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Friday, October 31, 2003

'It looks like we are coming out of the recession,' Stephanopoulos said. 'Wages are starting to go up. Productivity is starting to go up. Generally if you look at polls across the country people respect President Bush even when people don't agree with his policies. He has an amazingly strong hold on the Republican party. He's not going to have a primary opponent. I think when you add all that up it puts President Bush in a very strong position going into the next election.'

Stephanopoulos said he expects the campaign will occur during a good economy and that national security will be the biggest campaign issue, something Democrats classically have had a hard time with. He was especially discouraged by front-runner Howard Dean's campaign based on antiwar outrage, believing Americans will prefer Republican optimism.

"I was meeting with Bush officials today," Stephanopoulos said, "and they were salivating to run against Howard Dean so they can accuse him of raising taxes."

--The Daily Northwestern:


The rationalizing going on in DU's fastest growth since '84 thread is quite amusing.


The DU thread on Zell Miller's endorsing Bush is just too entertaining.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Damon Lynch -- minister, Cincinnati city council candidate, and one of the leaders of the idiotic boycott of Cincinnati -- is upset. Posters have started popping up in Over-the-Rhine showing a "dramatization" of Lynch shaking hands with rich white man, Reds owner, and banana barron Carl Lindner and claiming that Lindner endorses Lynch. Lynch is livid over this, calling it political dirty tricks and slander. The fact that he thinks being endorsed by Carl Lindner is slander either says something disturbing about his racial politics or it says something about just how much people don't want to be associated with the Reds.

--UPDATE: Cincinnati Blog has a picture.


When you make your living bashing malicious corporate CEOs, it's best not to remind people that you're using giant media companies to carry your message.

After all, the bottom line is all about profits, not prophets.



Thomas Friedman has a must read piece in the NY Times on how Iraq is not Vietnam.

What to do? The first thing is to understand who these people are. There is this notion being peddled by Europeans, the Arab press and the antiwar left that "Iraq" is just Arabic for Vietnam, and we should expect these kinds of attacks from Iraqis wanting to "liberate" their country from "U.S. occupation." These attackers are the Iraqi Vietcong.

Hogwash. The people who mounted the attacks on the Red Cross are not the Iraqi Vietcong. They are the Iraqi Khmer Rouge — a murderous band of Saddam loyalists and Al Qaeda nihilists, who are not killing us so Iraqis can rule themselves. They are killing us so they can rule Iraqis.

Have you noticed that these bombers never say what their political agenda is or whom they represent? They don't want Iraqis to know who they really are. A vast majority of Iraqis would reject them, because these bombers either want to restore Baathism or install bin Ladenism.

--NY Times


Boy, if this is Bush's failed economic policy who needs a policy that works?


'Liberation is at hand. Liberation-- the powerful balm that justifies painful sacrifice, erases lingering doubt and reinforces bold actions,' Clark wrote in a London Times column (4/10/03). 'Already the scent of victory is in the air.' Though he had been critical of Pentagon tactics, Clark was exuberant about the results of 'a lean plan, using only about a third of the ground combat power of the Gulf War. If the alternative to attacking in March with the equivalent of four divisions was to wait until late April to attack with five, they certainly made the right call.'
"The campaign in Iraq illustrates the continuing progress of military technology and tactics, but if there is a single overriding lesson it must be this: American military power, especially when buttressed by Britain's, is virtually unchallengeable today. Take us on? Don't try! And that's not hubris, it's just plain fact."


Here's another fast-accelerating meme: the president led the American public to believe that the post-war reconstruction of Iraq would be easy, he never anticipated these problems, and can only blame himself for not lowering expectations. The one true aspect of this seems to me to be the gratuitous symbolism of the USS Lincoln landing and that hubristic banner: 'Mission Accomplished.' I think I've been proved right about the over-reach there. But rhetorically, it's fair for the White House to point out that the president did indeed warn about the post-war.

He goes on to give quotes to illustrate it.

On the "Mission Accomplished" banner, personally I don't see what the big honkin' deal is. The crew wanted a banner saying their mission was accomplished. The White House provided the banner. So what? There mission was accomplished. They were on their way home. So now we need to attack Bush because he said the crew put it up when the truth is simply that the crew wanted it put up? There are plenty of things you can criticize Bush about, but about not being sure of the origins of one particular banner at one particular photo-op? I mean, come on...

