Friday, July 30

The Democrats Can Do Better 


Friday Jul 30, 2004
by Greg Palast (with permission, it's his blog)

[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?

Then there was that little story meant to show us all he is a Man for All Seasons, above party politics. "I broke with many in my own party," he said, "to vote for a balanced budget, because I thought it was the right thing to do." No, John, it wasn't. It was craven political cowardice, going with the anti-government hysteria that put a knife into the heart of the programs you cried over tonight.

He told us the sad story of the poor homeless guy huddled in front of the White House. Is this the same John Kerry that voted for Clinton's welfare "reform"? That put a five-year limit on food stamps, making child starvation the law of the USA. At least Ronald Reagan offered ketchup as a vegetable.

Kerry made good use of the cash he saved on feeding the poor. "I fought to put a 100,000 cops on the street." Hey, thanks, John.

But my absolute favorite of the night was when Kerry told us, "Saying there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq doesn't make it so. As President, I will ask hard questions and demand hard evidence."

But, as Senator, you didn't. No questions asked: you just closed your eyes and voted for the lie. I know it, and you sure as hell know it.

And you mentioned a time or two tonight that you served your country. Got yourself a medal for it, too. I'm sorry, but shooting a Vietnamese teenager in the back who was defending his country doesn't make you a hero.

Yesterday, my buddy Michael Moore and I held a press conference in Boston. Some joker of a reporter asked Mr. Fahrenheit about Kerry's gung-ho keep'm-in-Baghdad position. Michael fudged and fidgeted. I felt bad for him as he faked the answer, "President Kerry would not have sent us to war." But as Senator, Kerry did.

I've got an easier job than Michael: as a journalist I don't have to defend any candidate. Nevertheless, I know that my Democratic Party friends will want to ship me to Guantanamo for asking, "You believe in Kerry, but does he believe in you?"

Remember, comrades, I'm only asking questions, here. I'm sorry if the answers make you uncomfortable about your favorite rich guy.

I know what you're going to say. "Isn't Bush worse?"

By a long shot. But asking if Kerry is as bad as Bush is like asking if a slap in the face is as painful as a brick to the skull.

But don't you get tired of being slapped around by privileged politicos on hypocrisy hyper-drive -- then having to applaud? It can't be pleasant, no matter how many pretty balloons they drop on your head.


warrrrrr oooooon terrrrrrrrooooorrrrrrr
Originally uploaded by Snowball.

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Fox News Is On His Side 

It seems ironic that Moveon.org which is vehemently going after Fox News by promoting house parties around the country to watch the documentary Outfoxed, is also ardently rallying its supporters to throw money at John Kerry. Why? Because Fox News Director, Peter Chernin and wife Megan have donated $25,000 to the DNC and a combined $4,000 (the legal limit is $2,000 per person) to John Kerry.

But perhaps they like Kerry's strong stance on the war, the one he supported and didn't ask any questions about.

Or maybe they enjoy his approach to welfare. He voted for the Clinton welfare reform, that essentially rechanneled all of the money as welfare grants to needy corporations like Lockheed Martin.

Perhaps they get his bipartisan stance on the environment. Perhaps you remember Bush's lovely Energy Omnibus Bill of 7/31/2003, which included $15 billion in tax incentives to large energy corporations? Kerry didn't vote. It passed.

Or what about Bush's Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, which removes over 20 million acreas of forest in the United States? Kerry didn't vote. It passed.

And one of my favorites -- the vote to pass a joint resolution that would provide for congressional disapproval of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission; the rule would therefore have no force or effect, the FCC Media Ownership Bill which raised the limit from 35% to 45% that one company could own. Kerry didn't vote. The congressional disapproval did not get enough votes and the Media Ownership Bill lives on. His position was not known on the media ownership bill.

I wonder why Moveon is getting together with Fox News to support Kerry at the same time it is attacking Fox News for being unfair and unbalanced. If you ask me, Moveon seems a little unbalanced and unfair to its supporters right now who fought so hard against media ownership and tax breaks for energy corporations.

Two Kerrys
Originally uploaded by Snowball.

