Wednesday, September 29, 2004

E. L. Doctorow, American novelist, speaks out

GUEST WORDS: By E.L. Doctorow

The Unfeeling President

September 9, 2004 - Easthampton Star

I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not
suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could
be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for
the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew
what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of
necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower
could bear.

But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for
it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the
weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at
rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the
carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.

He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is
satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn
for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the
ultimate sacrifice for their country.

But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an
emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he
has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for
the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.

They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or
wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly
torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance
of aborted life . . . they come to his desk as a political liability,
which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of
their coffins from Iraq.

How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets
nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as
he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his
bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his
mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than
controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never
mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war
of his choice.

He wanted to go to war and he did. He had not the mind to perceive the
costs of war, or to listen to those who knew those costs. He did not
understand that you do not go to war when it is one of the options but
when it is the only option; you go not because you want to but because
you have to.

Yet this president knew it would be difficult for Americans not to
cheer the overthrow of a foreign dictator. He knew that much. This
president and his supporters would seem to have a mind for only one
thing -- to take power, to remain in power, and to use that power for
the sake of themselves and their friends.

A war will do that as well as anything. You become a wartime leader.
The country gets behind you. Dissent becomes inappropriate. And so he
does not drop to his knees, he is not contrite, he does not sit in the
church with the grieving parents and wives and children. He is the
president who does not feel. He does not feel for the families of the
dead, he does not feel for the 35 million of us who live in poverty,
he does not feel for the 40 percent who cannot afford health
insurance, he does not feel for the miners whose lungs are turning
black or for the working people he has deprived of the chance to work
overtime at time-and-a-half to pay their bills - it is amazing for how
many people in this country this president does not feel.

But he will dissemble feeling. He will say in all sincerity he is
relieving the wealthiest 1 percent of the population of their tax
burden for the sake of the rest of us, and that he is polluting the
air we breathe for the sake of our economy, and that he is decreasing
the quality of air in coal mines to save the coal miners' jobs, and
that he is depriving workers of their time-and-a-half benefits for
overtime because this is actually a way to honor them by raising them
into the professional class.

And this litany of lies he will versify with reverences for God and
the flag and democracy, when just what he and his party are doing to
our democracy is choking the life out of it.

But there is one more terribly sad thing about all of this. I remember
the millions of people here and around the world who marched against
the war. It was extraordinary, that spontaneous aroused oversoul of
alarm and protest that transcended national borders. Why did it
happen? After all, this was not the only war anyone had ever seen
coming. There are little wars all over he world most of the time.

But the cry of protest was the appalled understanding of millions of
people that America was ceding its role as the last best hope of
mankind. It was their perception that the classic archetype of
democracy was morphing into a rogue nation. The greatest democratic
republic in history was turning its back on the future, using its
extraordinary power and standing not to advance the ideal of a
concordance of civilizations but to endorse the kind of tribal combat
that originated with the Neanderthals, a people, now extinct, who
could imagine ensuring their survival by no other means than
pre-emptive war.

The president we get is the country we get. With each president the
nation is conformed spiritually. He is the artificer of our malleable
national soul. He proposes not only the laws but the kinds of
lawlessness that govern our lives and invoke our responses. The people
he appoints are cast in his image. The trouble they get into and get
us into, is his characteristic trouble.

Finally, the media amplify his character into our moral weather
report. He becomes the face of our sky, the conditions that prevail.
How can we sustain ourselves as the United States of America given the
stupid and ineffective warmaking, the constitutionally insensitive
lawgiving, and the monarchal economics of this president? He cannot
mourn but is a figure of such moral vacancy as to make us mourn for

The novelist E.L. Doctorow has a house in Sag Harbor, NY.