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

SENATOR ZELL MILLER OF GEORGIA, the nation's most prominent conservative Democrat, said today he will endorse President Bush for re-election in 2004 and campaign for him if Bush wishes him to. Miller said Bush is "the right man at the right time" to govern the country.
--Weekly Standard


Dean declared himself a "metrosexual," the buzz phrase for straight men in touch with their feminine sides, as he touted his accomplishments in "equal justice" for gay and lesbian couples.
--Denver Post


An interview with Gen. Wesley Clark appears in the November issue of Maxim Magazine. A couple of his answers caught my attention.

Any skeletons in your closet?
No, no, I did not inhale.

Is he aware that "not inhaling" was in fact one of the skeletons in Clinton's closet? I was pretty young then but even I remember the uproar when Clinton weasled out of the drug question by saying he didn't inhale. I doubt he's actually saying that he tried pot but didn't inhale, he's probably just trying to be cute, but it's a kinda boneheaded way to be cute.

Any revolutionary ideas? A $2 gas tax? Privatize Social Security? Buy Canada?
In the 19th century, we were motivated by manifest destiny. In the 20th century, it was the idea that it was our duty to contain the spread of Communism and keep open the door for freedom. Today there is no substantial challenge to American ideals. The question is this: Where can we, with all our wealth and capabilities, lead mankind?

Let me repeat one of those sentences for you... "Today there is no substantial challenge to American ideals." Ok, one more time just so we're all on the same page: "Today there is no substantial challenge to American ideals."

No substantial challenge to American ideals? Is he serious?! 2 years ago 3,000+ people died because religious fanatics didn't like our ideals. Terrorists blew up more than 30 people in a single day this week because they don't like our ideals. Countries are trying to develop weapons of mass destruction because the don't like our ideals. Call me crazy but I call that a pretty bleepin' substantial challenge to our American ideals.

People are trying to kill Americans and those who share our ideals every single day. Every day is a battle in the war between our ideals theirs. They would destroy everything that opposes their brand of Islam and because we hold ideals that say you can live free and believe whatever you want to believe they challenge us. The same freedom that allows groups of wackos to protest on the Mall in Washington is why they challenge us.

Our ideals are challenged every minute of every day one of the top candidates for the Democrat nomination for President says "Today there is no substantial challenge to American ideals." Like hell there isn't. And just think, this is the guy the Dems are hoping will bring them credibility on national security.


Belligerent Bunny has some good pics and commentary on the recent protests in Washington.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

In the past 8 days I've received 4 times as many responses to my resume as I'd received in the 5 months before. Could bode well for job growth. Could be total coincidence.


The US is being equated with the Nazis now. Well, that's Ted Rall for ya.


Downloaded the new Napster 2.0 and I have to say I much prefer the interface of iTunes. Napster's new interface just seems unnecessarily complicated and muddled and just overall confusing.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Arresting people doing illegal things is now terrorism according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Friday police raids on dozens of U.S. Wal-Mart stores in the search for illegal immigrants this week amounted to "terrorizing" workers.

"It instills a great deal of fear in people who are only trying to earn a living and put food on the table for their family," Pelosi, a California Democrat, told reporters ...

"We think there might be a better way to go about this because the fact is that it is against the law for the employer to hire these people so there should be more focus on the employer and less in these terrorizing raids," Pelosi said.
Pelosi said the Wal-Mart raids showed the need to legalize undocumented workers in parts of the economy other than just the agricultural sector.

Or maybe it shows the need to crack down on the ability of people to cross our borders at will.


[L]ast month, Friedman wrote in The New York Times, 'It's time we Americans came to terms with something: France is not just our annoying ally. It is not just our jealous rival. France is becoming our enemy.'
Friedman was right then, which means he's still right now. One U.N. vote - which, by the way, was accompanied by a swift French promise that they'd do nothing to help with the reconstruction - hardly signals a fundamental change in France's desire to hamstring America.
What is astounding is how much of a free pass this one-time ally is getting here in America. Because the war was unpopular with many liberals, it's assumed that France's actions are informed by the same principles as, say, Howard Dean's. I think Dean's positions on the war are scandalously dim-witted and ill-advised. But he still wants what is best for America and even Iraq. It is impossible to say the same thing about France.


They're attacking the Red Cross now.


More than five years after people got their first easy way to download music off the Internet, they're finally getting a reasonable opportunity to pay for it.
That it's taken this long for an otherwise functional capitalist system to go after this market is an embarrassment.