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Thursday, July 29

Tax Money At Work 

The WashPost talks about recent flooding in Takoma Park, and explains the usefulness of all the hard work:

"Farther upstream, a crew from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission is working. Usually these men lay blacktop. Now they are on flood duty, sweeping silt dunes from commuter routes.

They are under no illusions that this work has any lasting impact. They speak of the cycles of silt: Sand gets spread on the roads in the winter. Rain washes it into the creek. The creek floods, and the sand gets spread back on the roads. Then crews come along and sweep it to the side, from whence it will be washed back into the creek -- and out again.

'Eventually it reaches the Potomac River, where it kills the fish,' says one of the crew. "

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Study Finds People To Be Normal 

The AP again:

"The nation's largest association of psychologists is backing same-sex marriage. The American Psychological Association's Council of Representatives made its support official Wednesday, the first day of the group's annual convention in Waikiki. The council also expressed opposition to discrimination against lesbian and gay parents.

It also found same-sex and heterosexual couples remarkably similar, and parenting effectiveness and children's psychological well-being unrelated to parental sexual orientation."

Wow. Who woulda thunk it? People who get married and have children are basically the same as people who get married and have children.

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Torture's Out - Carjacking's In 

The AP informs us:

"An Army sergeant accused of carjacking a sheik's sport utility vehicle in Iraq testified Wednesday an officer told him to do it, and that he didn't think it was a criminal act.

'I was a soldier fulfilling my duties to my lieutenant within the rules of engagement,' said Sgt. 1st Class James Williams, 37, of rural Westmoreland County, Va."

Let's see... rape, torture, killing, angry unmuzzled dogs, drugging, insults, bribes, carjackings... the only thing left to try is being nice.

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Wednesday, July 28

Kerry Arrives at Convention 

OK, so this was taken on Monday, but it fits nicely into his arrival at the Democratic Convention in Boston, don't you think?

Dean gave a speech last night, which was very rousing.

Carter gave a very emotional speech the night before.

And Edwards is going to give a very shiney speech tonight.

All we need is for Ralph Nader to give a fiery, blustery Nader speech. But we won't get it. Kerry has forbidden Nader from the convention.

kerry arrives from the distant galaxy of rich senators
Originally uploaded by Snowball.

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What Would You Have Done, Ralph? 

[partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor", 7/27/2004]

BILL O'REILLY: More than that, because a lot of the security costs are going to be picked up by the feds as well. Now, I haven't talked to you in a while and the name of your book is "The Good Fight," which is ironic, because the one thing I want to talk to you about tonight is this: Say you had been elected president last time around and 9/11 happened, which it would have, no matter who was president. How would you have fought back against Al Qaeda right away? Explicitly and specifically, what would you, President Nader, have done?

RALPH NADER: Bill, I anticipated something like this in the early '70s when the hijacks went to Cuba, trying to get the FAA to toughen the cockpit doors, harden the latches. The FAA was influenced by the airlines. They said no, no, no, in the '70s, '80s, '90s.

When I saw 9/11, I almost threw up, because this could have been stopped with something very simple, which now, the airlines, after the tragedy, finally are putting in so that any hijacker couldn't break through, hijack the plane and turn it into a flaming missile....


9/11 Could Have Been Prevented
Originally uploaded by Snowball.

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Tuesday, July 27

Bush Reading 9-11 Report 

Again, the AP fills us in on the president's book review:

"It reads like a mystery, a novel. It's well written,' Bush told The Associated Press in a brief interview just outside his home in Crawford. Asked what he was gleaning from the report, he said, 'I'm gleaning that was a well-thought-out plot by the enemy.'"

He's also gleaning that it is obvious that he, Cheney, and Rice conspired to lie about Cheney and the order to shoot down planes.

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Bush Falling More 

The AP tells us our President is having trouble balancing:

"President Bush, for the second time in two months, took a tumble on his mountain bike while riding on his Texas ranch, a White House spokeswoman said on Monday.


Bush had a similar mountain bike mishap at his ranch in late May, when he toppled over while riding downhill on soil loosened by rainfall, and suffered minor cuts and abrasions.

Last year, he toppled off a high-tech Segway scooter at the Bush family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine"

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