Friday, October 29, 2004


"We don't need to bus, most of our people have cars."

-William R. Scherer, a lawyer working for the GOP in Florida, commenting on "early voting rallies" held by the Democratic Party.

These rallies are followed by free bus rides to polling places. The New York Times, "Sharp Increase in Early Voting Alters Campaign," by Rick Lyman and William Yardley, 10-29-04.

Monday, October 25, 2004

The revelation in today's New York Times that the president who claims to have made the world "safer" allowed the Al Qaqaa site containing weapons-grade explosives to go unprotected only underscores once again that Mr. Bush has been suffering from sleeping sickness, whether napping in Crawford, Texas or at the White House.

The August 6, 2001 memo that warned our "commander-in-chief" (probably the only president to repeatedly refer to himself this way) of Osama Bin Laden's intent to attack our cities was presumably buried along with discarded brush hacked away by Mr. Bush to provide a folksy image for news cameras.

According to the Times ("Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished from Iraq; U.S. Admits Loss of Material it was Urged to Safeguard--Inquiry is Set" by James Glanz, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger)the I.A.E.A. "publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United Staes officials about the need to keep the explosives secured." The Bush administration failed to protect Al Qaqaa, and now 380 tons of HMX, RDX, and PETN have gone missing.

HMX and RDX lend themselves well to terrorism and smuggling says the Times, because they are chemically stable until detonated. These powerful compounds are used in "standard nuclear weapons design" to start the chain reaction that results in a nuclear explosion.

On October 19th, Dick Cheney said in Carroll, Ohio, “the biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us -- biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans." Or, perhaps, tons of RDX?

Cheney made this statement is support of his contention that Americans should vote for himslef and the Napper-In-Chief to keep us safe from terorism. If, indeed, the biggest threat facing the American public is what Cheney describes, then Bush/Cheney should be impeached and prosecuted immediately for their failure to protect us.

The Washington Post on October 22nd ran what should have been the lead story on every TV news broadcast, but that was ignored by the electronic media, "Afghanistan, Iraq: Two Wars Collide" by Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer. This story clearly illustrates how the self-proclaimed "war president" allowed the CIA to leave Afghanistan and the hunt for Bin Laden in order to prepare for war against Iraq. The administration failed to take advantage of Iranian cooperation and offers of help in the fight against Al Qaeda.

The Gellman/Linzer piece shows how President Bush fundamentally misunderstands the nature of terrorism, clinging to a list of HVT's (High Value Targets), only half of whom have been found, as if the killing of a handful of individuals will take care of what is now a global and growing threat.

The Pakistani government was promised money by the Bush administration to create alternatives to the religious, hate-preaching schools that now educate most children, but the money was never sent.

The Bill O'Reilly standard holds for the actions of the Bush/Cheney crowd: say one thing and do another. Just as Mr. O'Reilly broadcasts outrage about the violation of "conservative" social values while participating in coercive, adulterous, and voyeuristic sexual practices, so the Bush administration claims to have made us safer while junking international treaties, fostering the spread of anti-Americanism, and failing to adequately protect our combat troops, both in terms of planning and supplies. The refusal of orders by the Reserve platoon of 343rd Quartermaster Company made this latter failing as plain as day.

A vote for Bush is a vote for perpetual insecurity and war.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

