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Vikings coach Mike Tice presents Bush with a jersey on Saturday Posted by Hello

On Saturday Vikings Head Coach Mike Tice introduced George W Bush at a rally in Minneapolis and presented him with a Vikings jersey. On Sunday the Vikings got routed by the New York Giants 34-13. Coincidence? I think not.


Even More Missing Explosives

David DeBatto on Salon.com is reporting that,
"The same month Al Qaqaa was being stripped of high explosives, I warned my military intelligence unit of another weapons facility that was being cleaned out. But nothing was done."
DeBatto is an author and former U.S. Army counterintelligence agent who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

This story is pretty much like the others except I found this part especially intriguing,

"one source in Samarra, a tribal sheik, said that an Iraqi expatriate living in Syria had been sending drivers across the porous border between the two countries and systematically looting weapons storage facilities, including Al Qaqaa, for material to be used in making IEDs (improvised explosive devices). Until that time, late spring of 2003, IEDs were virtually unknown in Iraq. But beginning around June, they became a common threat to U.S. forces around Anaconda and elsewhere."

Seems not only did Team Bush not send enough troops to guard all the WMD they told where in Iraq, but the didn't send enough to secure the border with Syria either, which would seem to be priority since even before the invasion they where telling us that some of the WMD might already be in Syria. Of course why would Team Bush guard the Iraqi borders when they show no interest in guarding American borders?

With regard to the IED's mentioned in the story, I think it was very nice of Team Bush to arm the terrorists with even better weapons than they had before we got there. Saddam did a better job of keeping our soldiers safe than Bush has.

I will ask again, why will the military vote overwhelmingly for Bush on Tuesday as he continues to put their lives in even greater danger on what seems to be a daily basis?

More Weapons Lost

kgw.com reports that according to today's Oregonian

"Two U.S. aid workers, including one from Oregon, said they reported the looting of an Iraqi weapons depot to U.S. military officials in October, 2003, but were told that there were not enough troops to seal off the facility,"

The report goes on to say,

"A Pentagon official told The Oregonian Thursday that the United States had been forced to leave many ammunition dumps in Iraq unguarded." And, "U.S. military and intelligence officials were well-aware of the facility. Declassified documents from the first Persian Gulf War show that it was
bombed in 1991, as a suspected storage site for biological weapons.

On Jan. 16, 2003, before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, U.N. inspectors said they found 11 empty chemical warheads at Ukhaider. They said at the time the complex consisted of a series of bunkers built in the late 1990s."

For an administration that thought they where going up against a country full of WMD, it seems they where terribly unprepared to guard any weapons they might find. What if our troops would have turned up stockpiles of anthrax or sarin or even nuclear weapons? Did Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld provide enough manpower to deal with these discoveries? It now appears not.

All of this begs the question, did they really believe they where going to find any WMD in the first place? If they did they sure had a funny way of preparing for it. And lest our GOP friends accuse us of blaming the military in a time of war, one of the aid workers had this to say about the people in the military that told him they just couldn't guard all the weapons dumps in Iraq,

"'There's no question in my mind that these guys were sincere about it,'" he said of their desire to keep munitions from falling into the wrong hands. 'They just didn't have the resources.'"

BBC Reports "Poor Planning" by Coalition

The BBC is reporting that
"Poor planning, air strikes by coalition forces and a 'climate of violence' have led to more than 100,000 extra deaths in Iraq, scientists claim."
The report goes on to say that "
the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion."
Here is the part that if John Kerry said it, the Right Wing Crazies would be all over him,
"Violent deaths were mainly attributed to coalition forces - and most
individuals reportedly killed were women and children."
Sounds a lot like Kerry's Vietnam testimony doesn't it. Can't wait till the swift boat guys put out their book out on this one. How much more proof to Americans need before we decide to boot this inept administration?


Minneapolis TV Station Has Proof Kerry Is Correct

Crate of now missing explosives that weren't missing in April 2003 Posted by Hello

Minneapolis TV Station KSTP has proof that on April 18, 2003, nine days after the fall of Baghdad, they along with the United States Army, where at the full Al Quqaa weapons dump. That would be the same Al Quqaa weapons dump that is now empty. According to Team Bush, it was empty before the war started, but it doesn't look too empty in this video. Now I'm sure Team Bush will take absolutely no responsibility for this at all. Instead they will most likely blame the military, which is what they have spent the last four days accusing John Kerry of doing. And yet, the military will overwhelmingly vote for Bush even as he continues to hang them out to dry.