--Washington Post


I spent the debate pretty much doing the MST3K thing so I figured I might as well do a proper fisking.

The transcript’s from the Washington Post. And for the record, yes there’s a lot of stuff skipped over but I think all the juicy tidbits are covered. And it's not at all Fair and Balanced.

CAMERON:... Is it inconsistent for you to support the resolution and not the reconstruction money?

KERRY: Not in the least. In fact, it is absolutely consistent, because what I voted for was to hold Saddam Hussein accountable but to do it right.

This president has done it wrong every step of the way. He promised that he would have a real coalition. He has a fraudulent coalition.

fraud n. (frôd)
1. A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.

So good news, Kerry has proof that every intelligence service in the world was deliberately deceiving us since they're all in Dubya's control.

He promised he would go through the United Nations and honor the inspections process. He did not.

He did. He may not have put our safety second to pleasing France but he did go to the UN and he did give them a chance to act.

He promised he would go to war as a last resort, words that mean something to me as a veteran. He did not.

*DING* Ok, who had 88 words in the “How long until Kerry reminds us he’s a vet” pool?

He broke every promise. He's done it wrong.
And he's even doing this wrong, because what he ought to be doing is internationalizing this effort -- going to the United Nations, asking the United Nations to take part in a larger way,

Which he has…

which they would be willing to do if he was prepared to shift real authority to them.

Yeah, let’s shift real authority to the people who pulled almost all of their people out of Iraq after a single attack against them. I’m sure the UN would stick it out no matter what.

You have to take the target off of American troops. You have to get rid of the sense of American occupation. And that's the only way to invite other countries to be part of this.

The only way? That’s odd, seems to me we’ve already got 30+ countries being part of this.

And finally, Joe Biden and I brought an amendment to ask Americans, and the wealthiest Americans, to share.

Share? The top 10% of Americans are already paying more than 60% of the taxes That isn’t sharing? Damn wealthy people and their job creating ways!

He wouldn't allow that to happen. I'm not going to vote for him to continue to do it wrong.

WHAT?!?! You’re telling me that John Kerry, Democrat candidate for president isn’t going to vote for the other parties guy? I’m SHOCKED, just shocked!

PERKINS:… Reverend Sharpton, thousands rallied yesterday in Washington against the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. You spoke to that crowd, saying that it was time to bring the U.S. troops home right now.
Would that not be an admission of defeat, and would it not throw Iraq and the entire region into chaos?
SHARPTON:… You cannot get right out of wrong.
Bush was wrong to go in in the first place.
To delay coming out is not going to make it right.

Ahhh, the old “Two wrongs don’t make a right” theory of national security. Sure it won’t make it right in his eyes, it’ll just cause a terrorist state to spring up leading to the possible future murder of hundreds, thousands, or millions of Americans. Yep, that’s the kind of thought I want in the leader of the nation.

We need to not get into another Vietnam, talking about withdrawing with honor. Mr. Bush put the honor of this nation aside when he deceived the public by putting us in harm's way with no weapons of mass destruction.

His grammer isn’t totally clear but I’ll just assume here he’s saying that Saddam didn’t have WMD, not that the President should have armed our troops with them.

We need to go to the U.N., we need to say that we are working a multilateral commitment. And we need to show that we really love the troops by bringing the troops home.

See above.

PERKINS: General Clark, your campaign implies that your combat experience gives you a better understanding of the implications of war, but your political message is confusing.

But you have also so far refused to take a firm position on the president's request for more money. Can you tell us exactly where you do stand?
CLARK: I'd be happy to tell you where I stand. I think I've been very consistent from the beginning.
Right after 9/11, this administration determined to do bait and switch on the American public. President Bush said he was going to get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. Instead, he went after Saddam Hussein.

Instead he went after Saddam? “Instead”? First off I seem to recall a little war in Afghanistan aimed at bin Laden. Secondly I find it hard to believe that he honestly thinks we totally stopped looking for bin Laden when we went after Iraq.

He doesn't have either one of them today.

Yeah, and I’m sure had he been in office he would have been caught.

I've been against this war from the beginning. I was against it last summer, I was against it in the fall, I was against it in the winter, I was against it in the spring. And I'm against it now.

Sure, he was against it in the winter, the spring, and now. The question is was he against it this summer and fall when he flipped his opinion a half dozen or so times.