It is hard to fathom how the Democrats could be put on the defensive over Senator Kerry’s response in the final debate to a question about homosexuality.
Following is the transcript of the question and answers given by the candidates:
QUESTION: Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?
BUSH: You know, Bob, I don't know. I just don't know. I do know that we have a choice to make in America and that is to treat people with tolerance and respect and dignity. It's important that we do that.
And I also know in a free society people, consenting adults can live the way they want to live. And that's to be honored.
But as we respect someone's rights, and as we profess tolerance, we shouldn't change -- or have to change -- our basic views on the sanctity of marriage. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I think it's very important that we protect marriage as an institution, between a man and a woman.
I proposed a constitutional amendment. The reason I did so was because I was worried that activist judges are actually defining the definition of marriage, and the surest way to protect marriage between a man and woman is to amend the Constitution.
It has also the benefit of allowing citizens to participate in the process. After all, when you amend the Constitution, state legislatures must participate in the ratification of the Constitution.
I'm deeply concerned that judges are making those decisions and not the citizenry of the United States. You know, Congress passed a law called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.
My opponent was against it. It basically protected states from the action of one state to another. It also defined marriage as between a man and woman.
But I'm concerned that that will get overturned. And if it gets overturned, then we'll end up with marriage being defined by courts, and I don't think that's in our nation's interests.
SCHIEFFER: Sen. Kerry?
KERRY: We're all God's children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney's daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she's being who she was, she's being who she was born as. I think if you talk to anybody, it's not choice. I've met people who struggled with this for years, people who were in a marriage because they were living a sort of convention, and they struggled with it.
And I've met wives who are supportive of their husbands or vice versa when they finally sort of broke out and allowed themselves to live who they were, who they felt God had made them.
I think we have to respect that.
The president and I share the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. I believe that. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also believe that because we are the United States of America, we're a country with a great, unbelievable Constitution, with rights that we afford people, that you can't discriminate in the workplace. You can't discriminate in the rights that you afford people.
You can't disallow someone the right to visit their partner in a hospital. You have to allow people to transfer property, which is why I'm for partnership rights and so forth. Now, with respect to DOMA and the marriage laws, the states have always been able to manage those laws. And they're proving today, every state, that they can manage them adequately.
Kerry’s answer was that people have to be accepted for who they are. They have to be allowed to live with dignity and that this must be protected legally, while the question of gay marriage should be left to the states.
Mary Cheney is a public figure. She does not hide the fact that she is lesbian. When Alan Keyes, now a candidate for Senate in Illinois, said that Mary Cheney was “a selfish hedonist," there was no outcry form the Republican Party. But, because Kerry mentioned Cheney as an example of someone whose rights should be respected, the Republicans have tried to vilify him.
Following are some quotes from my book, TAKE THEM AT THEIR WORDS, illustrating the well-established hatred of gays and lesbians by the GOP and its allies:
“Homosexuality – The Party believes that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, recognition, or privileges including, but not limited to, marriage between persons of the same sex, custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.
From the 2002 Republican Party of Texas Platform.

"Do homosexual priests rape choirboys? Not in medialand. There, Catholic priests abuse children ­ a phrase that's so gender-inclusive, and manages to twist one's attention onto the Catholic church, not the homosexual men who have made inroads into the clergy so they can prey on the innocence of children." Craige McMillan, "Sex before 8 - or it's too late!," 3-14-02.

“Ideally, it would have been nice to have a few phalanxes of policemen with machine guns and mow them down.”
Talk radio host Bob Grant (then at WABC, New York), speaking of New York’s annual Gay Pride parade, as reported in the Boston Globe, 4-29-95.
“The gay and lesbian movement is another good example. Many homosexuals are hugely talented artists and executives... also dear friends. I don't despise their lifestyle, though I don't share it. As long as gay and lesbian Americans are as productive, law-abiding and private as the rest of us, I think America owes them absolute tolerance. It's the right thing to do. But on the other hand, I find my blood pressure rising when Clinton's cultural shock troops participate in homosexual-rights fund-raisers but boycott gun-rights fund-raisers... and then claim it's time to place homosexual men in tents with Boy Scouts, and suggest that sperm donor babies born into lesbian relationships are somehow better served and more loved. Such demands have nothing to do with equality. They're about the currency of cultural war—money and votes—and the Clinton camp will let anyone in the tent if there's a donkey on his hat, or a check in the mail or some yen in the fortune cookie.” From NRA vice-president Charlton Heston’s speech to the Free Congress Foundation's 20th Anniversary Gala, Violence Policy Center transcript, 12-7-97.
"The homosexual blitzkrieg has been better planned and executed than Hitler's." Rep. William Dannemeyer (R-CA) quoted in The New Republic, “Demagoguery in America” an editorial, 8-1-94 (TNR cites THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT, a publication of the Anti-Defamation League as the source).
"I would warn Orlando that you're right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don't think I'd be waving those flags in God's face if I were you. This is not a message of hate; this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs; it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor." Pat Robertson on the rainbow flags put up by Gay organizations in support of sexual diversity. Washington Post, “Robertson Warns Orlando On Gays Broadcaster: City Faces Disaster For Helping Group,” 6-10-98.
"The Bible says that because of certain abominations such as homosexuality, a land shall vomit out its inhabitants. ... (According to Paul), when values are turned upside down and moral anarchy appears, men burn with lust for other men and women burn for women, and they will receive in their own bodies the punishment for their actions. From a biblical standpoint, the rise of homosexuality is a sign that a society is in the last stages of decay." Pat Robertson from his book, Answers to 200 of Life's Most Probing Questions," quoted in Washington Post “Robertson Warns Orlando On Gays Broadcaster: City Faces Disaster For Helping Group,” 6-10-98.
“God hates homosexuality." Jerry Falwell, quoted on
"The continuing flap, which was intensified early on by President Clinton's efforts to pay back a loyal special interest group, is an unnecessary and dangerous attack on what remains of the country's foundational principles. The military is the last public embodiment of traditional morality. If homosexuals succeed in winning approval for their lifestyle (the real goal of this campaign), there will be no stopping them. They will claim that if they can openly fight and die for their country, they should be allowed to legally marry, adopt children, and receive the full approval of the culture." Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist and radio personality, from his book, "The Things That Matter Most" page 92, HarperCollins, 1994.
"For those homosexuals who are not into the politics of gay rights and who desire help, Dr. Spitzer's findings offer hope. And hope is one of the greatest gifts a psychiatrist can give a patient." Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist. Tribune Media Services, "New Study: Gays Can Go Straight" 5-10-01. (

