As election moves to homestretch, Bush team gets desperate

If are a regular reader of this blog (right?) then you will notice I had no comments about the 3rd Presidential Debate held on October 13th. Well, I skipped it. I had to work that night and didn’t get home until it was half over so I just didn’t watch it at all. I did read some of the transcript and a summary or two from non-biased sources but I avoided any and all spin masters. I like to form my own view thank you very much. I was happy to read that Senator John Kerry again cleaned Bush’s clock and looked far more Presidential than Bush ever has.

Now that there are 13 days until the election, the Bush Campaign is getting desperate.

They are now using the “Liberal” label on Kerry in almost every official campaign ad. Kerry is lumped in with the monolithic unnamed group “Liberals” who want to “ruin the country” as if George and his goons haven’t done that already.

The number of votes Kerry made that hurt “Americans” has gone up too. Last month he was accused of voting 98 times to raise taxes, now ads are claiming 350 votes to raise taxes. They ignore that Kerry voted for a balanced budget in the past and for laws forcing a balanced budget. He also voted to leave some taxes unchanged as states:

As we’ve reported multiple times before , the claim that Kerry voted 350 times “for higher taxes” is highly misleading. As we said on March 23: But in fact, Kerry has not voted 350 times for tax increases, something Bush campaign officials have falsely accused Kerry of on several occasions. On close examination, the Bush campaign�s list of Kerry�s votes for �higher taxes� is padded. It includes votes Kerry cast to leave taxes unchanged (when Republicans proposed cuts), and even votes in favor of alternative Democratic tax cuts that Bush aides characterized as �watered down.�

More recently, we debunked the Bush campaign’s improved claim that Kerry voted 98 times “for tax increases.” That number is still padded, including 43 votes on budget measures that only set targets and don’t actually legislate tax increases, as well as multiple votes regarding an individual bill.

Meanwhile yesterday, VP Dick “The Hatchetman” Cheney once again used the “fear” argument against Kerry, claiming that if Kerry is elected the “terrorists” would attack us. He feels Kerry isn’t tough enough to stand up to them. If you have seen the latest reports from Iraq, it looks like the “terrorists” aren’t afraid of Bush either.

The latest tangent issue is that John Kerry spoke French at a recent campaign event. The clip got heavy rotation on CNN and GOP spinners had a field day pointing out how liberal and out of touch Kerry is. So, what? Bush has spoken Spanish before at events. The problem the Republicans want us to see is to paint Kerry as French since we all know real “Americans” hate the French after they declined to help us invade Iraq and opposed our move at that the UN.

It just shows how desperate the Republicans are in what seems like a close vote come November 2nd. I think if the electorate really supported Bush and his policies as the GOP thinks we do, you would see it in the polls now. You don’t. That means that most people are rejecting Bush’s view of things.

I will leave you with a link to one of the funniest political websites I’ve seen so far this election:

Gloves come off in round two: Bush takes standing 8 count

President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry had a second debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Friday 10/8/04. Here some highlights of note to me.

Unlike the calm civil debate seen in round one, on Friday the gloves seemed to come off. Both Bush and Kerry came out swinging with energy in a the town meeting format. Members of the audience, who were identified as undecided, offered questions to each candidate.

Bush seemed more angry, really angry as he not only answered the questions directed to him but he really got feisty when responding to Kerry’s answers.

Kerry also seemed to get more animated in responding to Bush’s answers but overall he seemed more in control during his talking times. He jumped right at the President with the first question where he said the administration mislead us in going to war in Iraq. That set the stage for the tone of the debate.

For a question on why Bush banned importation of drugs from Canada, Bush claimed he hasn’t yet. He falsely told the questioner he wants to be sure they are safe. The fact is the drugs that would come from Canada are the exact same meds that are sold here in the states. Second, Bush signed the Medicare Reform Act that prohibited Medicare from negotiating for lower prices. Due to continued pressure from Senior groups, they are now reconsidering the ban on imports from Canada. They are dragging their feet but they are reconsidering the ban.

Kerry was asked why he picked John Edwards as VP when he was a trial lawyer making millions on liability cases. Kerry explained that Edwards was the author of the Patient’s Bill of Rights that the Congress wouldn’t pass. He also explained that large settlements only make up 1% of health care costs while those in Missouri saw there health care costs go up 64%.

Kerry was asked about embryonic stem cell research. It is a values issue because those opposed to it feel it is destroying a life. The Senator said while he respected the questioners view point but he feels if we can cure a host of disease with the research then we need to do that. Bush responded that he approved some limited research but won’t fund anymore. Kerry then responded that Bush was wishy washy with his response.

A audience member asked Bush who he would appoint to the Supreme Court and why. Bush said he would appoint a strict constructionist and one of the examples he gave of a judge he wouldn’t appoint is one that ruled in the Dred Scott decision. What? Kerry clarified that Bush has said his two favorite current justices are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas “so you see where he is heading..”

Abortion came up with a question to Kerry. The questioner wanted to know what he would tell someone who told him that abortion was murder. Kerry made a good answer in saying even though he is Catholic and he would support other options, he could not deny the constitutional rights of those who don’t hold his religious beliefs on the issue.

Bush said he got a partial birth abortion law passed and supports parental notification. He told the audience that Kerry was against both in voting against them. Kerry then said that he voted against them because they didn’t contain qualifiers he felt they needed such as life of the mother and another option for 16 year old raped by her father. The bills didn’t have those qualifiers so he voted against them.