It was an unnecessary war. There was no imminent threat.

President Bush would agree on the imminent threat point.

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?

I do have the feeling though that he’d take issue with the “unnecessary” part.

…this country was attacked on 9/11, and it was right that this administration went into Afghanistan. And I supported that war; so did 90 percent of the American people. That Taliban government should have been taken out.
But the failure of this administration was not to put the troops in to finish the job against Osama bin Laden.

Right, because putting more troops in the country where bin Laden more than likely isn’t would just totally clear up the problem.

And you know why they didn't do it? They didn't do it because, all along, their plan was to save those troops to go after Saddam Hussein.

Heaven forbid we should use our troops so that we have enough to fight multiple threats.
Skipping down a tiny bit…

GEPHARDT:… We've got some differences here in opinion about this war and the money. But I think it's an abomination for this administration and this president to call people who disagree with him, as sometimes we do, as lacking patriotism. I think the highest act of patriotism is saying what we believe.

Please, would somebody please let me know where all these people are who are calling people unpatriotic? From all the talk of dissent being called unpatriotic you’d think there were daily press releases from the White House with a list of unpatriotic opponents. This isn’t happening, and to the best of my knowledge no major political figure has called any of these Democrats unpatriotic. If it really has happened I really wish somebody would step up with some specifics.

EDWARDS:…Well, my view of leadership is standing up for what you believe in, Joe. I have stood up for what I believe in. I believe that Saddam was a threat that had to be dealt with; therefore I voted for the congressional resolution.
However, I said at the time that it was critical for us to have a plan for what would happen now. This president has no plan of any kind that I can see.

Hmmm, $87 Billion for Iraq, 20-some billion dollars for rebuilding Iraq, a Constitution in 6 months to a year, elections in about a year. How big a plan does he need?

Second, that we bring our friends and allies in and this become an international effort, not just an American occupation and an American effort.

Wait, the Polish and British are American now? Are those two countries that are taking a major part in the occupation aware that John Edwards has annexed their countries? Whoohoo! Somebody dig up Betsy Ross, we need to sew a couple more stars on the flag!

Then the president of the United States comes to us and says, "I want $87 billion, trust me on this, I'll be back next year to ask for more and more money."

True, except for the trust me part and the asking for more money part… oh wait, that’s pretty much all the parts isn’t it?

Here's my view, Joe: For me to vote yes on that would be to give this president a blank check, and I am not willing to give George Bush a blank check.

These democrats have a funny idea of a blank check. The dollar amount of the check was filled in. It’s that little 8 and 7 followed by nine zeros that they’re all carping about. The pay to the order part’s filled out too:

for security, relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in Iraq , $18,649,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2005, to be allocated as follows: $3,243,000,000 for security and law enforcement; $1,318,000,000 for justice, public safety infrastructure, and civil society; $5,560,000,000 for the electric sector; $2,100,000,000 for oil infrastructure; $4,332,000,000 for water resources and sanitation; $500,000,000 for transportation and telecommunications; $370,000,000 for roads, bridges, and construction; $793,000,000 for health care; $153,000,000 for private sector development; and $280,000,000 for education, refugees, human rights, democracy, and governance
--H.R. 3289

So it seems to me the only part left blank on this check is the line where John Edwards signs it.

KERRY: Well, Joe, I have seared in me an experience which you don't have, and that's the experience of being one of those troops on the front lines when the policy has gone wrong.


And the way you best protect the troops is to guarantee that you put the troops in the safest, strongest position as fast as possible.

Well geez, why don’t we just bring them home where it’s safe and sound then? Oh yeah, because if they’re not over there fighting the good fight it won’t be very safe over here either.

… Now they've got enough money for the next few months. Nothing we did in that vote puts them in jeopardy.

Well yeah, but only because enough people voted differently than you.

CLARK:… I didn't believe last year we should have given George Bush a blank check in Iraq. He said he was going to go to the U.N., instead he started a war.

Yeah he started a war… after going to the UN…

LIEBERMAN: OK. I want to say obviously I respect John Kerry's military service to our country, but that's not what this is about. This is about the votes that he's cast that I believe are inconsistent.
In fact, what do we look back and wonder about our time in Vietnam? We didn't support our troops. If everyone had voted the way John Kerry did, the money wouldn't have been there to support our troops.
KERRY: That...
LIEBERMAN: Tough decision. $87 billion is a lot of money. $87 billion is a lot of money. It should have been less if George Bush had brought in our allies and had a plan.