“Satan uses homosexuals as pawns. They're in, as you know, key positions in the media, they're in the White House, they're in everything, they're in Hollywood now. Then, unfortunately, after he uses them, he infects them with AIDS and then they die.” Anthony Falzarano, PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays), Janet Parshall's America, 2-27-96. quoted on

“[Homosexuals] want to come into churches and disrupt church services and throw blood all around and try to give people AIDS and spit in the face of ministers.” Pat Robertson, 700 Club, 1-18-95, quoted on

“Well, it’s not a question of discriminating against homosexuals. It’s a question of giving people special rights under the law because of the way they do sex acts.” Pat Robertson praising Christian Coalition efforts in Maine to repeal a state civil rights law for Gays and Lesbians, “The 700 Club” 2-11-98.

“The court continues pillaging its way through the moral norms of our country. If the people have no right to regulate sexuality, then ultimately the institution of marriage is in peril, and with it, the welfare of the coming generations of children. By unlocking one of society’s last social seat belts , the court has guaranteed only one thing: More fatal collisions lay just down the road.” Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, responding to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down laws that outlaw gay sex. USA Today, “Sodomy ruling gives hope to many” by Karen S. Peterson, 6-27-03.

“[the Supreme Court] magically discovered a right of privacy that includes sexual perversion.” Jan LaRue, chief counsel for the Concerned Women for America, USA Today, “Decision Represents an enormous turm in the law” by Joan Biskupic, 6-27-03.

"I have this fear that this zone of privacy that we all want protected in our own homes is gradually - or I'm concerned about the potential for it gradually being encroached upon, where criminal activity within the home would in some way be condoned ... And I'm thinking of - whether it's prostitution or illegal commercial drug activity in the home ... to have the courts come in, in this zone of privacy, and begin to define it gives me some concern." Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist (R-TN) on the ABC-TV show "This Week," discussing the Supreme Court's overturning of a Texas law which banned acts of sodomy between consenting homosexuals in private homes. The decision also overturned similar laws in 12 other states. From the Associated Press, "Frist Endorses Idea of Gay Marriage Ban," by William C. Mann, 6-29-03.

Michael Savage: "So you¹re one of those sodomists. Are you a sodomite?"
Caller: "Yes, I am."
Savage: "Oh, you¹re one of the sodomites...You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that? Why don¹t you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it."
Michael Savage, talk radio host, from his MSNBC TV show "The Savage Nation." The show was cancelled after the above exchange. Associated Press, "MSNBC Fires Savage on Anti-Gay Remarks" by David Bauder, 7-7-03.

"For the record, Mr. President, let me say that I do not hate anybody, but I have been accused of it in editorial after editorial. I do not hate homosexuals. I do not even know any homosexuals. But what I do not like is for the Congress of the United States to bow and scrape to homosexual pressure and give them Federal funds and rights and privileges that other Americans are denied. That is what I do not like." Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Congressional Record, Volume 141, No.122, S10705, 7-26-95.

