29 October 2004
After the traumatic events of 9/11, President Bush rose to the occasion and he carried the nation behind him. But he has led us in the wrong direction. He used the war on terror as an excuse for invading Iraq. If we re-elect President Bush, we are endorsing his policies and we shall have to live with the consequences. If we reject him at the polls, we shall have a better chance to regain the respect and support of the world and break the vicious circle of escalating violence.
Please be sure to vote next Tuesday, November 2. And please pass along this message to others. Our future may depend on defeating President Bush.
: the process of cavitating (verb): as a) : the formation of partial vacuums in a liquid by a swiftly moving solid body (as a propeller) or by high-intensity sound waves (i.e. intense turbulence); also : the pitting and wearing away of solid surfaces (as of metal or concrete) as a result of the collapse of these vacuums in surrounding liquid; b) : the formation of cavities in an organ or tissue especially in disease
Etymology: cavity + -ation
To Whom it May Concern,
I found out that my brother, Sergeant Ryan M. Campbell, was dead during a graduate seminar at Emory University on April 29, 2004. Immediately after a uniformed officer knocked at my mother's door to deliver the message that broke her heart, she called me on my cell phone. She could say nothing but "He's gone." I could say nothing but"No." Over and over again we chanted this refrain to each other over the phone as I made my way across the country to hold her as she wept.
I had made the very same trip in February, cutting classes to spend my brother's two weeks' leave from Baghdad with him. Little did I know then that the next time I saw him would be at Arlington National Cemetery. During those days in February, my brother shared with me his fear, his disillusionment, and his anger. "We had all been led to believe that Iraq posed a serious threat to America as well as its surrounding nations," he said. "We invaded expecting to find weapons of mass destruction and a much more prepared and well-trained Republican Guard waiting for us. It is now a year later, and alas, no weapons of mass destruction or any other real threat, for that matter."
Ryan was scheduled to complete his one-year assignment to Iraq on April 25. But on April 11, he emailed me to let me know not to expect him in Atlanta for a May visit, because his tour of duty had been involuntarily extended. "Just do me one big favor, ok?" he wrote. "Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you."
Last night, I listened to George W. Bush's live, televised speech at the Republican National Convention. He spoke to me and my family when he announced, "I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers and to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong."
This is my reply: Mr. President, I know that you probably still "don't do body counts," so you may not know that almost one thousand U.S. troops have died doing what you told them they had to do to protect America. Ryan was Number 832. Liberty was, indeed, precious to the one I lost-- so precious that he would rather have gone to prison than back to Iraq in February. Like you, I don't know where the strength for "such pride" on the part of people "so burdened with sorrow" comes from; maybe I spent it all holding my mother as she wept. I last saw my loved one at the Kansas City airport, staring after me as I walked away. I could see April 29 written on his sad, sand-chapped and sunburned face. I could see that he desperately wanted to believe that if he died, it would be while "doing good," as you put it. He wanted us to be able to be proud of him. Mr. President, you gave me and my mother a folded flag instead of the beautiful boy who called us "Moms" and "Brookster." But worse than that, you sold my little brother a bill of goods. Not only did you cheat him of a long meaningful life, but you cheated him of a meaningful death. You are in my prayers, Mr. President, because I think that you need them more than anyone on the face of the planet. But you will never get my vote.
So to whom it may concern: Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you.
Brooke M. Campbell
28 October 2004
Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates, Inc. (703) 684-4510 FAX (703) 739-0664
915 King Street y 2 nd floor y Alexandria, Virginia 22314
I have omitted the tabular data, which doesn't appear on the post in readable format, but if you're interested, follow the link above. The conclusion is that if the voter suppression efforts of the Republicans are unsuccessful in minimizing the minority turnout, Kerry should win decisively.
Public Release of National Survey Results
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tony Fabrizio
October 27, 2004 Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates
It Can’t Get Any Closer in the Battleground States —
Minority Turnout is Kerry Key
Fabrizio, McLaughlin & Associates (FMA), a Republican polling and strategic
consulting firm based in Alexandria, VA, has just completed their third likely voter survey with interviews conducted ONLY in the remaining 12 battleground states.*
In the three-way Presidential ballot, the race is dead tied in these crucial battleground states with BOTH President Bush and Sen. Kerry receiving 47% of the vote. Ralph Nader receives 1.6% while just 4% of the battleground state likely voters are undecided.
"110 days after our first battleground survey, during which these voters withstood tens of millions of dollars of attack ads by both sides, two national conventions and three prime-time, televised debates, this race hasn’t changed one iota statistically in these battleground states. This data underscores just how little relevance national polling has in this race, given the consistency of the battleground data versus the weekly swings in the media’s national tracking surveys. However, a minor, but troubling trend nonetheless for the President is the evaporating support for Ralph Nader. Nader’s support has gone from minuscule to microscopic which benefits Sen. Kerry," said Tony Fabrizio, who served as chief pollster for Bob Dole’s ’96 Presidential campaign.
However, as the data below illustrates, when the data is weighted to reflect turnout based on the 2000 exit polls, Sen. Kerry leads by 3.5% and if minority turnout is weighted to census levels Sen. Kerry’s lead expands to 5.2% "It is clear that minority turnout is a wildcard in this race and represents a huge upside for Sen. Kerry and a considerable challenge for the President’s campaign. If one assumes minority turnout exceeds their 2000 election levels, then it appears a number of these states would tip to Sen. Kerry," Fabrizio concluded.
: A (subjectively) dull and tedious passage in a book, play, musical composition, or the like.
One of the commentators compared my speech to one of Gladstone’s which had lasted five hours. "It was not so long, but some of the speech’s . . . longueurs made Gladstone seem the soul of brevity," he
--Lord Lamont of Lerwick, "Been there, done that," Times (London), March 6, 2001
If this book of 400 pages had been devoted to her alone, it would have been filled with longueurs, but as the biography of a family it has the merit of originality. --Peter Ackroyd, review of Gwen Raverat: Friends, Family and Affections, by Frances Spalding, Times (London), June 27, 2001
This book ... has its defects. Sometimes it loses focus (as in a longueur on Chechens living in Jordan). --Colin Thubron, "Birth of a Hundred Nations," New York Times, November 19, 2000
Longueur is from French (where it means "length"), ultimately deriving from Latin longus, "long," which is also the source of English ‘long.’
