Archive for July, 2004

Abolish the Electoral College

Friday, July 30th, 2004

Let’s Not Devalue Ourselves

EXCERPT:

In any case, the reason Kerry’s so concerned about values has a lot to do with the unfairness of the Electoral College, which awards outrageously disproportionate political power to rural conservative states with fewer voters than, say, the enlightened borough of Brooklyn.

Through one of those ironies with which history is so replete, the Electoral College, intended by the Founding Fathers to insure that the President was chosen by the ruling elite, has become an antidemocratic mechanism of quite another kind, giving unequal weight to votes based merely on the state in which they are cast. (How unequal? A vote from Wyoming counts almost four times as much as a vote from California.)

In a country that actually practiced the principle of one person, one vote, the political landscape would be markedly different: Every vote in a presidential election would be campaigned for–the Texas liberal and the Massachusetts right-winger–and candidates would have to address the issues important to the largest number of people instead of pampering the vanity of tiny demographic slivers favored by geography. Candidates would have to wrestle with the fact that most Americans are not family farmers, that 43 percent seldom or never go to church, that one in four is nonwhite. We wouldn’t obsess over swing voters in Ohio–what, they still haven’t made up their minds? they’ve had four years!–and Thomas Frank’s fascinating analysis of the growth of the right in the so-called heartland, What’s the Matter With Kansas? would be a curiosity, not required reading.

Moore to Mind the Store in Florida

Friday, July 30th, 2004

The Globe and Mail

“I am committed. I am coming to Florida,” the South Florida daily quoted Moore as saying. “Together, we will guarantee to every Floridian that their vote will be counted this year.”

JOHNNIE BEEN GOOD?

Friday, July 30th, 2004

JOHNNIE BEEN GOOD?

by Greg Palast

[Boston] The millionaires are dancing now. The balloons are falling on John Kerry, John Edwards and their nuclear families.

They’re playing “Johnnie B. Goode” over the loudspeakers. Democrats are hopping up and down like JFK never went to Dallas; like Bill Clinton didn’t blow it for us; like there’s a chance to bring the boys home alive; like America can crawl out of Dick Cheney’s bunker and look at the sun again.

But has Johnnie Kerry been good so far?

He told us tonight about some poor bastard in Ohio whose job evaporated when his company unbolted the equipment and sent it south. Hey, Johnnie, didn’t you vote for NAFTA?

We applauded when he said the White House should stop treating teachers and school kids like fugitives from justice and help them out. But, Johnnie, didn’t you vote for George Bush’s “No Child’s Behind Left” assault on public education?
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Text of Gen. Wesley Clark’s Speech

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

July 30, 2004

A text of Ret. General Wesley Clark’s speech as prepared for delivery Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention:

Thank you, my fellow Democrats. I am an American soldier.

Our country was attacked. We are at war. Our nation is at risk, engaged in a life-or-death struggle against terrorists who are seeking nuclear and biological weapons. And as I speak tonight, our Armed Forces are in combat.

Our freedoms were won in war, and protected by generation after generation of selfless service and sacrifice. From Bunker Hill to Bastogne, from the frozen hills of Korea to the jungles of Vietnam, from Kabul to Baghdad, American men and women in uniform have served with honor; they’ve given us so much, and they’ve asked for so little.

Tonight we honor them: our soldiers, our veterans, our families. I want to thank my wife, Gert, my son, Wesley, his wife and son and all the military families who stand behind those who serve. Now I ask you to observe with me a moment of silence to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, so that we could have the freedom we exercise tonight.