I...For One...Am Shocked!

"The United States publicly condemns the abuse of prisoners even while engaging in it behind closed doors" according to Amnesty International. "In the war on terror, the U.S.A. has not practiced what it has preached on the treatment of prisoners," said Rob Freer, lead author of the 200-page report tracing U.S. abuses in Afghanistan, at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

I'm sure the Bush Administration has a perfectly good excuse for this sad record. Maybe the Russians did it. It could have been Bill Clinton's fault. It should be obvious by now that the blame for this can be placed at the feet of Tom Daschle. Maybe the UN is trying to sabotage Bush. I bet the French and the Germans made us do it. I bet Dan Rather made it all up. Perhaps the New York Times is behind the whole thing. Ya know, I still don't trust that Valerie Plame. Come to think of it, it has to be Michael Moore behind this pack of lies. Has anyone seen Soros lately? I bet this could all have been avoided if it weren't for those pesky gay people wanting to get married all the time (note to self...must remember to amend the constitution). We all know John Kerry has his hands in this somehow. That Richard Clarke was always too smart for his own damn good, I wouldn't be surprised if it was all his fault. One thing I know for sure...it couldn't possibly be Bush's or Cheney's or Rumsfeld's fault, they never do anything bad.

Another Catholic Bishop Goes Too Far

We all know that Bishop Carlson is the real Governor of the great state of South Dakota, but it appears that we now have company. In St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke has
"forbade Catholics to vote for candidates who support abortion rights, euthanasia, reproductive cloning, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research"Burke calls these the five "intrinsic evils."
Geez, and I though Osama Bin Laden, Abu Masab al-Zarqawi, Muqtada al-Sadr, Iran and North Korea where the five "intrinsic evils." What in the world was I thinking? Your right Archbishop Burke, if only those gays would stop trying to marry one another, people who are incurably ill and in great pain would stop whining that they want it to end and if, as Bill Mahar suggested, every conservative woman would implant one of those embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway in her own uterus and bring it to term, all our problems would be solved.


I'm Back From Florida

Happy to be back from sunny Florida. I tried a little experiment while I was there, I wore my "Anybody But Bush" t-shirt to the beach and pier in Tampa one day and then I wore by "Kerry-Edwards" shirt to Disney's Magic Kingdom one day. While walking around the Tampa Pier I ran into seven people wearing some sort of Kerry-Edwards gear, and was given "thumbs up" from about ten more people apparent supports of Kerry. I saw nobody sporting any "Bush-Cheney" gear and only one person yelled obscenities at me, my wife and my four-year-old daughter (I shouldn't repeat what they called me here...But it rhymes with maggot-lover). I guess he was a Bush supporter.

My experience at Disney was similar. I saw around 15 people with either Kerry-Edwards or Betty Castor gear, and again not one person professing their never-ending love for Dubya. I also got several affirmations from passers-by saying things like "keep the faith", "make sure to vote" and "Kerry rules!" The Disney crowd was less vulgar as well, if anybody had negative things to say to me, they kept them to themselves.

I keep seeing all these polls saying Bush is even or slightly ahead in Florida, but I don't who they are polling, my own unscientific poll of Disney World and Tampa's Pier show Kerry ahead by about 98%, so I'm calling Florida for Kerry right now.


No Blogging For A While

I will not be blogging for about a week. My family and I are going to Florida for vacation. My mom is house sitting, but refuses to post on the blog, so I will talk to you when I get back. I may try to vote while I'm down there...what the heck!!


Let the Lawsuits Begin!!

Early voting stated today in Kabul...I mean Florida...and with predictable results.
"'It's a hiccup, it's a bit more than a hiccup,' Snipes (supervisor of elections Brenda Snipes) told the Sun-Sentinel newspaper."
The "hiccup" was just a little computer problem that kept poll workers from
"accessing a database to find out which one of the county's 152 different ballot styles each voter should have."
Seems Orlando is having trouble too,
"In Orlando, home to the Disney World theme parks, people were kept
waiting for more than two hours by a combination of long lines and computer malfunctions that prevented poll workers from verifying the names and addresses of voters."
I guess Jeb and his boys never saw this coming. It came as a complete surprise to them...I guess...that people would actually vote early,
"In Miami-Dade, poll workers appeared overwhelmed by the hundreds brought to the government center by a rally of trade unions, voter activists and Democrats, and the line to cast an early ballot moved achingly slowly."