27 October 2004
26 October 2004
Free speech, Bush style
[by kos Tue Oct 26th, 2004 at 17:46:27 GMTAn email from Wisconsin. ]
A friend with a child in the Richland County,WI high school where George Bush appears today reports the following. students were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry clothing or buttons or protest in any manner, at the risk of expulsion. After a parent inquired, an alternative activity will be provided, probably a movie being shown in an auditorium. (The school secretary reportedly said that students had the choice of just staying home if they didn't want to attend the Bush rally, but the principal subsequently offered an alternative.) If Bush comes to a high school, how dare his campaign dictate what students can wear?This is out of control.
My letter to the Principal of Richland Center High School:
October 26, 2004
John Cler, Principal
Richland Center High School
23200 Hornet High RdRichland Center, WI 53581-8943
Dear Mr. Cler:
It has been reported from student and parent sources associated with your school that students in attendance at your high school, where George W. Bush made a campaign appearance on October 26, were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry clothing or buttons, or protest in any manner, at the risk of expulsion. Reportedly, an alternative activity was to be provided for those who did not wish to go along with a blatantly orchestrated campaign appearance in a public school setting.
As a citizen of the United States, where freedom of expression is so critical and honored as to be made the First Amendment to our Constitution, I am horrified and shocked at such reported conduct.
If these reports are true, I believe your school has violated the constitutional rights of its students in a most shameful way, which teaches them all the wrong lessons. I would hope that the school will recognize the gravity of its error in this regard, and make some effort to redress the situation by acknowledging that it was wrong to stifle the fundamental rights of students to peaceably express their political beliefs, and by presenting some educational activity to emphasize the important civic values of the First Amendment and its meaning for Americans.
Very truly yours,
Having or being known by many names.Etym.: Greek polyonymos, from poly- (many) + -onyma (name).
"She (Hecate) protects roads and she is polyonymous…"
Michael P. Clark; Revenge of the Aesthetic: The Place of Literature in
Theory Today; University of California Press; 2000.
"The Antonine dynasty polyonymous senator whose names included 'Velleius Blaesus'."
Anthony Birley; Marcus Aurelius; Routledge; 2000.
25 October 2004
The idea of the United States as an ironfisted theocracy is terrifying, and it should give everyone pause. This time, it's not about policy. This time, for the first time, it's about the nature of American government.
We all have reason to be very, very afraid.
AL ZARQAWI AND BUSH. We've been reading and hearing about Abu Musab Zarqawi on a daily basis for a long time now. Since a lot of people missed it at the time, it's useful to look back and ask why did President Bush refuse to attack Zarqawi multiple times because of the political benefit Zarqawi lent to Bush's case for invasion? Isn't that sort of thing betraying your oath to protect America?
By Jim Miklaszewski
CorrespondentNBC NewsUpdated: 7:14 p.m. ET March 2, 2004
With Tuesdays attacks, Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, is now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq.
But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself but never pulled the trigger.
In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide.
The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didnt do it, said Michael OHanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution.
Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe.
The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it. By then the administration had set its course for war with Iraq.People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the presidents policy of preemption against terrorists, according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.
In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq.
The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.
Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawis operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.
The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. Heres a case where they waited, they waited too long and now were suffering as a result inside Iraq, Cressey added.
And despite the Bush administrations tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawis killing streak continues today.
And, Jon asks, "Tell me again how only Bush can be counted on to protect us from terrorists."
1 a) : having the same relative position, value, or structure: as (1) : exhibiting biological homolgoy (2) : having the same or allelic genes with genetic loci usually arranged in the same orderhomologue · noun
b) : belonging to or consisting of a chemical series whose successive members have a regular difference in composition especially of one methylene group
2 : derived from or developed in response to organisms of the same species
: something (as a chemical compound or a chromosome) which is homologous
Etymology: Greek homologos agreeing, from hom- + legein to say – see legend
22 October 2004
BUSH SUPPORTERS MISLED
A new study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) shows that supporters of President Bush hold wildly inaccurate views about the world. For example, "a large majority [72 percent] of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction." Most Bush supporters [57 percent] also believe that the recently released report by Charles Duelfer, the administration's hand-picked weapons inspector, concluded Iraq either had WMD or a major program for developing them. In fact, the report concluded "Saddam Hussein did not produce or possess any weapons of mass destruction for more than a decade before the U.S.-led invasion" and the U.N. inspection regime had "curbed his ability to build or develop weapons."
According to the study, 75 percent Bush supporters also believe "Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda." Most Bush supporters [55 percent] believe that was the conclusion of the 9/11 commission. In fact, the 9/11 commission concluded there was no "collaborative relationship" between al-Qaeda and Iraq.
Bush supporters also hold inaccurate views about world public opinion of the war in Iraq and a range of Bush's foreign policy positions.
1. "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," Program on International Policy Attitudes, 10/21/04
3. "Iraq's Illicit Weapons Gone Since Early '90s, CIA Says," Los Angeles Times, 10/07/04.
4. "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," Program on International Policy Attitudes, 10/21/04.
6. "Al Qaeda-Hussein Link Is Dismissed," Washington Post, 6/17/04.
7. "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," Program on International Policy Attitudes, 10/21/04.
: of a color, (as red, black, or brown), muted and lightened by admixture of white hairs ; not generally used of human coloration--noun
1 : an animal (as a horse) with a roan coat -- usually used of a red roan when unqualified
2 : the color of a roan horse -- used especially when the base color is red
3 : sheepskin tanned with sumac and colored and finished to imitate morocco <>span>
Etymology: Middle French, from Old Spanish roano; except noun (3); of unknown origin
21 October 2004
The Washginton Post
I read your article about electoral college reform with interest. I do not, however, see the implied downside to the idea that minor candidates would have bargaining power in the event of run-offs. You do not explain how or why this would be bad for the country, and it seems to me the opposite is true.
