commander who is analyzing a situation before combat begins decisiveness can be a serious point of failure. Anyone can be decisive absent adequate forethought.

» Continue reading "Sucker Bet"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 9:00 AM

August 14, 2004

Grading The Truth Squad

I remember seeing the website URL on the backdrop behind RNC’s Ed Gillespie, as I was watching him on CNN. I don’t think it was until the third night of the Democratic Convention then, when I realized the web address was home to the Republican’s so-called ‘Truth Squad’. I also remember finally seeing a segment on and footage of the actual ‘war room’, with images of bustling white males in shirts and ties; reminiscent of a similar looking mob of angry, white Republican males, bum-rushing a ‘dangling chad party’, during the Florida recount.

» Continue reading "Grading The Truth Squad"

August 11, 2004

What The..?

President Bush recently asked John Kerry to clarify his position on the vote that gave him a Congressional OK to invade Iraq, if necessary. Any time your political opponent asks you a direct question, you can be sure it's a trap. That's why crybaby Bush went whining to the moderator when Gore asked him a direct question during the 2000 debates.

» Continue reading "What The..?"

August 10, 2004

Boiled and Oiled

I had some corn last night and it was so good that I had to mention it. There are times when the comfort taken from the simplest foods are the only thing that can make us happy. I had that food, one of my favorites since childhood in the company of three of my grandchildren, my wife and my favorite youngest daughter and her husband. These are among the few people out of some six billion on this planet that keep me happy and interested in life. So it seems to be for most of us, the whole world boils down to those who we love the most. So it is for those in Iraq and Palestine and Israel and the USA too.

» Continue reading "Boiled and Oiled"

Posted by Henri Reynard at 12:48 PM

Protest Songs

I am not a big fan of Oprah Winfrey. I believe the enormous amount of influence she has can be converted into viable political capital, and can bring about genuine change in this country. It is not enough for her to donate millions to good causes, as a moneyed figure as Bill Gates can do. It’s her preference to secretly donate money to political causes and political candidates, which angers me. Her refusal to reveal her more moderate to Liberal leanings is calculated, preferring to put her business and career interests first, and not in possible jeopardy. Which begs the question, how much money and fame is enough, to finally risk some of its principal to exact real change?

» Continue reading "Protest Songs"

August 7, 2004

527

If money talks, the voice of the electorate is getting stronger each day. Political groups funded by private citizens are springing up like insurgents in an occupied country. Well-known groups like MoveOn are engaged in winning the hearts and minds of the voters via the Internet. 527s - referred to by the Internal Revenue Service code controlling their operation - are busy counting both hard and soft money contributions. Many are aimed primarily at defeating candidates. The funding levels of these organzations and the sheer volume of the collective voice may be the best indication yet of the deep polarization of voters in this election cycle.

» Continue reading "527"

August 6, 2004

Bush Opposes "Legacy" College Admissions

Once again our esteemed President's words have been so ridiculous that I laughed out loud and disturbed my colleagues.

That's because George W. Bush, has suddenly decided to speak out against "legacy" admissions at colleges!

» Continue reading "Bush Opposes "Legacy" College Admissions"

Posted by blipsman at 3:07 PM

August 5, 2004

Always Bet On Black

Only the GOP could look at Barack Obama's outstanding political achievements and his inspiring speech at the Democratic convention, and come to the conclusion: 'Obama is leading because he's black. We need a candidate who's more black. Start the auditions!'

» Continue reading "Always Bet On Black"

August 4, 2004

Conservatives' Hollow Victory

The overwhelming approval (by a minority of Missouri voters) for a Gay Marriage Ban Amendment will go down as a hollow victory for Conservatives. The Primary turnout was the highest since 1998, but only 40% percent of the state’s 3.48 Million voters actually went to the polls. The 70% percent of voter support comes out to about 28% percent of the citizens deciding this matter for everyone else. That is about the right percentage of hardcore Conservatives who come out for Primaries in droves, thus having a stranglehold on many state Republican Parties’.

» Continue reading "Conservatives' Hollow Victory"

August 3, 2004

Primary Day in Missouri

Today is primary day in Missouri. Most of the issues were local issues, but a few have received national attention: a referendum on a gay marriage constitutional amendment, the Democratic primary for governor, and the Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District, Dick Gephardt's seat.

» Continue reading "Primary Day in Missouri"

Posted by LawnBoy at 10:44 AM

UN Reformation

John Kerry has vowed to lead the United Nations in the global battle against Islamic fundamentalism. That sounds pretty good, but conservatives are making some legitimate points about the integrity and structure of the UN. So how will John Kerry address those problems?

» Continue reading "UN Reformation"

August 1, 2004

Not Nuts

Today, "liberal" is just another word for "not nuts." -Eric Alterman, 2003

Being fairly far to the left on the political spectrum, it was inevitable that I was initially disappointed by the Democratic convention. By and large, the speakers stuck to familiar platitudes. As I thought about it, however, I realized that there was only one basic message from the Democratic Party, which may be enough to (re)win the presidency. That message: We’re not nuts.


» Continue reading "Not Nuts"

Posted by Woody Mena at 8:13 PM