Lieberman’s always sounded the most presidential to me, at least until he gets around to the Bush is a failure part.

EDWARDS:… The problem with the PATRIOT Act and the reason we need to make changes is because it gave entirely too much discretion to an attorney general who does not deserve it. It's that simple.
CAMERON: But, Senator, wasn't the legislation written by the lawmakers providing that very latitude? Didn't you create that latitude in the legislation that you wrote?
EDWARDS: Yes, and the attorney general of the United States came before us and told us that he would not abuse his discretion.

And he hasn’t.

He has abused his discretion.

No he hasn’t.

He has consistently abused his discretion. We all know that now.

Really, I’m telling you, he hasn’t. The reviled “we can look at your library records” part of the act has never, I repeat, NEVER been used.

And this from Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein:

"I have never had a single abuse of the Patriot Act reported to me," she said. "My staff e-mailed the ACLU, and asked them for instances of actual abuses. They e-mailed back, and said they had none."
--Voice of America

Yeah, that evil Ashcroft is just trampling our rights everywhere, isn’t he?

MOSELEY BRAUN:… I stand with the mothers of the young men and women who are there, and believe that, as Americans, we have to bring our troops home but we have to bring them home with honor. We blew the place up; we have to fix it back.

First off, I think she forgot an “up” there, but quibbling aside, it’s not because we blew it up that we need to fix it up. We didn’t blow up most of the things that we’re paying to fix. What we’re fixing over there is the infrastructure that was destroyed by decades of Saddam’s rule. We didn’t blow up their oil infrastructure, remember, we were the one’s evilly looking to confiscate all their oil for our own. We’re giving them $2+ Billion to fix it, but it isn’t because we destroyed it. Heck, if you look today, it’s the Iraqis who are doing most of the blowing up over there.

And at present, the United Nations and none of the -- happily, we're moving toward internationalizing the force, but even the United Nations won't put troops in the ground there because it's too dangerous.

See previous part about the UN being pansies. :)

PERKINS: Congressman Kucinich, you have been consistent in your opposition to the war, but there are reports that you have also refused to sign the intelligence nondisclosure form, which means that you are not allowed to see all the information collected in secret by the CIA and FBI.
And the question is, how can you oppose something that you do not know?
KUCINICH: Well, actually, I knew enough not to vote for the war without having to sit in on briefings that were totally phony.

Well this is great news. They blame Bush for getting his news filtered through aides. They say the White House has been lying to him. They eviscerate Bush for making up his mind beforehand. Now what do we find out? One of the Democrats’ candidates isn’t getting any of the news and he made up his mind beforehand about whether to go to war. Well that’s it; this guy and his Department of Peace definitely need to be in the White House. We don’t need our President getting briefed on secret intelligence or anything do we?

I could tell you that I've actually presented a plan -- it's on my Web site at -- it's an exit strategy to get the U.N. in and the U.S. out of Iraq.

Well, Heaven help me, I went there and for the life of me I couldn’t find anything more solid than “It is time to bring the troops home! It is time to get the UN in and the US out of Iraq....”

As the only African-American in the United States Senate, it was not inappropriate for me to visit countries in Africa, including Nigeria.

True, but it isn’t the fact that she’s an African-American that makes it not inappropriate. It’s the fact that she’s an American citizen. Everybody has the right to visit Africa, not just those whose ancestors were born there.

GEPHARDT: … [Bush] walked away from a North Korean agreement that President Clinton got. I'm more worried about nuclear weapons coming to the terrorists from North Korea than I am Iraq.

Geez, I wonder if walking away from the agreement with North Korea had anything to do with North Korea shredding that agreement and then lighting those shreds on fire and then building their nuclear weapon program on the agreement’s ashes. (Figuratively of course.) The agreement Clinton worked out paid them for not developing nukes. North Korea now has nukes. And Bush is somehow to blame for the fact that North Korea is led by a brutal, insane man with freakish hair???

KUCINICH: Well, first of all, my proposal was to create a separate, Cabinet-level position, a Department of Peace, which would work domestically to make nonviolence an organizing principal in our society.

When we contrast that with the purpose of the Department of Defense, that's to provide military force. Now, I think that we have to have a commitment to work with the nations of the world to make war archaic so we won't need to send our men and women abroad in search of wars or to fight wars that they never should have had to fight in the first place.