“We believe homosexuality is not normal and should not be made an acceptable "alternative" lifestyle either in public education or in public policy. We oppose special treatment by law based on nothing other than homosexual behavior or identity. We therefore oppose actions, such as “marriage” or the adoption of children by same-sex couples, which attempt to legitimize and normalize homosexual relationships. We support the Defense of Marriage Act. We also stand united with private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, who defend moral decency and freedom according to their own long held and well established traditions and beliefs.” North Carolina Republican Party Platform, Final Version Adopted in Convention May 31, 2002.
“If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything. All of those things are antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family and that's sort of where we are in today's world, unfortunately. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist, in my opinion, in the United States Constitution." Rick Santorum, Associated Press Interview, 4-22-03.
“...Sen. Rick Santorum predicted two months ago that if the court struck down anti-sodomy laws, challenges would soon follow to laws prohibiting bestiality, polygamy and all sorts of other sexual practices. We will now see him proved right...Prostitutes, call your lawyers.” Syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “Courting Disaster, Sodomy ruling bodes ill” 7-1-03.
“Given the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling Thursday that Texas anti-sodomy law violates the constitutional privacy right, Lap dancing—like prostitution for that matter—looks like a fundamental constitutional right...Once consent—“choice”—supplants marriage as the important interest served by cloaking sexual activities as constitutional rights, by what principle is any consensual sexual adult conduct not a protected right? Bigamy? Polygamy? Prostitution? Incest? Even—if we assume animals can consent, or that their consent doesn’t matter—bestiality?...” Chicago Sun-Times, “Now that court says sodomy’s OK, all limits are off” by George Will, 6-29-03.
“I realized the other day that our inspectors are looking in the wrong place for weapons of mass destruction. These weapons are not in Baghdad; they're in Washington, in the hands of the sexual liberationist lobby. And they're deploying them against America's most respected Christians in public life. Their most recent target is Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania (R). A few weeks ago, Santorum committed the ultimate crime in the eyes of those hoping to redefine the way the law treats sexual behavior: He told the truth. And media and political leaders have been piling on him ever since. . .And Santorum is not the only one. Bill Bennett is another. The goal of his detractors is not simply to discredit Bennett, but to destroy him. From now on, every time you see Bennett's name in print, you're going to see the words reformed gambler — just as every time you see Santorum's name, you're going to see the words gay basher. It's an attempt to eliminate their voices from serious public policy discussion by ad hominem and untrue ridicule. The same thing will happen to almost any other public figure who dares to make a truth claim. Truth claims are deeply offensive to the titans of secular orthodoxy—so much so that it's not enough to dispute arguments through civil discourse, or to have an honest disagreement. No, truth-tellers have to be destroyed.”, Charles Colson, “Santorum and the Sex Lobby,” 6-19-2003.
“This great American institution [Boy Scouts of America] has come under attack from homosexual activists—who may well set their sights on your church next.” --Jay Sekulow, direct mail, March 2000, People For the American Way website,
“It's a religious belief to me that homosexuality flies in the face of biblical teachings. Now, where I have difficulties is in determining whether it's a genetic predisposition or whether it is a choice. Either way, though, in contradistinction to people of color, people of color can't do anything about their color, but I do believe gay people have a choice to live within the legal rules or not...It's up to them, that they do have a choice, where an African-American has no choice with regard to the color of their skin. So that's why we have civil-rights laws to protect African-Americans from discrimination." Sen. Orrin Hatch, (R-UT) The Salt Lake Tribune, “Hatch Says He's Misunderstood, But Some Say His Anti-Gay Bias Is Clear” by John Heilprin, 8-13-99.
"NOW is saying that in order to be a woman, you've got to be a lesbian."--Pat Robertson, "The 700 Club," 12/3/97.
"Newt is always able to handle a harangue going on around him better than I am. I like peace and quiet. And I don't need to listen to Barney Fag (pause), Barney Frank, (emphasis on ‘Frank’) haranguing in my ear because I made a few bucks off a book I worked on. I just don't want to listen to it." Then House Majority Leader Dick Armey. According to Jim Drinkard of The San Francisco Examiner: “He made the comment after reporters asked about a book he is writing in light of recent controversies over a potentially lucrative book deal negotiated by House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.” “GOP leader uses slur for gay colleague Armey calls Frank ‘Barney Fag'” 1-27-95.

