Third Party & Independents

Critique the Message, Not the Messenger
April 2004 Archives

April 29, 2004

An Accounting

The massing reportage on the UN Oil-for-Food travesty by Claudia Rosett is worth considering on its own, arresting merits. For one thing, it is increasingly pertinent: yesterday, a former coordinator for the program, Michael Soussan (and others, including Rosett), gave watershed testimony to the House Committee on International Relations. This will surely help the issue get the attention it deserves, which it simply hasn't yet. But more salient going forward is the story's bearing on a troubling policy similarity between Bush and Kerry: their desire to leverage the corrupt, bureaucratic behemoth of the United Nations in the reconstruction of Iraq (1,2).

» Continue reading "An Accounting"

Posted by at 1:34 AM

April 26, 2004

Everything That Rises

People have commented on the increasing convergence of Kerry and Bush's foreign policies, but Walter Russel Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations makes clear the salient difference. More than simply shaping policy, it underpins it, and I believe it explains Bush's recent resurgence in the polls in spite of all the bad news:

"... voters are going to say to themselves: 'What's the difference? If I vote for Kerry, I will get a war in Iraq and someone who doesn't believe in the war but is going to have to fight it anyway. If I vote for Bush, I get a war in Iraq, fought by somebody who believes in the war.'"
» Continue reading "Everything That Rises"

Posted by at 10:46 PM

April 25, 2004

I’m confused!

I always thought that conservatives were supposed to have certain views while liberals were supposed to have their own unique set of beliefs.

Conservatives are supposed to support: balanced budgets, a small federal government with minimal government intrusion, right to life, family values, a literal interpretation of the constitution, a military used only for defense of the nations borders and support for big business over labor.

» Continue reading "I’m confused!"

Posted by at 10:10 PM

April 24, 2004

A Tale of Two Health Care Plans

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. The best of times because I still have a job that offers health care benefits and the worst of times because I recently had to use them. A few weeks ago I had my first trip to the hospital and it was an eye opening experience to be sure. I am happy to report that everything turned out well and the overall experience will not have a negative effect on my health or my finances. I received good treatment from the local hospital and I enjoyed the peace of mind that comes from knowing that I was not going to face financial hardships because of it. I am lucky. I wish all Americans could have the same peace of mind when it comes to health care.

» Continue reading "A Tale of Two Health Care Plans"

Posted by William Flynn at 6:25 PM

Iraq Veteran Returns to Homelessness

Here's a story from the NYT about Army veteran Nicole Goodwin coming home to New York, where she ends up on the streets with her 1-year-old daughter. Rejected by the Department of Homeless Services because four women and two small children in a two-bedroom apartment, mixed with an untenable situation between mother and daughter is really not their problem. Meanwhile, Veterans Affairs can only blubber and offer excuses.

Good thing we've got compassionate conservatism in charge, I was getting worried.

Posted by SoL at 11:47 AM

April 23, 2004

Fox News Channel Refuses to Show Flag Draped Coffins of American War Dead

Fox News Channel, you know that bastion of “Fair and Balanced” news reporting, once again shows it neo-conservative leaning by being the only major news outlet in the United States not to air photos of the flag draped coffins of American soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq. A Fox News spokesmen as reported by the New York Times this morning stated:

» Continue reading "Fox News Channel Refuses to Show Flag Draped Coffins of American War Dead"

April 21, 2004

March for Death

This weekend in Washington D.C. there a gathering entitled “The March for Women’s Lives”, which is basically a march to celebrate the right to end the life of unborn children (or fetuses- you can label them what you want). All week long, the pro-abortion organizations have been holding events celebrating this landmark liberty- with no hint that there are any beings that matter in the slightest killed by these abortions.

» Continue reading "March for Death"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 12:33 AM

April 20, 2004

Things you shouldn't tell Bob Woodward

For anyone knowledgeable in politics, the name Bob Woodward may trigger memories of Watergate and the Nixon era. Which is surprising when you consider that--little over thirty years laters--George W. Bush would even talk to him. But more than that, he would send his own administration into the domain of impeachable offenses, ranging from sharing classified information, breaking constitutional law in using Afghanistan funds on a build-up in Kuwait, to planning with foriegn nationals on how to manipulate the 2004 presidential election.

» Continue reading "Things you shouldn't tell Bob Woodward"

Posted by SoL at 11:40 AM

April 19, 2004

Mythperceptions

In the discussion on my previous post, I've noticed a lot of people taking as fact some things that are actually myths. To set the record straight, I point you to this article.

Myths about jobs and outsourcing

This is what the politicians and trade protectionists won't tell you about the economy and jobs. Both major political parties play this game, I'm not picking on the Republicans or the Democrats.

» Continue reading "Mythperceptions"

Posted by JasonTromm at 1:23 PM

April 18, 2004

Exporting Jobs Scam

Harry Browne has an excellent article about the "Exporting Jobs Scam" that politicians are trying to pull on us. His main point: It's not the "greedy corporations" that are taking jobs overseas for cheap labor. Government over-regulation is pushing companies to move the jobs overseas.

