Wednesday, October 29, 2003
I agree with the Patio Pundit. The only reasons these comparisons are made is that someone is trying to score points for their candidate by touting their “electibility.” I have been reading Taegan Goddard for about two years also. Can’t say I know his politics, but the one thing I do know is that he likes to use articles that focus less on substance and who is the trending bandwagon candidate of moment. He seems to like the “Internet” candidacies of Howard Dean and Wesley Clark while bludgeoning candidates running traditional campaigns like Kerry and Gephardt at every turn. My guess is that he has lost perspective since the “Internet/media” candidates bring credence to his medium. Salon has become the same way, almost cheerleading for Dean and Clark. Bloggers may have disproportionate influence in primary elections, but will become irrelevant in the general election.
On Dean… The primary election in the Democratic Party up to this point has been focused on who get the base madder at Bush. The actual issues that will decide the election aren’t even getting discussed. Voters are going to walking in to the voting booth in 2004 and vote on which candidate can keep them secure. This is not “its the economy stupid” election. Even if the Iraq situation is still in shambles, voters are not going to change course if they don’t believe the other candidate has the national security credentials. Despite how hypocritical it will be given Bush’s lack of service, the Republicans will use the fact that Dean got a medical deferment in Vietnam and then spent the winter skiing in Aspen. They will do what they did to Sen. Cleland by morphing pictures of Osama and Saddam into their campaign ads. Sadly, the best general election candidate may never make it through the primary to face Bush in the general election since my fellow Democrats have lost all perspective due to their uncontrolled anger. To believe Dean has a chance of winning you have to hope more Americans die in Iraq and the economy tanks. As a proud Democrat, this is NOT a position I want my party to be in November of 2004.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Those who have not read the Resolution and continue to call it a “blank check” continue to show either their ignorance or lack of literacy in doing so.
Notice the actual Resolution (as opposed to the “pretend” version that misdirected angry people prefer), authorizes force on two occasions. 1) If there is an imminent threat 2) to enforce Security Council Resolution.
To the first point, as Senator Kerry said on the floor of the Senate, he did not believe Iraq presented an imminent threat, but any President has authority to act without a Congressional Resolution if American is in imminent danger. To the second point, the Resolution only empowered Bush to enforce all “relevant'' Security Council resolutions related to Iraq.” As Senator Kerry said at the time, “None of those resolutions or, for that matter, any of the other Security Council resolutions demanding Iraqi compliance with its international obligations, calls for a regime change.”
What changed between September and Bush’ invasion in March? The anti-war folks rather than lay the blame on this President’s feet; were sucked in by an opportunist Presidential candidate, who viewed this as an opportunity to distort and simplify other candidate’s positions in a shameless attempt to bolster his own candidacy.
Sadly, the only result has been more misinformation the American people have to plow through to get to the truth. Those who call the September Resolution a “BLANK CHECK” only give “AID AND COMFORT” to this President in his lies. He ignored his promises leading up to the war with Iraq. He ignored even the resolution that did not even authorize regime change. Even with the September Resolution, he had no authority to attack since he did NOT have Security Council authority. But rather than attack Bush for his failure to live up to his obligations, the American people now believe Bush was “authorized to attack Iraq” without any conditions. Because 99% of American will never read the ACTUAL resolution, one political opportunist’s rants, in an egotistical attempt to win the Presidency, has severely damaged the Democrats chances of holding this President responsible for his lies.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This joint resolution may be cited as the `Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002'.
SEC. 2. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS.
The Congress of the United States supports the efforts by the President to--
(1) strictly enforce through the United Nations Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq and encourages him in those efforts; and
(2) obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to--
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and
(2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
(b) PRESIDENTIAL DETERMINATION- In connection with the exercise of the authority granted in subsection (a) to use force the President shall, prior to such exercise or as soon thereafter as may be feasible, but no later than 48 hours after exercising such authority, make available to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate his determination that--
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone either (A) will not adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq or (B) is not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to this joint resolution is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
(c) War Powers Resolution Requirements-
(1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION- Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is intended to constitute specific statutory authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution.
(2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIREMENTS- Nothing in this joint resolution supersedes any requirement of the War Powers Resolution.
SEC. 4. REPORTS TO CONGRESS.
(a) REPORTS- The President shall, at least once every 60 days, submit to the Congress a report on matters relevant to this joint resolution, including actions taken pursuant to the exercise of authority granted in section 3 and the status of planning for efforts that are expected to be required after such actions are completed, including those actions described in section 7 of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338).
(b) SINGLE CONSOLIDATED REPORT- To the extent that the submission of any report described in subsection (a) coincides with the submission of any other report on matters relevant to this joint resolution otherwise required to be submitted to Congress pursuant to the reporting requirements of the War Powers Resolution (Public Law 93-148), all such reports may be submitted as a single consolidated report to the Congress.