Bush on Women

It is amazing to me that anyone would vote for George W Bush, but it is really amazing to think that any woman would vote for him. It's is obvious he feels all women should be like his little Laura...stay home, maybe teach school, have no real thoughts or ambitions and for God's Sake don't think you have the right to make decisions regarding your own body. Now this
.."With the notable exception of U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites), more than 250 global leaders, including former President Bill Clinton (news - web sites) and British Prime Minister Tony Blair (news - web sites), reaffirmed their commitment to a ten-year-old UN plan to ensure the rights of women around the world."

This plan calls for such unthinkable things for women such as,
"universal access to family planning, safe motherhood, treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as HIV (news - web sites)/AIDS (news - web sites), basic education and greater opportunities for social and economic advancement."

Under Bush the United States has
"not only refused to spend over US$70 million in contributions approved by Congress to UNFPA, but has also sought to weaken international support for the ICPD and the Beijing “platform of action” by lobbying “so far, unsuccessfully” other countries to back its efforts to exclude references to sexual and reproductive health services in regional conferences in Latin America and Asia."


Civil Liberties "Obscene" According to GOP

From kgw.com

"Three Medford school teachers were threatened with arrest and thrown out of the President Bush rally at the Jackson County Fairgrounds Thursday night, after they showed up wearing T-shirts with the slogan "Protect our civil liberties."

All three women said they were carrying valid tickets for the event that they had received from Republican Party headquarters in Medford, which had been distributing event tickets to Bush supporters."

"The women got past the first and second checkpoints and were allowed into the Jackson County fairgrounds, but were asked to leave and then escorted out of the event by campaign officials who allegedly told them their T-shirts were 'obscene.'"

We've all suspected this for some time, now we have proof of what Bush really thinks of Civil Liberties.


And Yet the Military Favors Bush 3-1

This incredible story is from today's Clarion Ledger.

"A 17-member Army Reserve platoon with troops from Jackson and
around the Southeast deployed to Iraq is under arrest for refusing a "suicide mission" to deliver fuel, the troops' relatives said Thursday. The soldiers refused an order on Wednesday to go to Taji, Iraq -north of Baghdad - because their vehicles were considered "deadlined" or extremely unsafe, said Patricia McCook of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Larry O. McCook."

Not only that, but apparently they are receiving the same treatment as enemy combatants,

"Kathy Harris of Vicksburg is the mother of Aaron Gordon, 20, who is among those being detained. Her primary concern is that she has been told the soldiers have not been provided access to a judge advocate general

"Teresa Hill of Dothan, Ala., whose daughter Amber McClenny is among those being detained said McClenny, 21, pleaded for help in a message left on her mother's answering machine early Thursday morning.'They are holding us against our will,' McClenny said. 'We are now prisoners.'"

Make Sure to Get Out The Vote

This story from Electoral-Vote.com basically shows what I've been saying all along. Forget the "suburban undecided" voters and concentrate on getting people who are traditionally Democrats to get registered and vote. This election is so winnable it is ridiculous, but people have to vote.
Below are some new national polls from Ohio University
Pollster: Ohio University
Ohio University
Dates: Oct. 3-13
Kerry: 50%
Bush: 44%
Pollster: Ohio University
Dates: Oct. 3-13
Kerry: 50%
Bush: 45%
Pollster: Ohio University
Dates: Oct. 3-13
Kerry: 47%
Bush: 48%
"Look strange? To understand the numbers better you have to understand the polling process. The first poll came from calling households at random and asking if the respondent was 18 or over and a resident of the United States. This filter resulted in telephone interviews with 1022 people. Among this group Kerry has a lead substantially outside the poll's 3% margin of error. After asking about who the respondent planned to vote for, the interviewer asked: "Are you registered to vote at your current residence?" It turns out 15% were not. Once they were removed from the data, we get line 2, the registered voters, where Kerry is still ahead outside the margin of error. Next question was: "Are you certain or almost certain to vote?" Counting only the people who said yes, we get line 3 in the table, what are often called "likely voters." In short, in the adult resident population at large, Kerry is way ahead, but among likely voters it is a statistical tie. For this reason, each party will mount a massive
Get-Out-The-Vote drive on election day to turn out their base. In an election as close as this one, the winner will probably be determined by which party does a better job. If you want your horse to win, be sure to vote and strongly urge all your friends, relatives, fellow students, coworkers, etc. to do so, too. Call them on the afternoon of election day to prod them if need be. Since supporting constitutional amendments seems to be "in" these days, I could support one saying that people who don't vote should be stripped of their right to complain about the government afterwards. I believe that Australia has a fine for not voting. This election is too important to sit out."