Doctorow, E. L. (1931-...), is an American novelist. His works are
noted for their mingling of American history and literary imagination
through the interaction of fictional and real-life characters.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Moore 1, Media 0

Bravo for Michael Moore! We liked the film, immensely. It is thoughtful, provocative, and much more that a pamphlet. Katha Pollit of The nation thinks so too. Read what she has to say: Moore 1, Media 0

Student vote suppression: the Fox in the chicken coop

No, I am not rehashing the Skidmore brouhaha of November 2003. Although Skidmore is mentioned! This column is by Katha Pollit of The Nation, pursuing an event staged by Fox News (who else), accusing out of state students who intend to vote in their district of residence (the college town) of committing a felony. Talk of the Fox being charge of the chicken coop!!!
At the same time today's New York Times editorial covers similar ground: students as young and inexperienced, and of course easy to intimidate, are fair game for the slimy Republican tactics to ensure that any anti-Bush sentiments remain inexpressed.

Ted Kennedy's powerful speech at George Washington University

Harry Truman used to say:" I never give them hell. I just tell the truth, and they think it is hell". That is what Ted Kennedy did last night at George Washington University. His speech was received with a standing ovation.
The gist of his speech lies in this paragraph: "The President's handling of the war has been a toxic mix of ignorance, arrogance, and stubborn ideology. No amount of Presidential rhetoric or preposterous campaign spin can conceal the truth about the steady downward spiral in our national security since President Bush made the decision to go to war in Iraq. If this election is decided on the question of whether America is safer because of President George Bush, John Kerry will win in a landslide."

Monday, September 27, 2004

30% National Sales tax. What a Republican idea!

There is nothing more attractive to House Republicans than doing away with the progressive income tax. You may think that a 30% National Sales Tax, on top of our other taxes would be a crazy idea. But no, Tom DeLay and 53 other Republican Congresspeople believe that it is a splendid opprtunity of working against any whiff of wealth redistribution floating in the air
The following is the House Democratic Leader's Press release:
Nancy Pelosi's Press Release .

Jimmy Carter: Who will observe the 2004 Florida election?

President Carter has observed many elections the world over and, with former President Ford, has chaired a Blue Ribbon Commission to delve into the 2000 debacle in Florida. Now he has written the following
article in the Washington Post:

Sunday, September 26, 2004

You must remember this (a kiss is but a kiss)

Why You Should Ignore The Gallup Poll This Morning - And Maybe All Of Theirs

This morning we awoke to the startling news that despite a flurry of different polls this week all showing a tied race, the venerable Gallup Poll, as reported widely in the media (USA Today and CNN) today, showed George W. Bush with a huge 55%-42% lead over John Kerry amongst likely voters. The same Gallup Poll showed an 8-point lead for Bush amongst registered voters (52%-44%). Before you get discouraged by these results, you should be more upset that Gallup gets major media outlets to tout these polls and present a false, disappointing account of the actual state of the race. Why?

Because the Gallup Poll, despite its reputation, assumes that this November 40% of those turning out to vote will be Republicans, and only 33% will be Democrat. You read that correctly. I asked Gallup, who have been very courteous to my requests, to send me this morning their sample breakdowns by party identification for both their likely and registered voter samples they use in these national and I suspect their state polls. This is what I got back this morning:

Likely Voter Sample Party IDs – Poll of September 13-15
Reflected Bush Winning by 55%-42%

Total Sample: 767
GOP: 305 (40%)
Dem: 253 (33%)
Ind: 208 (28%)

Registered Voter Sample Party IDs – Same Poll
Reflected Bush Winning by 52%-44%

Total Sample: 1022
GOP: 381 (38%)
Dem: 336 (33%)
Ind: 298 (30%)

In both polls, Gallup oversamples greatly for the GOP, and undersamples for the Democrats. Worse yet, Gallup just confirmed for me that this is the same sampling methodology they have been using this whole election season, for all their national and state polls. Gallup says that "This (the breakdown between Reeps and Dems) was not a constant. It can differ slightly between surveys" in response to my latest email. Slightly? Does that mean that in all of these national and state polls we have seen from Gallup that they have "slightly" varied between 36%-40% GOP and 32%-36% Democrat? I already know from an email I got from Gallup earlier in the week that in their suspicious Wisconsin and Minnesota polls they seemingly oversampled for the GOP and undersampled for the Dems. For example in Wisconsin, in which they show Bush now with a healthy lead, Gallup used a sample comprised of 38% GOP and 32% Democratic likely voters. In Minnesota where Gallup shows Bush gaining a small lead, their sample reflects a composition of 36% GOP and 34% Democrat likely voters. How realistic is either breakdown in those states on Election Day?