“[Mr. Hormel] has been a leader in promoting a lifestyle.... And the kind of leadership he’s exhibited there is likely to be offensive to ... individuals in the setting to which he will be assigned.” Senator John Ashcroft on the nomination of James Hormel, quoted by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), “DURBIN STATEMENT ON ASHCROFT NOMINATION” 1-30-01.
"[James Hormel] has made statements that have convinced me and others that he's much more concerned about his own gay agenda than he is in representing the interests of the U.S... I would feel the same way if it were David Duke or anybody whose agenda is more important than the country." Sen. James Inhofe explaining his opposition to the nomination of James Hormel for ambassador to Luxembourg. Washington Times, “Dueling Agendas” by Stacey McCain, 5-20-98.
The party in control of our government has a lot of explaining to do, and not just about its record in the area of human rights. Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, the top U.S. Army commander in Iraq complained last Winter, according to the Washington Post, that troops in combat were properly supplied:
By Thomas E. Ricks
The Washington Post
October 18, 2004
WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. commander in Iraq complained to the Pentagon last winter that his supply situation was so poor that it threatened Army troops' ability to fight, according to an official document. The lack of key spare parts for gear vital to combat operations, such as tanks and helicopters, was causing problems so severe, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez wrote in a letter to top Army officials, that 'I cannot continue to support sustained combat operations with rates this low.'...
So, the Bush Republicans, the saviors of our immortal souls, failed to protect the safety of our reservists, the salt of the earth, the men and woman who live on call for years and years and stand ready to protect this country.
Neither do the Bushites care about the safety of the American public. In response to Joe Lockhart’s comment that 95% of the containers shipped into U.S. ports go uninspected, Marc Racicot said recently that they are inspected “at the other end.”
During the September 30th presidential debate Bush said, “My attitude is you take preemptive action in order to protect the American people, that you act in order to make this country secure."
“Preemptive action” in Bush’s view apparently means going to war for whatever reasons he might deem worthwhile, as if the U.S. military were his private army.
But “homeland security” has been outsourced to foreign governments. The containers are checked at the other end. Are we also taking that attitude towards immigration and our borders? And how do we outsource the protection of our nuclear plants?
Dick Cheney said yesterday in Carroll, Ohio, “the biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever before been used against us -- biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind to be able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans."
The weapons are already here. Helen Caldicott has been touring the U.S. talking about how easily a terrorist could, for example, use a Timothy McVeigh fertilizer bomb against the Indian Point nuclear power generator in Buchanan, N.Y.

Praise be to George, Dick, Marc and the GOP for making us so much safer. Amen.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

A Chicago Tribune poll published today shows Kerry gaining ground against Bush in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. According to this poll, more people are concerned about health care and jobs than they are about terrorism or the war in Iraq.

There are holes opening up right and left in the wall this administration has constructed to keep out reality. Large corporations like AT&T are eliminating jobs. The war in Iraq continues to bring news of dead American soldiers (several more lost their lives today), while the surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's militia is overshadowed by news of an American airstrike against a kebab restaurant and Prime Minister Allawi's call to bring Baathist operatives back to power.

This follows Paul Bremer's assertion that the United States did not send enough troops to Iraq in the first place.

No matter what the reality, GOP denial crews have fanned out to plug holes and put out fires.

This morning on the Imus radio show, Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) said point blank that Bush never said the war on terror could not be won. Mr. Hayworth (as they say on TV), here is the quote:

"I don't think you can win it," Mr. Bush replied. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."NYT, Bush Cites Doubt America Can Win War on Terror By Elisabeth Bumiller 8-31-04

Laura Bush said on Larry King last night that her husband admitted he made mistakes when he was asked by a questioner during the October 8th debate to list three. Mrs. Bush, here is what the president said:

GRABEL: President Bush, during the last four years, you have made thousands of decisions that have affected millions of lives. Please give three instances in which you came to realize you had made a wrong decision, and what you did to correct it. Thank you.

BUSH: I have made a lot of decisions, and some of them little, like appointments to boards you never heard of, and some of them big.

And in a war, there's a lot of -- there's a lot of tactical decisions that historians will look back and say: He shouldn't have done that. He shouldn't have made that decision. And I'll take responsibility for them. I'm human.