Bill O'Reilly Admits Fox News Biased

Fox News Bill O'Reilly has been accused by a show producer of sexual harassment. Apparently Mr. O'Reilly favors sex of the phone variety,
"During a phone conversation this August, Mackris, 33, said O'Reilly suggested she buy a vibrator and was clearly excited. Before hanging up, she said, O'Reilly told her: 'I appreciate the fun phone call.' She contended he made a similar call Sept. 21, ending that one by saying: 'Next time you'll come up to my hotel room and we'll make this happen.'"
All of this is disturbing enough, but the big revelation comes in Fox/O'Reilly counter-suit,
"Besides the attempt for money, O'Reilly charged that his accuser and her lawyer were trying to embarrass him and Fox News Channel three weeks before the election. Morelli, he said, is a contributor to the Democratic Party"
Now a more cynical person may ask why Fox cares if they are really "Fair and Balanced".

Every Person Matters?

Tonight President Bush said;
"I think it's important to promote a culture of life. I think a hospitable
society is a society where every being counts and every person matters."

Oh really? Tell that to the record 152 people he executed in 5 1/2 years as Governor of Texas. DeathPenaltyInfo.org says that Bush,
"Strongly favors the death penalty. Was governor of Texas during a record 152 executions, the most of any recent governor"

This is part of story that appeared in Time Magazine in 2000. This is where you can really see the compassionate part of this "Compassionate Conservative.
"Although he said he was anguished by the decision, in an interview in Talk magazine, writer Tucker Carlson described Bush mimicking the woman's final plea for her life. "'Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, 'don't kill me.'"


This incredible story was broken by our friends at Daily Caucus. According to Ben Hanten at Daily Caucus:
"Students 4 Thune is a website paid for and authorized by John Thune for U.S. Senate, yet it's not linked up on his official campaign website. A banner at the top of the page says, 'Time for a change. Time for a new voice. Time to win an Apple iPod.' The link takes you to a sign-up form for the campaign. In order to win the iPod, you must sign up and you must be present at a Thune event to win. Effectively, they are offering up to $300 for students' support.A "whois" search reveals that Students 4 Thune is, in fact, owned by Thune and that the website was just registered October 2."

Again, courtesy of Ben here is the South Dakota Law being broken by Thune:


South Dakota Codified Law says it is a class two misdemeanor for anyone to "make any gift, loan, or promise, offer, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid to, for, or with any person in order to induce such person to procure or endeavor to procure the election of any person, or the vote of any voter at any election."

This is just unbelievable. When will these guys ever learn. I guess Laura Ingraham's visit must have inspired them. Will Thune ever take responsibility for any of the lawlessness associated with his campaign.

Great Job Daily Caucus.


How The Other Half Lives

I decided tonight to see how the other half lives and I attended (for a short time anyway) the John Thune/Laura Ingraham lovefest before the debate. It was pretty much as you would expect. Ingraham called the "mainstream media" a bunch of names. She called John Kerry "stupid and ignorant" (can't wait to see if that makes the Argus or TV tonight), she reminded us that "American Liberals don't understand that there a millions of people in the world who don't like us", she stated that "America is the only nation left on Earth that is willing to pay the price in treasure (and by that I mean taxes) and blood to make the world free", I guess I missed the memo from the Bush Administration that says they are actually going to pay for this war. Anyway, the highlight of the night for me came as I was leaving the rally and the woman at the door asked me if was willing to take a John Thune yard sign. I said "no thanks, I think it might clash with the Daschle sign I already have in my yard." Her mouth fell open and she couldn't speak a word. I smiled and left.

Don't Be Ashamed

Last night on C-Span I watched part of the Louisiana Senatorial debate. There was one Republican and three Democrats. I had never really heard any of them speak at length in the past, so I had no preconceived notions about any of them. The thing I noticed is that Republicans are short attention span candidates. I think that is part of the reason they are currently in control of all branches of the federal government. America has become a short attention span country, and Republicans have tapped into that very effectively.

When the question of abortion came up, the Republican candidate started out by saying that he was, "100% Pro-Life" he went on to say a little something about how he would only vote to confirm potential Supreme Court Justices who where Pro-Life, but that was pretty much his only statement. By contrast, not one of the Democrats had the courage to say what at least 50% of people in the country believe, that they are 100% Pro-Choice. They where all Pro-Life with this exception or that exception, or they where "Pro-Choice but..."