Also, you do not really explain the reasoning for proposals under which a presidential candidate would be a victor with a smaller-than-majority vote. In countries (and there are many) that have presidential run-off elections, it is typical that in order to win outright a candidate must garner an absolute majority. It seems to me this is the preferred standard; run-off elections would become the rule rather than the exception. Again, if there is a significant downside to this it hasn't been made clear to me either in your article or anywhere else.
20 October 2004
To Pat Buchanan:
Your article on Kerry's comment about Mary Cheney in the third debate is one of the most patently offensive pieces of political writing I have seen in many years. You obviously share the Bush agenda to turn back the clock to the McKinley era, even in social matters. I hope you and those who think like you are trounced by the forces of civilization in this election... forces which have left your ideas in the weary past long since.
Reference to homosexuality as "an affliction," and reference to non-homosexuals as "normal men," are, in case you aren't aware, indicative of a mindset that the vast majority of Americans, not to mention mental health professionals, abandoned DECADES ago.
President's response: 'We're not going to have any'
Wednesday, October 20, 2004 Posted: 11:32 AM EDT (1532 GMT)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- The founder of the U.S. Christian Coalition said Tuesday he told President George W. Bush before the invasion of Iraq that he should prepare Americans for the likelihood of casualties, but the president told him, "We're not going to have any casualties."
Pat Robertson, an ardent Bush supporter, said he had that conversation with the president in Nashville, Tennessee, before the March 2003 invasion U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. He described Bush in the meeting as "the most self-assured man I've ever met in my life."
"You remember Mark Twain said, 'He looks like a contented Christian with four aces.' I mean he was just sitting there like, 'I'm on top of the world,' " Robertson said on the CNN show, "Paula Zahn Now."
"And I warned him about this war. I had deep misgivings about this war, deep misgivings. And I was trying to say, 'Mr. President, you had better prepare the American people for casualties.' "
Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we're not going to have any casualties."
The White House has made no reaction to Robertson's comments.
Robertson, the televangelist who sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, said he wishes Bush would admit to mistakes made.
"I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A), a disaster, and B), messy," Robertson said.
"I warned him about casualties."
More than 1,100 U.S. troops have died in Iraq and another 8,000 troops have been wounded in the ongoing campaign, with the casualty toll significantly increasing in the last six months as the insurgency there has deepened.
Asked why Bush has refused to admit to mistakes on Iraq, Robertson said, "I don't know this politics game. You know, you can never say you were wrong because the opposition grabs onto it: 'See, he admitted he screwed up.' "
Even as Robertson criticized Bush for downplaying the potential dangers of the Iraq war, he heaped praise on Bush, saying he believes the president will win the election and that "the blessing of heaven is on Bush."
"Even if he stumbles and messes up -- and he's had his share of stumbles and gaffes -- I just think God's blessing is on him," Robertson said.
As for Bush's Democratic rival, Sen. John Kerry, Robertson said, "I don't think he's a leader. He's a ponderous debater, a good senator probably."
By John le Carré, John le Carré is the author of The Spy Who Came In From the Cold, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and many other novels.
Maybe there's one good reason — just one — for reelecting George W. Bush, and that's to force him to live with the consequences of his appalling actions and answer for his own lies, rather than wish the job on a Democrat who would then get blamed for his predecessor's follies.
Probably no American president in history has been so universally hated abroad as Bush: for his bullying unilateralism, his dismissal of international treaties, his reckless indifference to the aspirations of other nations and cultures, his contempt for institutions of world government, and above all for misusing the cause of anti-terrorism in order to unleash an illegal war — and now anarchy — upon a country that like too many others around the world was suffering under a hideous dictatorship but had no hand in the events of 9/11, no weapons of mass destruction and no record of terrorism except as an ally of the United States in a dirty war against Iran.
Is your president a great war leader because he allowed himself to be manipulated by a handful of deluded ideologues? Is Tony Blair, my prime minister, a great war leader because he committed Britain's troops, foreign policy and domestic security to the same harebrained adventure?
You are voting in November. We will vote next year. Yet the outcome in both countries will in large part depend on the same question: How long can the lies last now that the truth has finally been told? The Iraq war was planned long before 9/11. Osama bin Laden provided the excuse. Iraq paid the price. American kids paid the price. British kids paid the price. Our politicians lied to us.
While Bush was waging his father's war at your expense, he was also ruining your country. He made your rich richer and your poor and unemployed more numerous. He robbed your war veterans of their due and reduced your children's access to education. And he deprived more Americans than ever before of healthcare.
Now he's busy cooking the books, burying deficits and calling in contingency funds to fight a war that his advisors promised him he could light and put out like a candle.
Meanwhile, your Patriot Act has swept aside constitutional and civil liberties that took brave Americans 200 years to secure and were once the envy of a world that now looks on in horror, not just at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib but at what you are doing to yourselves.
But please don't feel isolated from the Europe you twice saved. Give us back the America we loved, and your friends will be waiting for you. Here in Britain, for as long as we have Tony Blair singing the same lies as George W. Bush, your nightmares will be ours.
: inflammation of a mucous membrane; especially : one chronically affecting the human nose and air passages- catarrhal -&l · adjective
: of catarrh- catarrhally · adverb
: (of a sound) rasping, guttural
Etymology: Middle French or Late Latin; Middle French catarrhe, from Late Latin catarrhus, from Greek katarrhous, from katarrhein to flow down, from kata- + rhein to flow cf. stream
19 October 2004
Kerry keeps moving up in the electoral college. A new Survey USA poll shows he has now inched ahead of Bush in Florida, although his 1% lead means the state is still a statistical tie. Nevertheless, we now show Kerry with more than the critical 270 votes in the electoral college to win. Perhaps more signficant, though, is the fact that in states where Kerry's lead is at least 5%, he has 228 electoral votes. In states where Bush's lead is at least 5%, he has 183 electoral votes. Clearly the race is still wide open.