War. I’ve been there. Heard the thump of enemy mortars. Seen the tracers fly. Bled on the battlefield. Recovered in hospitals. Received and obeyed orders. Sent men and women into battle. Awarded medals, comforted families, attended funerals. And this soldier has news for you: Anyone who tells you that one political party has a monopoly on the defense of our nation is committing a fraud on the American people. Franklin Roosevelt said it best: “Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth.”
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KERRY DRAWS BLOOD: Speech Fantastic

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

The Bush campaign is hemorrhaging from several stab wounds administered by John Kerry tonight. They may not heal by November.–Editor

Reuters | Latest Financial News / Full News Coverage

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent

BOSTON (Reuters) - Saying “America can do better,” John Kerry has taken the reins of the Democratic Party with a promise to restore U.S. global leadership and ask “hard questions” before taking the country to war.

“We need to be looked up to and not just feared,” the Massachusetts senator said on Thursday in accepting the Democratic nomination to face President George W. Bush. “In these dangerous days there is a right way and a wrong way to be strong.”

In a prime-time, televised address that gave Kerry a national stage to introduce himself and lay out his case for the presidency, he said he would try to bridge America’s cultural and economic divides and make the November 2 election “a contest of big ideas.”

“It is time to reach for the next dream,” Kerry told the Democratic National Convention. “It is time to look to the next horizon.”

Kerry vowed he would never hesitate to use force “when it is required,” but drew a sharp contrast with Bush’s decision to go to war in Iraq based on faulty intelligence about the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

“Saying there are weapons of mass destruction doesn’t make it so. Saying we can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. And proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn’t make it so,” Kerry said.

“As president, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence. I will immediately reform the intelligence system, so policy is guided by facts, and facts are never distorted by politics.”

Directly addressing Bush, he challenged the president to build unity in America, not foster angry division, and join him in being “optimists, not just opponents.”

Kerry’s speech concluded the four-day convention and kicked off a three-month election battle with Bush, who ceded the spotlight to Democrats all week while vacationing at his ranch in Texas. Polls show the two locked in a dead heat ahead of next month’s Republican convention in New York.

With the refrain “America can do better, help is on the way,” Kerry promised to improve the quality of life for everyday working Americans. The speech framed many of the issues Kerry and running mate John Edwards will stress in the campaign, including the war in Iraq, the economy, health care and the war on terror.

“I defended this country as a young man and I will defend it as president. Let there be no mistake — I will never hesitate to use force when it is required,” Kerry said. “Any attack will be met with a swift and certain response.”

As president, he said, he would fight a “smarter, more effective war on terror,” bolster the military and lead a global effort against nuclear proliferation.

“I will be a commander-in-chief who will never mislead us into war,” Kerry said.

ADOPT SEPT. 11 PANEL RECOMMENDATIONS

Kerry renewed his calls for the quick adoption of the recommendations of the panel that studied the September 11, 2001, attacks, which Bush says need to be studied.

“As president I will not evade or equivocate,” he said, promising fast action in the war on terror and a strong military that will send the message to terrorists that “you will lose and we will win.”

Conventions are often the first time the general public tunes into a presidential race, and polls show many Americans are still unfamiliar with Kerry, a four-term senator, decorated Vietnam War veteran and former prosecutor.

Kerry, who launched into a long autobiography early in his speech, said he understood the pain of war and would not send troops to battle without reason. The best way to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, he said, was to restore American credibility around the world.

“We need a president who has the credibility to bring our allies to our side and share the burden, reduce the cost to American taxpayers and reduce the risk to American soldiers,” he said.

In accepting the nomination, Kerry also accepted $75 million (41 million pounds) in public funds to finance his general election campaign. Bush will receive $75 million when he accepts the Republican nomination on September 2, giving him five more weeks to raise and spend money without limits.
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QUICK TAKE: Bitter Old Bob Dole

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

CNN.com

Pathetic watching Bitter Old Bob Dole on Larry King, constantly referring to the dog-eared script the GOP gave him to slam Kerry as a “flip-flopper.”

So sad to see this old GOP warhorse–and genuine war hero–have to defend an AWOL jackass and use baseless accusations against another genuine war hero, John Kerry.

I think Bob is just bitter because he never won the big prize.