When the subject of same sex marriage came up, again the Republican stated simply that he was "100% opposed to same sex unions of any kind" end of story. The Democrats, to a man, again faltered. Saying things like they believed that marriage is between a man and a woman but there should be some sort of provision for same sex couples and on and on.

Then came taxes. The Republican simply stated that "I will always vote to lower your taxes." While the Democrats said they would in some cases lower taxes on some people while in other cases they would raise other peoples taxes, blah blah blah.

The point is all night long the Republican was giving short attention span Americans short attention span responses that they could remember. While the Democrats where going on and on explaining all the complexity of their views. I'm sure that after all was said and done most people couldn't really remember all the fine details of the Democrats answers, but the sure remembered that the Republican was 100% Pro-Life, 100% against same sex marriage and would always vote to lower their taxes.

I'm not here to say that issues are as easy as this or any Republican make them out to be, they clearly are not. My point is that we need to be more sure of ourselves and realize that our views are shared by at least 50% of people in this country. We need to start stating our views in short attention span answers so that people can remember our points as well. Here is what I mean.

We are Pro-Choice because we don't believe that anyone has the right to tell anyone else what to do with their own body. It's the right thing to do.

We are for same-sex unions because "We hold these truths to be self evident, that ALL men are created equal." It's the right thing to do.

If and when we are able to lower your taxes we will, however we must first meet our obligations to those less fortunate than us, those older than us and those who have sacrificed in defense of us. We must also fight a war on terror, a war that is the responsibility of this generation, not the next. Now, after all those obligations have been met, if we are able to cut taxes we will, but not until then. It's the right thing to do.

We are for responsible gun control. Nobody needs and Uzi or an AK-47 to hunt deer. It's the right thing to do.

We are for the separation of church and state because "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." It's the right thing to do.

We believe in giving tax breaks to companies that create and keep middle class jobs here in America instead of creating jobs in other countries. It's the right thing to do.

We will vigorously protect this nation by whatever means necessary because it is the ONLY thing to do.

Just because Newt Gingrich made Liberal a bad word doesn't make it so. We need to be just as resolute and proud of our positions as the Republicans are...starting right NOW!!

History Will Judge Everyone

Someday history will look back on this period in our history and view those who insist on fighting to prevent same sex couples from marrying in the same way that history now views segregationists.
"I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of
tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." -George C. Wallace

"I wanna tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that there's not enough troops in
the army to force the southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigger race into our theatres into our swimming pools into our homes and into our churches."-Strom Thurmond

Which side of history will you be on? Do you want to try to explain to your children and grandchildren that you where against giving same sex couples the same rights as everyone else?

"One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much
attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings." -Franklin Thomas

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and I think we ought to codify that one way or another,"-George W Bush

"The institution of marriage is under attack from extremist groups, they
have done it in Massachusetts and they can do it here."-John Thune

It's like Mark Twain could see into the future,
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is
sure."-Mark Twain


Laura Ingraham Coming to Sioux Falls

John Thune has sunk to a new low. A group called "Women for Thune" is bringing Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham to Sioux Falls on Tuesday (10/12) to campaign for Thune. I wonder if Thune or "Women for Thune" really know who Laura Ingraham is?

According to Ishmael Reed in Salon Magazine
"Laura Ingraham may be the queen of white media hate. While at Dartmouth University, she worked for the Dartmouth Review, edited by Dinesh D'Souza, who presided over a regular column written in Ebonics, which used to split his readers' sides. In January 1991, Richard Glovsky of the Anti-Defamation League cited the newspaper for a "malicious pattern of antisemitic acts." While at Dartmouth she secretly taped meetings of the campus Gay Students Association, and sent copies to participants' parents. (No wonder she loves Kenneth Starr.) In the Dartmouth Review she denounced the GSA as "cheerleaders for latent campus sodomites."

In her book "Shut and Sing" Ingraham states
"the majority's rights outweigh the minority's". (pg. 49) Not
surprisingly, she also asserts that "the minority should grin and bear it". (pg. 50)
In an interview with David Frum on National Review Online, Ingraham gives her views on America's Colleges,

"Q: "What about our elite universities: you are a proud (I
think!) graduate of two of them, Dartmouth and the University of Virginia? What harm do they do - and why did you escape?"

A: "Yes, I believe the universities do a great deal of harm. Most of the time we worry about how they're brainwashing the students, but I don't really think that's the worst thing they do. They take young minds -- at a time when you have the greatest chance to encourage a love of truth and beauty -- and they try to convince them that Western culture is basically worthless. So we have all these young Americans with no appreciation for art, for literature, for philosophy, for all of the things that make life worth living. It's no wonder that our culture grows cruder and coarser every year.