If you love horror stories, Slate has a good one for you by Richard L. Hasen. In it, he describes five ways the presidential election could end up in the Supreme Court. Briefly summarized, they are:
- Voting glitches involving electronic or other voting machines
- Litigation over which provisional ballots are valid
- A fight over the Colorado amendment to split the electoral vote
- A tie in the electoral college or a faithless elector
- A terrorist attack that disrupts voting in a swing state
Are the voters stupid? It is not considered politically correct to point out that an awful lot of voters don't have a clue what they are talking about. A recent poll from Middle Tennessee State University sheds some light on the subject. For example, when asked which candidate wants to roll back the tax cuts for people making over $200,000 a year, a quarter thought it was Bush and a quarter didn't know. And it goes downhill from there. When asked which candidate supports specific positions on various issues, the results were no better than chance. While this poll was in Tennessee, I strongly suspect a similar poll in other states would get similar results. I find it dismaying that many people will vote for Bush because they want to tax the rich (which he opposes) or vote for Kerry because they want school vouchers for religious schools (which he opposes).
Etymology: Middle English cloistre, from Old French, from Medieval Latin claustrum, from Latin: 'bar,' 'bolt;' from claudere to close – compare close
1 a) : a monastic establishment b) : an area within a monastery or convent to which the religious are normally restricted c) : monastic life d) : a place or state of seclusion
2 : a covered passage on the side of a court usually having one side walled and the other an open arcade or colonnade
18 October 2004
The U. S. Forest Service recently took the rather drastic, not to say entirely unprecedented, step of closing the Angeles National Forest to virtually all public use in the nearby mountains. If we are to take at face value the stated claim that the only reason for this was the extreme fire danger, there will be no excuse for not lifting this restriction at once now that the rainy season has officially begun.
This was my e-mail to Safire, which I doubt he will ever read:
I do not believe you have any evidence that there was premeditation to the subject of Mary Cheney's lesbianism. Quite frankly, your references to it are insulting to gays and lesbians and disingenuous. Even if there were a "rehearsal" of mention of Mary Cheney, the real "low blows" in this campaign ... the constant cavalier twisting and distortion of Kerry's and Edwards's statements by Bush and Rove's minions, and the outrageous misrepresentations of Kerry's military service perpetuated by barely deniable Bush campaign allies, are so much worse that the idea that this is a scandal is frankly ludicrous. If that's the best you can come up with, I think Kerry and Edwards have nothing to fear from the Right Wing scandal mongers like you.
Inflected Form(s): demised; demising
1 : to convey (as an estate) by will or leaseintransitive senses
2 obsolete : to convey, to give (in general)
3 : to transmit by succession or inheritance
1 : to die; deceaseadjective demised
2 : to pass by descent or bequest [the property has demised to the king]
: (legal) of that which is conveyed, as by a leasenoun
1 : the conveyance of an estateEtymology: Middle French, feminine of demis, past participle of demettre to dismiss, from Latin demittere to send down, from de- + mittere to send; cf. dismiss, remiss, missa, mass.
2 : transfer of the sovereignty to a successor
3 a) : death; b) : a cessation of existence or activity; c) : a loss of position or status
16 October 2004
From Remember the Alamo -- How George W. Bush reinvented himself by Nicholas Lemann, in the New Yorker, 10/18/04
The long period of preparation for the war in Iraq now appears to have been devoted more to justifying a foregone conclusion than to actually preparing—except in the case of the invasion itself. The Administration’s hawks relentlessly pushed for higher intelligence estimates of the threat that Saddam Hussein represented and for lower military estimates of what the invasion and the occupation would require. Haass, who was frozen out by the hawks, said, “There were a lot of loaded assumptions about the analysis: The aftermath would be a lesser included case of the war. The Iraqis would see the coalition as liberators and they’d be welcomed. Those who didn’t buy in were excluded. People who raised implementation questions were seen as backdoor critics of the war.”
When Bush went to the United Nations in the fall of 2002 and obtained a resolution that got weapons inspectors back into Iraq, it was more as a concession to Powell than as a thought-through Administration policy. The hawks, who had always been contemptuous of the U.N., were dismissive of the inspection process. (A little-noticed nugget in Woodward’s “Plan of Attack” is that the Administration spied on Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, while he was doing his work.) The Administration was unable or unwilling to get the heads of state of the other Security Council members to agree at the outset on what they would consider an unacceptable result from the inspections. So on the eve of war, when Bush declared the result unacceptable, the nations that were capable of sending large numbers of troops to Iraq didn’t agree with him and refused to help, which is one reason that the occupation of Iraq has been so expensive and has stretched the U.S. military past its limits. The Administration consistently pushed every aspect of Iraq policy —intelligence-gathering, diplomacy, military strategy, foreign-policy doctrine, and, of course, the treatment of prisoners—into a new realm of statecraft, characterized by a total and, it has turned out, excessive faith that pure force would produce far better results than anyone had previously realized. Bush’s advisers urged him in this direction, but he chose which advisers to hire and to listen to. It was really a natural outgrowth of who he is.In the current Presidential campaign, Bush has expertly drawn attention away from how high a price the United States has paid for the war in Iraq. It is difficult to find anybody in Washington, in either party, who will seriously defend Bush’s management of Iraq. Most of the available armed forces of the United States are pinned down in a place that represents a threat chiefly because American troops are there. That limits American options in places that pose much more genuine threats. The reputation of American intelligence agencies has been badly damaged—would anyone now heed warnings from them? It is increasingly difficult to imagine other major powers joining the United States in an international endeavor, even one that isn’t a war. The government’s financial resources are depleted. The U.S. military in Iraq has started trying to take back areas of the country now controlled by insurgents, and it may not be safe enough there for the scheduled elections to be held in January. The country still has no meaningful army or police force. It doesn’t seem that there will be, any time soon, a way to extract the American forces without risking Iraq’s descent into chaos, of a kind that would be both dangerous and humiliating to the United States and would betray Bush’s repeated promises to bring the Iraqis a better life.