Well isn’t that just fine and dandy. Where to start… where to start… Ok first off the purpose of the Department of Defense is not to “provide military force” it is to provide for the defense of America. That means that when some idiot decides to pick a fight with us we’ll be able to defend ourselves.
Secondly, I’m struck by just how naïve his “why can’t we all just get along” theory of national security is. There will always be evil people who hate what is good. It’s the kind of thinking that led to “peace in our time” and the Kellog-Briand pact. And it’s that thinking that led to WW II.
And finally can we all just agree on how stupid an idea the Department of Peace is?

This president has completely disengaged in North Korea. If you watch what happened, the Clinton administration was actually engaged, making progress. As soon as President Bush came into office and this administration took over, they disengaged.
EDWARDS: They had no policy. There's been an inconsistent policy. They alienated our friends in South Korea.

Yeah, if by “alienated” you mean defending them by putting our soldiers between them and the mortal enemy that is only 30 miles from their capital city.

SHARPTON: Let me say three things, because I want to respond to some others as I get to your answer.
One, I think that it is very dangerous on the second anniversary of the PATRIOT Act to empower this attorney general in any way that can target people.

Yeah, Heaven forbid the Justice Department be allowed to target people. It’s obviously the cows and monkeys of this country that should be targeted, they’re the real troublemakers!

This administration wants to stifle and to stop dissent.

See above regarding no reported misuses of the Patriot act and nobody being called unpatriotic, and let me throw in a “nobody has been jailed or threatened by the government for showing dissent in an orderly, non-riot-type way”.

Secondly, in the Middle East, it's not a question of terrorists. Who defines terrorists?

Allow me.
ter·ror·ist n.
One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism.
ter·ror·ism n.
The act of attacking civilians or civilian property in an attempt to create fear and coerce the populace.

Today's terrorist is tomorrow's friend.

Actually if I understood the arguments of the anti-America crowd it’s actually today’s friend that is tomorrow’s terrorist but we just got off Daylight Savings Time so I’ll give him a break on the time issue.

We were the ones that worked with Saddam Hussein. The United States worked with bin Laden.

Oh look, that’s exactly what I was just talking about.

I went in 2001 and met with Arafat at the insistence of the Israeli foreign minister.

Huh, after castigating the US for supporting the other bad guys he goes and tells us he met with a terrorist too... ok…

KERRY:…General Boykin has confused the heck out of the White House on all this talk about the Almighty, when he talks about the Almighty, the president thinks he's talking about Cheney, ... Cheney thinks he's talking about Halliburton, and John Ashcroft thinks they're talking about him. So they don't know where to go…. I also must say, as I listen to Governor Dean, I'm not sure, if I were he, I'd want to use George Bush as a reverence for a governor becoming president without foreign-policy experience...

Oh look Kerry’s showing his funny side…

GEPHARDT:… I have a plan to get this economy moving again, to create jobs in this society and to get us into a place where we're creating jobs again, as we did in 1993 when I led the fight for the Clinton economic program.
We did it. Remember? 22 million new jobs in this country.

Yeah, and if the new jobs were because of Clinton or the loss of jobs were Bush’s fault he might have a point.

EDWARDS: Well, we've lost over a million jobs in urban America just last year alone. People are struggling and hurting.
I have a plan called -- I've written it down -- called Cities Rising. The idea is to first bring jobs to urban America. Let's create incentives for new businesses to start there, incentives for existing businesses to locate their plant and facilities there. And not just jobs -- good-paying jobs, with good benefits, with access to health care.
Second, to do something about the shame of having two public school systems in America, one for the haves and one for the have- nots.

Oooh! Oooh! He's written it down. Isn't that special...

Actually I believe we have hundreds of public school systems in America, totally dependent on where they’re physically located.

CLARK:… They came to office with no policies except tax cuts. And they were tax cuts for the wealthy.

Imagine that, tax cuts for the people paying taxes. What a radical idea.

They said tax cuts would help us. They said tax cuts would bring us jobs; they didn't. They said they'd fix Social Security; they didn't.

More correctly, they haven’t brought us jobs so far. (I should know, not having a job and all.) That doesn’t however mean that they’ve failed. The economy is currently on the upswing and the jobs will follow.

KUCINICH: No, actually the tax cuts that go to people in the top brackets ought to be repealed and ought to be put into a fund to provide for universal college education, free tuition for the 12 million American students who are currently attending public colleges and universities.