Among other revelations in David Brock's book "Blinded by the Right", Brock relays a story of Ingraham pulling a gun on an ex-boyfriend who was breaking up with her (pg. 236). Of her abilities as a member of the media Brock has this to say, "her one desire in life was to leave her law firm and get herself on television as a political pundit, despite the fact that she was the only person I knew who didn't appear to own a book or regularly read a newspaper." (pg. 233) Ingraham also "showed up at one interview in a full-length fox coat, she mocked the 'squealing baby foxes which were cute when they were alive.'" Ingraham also had this advice on how to end the subjugation of women, "she claimed it could be alleviated if some more women became gun owners. 'Some of us are proud to be meanies'" (pg. 234)

Either John Thune doesn't know who Laura Ingraham really is which is hard to believe, or these are the kinds of views that Thune also shares. You make the call.


They Voted Against the $3 Billion Before They Voted for It

Look at these two headlines only one day apart.
House Rejects Drought Relief Bill (10/6/04)
House Passes Drought Legislation (10/7/04)
The first story chronicles how the House voted down $3 billion for drought aid that would have mirrored the bill Senator Tom Daschle has put forth in the Senate. The second story is about how the House then passed $3 billion for drought aid that will be paid for by...the same farmers who it is supposed to be helping.
"The House drought proposal drew fire because it would be paid for by cutting the Conservation Reserve Program, which pays farmers to idle their land. "
Ever notice how Republicans are only worried about how to pay for something when it isn't the rich and powerful who are getting the money? I mean they never sound the alarm when the President slashes taxes while fighting a costly war that our children and grandchildren will now pay for, but when it comes to things like giving middle and lower income people a break on the food tax, or helping out our farmers, well that type of thing must always be offset by cuts someplace else,
"The Senate's three billion dollar drought bill would be financed instead by
borrowing, which makes the federal deficits higher."
Now just wait for all the screaming about Daschle the obstructionist to begin if the Senate insists on helping our farmers and ranchers in the same way we are helping the farmers and ranchers of Florida.

Abortion: The Difference Between Liberal and Conservatives

The issue of Senator Tom Daschle's stand on abortion has once again sent the Religous Right up to the top of their mountain from which they look down on the rest of us and tell us how immoral we are. I listened yesterday to "Straigt Talk with Greg Belfrage" on Kelo Radio while he compared Daschle to Adolph Hitler. "Thank God the world didn't say to Adolph Hitler, 'well, personally I'm against killing Jews, but let him do what he's going to do.' Thank God the world was able to see evil back then, I think we have a lot harder time seeing evil today"

The abortion issue, it seems to me, more clearly than any other defines the difference between Conservative and Liberal thought. The Conservative mindset is best summed up by George W Bush when he says "Either your with us or your against us." Either you believe what they believe or you are wrong and immoral. The Liberal mindset, as so eloquently stated by Sen. Daschle, is not one of "Pro-Abortion" as Conservatives like to try to say, but rather one of Pro-Choice. I don't know anyone who thinks there should be more abortions in America. What Liberals recognize is that just because we personally feel a certain way, doesn't mean there aren't valid beliefs to the contrary. Liberals are willing to allow for the fact that our view of the world may not be the only valid view of the world. Often times that belief earns labels like "Blame America Firsters", "Unpatriotic", "Immoral", "Seditious" and "Anti-Christian", those are some of the nicer labels.

All too often Conservatives are more concerned with symbols as opposed to real solutions. This can be seen in the attempts by the right (led by John Thune) to amend the constitution to prohibit flag burning. Why? Are we going to throw flag burners in jail? Are people who would burn flags all of a sudden going to say "Gee, I guess now that flag burning is illegal, I don't have the feelings and beliefs that made me want to burn the flag in the first place"? Flag burning is a symptom of something else at play. People don't burn flags for no reason. The Conservatives currently in power in all branches of our government simply won't listen to any dissent or entertain any debate. Either you agree with them or you get labeled as one of the above mentioned. The only way to get them to pay attention is to do something that so horrifies them that have no choice but to pay attention. Whether it be pointing out the problems this administration has telling the truth or burning a flag. Those feelings of frustration are not going to just go away if flag burning is symbolically make illegal.