According to John Zogby himself:

If we look at the three last Presidential elections, the spread was 34% Democrats, 34% Republicans and 33% Independents (in 1992 with Ross Perot in the race); 39% Democrats, 34% Republicans, and 27% Independents in 1996; and 39% Democrats, 35% Republicans and 26% Independents in 2000.

So the Democrats have been 39% of the voting populace in both 1996 and 2000, and the GOP has not been higher than 35% in either of those elections. Yet Gallup trumpets a poll that used a sample that shows a GOP bias of 40% amongst likely voters and 38% amongst registered voters, with a Democratic portion of the sample down to levels they haven’t been at since a strong three-way race in 1992?

Folks, unless Karl Rove can discourage the Democratic base into staying home in droves and gets the GOP to come out of the woodwork, there is no way in hell that these or any other Gallup Poll is to be taken seriously.

How likely is it that the Democrats will suffer a seven-point difference against the GOP this November or that the GOP will ever hit 40%?

Not very likely.

The real problem here is that Gallup is spreading a false impression of this race. Through its 1992 partnership with two international media outlets (CNN and USA Today), Gallup is telling voters and other media by using badly-sampled polls that the GOP and its candidates are more popular than they really are. Given that Gallup’s CEO is a GOP donor, this should not be a surprise. But it does require us to remind the media, like Susan Page of USA Today, who wrote the lead story on the poll in the morning paper, and other members of the media who cite this poll today, that it is based on a faulty sample composition of 40% GOP and 33% Democratic.

The Transition in Iraq

The New York Review of Books may not be your most frequent reading; in today's New York Times John Kerry is quoted as saying that this article by Peter W. Galbraith is important. Read for yourself!

Who is a terrorist?

Dan Carpenter
Followed by a goon shadow
September 26, 2004

They can't find Osama bin Laden, but they've saved us from Cat Stevens.

They can appoint Daniel Pipes, the notorious Muslim basher, to the U.S. Institute of Peace; but they won't let Tariq Ramadan, a renowned Muslim scholar, teach at the University of Notre Dame's Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

Is this the world's mightiest force for liberty going about its noble work, or is this Colonel Klink of Stalag 13 with computers and opinion polls?

Cat Stevens? The erstwhile poet of the pop charts, now Yusuf Islam, Muslim teacher and peace advocate? Tied to terrorists? Well, "ties" can be about anything when the government doesn't have to spell them out.

Little explanation was given by the Department of Homeland Security for intercepting a transatlantic flight last week and deporting the "Peace Train" guy. "Activities that could be potentially related to terrorism," the feds said. The best intelligence, if you will, is that some of the many charities he has supported since embracing Islam in the 1970s may channel money to groups the U.S. deems non grata.

Something like those American movers and shakers who do business with Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 killers came from? Not exactly. Those people work directly, get lots of money in return, and do not get their flights interrupted.

Nor do the industrialists -- likewise tied, really tied, to the Bush administration -- who sold so much hardware to Saddam Hussein over the years. Compared to a fellow with controversial opinions who wants to visit the United States, what kind of threat could a mere supplier of a dictator pose to us?

Such questions might have been fodder for lively classroom discussions, had Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss professor and author who has lectured frequently in the U.S. and around the world, not had his visa revoked within weeks of starting this semester at Notre Dame.

Last week, a university spokesman said Ramadan was reapplying for a visa "because various officials of the State Department, publicly and privately, have issued the opinion that he should." The spokesman said he'd been told no more, and the State Department declined to comment to me about this hopeful sign, so the Kafkaesque mystery remains.

All the department would say to outraged Notre Damers and Muslim Americans back in July was that the USA Patriot Act was invoked. It allows for visas to be pulled for a wide range of reasons, including the perception one's political activities foster terrorism. Some would argue that treating eminent Muslims as criminals is a political activity that could catalyze terrorism.