I thought Bush did better as the debate went on but Kerry was able to stay slightly ahead even with the cheap shots with Bush’s use of the Liberal label.

Hatchetman Lies Again

During debates, candidates tend to fudge the facts about their adversary. In Tuesday’s Vice Presidential debate, that meant that Dick “The Hatchetman” Cheney claimed that Kerry and Edwards voted against the troops (they didn’t) and Sen. John Edwards claimed the bill for the Iraq war is $200 million (not quite).

About midway into the debate Cheney said:

“Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I’m up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they’re in session. The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.”

Unfortunately, for the Vice President, his memory sucks. Cheney and Edwards have met on 3 other occasions for various events. Cheney attempted to smear Edwards. He wanted to insinuate that Edwards is absent from Senate sessions so much that he hasn’t met him during those sessions.

This has been one of the many charges Bush and Cheney keep repeating – that Kerry and Edwards have poor attendance records in the Senate. Cheney commented about a bill that was recently passed to extend the tax breaks Bush got passed in 2002. He said that Kerry and Edwards didn’t even vote – not noting that both were on the campaign trail at the time.

Hachetman also went dumb on his repeated comments before the Iraq war that Saddam and Bin Laden had a relationship. He went so far as to say on a Sunday morning talk show that Iraq was a center of terrorist activity and support. NONE of that was true then and we now know it was never true. Cheney claimed during the debate on Tuesday that he never made the comments. Too bad for him that it was recorded on video tape and played several times on Wednesday.

As Edwards said:

Cheney was “still not being straight with the American people.”

Kerry gains after 1st debate

The first of 3 Presidential debates was held tonight in Miami. Pundit Pinheads agree that John Kerry did a better job than President Bush on the debate topic of Iraq and homeland security.

It was assumed that Bush would score well on that topic. That is why it was the first topic of the debates. But Kerry was able to make his points, rebut most of Bush’s, and to steer the debate toward his agenda.

Each candidate got into details on some of the issues like what kind of talks should be held with North Korea.

The other part of the debate had nothing to do with what was said but how each man presented his ideas and presented himself.

We saw the return of Bush the stammerer. He has been known not to be good at off the cuff remarks and it showed. Also while Kerry was speaking Bush looked annoyed the whole time like he wanted to fight. His eyes darted around the room and it looked like he was chewing on the inside of his cheek.

Kerry refrained from his long winded responses and while Bush talked he either listened intently or wrote some notes to himself.

Oh and the two wives had similar colored outfits……

With a hatchet man like Dick Cheney, who needs the truth

I don’t often get angry while watching a news broadcast, but on Friday 9/24/04 I happened to catch our local newscast giving an update on the Presidential campaign, I got very angry. Angry enough to walkout of the break room just so I wouldn’t have to watch the story.

It started with a clip of John Kerry giving his 7 point plan for the war on terrorism and critiquing Bush and company for going after Saddam instead of finishing the job against Bin Laden.

“George Bush made Saddam Hussein the priority,” Kerry told a group of students and faculty at Temple University. “The invasion of Iraq was a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy, al-Qaida, which killed more than 3,000 people on 9/11 and which still plots our destruction today. And there’s just no question about it: The president’s misjudgment, miscalculation and mismanagement of the war in Iraq will make the war on terror harder to win.”

“Iraq is now what it was not before the war: a haven for terrorists,” Kerry said. “I will grant no one, no country, no sweetheart relationship a free pass,” he said. “As president, I will do what President Bush has not done; I will hold the Saudis accountable.”

So then Vice President Cheney responds:

Vice President Dick Cheney complained Friday in Warrenton that the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, suggested that Iraq wasn’t a home for terrorists before Saddam Hussein was deposed.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Saddam himself was a terrorist,” Cheney told about 1,500 people at a Republican rally at the Warren County Fairgrounds.

Cheney said Saddam had provided a safe haven for terrorists over the years, made $25,000 payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers and had a relationship with al-Qaida.

The Bush-Cheney team continue to LIE about the reasons for invading Iraq. That is why I got mad. The news allowed Cheney to spit out his untruths without ANY questioning from the press or anyone.

Taking a closer look at Iraq and terrorism finds that Saddam was considered dangerous, no one disputes that, but not an immediate threat to the US. Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-Qadhafi of Libya was more of an immediate threat to the US than Saddam. Bin Laden had ordered the killing several thousand innocent civilians in the 9/11 terrorist act yet the President shifted the focus from Bin Laden to Saddam without a resolution.

The other lie Cheney is fond of stating is that Saddam and al-Qaida had a relationship. He is then assuming you and I will connect the dots and think Saddam had something to do with 9/11. There was no relationship. Saddam was too busy keeping his grip on Iraq to help another terrorist group. He wasn’t looking for an excuse to be attacked.

Cheney is also the one who inferred that if Kerry was elected, the US would be attacked by terrorists.

Terrorism is a threat. Unfortunately, the Republicans are too busy keeping Cat Stevens out of the country and forcing book stores to tell the government what books I buy, among other civil rights abuses, to fight terrorism as it needs to be fought. Terrorism and the groups who commit terror acts are in the shadows. They have no country or army to fight. Fighting terror requires a concerted effort of intelligence agencies across the world and old fashion police work. Just ask the Italians how they broke the back of the Red Brigades, or how the British turned down the IRA troubles, or how the Germans defeated the Baader-Meinhof gang or how Japan dealt with the Japanese Red Army group.

Cheney and Bush want you to think that terrorists care who is in the Whitehouse.