15 October 2004
...Bush showed that he cared far more about caricaturing Kerry's plan than solving the problems of the uninsured. Inventing out of whole cloth a scheme that has nothing to do with what Kerry is proposing, Bush noted that the federal employee plan "costs the government $7,700 per family." Then he took a leap into the mathematics of political distortion. "If every family in America signed up, like the senator suggested," Bush said, "it would cost us $5 trillion over 10 years."
Pardon the word, but that's a lie, because Kerry has "suggested" no such thing. As Kerry quickly noted, families that could afford to buy into the federal plan under his proposal would have to pay for it. "We're not giving this away for nothing," Kerry said in one of his most effective counterpunches.
:a tumultuous assault or quarrel; a brawl.
Mounted encounters by armored knights locked in desperate hand-to-hand combat, stabbing and wrestling in tavern brawls, deceits and brutalities in street affrays, balletic homicide on the dueling field--these were the martial arts of Renaissance Europe.
--Sydney Anglo, The Martial Arts of Renaissance Europe
An Irish soldier was stabbed with a boar spear by a German mercenary in 1544 during an affray that followed Henry VIII's capture of Boulogne.
--James Williams, "Hunting, hawking and the early Tudor gentleman," History Today, August 2003
Affray comes from Old French esfrei, from esfreer, "to disquiet, to frighten."
14 October 2004
: a level open stretch of paved or grassy ground; especially : one designed for walking or driving along a shoreEtymology: Middle French, from Italian spianata, from spianare to level, from Latin explanare, also source of explain
13 October 2004
My reaction, in general:
Bush was well-schooled in "handling" himself, and acquitted himself creditably in that regard. But, when it came to substantive answers to many of the questions, he really had little or nothing to say. His campaign, especially recently, has been all about pandering to people's fears of an uncertain world. When it came to any solid record of domestic accomplishment or plans to solve America's problems, Bush had little or nothing to offer on almost every front.
Kerry was vague about some of his plans (inevitably in a debate format), but was nonetheless far more coherent in his responses than Bush. His message of connection with the needs and primarily economic concerns of the majority of Americans was communicated much more effectively than Bush was capable of.
In all, I think it was a win for Kerry, and to the extent that it was viewed by a reasonable fraction of the television audience, it should help him to edge ahead in the next three weeks.
Sign this petition and try to stop this madness.
APPEALING TO OUR LIZARD BRAINS: WHY BUSH IS STILL STANDING
By Arianna Huffington
Since the president's meltdown in the first debate — followed in quick succession by Paul Bremer's confession, the CIA's no-al-Qaida/Saddam link report, the Duelfer no-WMD-since-'91 report, and the woeful September job numbers — I have been racking my brain trying to figure out why George W. Bush is still standing.
The answer arrived via my friend Ed Solomon, the brilliant writer and filmmaker, who explained that the conundrum could be solved by looking at the very organ I'd been racking.
Ed introduced me to the work of Dr. Daniel Siegel, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of the forthcoming book "Mindsight," which explores the physiological workings of the brain.
Turns out, when it comes to Campaign 2004, it's the neuroscience, stupid!
Or, as Dr. Siegel told me: "Voters are shrouded in a 'fog of fear' that is impacting the way our brains respond to the two candidates."
Thanks to the Bush campaign's unremitting fear-mongering, millions of voters are reacting not with their linear and logical left brain but with their lizard brain and their more emotional right brain.
What's more, people in a fog of fear are more likely to respond to someone whose primary means of communication is in the nonverbal realm, neither logical nor language-based. (Sound like any presidential candidate you know?)
And that's why Bush is still standing. It's not about left wing vs. right wing; it's about left brain vs. right brain.
Deep in the brain lies the amygdala, an almond-sized region that generates fear. When this fear state is activated, the amygdala springs into action. Before you are even consciously aware that you are afraid, your lizard brain responds by clicking into survival mode. No time to assess the situation, no time to look at the facts, just: fight, flight or freeze.
And, boy, have the Bushies been giving our collective amygdala a workout. Especially Dick Cheney, who has proven himself an unmatched master of the dark art of fear-mongering. For an object lesson in how to get those lizard brains leaping, look no further than the vice-presidential debate.
"The biggest threat we face today," said Cheney in his very first answer "is the possibility of terrorists smuggling a nuclear weapon or a biological agent into one of our own cities and threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans."
Just in case we didn't get the point, he repeated the ominous assertion, practically word for word, two more times — throwing in the fact that he was "absolutely convinced" that the threat "is very real." It was "be afraid, be very afraid" to the third power.
And when we are afraid, we are biologically programmed to pay less attention to left-brain signals — indeed, our logical mind actually shuts itself down. Fear paralyzes our reasoning and literally makes it impossible to think straight. Instead, we search for emotional, nonverbal cues from others that will make us feel safe and secure.
When our right brain is at Threat Level Red, we don't want to hear about a four-point plan to win the peace, or a list of damning statistics, or even a compelling, well-reasoned argument that the policies of Bush and Cheney are actually making us less safe. We want to get the feeling that everything is going to be all right.
In this state, our brains care more about tone of voice than what the voice is saying. This is why Bush can verbally stumble and sputter and make little or no sense and still leave voters feeling that he is the candidate best able to protect them. Our brains are primed to receive the kinds of communication he has to offer and discard the kinds John Kerry has to offer, even if Kerry makes more "logical sense." Which, of course, he does.
The strutting, winking, pointing and near-shouting that marked Bush's town hall debate performance all sent the same subconscious message to our fear-fogged brains: "I'm your daddy . . . I've got your back. So just go to sleep and stop thinking. About anything."
