Friday, July 02, 2004

It's our government, and we're taking it back

An interesting item from CNN:

Aides say Bank of America, which processes the Kerry campaign's credit card contributions, was forced to shut down for seven minutes yesterday because it was overloaded by Kerry donations.

That's grassroots money, folks.

Now check out this Washington Post article about the Bush "Pioneers." (It's part of a series called "THE BUSH MONEY MACHINE: Fundraising's Rewards.")

When four longtime supporters of George W. Bush in 1998 developed a name and a structure for the elite cadre that the then-Texas governor would rely on in his campaign for president, the goal was simple. They wanted to escape the restraints of the public financing system that Congress had hoped would mitigate the influence of money in electing a president.

The pharmaceutical industry and the energy companies -- just to name a few -- bought themselves a president (with a little help from the Supreme Court). It's worked out pretty well for them -- while the rest of us have been getting screwed.

But as Big John says to the special interests: "We're coming, you're going, and don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Thursday, July 01, 2004

He's not a pessimist; he's a realist.

John Kerry in the Boston Globe:

What will not go away as an issue, no matter how many jobs we create in the next four months, is the reality of day-to-day life for most Americans, who are having trouble paying their health-care bills, paying the gasoline bills, paying their tuitions, all of which have gone up while wages have gone down.

What will not go away is the reversal of the environmental policies of our country. What will not go away is the absence of any plan for health care for Americans.

Dubya couldn't begin to understand problems like these; they're totally foreign to his experience. John Kerry, on the other hand, knows what it's like to struggle with income vs. expenses -- contrary to popular belief, his family was not wealthy. His prep-school classmates may have spent their summers in Europe, but Kerry sold encyclopedias door-to-door and unloaded trucks.

Amen, sister!

Arianna Huffington knows a good man when she sees one:

The good news for Kerry is that since Sept. 11 the country is in a much more sober mood — looking for a responsible leader who will remind us that we are all in the same boat together. Hope, community, inspiration and real national security — as opposed to Bush’s perpetual anxiety, fear, pessimism and division — are the features America’s voters are in the market for....

[T]he Democratic Party actually has a candidate with the biography, the intellect, the heart, the chutzpah and the courage to offer voters a stirring view of where we should be headed as a country.

Read the entire column here.

'I voted for Bush, but I'd sooner die than vote for him again'

More from that Rolling Stone roundtable discussion:

Youssef Ibrahim (managing director of the Dubai-based Strategic Energy Investment Group; former Middle Eastern correspondent for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal): I voted for Bush, but I'd sooner die than vote for him again. The neocons are vampires through which we have to drive a wooden stake. Neoconservatism must end as an ideology if you want America to recover its position as leader of the world.

Bob Kerrey (member of the 9/11 Commission and former senator from Nebraska): We need a coalition of the pragmatic in the White House, not of the religious or ideological. John Kerry will be much more capable of making the tough deals necessary to bring in the allies and make it work. In an odd way, that's good news for Bush. I predict that in the end, the two of them will celebrate a great bipartisan foreign-policy victory in Iraq, begun by President Bush and finished by President Kerry.

Sen. Joseph Biden, Senate Foreign Relations Committee: About six months ago, the president said to me, "Well, at least I make strong decisions, I lead." I said, "Mr. President, look behind you. Leaders have followers. No one's following. Nobody."

Linda Whitener (proprietor of this blog): I'm surprised Bush didn't have a stroke when Biden said that. Dubya does not like it when people aren't deferential.

Cheney to taxpayers: F**k you

Gen. Anthony Zinni in Rolling Stone:

Halliburton is spending staggering sums of money building fortified workplaces. It's killing the American taxpayer, who's footing the bill. There are two bodyguards for every worker. For $100,000 a year, you've got a truck driver from West Virginia. If I'm an Iraqi, I say, "For that cost, you could hire ten of us as drivers. And if I'm getting a paycheck, I'll have a vested interest in that truck getting through." Even the way we do contracting makes no sense.

Dick Cheney's favorite obscenity applies here: the American taxpayers are definitely getting f****d by Halliburton, the VP's so-called "former" employer (from which he still receives deferred compensation. Incidentally, he lied about that, too).

'Mission accomplished'? Not.

And the buck stopes squarely in the Oval Office. In his hubris, George W. Bush invaded a nation that posed no threat to us; scrapped the State Department's post-invasion planning, leading to chaos and casualties; diverted US forces from Afghanistan to Iraq, allowing Osama bin Laden to escape; and presented al Qaeda with a recruiting opportunity that surpassed bin Laden's wildest dreams. According to Maureen Dowd, what we have here is a quagmire:

Mr. Bremer's escape from the Green Zone was uncomfortably reminiscent of the last days of Saigon. No one was hanging onto the skids of helicopters, but the mood was furtive, not festive. American troops are still trapped in Iraq and being killed there, and 5,600 ex-soldiers are being involuntarily recalled in America's undeclared draft.

John Kerry was right: We need a regime change in the United States.