But on the big questions, about whether or not we should have gone into Afghanistan, the big question about whether we should have removed somebody in Iraq, I'll stand by those decisions, because I think they're right.

That's really what you're -- when they ask about the mistakes, that's what they're talking about. They're trying to say, "Did you make a mistake going into Iraq?" And the answer is, "Absolutely not." It was the right decision...

In the humble opinion of this blogger, Bush will not win the popular vote. Bush will not win the election without resort to massive voter fraud.

But one thing is certain: if the Democrats win the 2004 election Republicans will cry fraud, despite the shenanigans they pulled in 2000, despite Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's 80-pound paper attempt to block new registrants, despite the insistence of the Minnesota state GOP (and Mary Kiffmeyer, the Secretary of State), on installing a new computer system for registering voters that has caused huge delays and errors in the registration process, despite ongoing problems in Florida, despite all this and other evidence that the GOP is deliberately manipulating the electoral process to retard and prevent registration nationally and the distribution of absentee ballots abroad, they will, if Kerry wins, cry voter fraud, scream, file lawsuits, and call Kerry the true loserman.

In the movie Citizen Kane, when the multi-millionaire Charles Foster Kane loses his bid for governor because of a sex scandal, his newspaper editors run the one alternative to the victory headline they had set in type: "Fraud at Polls."

The Republican party has always opposed laws that make it easier for citizens to exercise their right to vote. The 1996 GOP platform decried the "ill-conceived Motor-Voter Act, The Democrats’ costly invitation to ballot fraud.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Institutions as diverse as the New York City Police Department and the University of Tennessee have been known to designate “acting” officials during an interim period. If the head of the police laboratory, say, retired, quit or took some other position, the second in line might be deemed the “acting” commander.

In the absence of a decisive election, George W. Bush became president. It was scandalous to declare, as Brian Williams did after Bush was inaugurated that “the people have spoken.” He did not mean a few people sitting on the bench of the Supreme Court, but the American people.

Bush these past four years should really have signed his name over the qualifier “Acting.” George W. Bush, Acting President of the United States.

The revelation that Bush has been wearing an electronic prompter gives the “acting” designation a whole new meaning. The electronic box is clearly visible in the photograph of Bush during his September 30th debate with Kerry. And has pointed out that the audio of Bush’s June 5th joint press conference with Jacques Chirac carries an audible instance of Bush being fed a line over his private e-link. This audio is posted on the White House website.

The worse things have gotten, the more pressure has been put on Bush to take on acting roles beyond his ability. The “mission accomplished” debacle is one such scene that comes to mind. Bush was parading as a self-styled hero, a pose that made good TV but made the president seem a weak man in need of a strong image, like the tiny guy aggressively driving an Explorer.

What apparently has worked best for Bush is the “smoke ‘em out,” get tough script, and, in the final weeks of the campaign, that is all he is left with.

In Chanhassen, MN. on October 9th, Bush let it rip: Kerry, he said over and over, “can run but he can’t hide.” This is a line he has used repeatedly to refer to terrorists, as in the two following examples found on

"And we've got al Qaeda on the run, too. Now, they think they can hide, but they can't hide for long. And they think they can run, but they can't run forever, because we will patiently, diligently, pursue them until they are brought to justice. " (Applause.) 11-29-01

"It doesn't matter where they -- where they hide, we're after them, one by one. We follow them wherever they run. They think they can run; they can't run far enough from the long arm of justice of the United States. "12-2-02

It is relevant to note that Chanhassen is known throughout Minnesota as the site of the Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, an enterprise whose motto is “Be thrilled, be charmed, be entertained.” Currently playing are three musicals, Annie, The Big Bang, and Oil City Symphony.

Bush is reliving his days as a star, the New York City steadfast act during which he erased the stain of his embarrassing high-speed skedaddle and his failure to reassure the American public immediately after the 9/11 attack.

All he can do now is pretend that Kerry, his personal enemy, is the enemy of the people. But so far, this performance hasn’t proven very convincing.

Neither was Bush convincing in Chanhassen when he said, “one of the things I'm proud of is there's all kinds of Democrats around the country supporting me. People like Zell Miller are supporting my candidacy.” This simply reminds us how many prominent Republicans have criticized Bush and how many rank and file members of his own party are leaning towards the Democrat/enemy.