"At the deepest level," Dr. Siegel told me, "we react to fear as adults in much the same way we did as infants. It's primal. Human babies have the most dependent infancy of any species. Our survival depends on the caregiver. We instinctively look to authority figures to comfort us and keep us safe."
As needy infants, this natural drive to be soothed and reassured is what we looked for in our parents; as anxious adults in these exceptionally unsettling times, it's what we are looking for in our leaders.
Over the remaining three weeks of the campaign, as the anxiety level reaches a fevered pitch — and you can be certain the Bush campaign will do everything in its power to make sure that happens — the test facing voters is no longer, "Which candidate would you rather have a beer with?" It's "Which candidate would you rather give you your blankie and a bottle and keep the boogeyman away?"
I know it sounds ludicrous that the most important election of our lifetime is coming down to who can best pacify the electorate's inner baby, but I can think of no better explanation as to why Bush is not currently hovering at around 5 percent in the polls — a voting block made up of those hardcore fanatics who are as utterly blind to reality as he is.
As long as we're operating from our lizard brains — and reason takes a back seat to more primal needs — George Bush will continue to survive the logic-based attacks on his ever-escalating failures.
The only question that remains is: Can Bush, Cheney and Rove keep us shrouded in the fog of fear long enough to brain John Kerry and win in November?
: a member of an order of monastic canons regular founded by Saint Norbert at Prémontré near Laon, France, in 1120; aka Norbertine--adj.
: of or relating to sameEtymology: Medieval Latin praemonstratensis, from praemonstratensis, 'of Prémontré,' from Praemonstratus, L. for Prémontré (lit. something like “Mountain Fields”).
12 October 2004
The Resume of George W. Bush
A few weeks ago a family member sent me an email titled "John Kerry's Resume". It misrepresented Kerry on more than a few points and the mean-spirited tone seemed to get in the way of serious arguments but it got me wondering what a Bush resume would look like. I found a few "George W. Bush's Resume" versions online but they were filled with the same sort of distortions and inaccuracies, and seemed written for an audience of people who already dislike Bush and support Kerry. It annoys me when people who share my view make their case so poorly that it undermines our position. I thought I could do better.
As I wrote this I started realizing the problem with our current president. Rewarding excellence and limiting failure is a deeply held value in America, especially in conservative circles. It is essential that we recognize the competence of juniors and promote them. By promoting our smartest, most efficient, highest-skilled workers to positions of responsibility we don't just reward them: we reward ourselves as we benefit from the good decisions they make in their new position.
Bush is the antithesis of this story. From Yale to the Champagne Unit to Harvard to Arbusto to Spectrum 7 to Harken to Texas Rangers to Governor to President, his failure was rewarded with ever-greater responsibility as the sphere of those damaged by his incompetence continued to expand. And that's how we got where we are today: the entire world is paying the piper because nobody had the guts to pull the brakes on this man's train of unearned, undeserved privilege.
My target audience is Bush supporters for whom their choice of candidate is still a rational decision. As a former Bush supporter in 2000 I don't see how anyone can support this president's run for a second term. Even if you believe his goals are sound, his ability to achieve those goals and the means he chooses to achieve them remain highly questionable. I have avoided points such as drilling in ANWR or Bush's enthusiastic execution record as governor of Texas because I don't fault him for those reasons: points such as those have reasonable positions on either side. I'm sticking to points like exposing the secret identity of CIA agents as revenge for their spouses' public statements, or creating an agency to re-inject discredited intelligence reports back into circulation - points that, to me, seem beyond any rational defense.
It is quite likely that this is not the final version of this document. I consider myself a rational person, and I'm expecting to revise the document as new information becomes available. While I don't have time to get into extended one-on-one political arguments with strangers I welcome the sort of input and rational criticism that will clarify my misconceptions. I expect to add new points and remove weaker ones throughout Bush's remaining term: I've found his resume to be a useful crib sheet to remember details like the name of Bush's personal criminal defense attorney, or the vote tally for the Federal Marriage Amendment, and I'd like it to remain "live".
There are two versions of my version of the Bush Resume online: one for reading online and one for printing. Their formatting is different but they are otherwise identical. I hope you find this useful in making your choice for president this year.
Hello. My name is George Bush and I'm running for President. Please consider my qualifications as set forth in the following resume.
The Resume of George W. Bush
- I entered Yale in 1964 with a SAT of 1206 (Verbal 566, Math 640), 200 points below Yale's average freshman in 1970.
- I graduated Yale in 1968 with a 2.35 GPA
- In the fall of 1970 I was rejected from admission at University of Texas Law School.
- In 1973 I applied to Harvard Business School with a 2.35
GPA. 1973 admission statistics are unavailable, but for an incomplete
comparison today's Harvard students average a GPA of 3.5 - no students were accepted with a GPA lower than 2.6.
- I graduated Harvard Business School with an MBA and below-average grades.
- Two negligent collisions in July and August 1962 in Houston, TX (p20)
- Arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in New Haven, CT in December 1966 (p20) for stealing a christmas tree while drunk
- Convicted of drunk driving on September 4, 1976 in Kennebunkport, Maine.
- As a strong supporter of the Vietnam War I did everything in my power to avoid military service, both foreign and domestic:
- In February 1968 I applied to the Texas Air National Guard after scoring the bare minimum of 25th Percentile (p25) for the Officer's Pilot Aptitude Test. With low scores, no other qualifications listed, and a long list of applicants ahead of me nobody is sure how I got into the guard. Ben Barnes offers one explanation, swearing under oath that he called Brig Gen. Jim Rose at the request of my father's friend Sidney Adger, allowing me a privilege I did not otherwise deserve.
- I left the 111th "Champagne Unit" on May 24 1972, requesting a transfer to the Alabama 9921st Air Reserve, a postal unit with no airplanes and no pilots. I did not appear for any service in the 9921st.
- On July 21, 1972, my transfer request to the 9921st was
rejected and I was commanded to return back to the 111st in Maxwell,
TX. I remained away and did not return to Texas. I refused to submit to a physical exam in August, four months after the Air Force made drug tests mandatory for pilots on April 21, 1972. I was suspended and grounded as a disciplinary measure, ensuring I would never fly again.