Similarly, I would assume that the goal of most people who call themselves Pro-Life, is to reduce the number of abortions that take place in America. This is a noble and worthwhile goal. Conservatives only plan to make this happen is to make it illegal. They don't want to do the work it will take to really solve the problem, they just want to have the symbol, the piece of paper saying it is illegal, and proclaim the problem is solved. Do we really think that making abortions illegal will stop them from happening? Sure, and if we make consumption of alcohol illegal that will stop people from drinking...right? We all wish there where fewer abortions in America, but making abortion illegal is not the answer. The answer is what Tom Daschle has been talking about. There must be education, there must be safe places for young women or girls to go and get help if they don't have an adequate support system in place at home. It takes a lot of hard work. Making abortion illegal is easy, but doesn't solve the problem, and Conservatives have no stomach to do the real work it will take. As we've already seen, just because a Conservative proclaims "Mission Accomplished", doesn't make it so.


More Fun with John Thune

The Asbury Park Press has an interesting little article in it today. It is about how nearly every Republican Representative voted against the establishment of the 9/11 Commission before they voted for it. Of course among those Representatives is John Thune. Listen to his excuse for not voting for the commission in the first place,
"Thune said he opposed it (the 9/11 commission) in 2002 because he was concerned about slowing down the establishment of the Homeland Security Department with other debates. He blamed Democrats for delays on the homeland security bill, such as insisting on labor protection for the new department's employees."
John just wanted to treat them as enemy combatants I suppose.

Remember how Republicans like to say that John Kerry and Tom Daschle stick their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before they pick a side? Listen to this analysis of the GOP record on this issue from the Asbury Park Press,
"The vote on the Sept. 11 panel came early in the debate over the Homeland Security Department. Once popular opinion swayed toward creating an independent 9/11 panel, most Republicans went along with the idea and voted for the final version of the homeland security bill containing language to create the commission."

Once again, more following than leading from John Thune.

Dick Cheney and Halliburton

There seems to be a flurry of talk today on talk radio about Halliburton. The right-wing wackos seem to think John Edwards is going to flog Cheney about Halliburton tonight. Sean Hannity said
"if he does it will backfire, he (Cheney) has no ties to Halliburton."
Rush also went on and on about it today saying Cheney had
"done nothing wrong"
Just so we are all clear, no matter what they try to tell us after the debate tonight, Dick Cheney is still being paid by Halliburton. I got this right off the
Halliburton website.
"Mr. Cheney's financial disclosure statements from 2001, 2002 and 2003 show that since becoming vice president-elect, he has received $1,997,525 from the company: $1,451,398 in a bonus deferred from 1999, the rest in deferred salary. He also holds options to buy Halliburton stock."

John Thune Emboldens Enemy

I was shocked to open yesterday's Argus Leader to see John Thune emboldening the enemy with his relentless attacks on the United States Constitution. Mr. Thune obviously has a deep seated hatred for his country. I mean his solution to everything is to amend the constitution. He hates gays so he favors an amendment to keep them from marrying each other. He hates anyone who is not a Christian so he favors an amendment that would allow Christian prayer in our public schools, he hates those who choose to use their freedom of speech so he favors an amendment against flag burning and he hates women so he favors an laws that would take away their right to choose. Has Mr. Thune forgotten we are at war? As the GOP likes to tell us, wartime is no time for political debate, it is a time to come together as a country. If Mr. Thune continues to give aid and comfort to our enemies by attacking the Constitution of this great country, I just don't see how he can be entrusted with the security of our nation.


FOX "News" Duped

Of course nobody wants to hold FOX News accountable for anything they say or do, but this is pretty funny, I found this on Atrios. Seems Fox Nes ran a story on their website quoting a person from "Communists for Kerry" as saying,
"We're trying to get Comrade Kerry elected and get that capitalist enabler
George Bush out of office," said 17-year-old Komoselutes Rob of Communists for
Kerry."Even though he, too, is a capitalist, he supports my socialist values
more than President Bush," Rob said, before assuring FOXNews.com that his organization was not a parody group. When asked his thoughts on Washington's policy toward Communist holdout North Korea, Rob said: "The North Koreans are my comrades to a point, and I'm sure they support Comrade Kerry, too." They story went on to say, apparently seriously "It is unclear whether the Kerry campaign has welcomed the Communists' endorsement."

Of course the
"Communists for Kerry" group is actually
"a campaign of the Hellgate Republican Club, a tax exempt non-partisan public advocacy "527" organization that exists for the purpose of;"Informing voters with satire and irony, how political candidates make decisions based on the failed social economic principles of socialism that punish the individual by preventing them from becoming their dream through proven ideas of entrepreneurship and freedom."