(c) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- To the extent that the information required by section 3 of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) is included in the report required by this section, such report shall be considered as meeting the requirements of section 3 of such resolution.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.
Friday, October 10, 2003
The televangelist Pat Robertson suggested that someone blow up the State Department with a nuclear bomb. Geee… Wonder where Timothy McVeigh got his big ideas?
Help President Bush: Sign the Affidavit
President Bush told the press on Tuesday that he doesn't "have any idea" whether the senior administration officials who blew a CIA operative's cover will ever be found. But if he just asked his staff to sign a legally binding affidavit confirming that they weren't involved, and referred anyone who wouldn't to the FBI, it's possible he could flush out the perpetrators in a day. To date, the President hasn't even discussed this matter with his staff.
We've already done the President's homework for him by writing the affidavit. Now let's show him how easy it is for innocent people to legally declare their innocence. You can sign the affidavit and send it to the President in under a minute by filling out the form below:
I just signed it also and think it is brilliant. Sometimes humor is better at reaching people who are not as involved in following politics day-by-day. If enough people sign this petition and it gets publicity, the average FOX viewer might even ask, “why if so many other citizens would voluntarily sign it, why wouldn’t the personnel of the Bush administration?”
In the same vein of thought, I think John Stewart is more effective at reaching average people than Bill Maher. Bill has more depth to his arguments and rightly is more popular with the politically savvy. However, John Stewart’s wit and humor helps the broader audience question “what they are being feed by their political masters” because he does it without offending or condescending.
This one is a keeper. Forward it to everyone you know!
Thursday, October 09, 2003
I chatted with “Mudcat” Saunders at the Wisconsin Democratic Convention about the idea of NASCAR dads. (Mudcat is one of the guys who engineered Gov. Warner’s victory in Virginia. With, get this, 51% of the rural vote…) His contention is the only reason we lose the South is because white males think Democrats are wimps. It isn’t that they disagree with us. If you want the South (or enough parts to win), Democrats have to correct an image problem. As a fellow Southerner (now transplanted), I agree.
But you know what, I could see JK taking a lap at Bristol under the lights and looking good. For some of our other candidates, it would resemble Dukakis in the tank. Heck, JK might even pick up a shotgun and go hunting in the Smoky Mountains afterward. Vietnam veteran, alpha-male, athletic, and has the same diplomatic speaking skills the older Southern politicians used to have… For those of you not familiar with “this dog will hunt,” I think the Senator will do very well in the South if he is introduced correctly. I could see him winning four to five Southern states giving us a landslide plus coattails (Louisiana, Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, who knows maybe even TN).
By the way, campaign. Mudcat was working with Graham. Are you going to bring him on-board?
Let’s get ready to rumble! If I have anyone by my side, I want a bunch of union firefighters covering my back.
It is time to draw some contrasts between the nine remaining candidates. Here is where JK needs to start:
- Whose service to the country can stand up to Rove’s barrage on defense and national security? John Kerry
- Who will not raise taxes on the Middle Class? John Kerry
- Who will ask the top 1% to share the burden with the rest of us even as Rove screams class warfare? Who will tell Rove that if protecting the vulnerable in society is class warfare then “bring it on?” John Kerry
- Who will make the environment a top priority in his administration? John Kerry
- Who will call Americans to service, not threaten them daily with color-coded security alerts when they need to bury some news. John Kerry
- Who will run a pro-small business administration while closing corporate welfare loopholes? John Kerry
- Who has the temperament to heal the divisions in the nation? John Kerry
There is but one candidate only! I give you John Kerry ladies and gentlemen.
Sen. John Kerry is not a new convert to the environmental movement. It is part of who he is… He even helped plan the first Earth Day in Boston. From regional transportation, energy independence, CAFÉ standards, safe water/air to the preservation of open spaces, etc. he has been the leader on these issues.
How many others would have the stature or will to stand up to corporate interests when it involves environmental justice? We need another President who will use Executive Order to build environmental justice into government regulations. Why is it always the poor left near toxic waste dumps and forced to drink unsafe water and breathe polluted air? Who else talks about America’s need for a new Manhattan Project, but this time so America becomes energy independent?
No other viable candidate would make the environment a priority in his or her administration. If environmentalists want a President in office who will use the “bully pulpit” to promote environmental issues, John Kerry is their candidate.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
But by the same contrast, we have to put our impulses for revenge away if we want to reach Middle America. We must paint an optimistic vision of America that contrast with the Bush/Rove record. However, if the Democratic vision is not hopeful, not only would our chances of winning in November be diminished, but also the new Democratic President would never be able to heal the nation. I firmly believe John Kerry has the leadership and temperament to not just lead, but also help heal the great divisions of this country.
I know there are always bitter people out there, but it really floored me when I was leafleting last weekend and an older man yelled something about the Senator “looking French and being a communist.” I reminded him he was referring to a highly decorated Vietnam veteran in that fashion. Amazing how quickly even the most illogical Bushie will sulk off with that retort…