- On September 5, 1972, I once again requested a transfer to Alabama, and once again I failed to appear (this time at the 187th). Neither my commanding officer nor Mavanee Bear, my girlfriend at the time claims to have ever seen me in uniform, though I did get a free dental checkup.
- I never met the requirements for honorable discharge, earning only 38 documented points out of a required 50 in 1973-74. I also completed only 36 of 43 required inactive-duty training periods in 1972-73, and 12 of 43 required in 1973-74. Fortunately I "worked something out" and was issued an honorable discharge I did not earn.
- My participation in the National Guard was so low that even by the end of the Vietnam Conflict I had flown only 336 hours, not meeting the minimum standards (500 hours flight experience) for combat duty. Even if I had been called to active duty I would have been unqualified to serve by military regulations.
- I founded Arbusto Energy in 1979 with money borrowed from family friends including James R Bath, representing Salem Bin Laden. Over the next five years I
accepted at least $4.7 million dollars from my father's friends
including George Ohrstrom and Russell Reynolds, Jr., returning $1.5
million to investors and taking on $3 million in debt. My company was rescued by a buyout from Spectrum 7 by my successful Yale classmates Mercer Reynolds and William DeWitt Jr. in 1984.
- After the failure of Arbusto I was awarded a position as Chairman and CEO of Spectrum 7.
My participation resulted in more failure as the company was driven to
the brink of bankruptcy. I was rescued by a buyout from my father's
friends Phil Kendrick and Stuart Watson at Harken Oil and Gas in 1985.
- Impressed not by my abilities but by my connections to important people I was rewarded for my failure at Spectrum 7 with a seat on the Board of Directors at Harken Oil and Gas. Harken was a miserable failure during the time I spent there - it
posted $23.2 billion in losses. I was investigated by the SEC for
selling my shares one week before the loss announcement, and the resulting investigation explicitly did not exonerate me.
- I was the owner of the Texas Rangers, made possible only by my father's friends William DeWitt and Richard E. Rainwater. My participation resulted in incredible success for myself and terrible misfortune for my neighbors. I
used eminent domain to take taxpayers' land, paid for it with $4.9
million taxpayer dollars, and then spent $191 million more taxpayer
dollars to build myself a stadium. I left the city of Arlington, TX with a $7.5 million debt that I still refuse to pay, even after I sold the Rangers to Thomas Hicks for $250 million (a 2500% profit).
POLITICAL RECORD (DOMESTIC)
- I ran for the House of Representatives in 1978. My campaign was a miserable failure: I lost to Democrat Kent Hance after he criticized my family ties, prep school, Ivy League education, and jogging.
- I ran for President in 2000. My campaign was destined to be a miserable failure until I used a whispering campaign of lies to destroy genuine war hero and fellow Republican John McCain, claiming he had fathered an illegitimate negro child and was emotionally unstable due to his torture as a POW in Vietnam.
- In July 2001 I appointed Harvey Pitt to be the chairman of a "kinder, gentler SEC"
to ease regulation of foreign businesses. The results have been the
largest and most miserable failures of corporate accountability in
modern corporate history: Enron, Worldcom, and now Fannie Mae.
- The value of the dollar has collapsed 30% during my term.
- I am the first President to unconstitutionally restrict my opponents' First Amendment rights by allowing my supporters to remain at the venue while restricting my detractors to "free speech zones," fenced-off areas up to half mile away from the media, the audience, and especially myself.
- I've communicated less with the American people than any other president in the history of televised news, holding only one White House press conference every 3.25 months, compared to my father's 1.6 per month.
- To prevent activist judges from rewriting the
constitution to serve an agenda that Congress would never approve, I
attempted to rewrite the constitution to serve an agenda they never
came close to approving. My campaign for the Federal Marriage Amendment
was a miserable failure: it failed to pass either house of congress. In
the Senate the cloture call to end debate yielded only 48 votes, not
the 67 required to pass the Senate, not the 60 votes required for
cloture, not even the 50 votes of a simple majority.
- My 2004 budget set the record for the largest deficit in history: either $477 billion or $521 billion (CBO and OMB numbers, respectively).
- Nearly every major economic indicator has deteriorated since I took office in
January 2001. Real GDP growth during my term is the lowest of any
presidential term in recent memory. Total non-farm employment has
contracted and the unemployment rate has increased. Bankruptcies are up
sharply, as is our dependence on foreign capital to finance an
exploding current account deficit. All three major stock indexes are
lower now than at the time of my inauguration. The percentage of
Americans in poverty has increased, real median income has declined,
and income inequality has grown.
- As president I ignored Clinton's warnings about Al Qaeda,
mentioning that organization only once in public statements on national
security between January 20, 2001 and September 10, 2001. In the same time period I mentioned Saddam Hussein 104 times and missile defense 101 times.
- On August 6, 2001 I received a briefing titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States" which warned that "the FBI indicates patterns of suspicious activity in the United States consistent with preparations for hijacking." For one month I dealt with numerous other issues until the unfolding of the most successful terrorist attack in US history on September 11, 2001.
- With broad international approval I temporarily disrupted
the Taliban government, which has now re-emerged to control much of
southern Afghanistan after I abandoned this campaign for Iraq.
<> I campaigned strongly for war in Iraq. I claimed that:
- Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (none have been found).
- Iraq had ties to Al Qaeda (Iraq opposed Al Qaeda and successfully kept their operatives out of the country before September 2001. The strongest claim to support a connection came from Czech intelligence services and is now retracted. The 9/11 commission "did not believe that such a meeting occurred".)
- Iraq would give their weapons of mass destruction to terrorists (A secular Saddam would never give his "ace card" to religious elements he opposed throughout his life and could not control)
- The war would be "self-financing" through oil sales ($200 billion total has been allocated, and $138 billion has already been spent with more to follow).