Hang it up, Bob. Pop a Viagra and give Liz a good time, but please spare us your hackneyed reading from the disgraced, worn GOP hymnal of slander.

Hysteria in Economy Class

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

I almost believed this until the original author of this crap started quoting that psycho Ann Coulter. This woman should be prosecuted for yelling “terrorist!” in a crowded airplane.–Editor

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (Terror in the Skies)

Terror in the Skies

Claim: Reporter encounters terrorists on airline flight who are making a dry run at assembling a bomb on-board.

Status: False.

This Official Bush Re-Election Campaign Site Tells The Truth

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

GeorgeWBush.org :: The Official Re-selection Site for President George W. Bush

Stay Informed! View the Newest Bush/Cheney TV Advertisement, “4 More Wars!” The latest installment in our Godly campaign’s series of wholly accurate, non-distorting political advertisements seeks to remind the voting public of the noble and utterly necessary work that President Bush has delegated to the brave men and women of the United States military.

MORE WORK LESS PAY

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Business > I.R.S. Says Americans’ Income Shrank for 2 Consecutive Years” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/29/business/29tax.html?hp”>The New York Times > Business > I.R.S. Says Americans’ Income Shrank for 2 Consecutive Years

EXCERPT:

The overall income Americans reported to the government shrank for two consecutive years after the Internet stock market bubble burst in 2000, the first time that has effectively happened since the modern tax system was introduced during World War II, newly disclosed information from the Internal Revenue Service shows.

The total adjusted gross income on tax returns fell 5.1 percent, to just over $6 trillion in 2002, the most recent year for which data is available, from $6.35 trillion in 2000. Because of population growth, average incomes declined even more, by 5.7 percent.

Adjusted for inflation, the income of all Americans fell 9.2 percent from 2000 to 2002, according to the new I.R.S. data.

Heh heh

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

Politics News Article | Reuters.com

Hundreds of people gathered in a rural parking lot near President Bush’s Texas ranch on Wednesday to watch Michael Moore’s anti-Bush documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” although the filmmaker canceled plans to attend.

Sitting before a giant inflatable movie screen, filmgoers from across Texas booed and cheered as Moore’s record-setting antiwar film satirically recounted Bush’s controversial 2000 election and lambasted the president’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and his reasons for going to war in Iraq.

Moore had pledged to come to the screening and even invited Bush to attend. But the bespectacled leftist gadfly abruptly pulled out on Wednesday, telling organizers he wanted his movie, not his differences with the Republican president, to be the evening’s subject.

Student Democrats Focus on College Compliance With Voter-Registration Law

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

The Chronicle: Daily news: 07/28/2004 — 01

By JEFFREY SELINGO

Boston

A little-noticed provision in a federal higher-education law that requires colleges to make a “good-faith effort” to provide voter-registration materials to students is about to get a lot more attention, if politically active students have their way. They are starting their work this week here at the Democratic National Convention.

At issue is a stipulation in the Higher Education Act, which governs most federal student-aid programs, that colleges must obtain voter materials 120 days before the local registration deadline and distribute them to students enrolled in all degree or certificate programs on the campus.

“Most colleges are not in compliance,” said David King, director of research at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Mr. King told a group of student leaders here on Monday that they “ought to be ready to challenge” their institutions on the law.

Colleges that fail to comply with the provision, which was passed in 1998, could put their federal student-aid funds in jeopardy.
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Last Night’s Convention Wrap-up

Thursday, July 29th, 2004

MTV.com - Choose or Lose - Headlines

Striking the same sunny tone that propelled him to second place in this year’s primaries, vice presidential nominee John Edwards told Democrats that “hope is on the way” as the party formally nominated Senator John Kerry as its presidential candidate.

“Between now and November, you, the American people, you can reject the tired, old, hateful, negative politics of the past,” said Edwards. “Instead, you can embrace the politics of hope, the politics of what’s possible. Because this is America, where everything is possible.”
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