Pipes and his influential band of anti-Palestinian brothers have tried to link Ramadan to terror, but his large body of writing establishes him as a critic of American-Israeli policies and Islamic extremism alike. He does stand guilty as charged of having a grandfather who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a radical group that espoused but ultimately renounced violence as a means of self-determination.

Ramadan would urge that the United States renounce violence as a means of determination for others. Like Yusuf Islam, he voices views that draw criticism. This used to be OK in the enlightened West. Now we are supposed to be afraid to let these views fly into South Bend, where some of the world's keenest liberal and conservative minds are waiting to engage them.

Ooo, baby, baby, it's a wild post-9/11 world. And no one to defend us from Jessica Simpson.

Carpenter is a Star op-ed columnist. Contact him at (317) 444-6172 or via e-mail at .

Saturday, September 25, 2004

What I was just talking about

An Un-American Way to Campaign

President Bush and his surrogates are taking their re-election campaign into dangerous territory. Mr. Bush is running as the man best equipped to keep America safe from terrorists - that was to be expected. We did not, however, anticipate that those on the Bush team would dare to argue that a vote for John Kerry would be a vote for Al Qaeda. Yet that is the message they are delivering - with a repetition that makes it clear this is an organized effort to paint the Democratic candidate as a friend to terrorists.
When Vice President Dick Cheney declared that electing Mr. Kerry would create a danger "that we'll get hit again," his supporters attributed that appalling language to a rhetorical slip. But Mr. Cheney is still delivering that message. Meanwhile, as Dana Milbank detailed so chillingly in The Washington Post yesterday, the House speaker, Dennis Hastert, said recently on television that Al Qaeda would do better under a Kerry presidency, and Senator Orrin Hatch, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has announced that the terrorists are going to do everything they can between now and November "to try and elect Kerry."
This is despicable politics. It's not just polarizing - it also undermines the efforts of the Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency to combat terrorists in America. Every time a member of the Bush administration suggests that Islamic extremists want to stage an attack before the election to sway the results in November, it causes patriotic Americans who do not intend to vote for the president to wonder whether the entire antiterrorism effort has been kidnapped and turned into part of the Bush re-election campaign. The people running the government clearly regard keeping Mr. Bush in office as more important than maintaining a united front on the most important threat to the nation.
Mr. Bush has not disassociated himself from any of this, and in his own campaign speeches he makes an argument that is equally divisive and undemocratic. The president has claimed, over and over, that criticism of the way his administration has conducted the war in Iraq and news stories that suggest the war is not going well endanger American troops and give aid and comfort to the enemy. This week, in his Rose Garden press conference with the interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, Mr. Bush was asked about Mr. Kerry's increasingly pointed remarks on Iraq. "You can embolden an enemy by sending mixed messages," he said, going on to suggest that Mr. Kerry's criticisms dispirit the Iraqi people and American soldiers.
It is fair game for the president to claim that toppling Saddam Hussein was a blow to terrorism, to accuse Mr. Kerry of flip-flopping and to repeat continually that the war in Iraq is going very well, despite all evidence to the contrary. It is absolutely not all right for anyone on his team to suggest that Mr. Kerry is the favored candidate of the terrorists. And at a time when the United States is supposed to be preparing the Iraqi people for a democratic election, it's appalling to hear the chief executive say that loyal opposition gives aid and comfort to the enemy abroad.
The general instinct of Americans is to play fair. That is why, even though terrorists struck the United States during President Bush's watch, the Democrats have not run a campaign that blames him for allowing the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to be attacked. And while the war in Iraq has opened up large swaths of the country to terrorist groups for the first time, any effort by Mr. Kerry to describe the president as the man whom Osama bin Laden wants to keep in power would be instantly denounced by the Republicans as unpatriotic.
We think that anyone who attempts to portray sincere critics as dangerous to the safety of the nation is wrong. It reflects badly on the president's character that in this instance, he's putting his own ambition ahead of the national good.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Government secrets

From as far away a source as Madison Wisc. the whole sham of the Bush government style is, once more, highlighted. Make believe laws, where the title never corresponds to the content, and now a make-believe appointment, to lull suspicions of do-nothingness. Porter Goss is a faithful Republican, courteous and uncontroversial, who has now been appointed to the post that he was supposed to supervise, not because of his reforming zeal or history, but because he is a "go-along" kind of Senator.
Read on and listen up!