- The war would end quickly, with troop deployments down to 30,000 troops by Autumn 2003 (March
2004 troop deployment: 114,000 US plus 23,000 Coalition troops in Iraq;
26,000 US and Coalition logistical support troops in Kuwait).
- Americans would be greeted as liberators (Public perception of Americans as liberators dropped from 43% at the time of invasion to 2% after Abu Ghraib).
I punished those who spoke unwelcome truth:
- I sent Joseph Wilson to Africa in February 2002 to investigate claims that Iraq had
attempted to purchase uranium, where Wilson determined that those
claims were based on forged documents. Despite his report I continued to make public Iraq/Nigeria statements as late as January 2003. When Wilson publicly contradicted me, one of my senior officials exposed the CIA cover of Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, in an article written by Robert Novak and printed in the New York Times on July 14 2003. No one is sure which senior White House official leaked the order or who was aware, but the fact that I hired James Sharp in June 2004 to represent me as a personal criminal defense attorney is significant when you consider that there
is no attorney-client privilege between a president and a White House
counsel that allows the counsel to withhold information from a Federal
- I fired Lawrence Lindsey as my economics advisor in early December 2002 for claiming that the Iraq War would cost between $100 and $200 billion. ($138 billion has been spent and $200 billion has been budgeted... so far)
- I fired Jay Garner as US Administrator of Iraq in March 2004
for calling for immediate elections instead of allowing American
companies to privatize government-owned assets. (American privatization
and lack of a legitimate Iraqi government is one of the major reasons
for unrest in Iraq.)
- I made US Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki a lame duck in June 2003, defying precedent and announcing his successor 14 months in advance of his retirement after he announced that "several hundred thousand troops would be needed in postwar Iraq".
- I threatened to have Medicare analyst Richard Foster fired if he replied to Congressional requests and reported that the Medicare Prescription Drug Bill would cost $551 billion, $156 billion over the White House's favored estimate of $395 billion.
- After the Iraq Health Ministry released figures showing that US and Coalition forces killed twice as many Iraqis as the Insurgents the Iraqis are supposedly being protected from, I acted decisively by ordering the Iraq Health Ministry to not release any more figures.
- I rewarded those who spoke welcome lies, paying Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress $340,000 per month for their false intelligence gathered about Iraq.
- Although Chalabi and the INC had been dropped from the CIA payroll in
1996 for being an unreliable source and also dismissed by the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) for the same reason, I continued to use Chalabi and the INC to support claims of WMDs in Iraq. Even after their information proved false and no weapons were found I remained so close to Chalabi that he sat with Laura Bush as my "Special Guest" during my September 2003 State of the Union address. I continued to pay the INC regularly until May 2004, when allegations surfaced that Chalabi had passed classified American intelligence to Iran.
- I put tremendous pressure on the CIA to come up with information to support policies that have already been adopted (as determined by the Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq). When the CIA and DIA refused to verify intelligence items I wanted to believe, Donald Rumsfeld and I created the Office of Special Plans. This independent department within the Pentagon was designed to bypass the CIA and feed the discredited and unreliable information I wanted to believe was true
back into the intelligence stream in order to support conclusions that
the CIA and DIA could not. The OSP took much of the discredited
information from Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress.
- I opposed the creation of the Department of Homeland Security for nine
months, before turning around to take credit for its creation.
- I opposed the creation of an independent 9/11 panel. After being forced to accept the commission, I gave it only $12 million in funding to do its work (compared to $50 million combined for Whitewater and the Monica Lewinsky investigation) before turning around to take credit for its creation.
- My war against Al Qaeda has been a miserable failure. The
International Institute for Strategic Studies' most conservative
estimate (May 25, 2004) is that the occupation of Iraq has helped Al Qaeda recruit 18,000 operatives in more than 60 countries. By my State Department's own estimates, world terror attacks are now at their highest level in 20 years, up 36% since 2001.
- I have held 660 prisoners in Guantanamo, Cuba for over two years without trial or formal charge. My prisoners, several of whom were between the ages of 13 and 16, have never been formally charged. They are kept in steel cages, subjected to ongoing
torture, and denied access to legal counsel in opposition to Supreme
Court rulings (Rasul v. Bush). These prisoners are "the worst of the worst", "hard core, well trained terrorists" and their guilt is beyond doubt, which is why I've set 87 of them free without explanation or apology.
- In the past year I claim to have trained 100,000 Iraqi police forces, but only 8,169 of those have passed the required 8-week training course. Another 46,176 are listed as "untrained".
- My Secretary of Defense is the first in US history to have acknowledged ordering an intentional violation of the Geneva Conventions, in which Abu Ghraib prisoners were held "off the books" and hidden from the Red Cross. When this order was made public I refused to discipline him in any way, instead complimenting him on his job performance.
- After being informed of abuses at Abu Ghraib on January 16 (first reported on January 13) which included "Threatening male detainees with rape" and "Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick" I made "freedom from torture chambers and rape rooms" a centerpiece in my speeches until April 29 when the story finally broke on 60 Minutes II.
- My administration is the first since the Civil War to
imprison US Citizens (Jose Padilla) as "enemy combatants" without
charges, trial, or access to legal counsel. In a 5-4 decision (Rumsfeld v. Padilla) the Supreme Court dodged the opportunity to rule on the legality, ruling that the case had been improperly filed.
- My administration broke new legal ground by using material witness warrants to give effective life sentences to US citizens without charge, trial, access to legal counsel, or even plans to prosecute.
- My justice department was the first in US history to attempt to enforce federal regulations while refusing to disclose what those regulations are.
- My legal war against terror has been a miserable failure: I have detained more than 5,000 people on suspicion of terrorist ties, some of whom have been held without charge or without access to a lawyer. I have successfully convicted zero.
Despite these mistakes and miserable failures I have never admitted
error or expressed regret or displeasure at any outcome. Quite the
contrary - at every opportunity I have called these outcomes successes,
and voters can look forward to more of these successes in the future.
Please consider my qualifications and record of accomplishments when
you cast your vote this November.