But Bush’s biggest performance failure of the last few weeks may have been his attempt,in New Mexico on October 10th, to sound like a populist:

“Something else about taxing the rich -- the rich hire lawyers and accountants for a reason, to dodge the tax bill and stick you with it. We're not going to let him do it to you. We're going to win in November.”

In other words, he will reduce taxes on the rich and shift the burden onto the middle class, so the rich won’t have to waste money on lawyers in an effort to avoid taxes, thus shifting the burden to the middle class.

Of course we all know that you don’t have to be an Academy Award winning actor to sell tickets, but Bush should immediately declare a truce with the “Hollywood left” so he can get some better dramatic training. Otherwise, he will soon follow in his father’s footsteps as a one-termer.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


The Hardball (MSNBC) post-debate team was at it again last night, most notably Jon Meacham and Andrea Mitchell, right off the bat hitting a pop-up into right field. They seemed to think Dick Cheney, that most peevish of veeps, had hit a home-run, winning the debate for Bush/Cheney ’04. Mitchell said several times that Cheney had “steamrolled” Edwards on Iraq.

Mitchell and I must have been watching different programs, sort of the way Cheney’s Iraq looks rosier than Allawi’s. While early poll results are conflicting, a CBS poll found something striking:

CBS News' poll specifically focused on uncommitted voters and found 41 percent deemed Edwards the winner, 28 percent chose Cheney, and 31 percent said it was a tie. CBS based its poll on a "nationally representative sample of 178 debate watchers ... who are either undecided about who to vote for or who have a preference but say they could still change their minds (

We have heard from the experts in this campaign, first that the undecided voters made up only 5% of the electorate, then we heard it was 10%, then we heard that many people were undecided. If it turns out to be true that a large majority of undecided voters thought Edwards won the debate, I would not be at all surprised. Edwards’ impassioned closing speech spoke to all those who have to work for a living, members of the endangered middle class in America.

Cheney’s contempt for ordinary Americans and their concerns could not be hidden in the broad light of television. For me the defining moment came when Edwards raised serious questions about homeland security:

EDWARDS: ...But there are things that need to be done to keep this country safe that have not yet been done. For example, three years after 9/11, we find out that the administration still does not have a unified terrorist watch list. It‘s amazing. Three years. What are we waiting for? You know, we still don‘t have one list that everyone can work off of to see if terrorists are entering this country.

We‘re screening our passengers going onto airplanes, but we don‘t screen the cargo.

There are so many things that could be done to keep this country safe.

You have to be strong, and you have to be aggressive. But we also have to be smart. And there are things that have not been done that need to be done to keep the American people safe.

IFILL: Would you like to respond? Thirty seconds.


Furthermore, Cheney’s assertion that his lack of political ambition made him valuable to the president reminds us that he has been accountable to no one but our court-appointed President:

CHENEY: ...What he {Bush] said he wanted me to do was to sign on because of my experience to be a member of the team, to help him govern, and that‘s exactly the way he‘s used me.

And I think from the perspective of the nation, it‘s worked in our relationship, in this administration. I think it‘s worked in part because I made it clear that I don‘t have any further political aspirations myself. And I think that‘s been an advantage.

I think it allows the president to know that my only agenda is his agenda. I‘m not worried about what some precinct committeemen in Iowa were thinking of me with respect to the next round of caucuses of 2008.

“Some precinct captain” in this case could be read as a metaphor for the “average Joe,” someone low on the totem poll like any one of us.

Cheney has been the most remote vice-president of the last half century, spending many months in an “undisclosed location,” but showing up for dinner at Sally Quinn’s or for duck-hunting parties in obscure blinds.

Finally, Cheney’s attempt at compassion fell flat when his discussion of AIDS turned into an economic report about the tragedy of diminished productivity:

CHENEY: Well, this is a great tragedy, Gwen, when you think about the enormous cost here in the United States and around the world of the AIDS epidemic—pandemic, really. Millions of lives lost, millions more infected and facing a very bleak future.

In some parts of the world, we‘ve got the entire, sort of, productive generation has been eliminated as a result of AIDS, all except for old folks and kids—nobody to do the basic work that runs an economy.

A steamroller indeed!