» Continue reading "Exporting Jobs Scam"

Posted by JasonTromm at 7:36 PM

Political dogma, beliefs and faith

It seems that becoming a member of a political party is a lot like getting religion. Defense of a particular party’s position seems to be based more on a belief that your side is right rather than logic or reason. Party operatives on both the left and right simply will not yield a point no matter how absurd their position has become. When mindsets like this confront the current threats facing this country you have a disaster in the making. Maybe it’s time to examine how to change a persons mind.

» Continue reading "Political dogma, beliefs and faith"

Posted by at 4:09 PM

April 14, 2004

What I was thinking when I elected Bush

Watchblog contributor V. Edward Martin has asked what we were thinking when we elected Bush, and I feel compelled to respond. Not only am I proud to have voted for Bush, I feel he has responded to our confidence with perhaps the greatest leadership seen in decades.

» Continue reading "What I was thinking when I elected Bush"

Posted by Rob B. at 11:32 AM

Securing Democracy in America

In a democracy, those elected to government should ideally embody the views of a representative cross-section of society. The role of government should be premised on the concept that when elected officials make decisions on pertinent issues, those decisions reflect the will of the people. This can only occur if elected officials stay true to the values they supported during their campaigns and voters have a wide range of candidates to choose from.

» Continue reading "Securing Democracy in America"

Posted by Forrest Hill at 1:20 AM

April 13, 2004

What Were We Thinking When We Elected Bush?

As I paced in a square around my living room tonight listening to my President (try) to speak, one though kept rolling over and over in my head, playing like a broken record: how did anyone so ill-suited to the job ever become President of the United States? I listened to Bush and I was embarrassed once again for our nation, that we should have such a man represent us before the world. Do we (Americans, or at least the ones who voted for Bush), think the Office of the President of the United States that superficial that just anyone can occupy the Oval Office?

» Continue reading "What Were We Thinking When We Elected Bush?"

April 12, 2004

Third-Party Nadir

Blamed for a chain of causality that has Bush in office and us in Iraq, Ralph Nader justifies himself in a Salon interview today, "If we all have an equal right to run, no one would use the word 'spoiler.'" Howard Dean lambastes back on the Times' op-ed page saying Bush can be beaten, but "only if we join together — and don't repeat our last mistake" of dividing in 2000.

» Continue reading "Third-Party Nadir"

Posted by Ry Rivard at 9:02 PM

April 11, 2004

The Memo

There is no smoking gun in the President's Daily Briefing from Aug. 6, 2001 and one doesn't get the sense September 11th could have been prevented. Here is a summary, but read the whole thing:

Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America"...Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks...
» Continue reading "The Memo"

Posted by Ry Rivard at 1:18 AM

April 10, 2004

Antonin Scalia Has Journalists Recording Erased

It is often hard for me to hide my deep disdain for one Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Antonin Scalia, probably because the man is an arrogant, self-absorbed, hypocrite who lauds the traditional underpinning of the federal constitution while he is busy undermining it. Case in point: while giving a speech recently at the Presbyterian Christian High School in Hattiesburg Mississippi, the good justice was lauding the beauty of the first Amendment while the U.S. Marshals who protect him were busily and forcefully violating federal law by erasing two reporters’ electronic recordings of his speech on his standing orders.

» Continue reading "Antonin Scalia Has Journalists Recording Erased"

April 9, 2004

Anti-Bush Patriots

I know this may shock a lot of people but it’s possible to be a patriot and oppose Bush’s policies. (Please note: I am also NOT a Democrat.)

No sane person would want our troops to be slaughtered and have our ass kicked out of Iraq. The troops are real people with real lives. To imply that speaking out against George Bush is a traitorous act really burns me up. I have family over there being shot at. I have other family members that are approaching draft age.

» Continue reading "Anti-Bush Patriots"

Posted by at 1:15 PM

April 8, 2004

The Rice Testimony

I watched/listened to the Rice testimony today, how anti-climactic.
The Democrats attacked, she filibustered. Then the Republicans asked her leading questions so she could give canned speeches. I suppose the point of this boondoggle was to get her testimony on record, under oath and in public.

» Continue reading "The Rice Testimony"

Posted by at 4:19 PM

George Must Go...But Who Next?

In the last four years George W. has proved at least one thing: a Bush should never again sit in the Oval office. Bush II has presided over the worst recession since Clinton took office, a dramatic loss of jobs, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the first pre-emptive war in the history of the United States. And now, four years later, the economy is in shambles, more than 600 U.S. soldiers have lost their lives due to lies and Bush/Cheney’s thirst for control of Mid-East oil, and rabid anti-gay attacks have reached a level not witnessed on the national political scene in decades. President Bush likes to talk about regime change, and I agree with him. It’s time for a regime change, and I propose starting right here at home.

» Continue reading "George Must Go...But Who Next?"