Here is a
link to the story as it now appears on the Fox website, but it has been cleaned up. If you scroll all the way to the bottom though, you will find this little bit of comedy,

Editor’s Note:
"In a version of this article that was published earlier, the
Communists for Kerry group was portrayed as an organization that was supporting John Kerry for president. FOXNews.com’s reporter asked the group’s representative several times whether the group was legitimate and supporting the Democratic candidate, and the spokesman insisted that it was. The Communists for Kerry group is, in fact, a parody organization."

Pennsylvania Republicans Only Tell Half the Truth

This story is unbelievable. Republican state legislators in Pennsylvania recently spent $227,000 in public funds to send out flashy fliers proclaiming that state funding for various services had increased without taxes or fees being increased. Sound impossible? That's because it is.

What the piece failed to mention was that
"Taxes and fees did not go up in 2004-05. But the 2003-04 budget raised the personal income tax rate from 2.8 percent to 3.07 percent, hiked the cigarette tax by 35 cents a pack, imposed a $1 monthly surcharge on cell phones, levied a 5 percent gross receipts tax on cell phone and long-distance companies and more than doubled the fees for birth and death certificates."

In addition
"Libraries did get a 21 percent increase in state aid in 2004-05. But that
followed on the heels of a 30 percent decrease in the 2003-04 budget. Many libraries were forced to cut hours, staff and book buying. Even with the increase, they are below 2002-03 funding levels."

Oh and don't forget this,
"Mass transit funding did increase by 6.6 percent in 2004-05. But the state had not increased funding for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority since 2001. While SEPTA used short-term measures to balance the budget in previous years, it now faces a $62 million deficit and has proposed raising fares by 25 percent and eliminating weekend service."

One of the legislators in question, Chuck McIlhinney defended the use of public funds in such a partisan way by saying,
"I stand behind the need to communicate what happens in Harrisburg. It's the most cost-effective means of communicating."
When asked why, if this where such a good idea, didn't they send out similar fliers last year when taxes where raised and spending on services was slashed, McIlhinney said the 2003-04 budget received "extensive media coverage."

Isn't that just like the "Liberal Press" to give all that media coverage to a state legislature when they raise taxes and cut personal services, but to not say anything at all when the legislature tries to pass off lies as increases in spending on services? Thank goodness they had an extra $227,000 laying around to set everyone straight.

Daschle on His Way to MAJORITY Leader

According to Electoral-Vote.com the latest polling shows that,
"If the Senate election were held today, the Democrats would take control of the Senate, 52-48 (counting independent Sen. Jeffords as a Democrat, since he caucuses with the Democrats). And this realignment does not take into account the possibility that Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) might pull a Jeffords and jump ship. He is from a hugely Democratic state and, like Zell Miller, would be much more appreciated in the other party."
The news just keeps getting better and better.


More Debate Polling

According to Electoral-Vote.com
"Survey USA has polled over 20,000 people in 14 states and 21 cities to ask who won the first debate. In 11 states and 15 cities Kerry was the clear winner. In 2 states and 6 cities, Bush was the clear winner. Colorado was a tossup. Ominously for Bush, the 2 states that said he won the debate are Texas and Oklahoma, which he has in the bag already, but the states that gave Kerry the win include Oregon (by 19%), Maine (by 18%), Pennsylvania (by 22%), Arkansas (by 12%), and most significantly Florida (by 24%)."
Not sure if it all means anything in the end, but it gives me hope right now.


More Proof of Bush Taking SD for Granted

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that
"GOP leaders said they are determined to approve quickly a $10.2 billion relief package, requested by the Bush administration, to aid victims and assist businesses, farmers and government facilities hurt by recent hurricanes in the Southeast. "
But in response to farm state Senators demands of drought relief in their states the GOP seems to have the following attitude according to the Post
"The drought aid would go mainly to the more arid western Great Plains states, most of which are seen as safe for Bush."
It's only a matter of time before Republicans start to accuse Daschle of obstructionism because he is demanding help for SD farmers and ranchers and holding up the relief package for Florida. On the other hand, if John Thune where our "independent voice in the Senate" we wouldn't have to worry about that, he would just roll over for Bush like he always does.

Right Wing Blogs Mostly Silent On Debate

A quick review of some of the South Dakota right wing blogs finds only only Ryne McClaren has posted anything about the debate last night (as of 11:30 am CDT). I guess that sort of speaks for itself doesn't it?