What?! A Democrat wanting to raise taxes in order to implement more entitlements? Again, I’m just shocked!

My economic strategy would be to fuel growth in the economy by having a full-employment economy, by working to rebuild our cities with a massive new WPA-type program.

Well that’s good, his plan for having a good economy is to have a good economy.

My economic policies will work toward universal health care, which will inspire further growth in the economy

Well yeah, if by “growth in the economy” you mean “the incredible bureaucracy that comes with socialized healthcare”.

CAMERON:…What sacrifice would you put upon averaging working families to carry their share of the burden in the coming Sharpton economy?
SHARPTON: First of all, I think that the average working family is already sharing their part of responsibility, Carl.

Let’s revisit the “who pays taxes” issue. In 2001 the bottom 75% of Americans, those earning less than $56,085 paid 17.1% of America’s taxes. I tell you, there are some funny definitions of “fair” out there.

On the average, 60 percent of the people in this country got a $304 tax cut. One percent, which are rapidly writing $2,000 checks to George Bush, got a $26,300 tax cut.

And again, those evil one-percenters pay a full 1/3 of the national taxes.

KERRY:…I believe Americans want somebody who can defend the security of the United States. And this war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering, law-enforcement operation. And the American people deserve somebody who can lead them to do it correctly and make us safer and stronger in the process.

Yep, and that’s why they’re going to reelect Bush.

IFILL: … Congressman Kucinich, we looked it up today, the last member of the House who was elected directly from the House to the presidency was Abraham Lincoln.
That was a long time ago. How do you plan to break that string of failure?
KUCINICH: Well, actually, that president, who was James Garfield, lived in the same county that I am from. So I'm looking to repeat history, in that regard.

Well geez, I live in the same county as Senator DeWine, does that mean I can be a Senator?

PERKINS: …Congressman Kucinich, you said something earlier in this debate that I think is important that we correct for you to know and for the nation to know. You mentioned that there were... 300 people dead in the streets of Detroit in September. That is absolutely untrue… You said that there were 300 people dead in the streets of Detroit in September...
KUCINICH: No, it's 35. I misspoke.
PERKINS: Yes, please. Let's consider, there's actually been a 30 percent reduction in the homicide rate in Detroit. I think you need to be clear on that.

Now if Bush had screwed up like that he’d be called an idiot and it would wind up on calendars and such. But since it’s a Dem it’s just a small mistake. It’s not like he said it was 10x worse than it was, just 8.5x worse.

EDWARDS: George Bush's America is not our America, but we have to do more than say, "I told you so."
I have a very concrete plan about how to move this country forward. I have written it down. It's not a wish list. It's not political rhetoric.

Edwards seems to be going to great efforts to convince us that he’s actually written down his plan. Is he under the impression that we don’t think he can write?

SHARPTON: … I have also talked about how we must save this party from continually moving to the right and away from the base voters that depended on this party historically.

Well this is good news for Republicans. Nothing would help get Republicans elected better than the Dems moving to the left and alienating the necessary moderate voters.

That is why I have said we have got to stop these elephants that are wearing donkey jackets.
I intend to slap this donkey, the Democratic Party, until this donkey kicks George Bush out of the White House next November.

I find this really disturbing. Do we really need to hear about Hannibal Lecter elephants and sadomasochistic donkeys? Ewww…

CLARK:… I learned in the United States Army, in my military career, how to stand up to dictators. I learned how to put a plan together. I learned how to keep our troops safe and accomplish the mission.
I've put my finger in the chest of a dictator and told him if he didn't shape up, we'd bomb him. And when he didn't shape up, we did. And he's in The Hague now, awaiting trial for war crimes.

Sure he stood up to a dictator and war criminal, but then again he also stopped and swapped hats and posed for pictures with indicted war criminal Gen. Ratko Mladic.

IFILL: Which will be the final word. That concludes our debate.
We would like to thank the candidates for their time, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute, the very lively audience here at the Fox Theatre in Detroit...

Ok, I’ve got nothing here; just needed something to show you it’s the end of the debate. Ok, it’s done. Now if you don’t mind I need some sleep. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

I don't think it would be possible for Sun to make it any more confusing when trying to download the Java SDK. You only need to wade through about a half dozen levels of pages only to get to a page that gives you about 50 different files you can download. It's like they're trying to weed out the people who aren't smart enough to be doing programming in the first place.

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