Posted by at 11:27 AM

Never Again

This week, the people of Rwanda remember the ten year anniversary of the genocide of merely one million people in their homeland. In short, leaders from one so-called ethnic group, using the downing of an airplane as a pretext, called for the mass-slaughtering of another ethnic group- while the world, including our administration, stood by and did nothing.

» Continue reading "Never Again"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 12:57 AM

April 6, 2004

Crashing the Party

I've been reading Ralph Nader's book "Crashing the Party". To anyone who questions why he "spoiled" the 2000 race, this is straight from the horses mouth. Nader is as always an impassioned and well spoken advocate of what he believes is the right thing to do. What I find most interesting is that he has few words of rancor for people who have treated him fairly shoddily at best over the past 30 years. He is equally critical of both major parties, and makes clear further why he was not interested in running as a Democrat or a Republican.

» Continue reading "Crashing the Party"

Posted by rev_matt_y at 11:35 AM

Iraq and a hard place: Episode II (A revolting development)

All levity aside I am getting a really bad feeling about Iraq. It feels like the kind of ugly tension in my gut that happens when a loved one is dying. I was never for the invasion. I though it was ill timed and poorly conceived even before the first shot was fired. However I find no comfort in Bush’s poor fortune.

» Continue reading "Iraq and a hard place: Episode II (A revolting development)"

Posted by at 10:52 AM

The Case For Gay Marriages

This posting is a direct rebuttal to my fellow editor’s article on the right, entitled The Case Against Gay Marriage.

First, a few points:


  • The Institution of Marriage as regulated by the many States is a Civil undertaking not religious. While a couple can decide to get married by a church, they are in no way under any obligation to do so. The state issues the marriage license not the church. True a member of the clergy is sanctioned by the state to sign a marriage certificate, but so is a Justice of The Peace. Bottom line: a marriage is not legal unless, and until, a State sanctioned marriage license is obtained.

» Continue reading "The Case For Gay Marriages"

April 5, 2004

While Nero Fiddles Health Care in America Burns

Health Care in America continues it long painful decline while the Republican led Congress and the Bush Administration do nothing but pay lips service to the problem, which does nothing to stem the decline. A story in today’s Chicago Sun-Times highlights the growing problems doctors face while trying to provide quality care to their patients. And the soaring, un-checked cost of malpractice insurance is surely at the top of the list.

» Continue reading "While Nero Fiddles Health Care in America Burns"

April 4, 2004

The Facts About the Electoral College

A lot of confusion, misunderstanding, and down right falsehoods exist about the functionality of the Electoral College. Many seek to replace it with direct elections, even the Founding Fathers were of two minds concerning its creation and usage; Alexandra Hamilton supported it (see Federalist Paper No. 68), while Thomas Jefferson opposed it, stating:

I have ever considered the constitutional mode of election ultimately by the Legislature voting by States as the most dangerous blot in our Constitution, and one which some unlucky chance will some day hit and give us a pope and antipope. - Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to George Hay, 1823.

Herein is an overview on how the Electoral College works straight from those guardians of the American electoral process, the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

» Continue reading "The Facts About the Electoral College"

April 2, 2004

A Bi-Partisan April Fool's Wish-List

My favorite Democrat, Gregg Easterbrook, has an awesome April Fool's Wishlist up. Here are a couple of sampled items:

(1) President George W. Bush admitted today that he misled the American people on the reasons for the Iraq war. "No matter what your motives, it can never be right to be dishonest to the public," Bush told a hushed crowd at a news conference. "I am deeply sorry, and will never fail to tell the truth on any subject again."

(2) At the Capitol, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle admitted today that the Democratic Party was trying to keep 9/11 in the news in order to damage the president. "Republicans did not know that attack was coming, Democrats did not know that attack was coming, nobody knew," Daschle acknowledged. "Endless partisan recriminations only harm the nation, and must end."

» Continue reading "A Bi-Partisan April Fool's Wish-List"

April 1, 2004

Think Outside the Electoral College Box

Campaign season is here in full swing, and there are all kinds of television advertisement out for both candidates, trying to change voters minds. Or so I have heard on analysts at MSNBC. The truth is, if you do not live in a “swing state”, you are not going to get nearly as many TV adds, candidate visits or attention.

» Continue reading "Think Outside the Electoral College Box"

Posted by Misha Tseytlin at 11:32 PM

Its tax month again!

So lets moan and groan over the inequity of the system and recommend sensible replacements that will never make it past the special interests. We have no chance of ever achieving a meaningful change but let us sally forth to do battle with the dragon that oppresses us all. Consider it a right of spring.

» Continue reading "Its tax month again!"

Posted by at 1:55 PM

You may already be a felon

This news.com story that a Congressional committee has approved the so called "Piracy Deterrence and Education Act" is a depressing reminder that no matter WHO you vote for this year, Democrat or Republican, the choice is simply a matter of who is going to screw you less.

» Continue reading "You may already be a felon"

Posted by Rob B. at 1:32 AM