Editorial: CIA boss failed test

An editorial
September 25, 2004
Porter Goss has won the support of the Senate and will now head the troubled Central Intelligence Agency.

But the Senate's decision to approve the nomination of Goss was not a vote of confidence. Rather, it was a courtesy vote.

Prior to his nomination, Goss had served since 1988 as a Republican member of the House for a Florida district. It is the tradition of the Senate to approve the nominations of members of the current Congress to serve in high-level positions. And Goss benefited more from that tradition than he did from his own performance in hearings before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

In fact, if senators had given a serious listen to what Goss was saying when he testified before the committee, they would have rejected his nomination.

The Floridian came off as precisely the wrong sort of leader for an agency that suffers from a lack of focus and cohesion.

Goss did not offer himself as a take-charge kind of guy. Rather, he came off as a take-no-responsibility kind of guy.

During a discussion of how to improve operations at the agency that President Bush has nominated him to direct, Goss grumbled, "The absence of proof of adequate intelligence oversight should not be considered proof of the absence of forthcoming intelligence reforms."

The problem with that statement, of course, is that Goss was the guy responsible for intelligence oversight when he served in the House.

As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for the past eight years, he was the member of Congress who was supposed to be in charge of monitoring the agency - and of prodding it to address the increasingly obvious flaws in its operations.

It is not unreasonable to suggest that Goss failed in his intelligence oversight duties as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Yet, instead of trying to explain that failure, he simply told the Senate Intelligence Committee that its members should not see his failure to organize adequate intelligence oversight as evidence that he would fail to develop adequate intelligence reforms.

It was unfortunate that most members of the Senate - Democrats and Republicans - failed to press Goss to provide straight answers. When all was said and done, only a few senators - led by West Virginia Democrat Jay Rockefeller - dared to suggest that Goss had not made a good show of it when he appeared before the upper chamber's intelligence committee.

In the end, Goss was confirmed by a 77-17 vote of the full Senate - with Wisconsin Democrats Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl making the disappointing choice to side with the majority. But it is notable that Rockefeller and several other members who have been leaders on intelligence issues, such as Michigan Democrat Carl Levin, voted against the nomination.

The "no" votes were the appropriate ones. During the nominating process, Porter Goss made the case against himself. Troublingly, few senators were paying attention. is operated by Capital Newspapers, publishers of the Wisconsin State Journal, The Capital Times, Agri-View and Apartment Showcase. All contents Copyright ©2004, Capital Newspapers. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

De Tocqueville got it right...again and again.

"I do not know any country where, in general, less independence of mind
and genuine freedom of discussion reign than in America." Alexis de
Tocqueville, Democracy In America, I.ii.7

Kerry's speech

Who has time to read the whole thing? Well, in case you do, go to

If you do not have the time, here are the highlights

• The war on Iraq was a mistake -- war was unnecessary because the inspections were working: "Today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious? Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no -- because a commander in chief's first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe."
• Iraq distracted from the war on terror: "The president claims it is the centerpiece of his war on terror. In fact, Iraq was a profound diversion from that war and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists. Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight."
• President Bush misled us about the reasons for the war before it occurred: "He failed to tell the truth about the rationale for going to war. And he failed to tell the truth about the burden this war would impose on our soldiers and our citizens. By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war."
• President Bush is still misleading people about Iraq, painting an optimistic picture directly contradicted by his own intelligence officials: "In June, the president declared, 'The Iraqi people have their country back.' Just last week, he told us: 'This country is headed toward democracy. Freedom is on the march.' But the Administration's own official intelligence estimate, given to the president last July, tells a very different story. According to press reports, the intelligence estimate totally contradicts what the president is saying to the American people."
• Bush went to war for ideological reasons and consistently misjudged the situation on the ground: "This president was in denial. He hitched his wagon to the ideologues who surround him, filtering out those who disagreed, including leaders of his own party and the uniformed military. The result is a long litany of misjudgments with terrible consequences. The administration told us we'd be greeted as liberators. They were wrong. They told us not to worry about looting or the sorry state of Iraq's infrastructure. They were wrong. They told us we had enough troops to provide security and stability, defeat the insurgents, guard the borders and secure the arms depots. They were wrong. They told us we could rely on exiles like Ahmed Chalabi to build political legitimacy. They were wrong. They told us we would quickly restore an Iraqi civil service to run the country and a police force and army to secure it. They were wrong. In Iraq, this administration has consis! tently over-promised and under-performed. This policy has been plagued by a lack of planning, an absence of candor, arrogance and outright incompetence. And the president has held no one accountable, including himself."
• John Kerry has a four-point plan to fix our Iraq policy:
• "First, the president has to get the promised international support so our men and women in uniform don't have to go it alone. It is late; the president must respond by moving this week to gain and regain international support. The president should convene a summit meeting of the world's major powers and Iraq's neighbors, this week, in New York, where many leaders will attend the U.N. General Assembly. He should insist that they make good on that U.N. resolution. He should offer potential troop contributors specific, but critical roles, in training Iraqi security personnel and securing Iraq's borders. He should give other countries a stake in Iraq's future by encouraging them to help develop Iraq's oil resources and by letting them bid on contracts instead of locking them out of the reconstruction process."
• "Second, the president must get serious about training Iraqi security forces. The president should urgently expand the security forces training program inside and outside Iraq. He should strengthen the vetting of recruits, double classroom training time, and require follow-on field training. He should recruit thousands of qualified trainers from our allies, especially those who have no troops in Iraq. He should press our NATO allies to open training centers in their countries. And he should stop misleading the American people with phony, inflated numbers."
• "Third, the president must carry out a reconstruction plan that finally brings tangible benefits to the Iraqi people. One year ago, the administration asked for and received $18 billion to help the Iraqis and relieve the conditions that contribute to the insurgency. Today, less than a $1 billion of those funds have actually been spent. I said at the time that we had to rethink our policies and set standards of accountability. Now we're paying the price. Now, the president should look at the whole reconstruction package, draw up a list of high visibility, quick impact projects, and cut through the red tape. He should use more Iraqi contractors and workers, instead of big corporations like Halliburton. He should stop paying companies under investigation for fraud or corruption. And he should fire the civilians in the Pentagon responsible for mismanaging the reconstruction effort."
• "Fourth, the president must take immediate, urgent, essential steps to guarantee the promised elections can be held next year. If the president would move in this direction, if he would bring in more help from other countries to provide resources and forces, train the Iraqis to provide their own security, develop a reconstruction plan that brings real benefits to the Iraqi people, and take the steps necessary to hold credible elections next year -- we could begin to withdraw U.S. forces starting next summer and realistically aim to bring all our troops home within the next four years."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

This is for starters

In the fog of words of this 2004 campaign we tend to forget what people say or what we ourselves said about them and the issues. We may believe that we have total recall, or even that we know what we are talking about. We all agree that Pres. George W. Bush should be a one-term President, like his father, but when asked why we run with one or two reasons off the top of our heads, and are hemming and hawing after that.
In the next few posts I will tell you, one after the other, why I believe that the second Bush Jr. presidency would be a bad idea.
On ABC's "This Week", George Will, whom I credit with a clear-eyed and conservative worldview, said of the Administration's reconstruction policy in Iraq: "This is the gang that cannot shoot straight."
I agree. This Administration has wasted:
1- The Post 9-11 goodwill of the world.
2- The budget surplus
3- During 17 months of the vaunted Iraq reconstruction, of the $18.4 BILLION claimed to have been allocated (out of our pockets, and whether we wanted it or not), only ONE BILLION has been spent. The delays are attributed to incompetence, administrative snafus, and, yes, "leakage."
4- During 17 months we have heard that Iraqui security forces are being trained in record numbers. The first batch ran away in Fallujah and Najjaf, and, according to Mr. Rumsfeld, not a single leader of the new forces has yet completed his/her training.
Nice record!!! Will Kerry do better? You bet!. Anyway the bar is not very high.