10/30/2004 11:00:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|I attended my second John Kerry rally in the past two weeks here in Des Moines on the steps of the Iowa State Capitol. It was an amazing feeling. I remember sitting in school in January, during AP government or economics (one of those two classes) and watching the live feed from the local station as Iowa's First Lady Christie Vilsack and then caucus candidate John Kerry came down the steps to talk to the people of Iowa and for Christie to announce her endorsement of Kerry. It made me feel real proud to know that others in recognizable position were recognizing the strength of John Kerry, and that I as a high school student wasn't the only one. Today, Kerry and Vilsack retraced their steps, and as Kerry said, "It felt good and it seems like it will be good luck." I can't agree anymore, and I have proof to show that John Forbes Kerry will win Iowa, and with the GOTV efforts I've been partaking in with others across Iowa and this great nation, we will hopefully be able to rollback President Bush and elect John Kerry as the next President of these United States. The Des Moines Register released their latest poll tonight that puts Kerry in great position in Iowa. Kerry is at 48% while Bush is at 45%, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5%, so it is pretty close. Some of the key results from the Register poll follow:
"Four years ago, Democrat Al Gore edged Bush by only 4,144 votes in Iowa. The poll shows one in 10 Bush voters from 2000 is defecting to Kerry. That compares with just 5 percent of Gore supporters who are supporting the president in this election. Among likely voters this year who declined to vote in 2000 or who were ineligible to do so, a majority back Kerry. Bush has failed to improve his job approval ratings since the last Iowa Poll was taken in July, when he held a 1 percentage-point lead over Kerry. In the new poll taken last week, slightly more than half disapprove of his handling of the budget and the economy. Fifty percent find fault with the way he has managed the situation in Iraq."
All I can hope and pray is that this means Iowa, and for that matter the rest of the nation, are headed in the right direction--to the left and with a democratic president! My only wish tonight is that the rest of my family could see through the lies and propaganda spewed by the Bush Administration. I've convinced my parents and one of my grandmothers through tough talks about the downfalls of George W. Bush. Two of my younger brothers are in JROTC and favor Bush because they don't realize his mistakes and won't pay attention to what Bush is doing to the country. Everyone else I know is voting for him because he's such a strong Christian. Why can't others see beyond the lies of the right? |W|P|109919605143712744|W|P|Kerry comes to Iowa bringing a lead with him|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/29/2004 12:14:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Pentagon spokesperson Larry DiRita held a press conference this afternoon with Major Austin Pearson, assigned to the 101st Airborne Division to inspect bunkers at al Qaqaa on April 13. Pearson made the claim that they removed around 200 tons of amunition and other explosives that day and searched multiple bunkers, but never saw the IAEA seal on any of the explosives there. What this means is that they did not remove any of the 377 tons of explosives that the IAEA had marked prior to the US invasion. Fox News has the story (unfortunately it is the only site with it up right now) and is already spinning it as the DoD wants it put out there--that there still isn't enough information to make any claims at all. The Pentagon is continually putting forth any story that can somehow exonerate the White House, or at least do what Rudy Guillian did and blame the troops. From the story:
"The Pentagon believes the disclosure helps explain what happened to 377 tons of high explosives that the International Atomic Energy Agency said disappeared after the U.S.-led invasion.

Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita acknowledged the Defense Department did not have all the answers and could not yet account for all of the missing explosives, but stressed that the major's disclosure was a significant development in unraveling the mystery."

However, Maj. Pearson's report seems like a dandy tool from the DoD to try and manipulate the news cycle on this particular issue. KSTP in Minnesota has footage and photos from April 18 clearly showing the IAEA seal at al Qaqaa in Iraq. Clearly what we are seeing is the amount of information lacking in this particular area and the conflicting reports from the government and what is continually being uncovered by journalists acros the country and the world. Numerous international officials (from the IAEA and from Iraq) have said that it was IMPOSSIBLE to remove that amount of weapons prior to the war and the fall of Baghdad without it becoming clearly evident in satellite imagery from the United States.And clearly since the IAEA seal was not on anything the major's unit removed (according to him) 337 tons of HMX and RDX are still missing in Iraq. For more coverage, check out Juan Cole and the Talking Points Memo. |W|P|109907130501229584|W|P|Pentagon works to spin explosives story|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/28/2004 10:53:00 AM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|KSTP News in Minneapolis/St. Paul is reporting via their website that they have footage from reporters embedded with troops in Iraq that the explosives missing from al Qaqaa are still there. According to the report:
"Using GPS technology and talking with members of the 101st Airborne Division, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has determined the crew embedded with the troops may have been on the southern edge of the Al Qaqaa installation, where the ammunition disappeared. The news crew was based just south of Al Qaqaa, and drove two or three miles north of there with soldiers on April 18, 2003.

During that trip, members of the 101st Airborne Division showed the 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS news crew bunker after bunker of material labelled "explosives." Usually it took just the snap of a bolt cutter to get into the bunkers and see the material identified by the 101st as detonation cords."

When the troops left, the doors to the bunkers were left unlocked because they were found that way. KSTP is reporting that still photos from the footage have been sent to authorities in Washington to attempt to judge whether or not they are the missing 380 tons of al Qaqaa explosives. Thanks to Juan Cole's Informed Comment for the heads up.

This information could be very important in dismissing reports from Donald Rumsfeld's spokesperson Larry DiRita and others inside the Bush Administration who have tried to say the explosives were missing beforehand and any other claims they may have made.

Information about the explosives situation keeps coming from different angles everyday, so it is hard to keep up with all of the new information available. Most news reports now are saying that the explosives were there after US troops had arrived and that Iraqi looters and others moved them out slowly but surely. However, conservative American media outlets such as Drudge and Fox News are still working on spinning or distorting the story to shift the responsiblity to the troops in Iraq, but of course not blame them. This from Rudy Guilliani this morning on the Today Show:

"The president was cautious. The president was prudent … the actual responsibility was on the troops there. Did they search carefully?"

Giuliani then moved back to saying: "The president was not willing to put blame on the troops."

So: no blame, but surely responsibility. This seems somewhat contradictory to me. The White House has had about ten different stories on this, so it is going to be interesting to see what the come up with next. More updates throughout the day on Informed Comment and the Talking Points Memo.|W|P|109898013839133149|W|P|Footage of missing explosives from April 18th!|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/26/2004 11:46:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Last night on the Drudge Report, the conservative spin began on an NBC News report that on the way to Baghdad, the 101st Airborne Division stoped at al Qaqaa and found no explosives, according to the embedded NBC team. This report from NBC never made it on the company's news website, MSNBC.com, but Drudge and conservatives continued to spin it as proof that the weapons went missing prior to the US invasion. It finally made the front page of CNN.com during the middle of the night and was up for most of the day, until late evening or so. However, this conflicted with a multitude of reports from those interviewed in the Times and other reports from the IAEA. The Talking Points Memo pointed this out as well last night and today. Finally, NBC did a follow up to the segment from Monday night today on MSNBC where they explained that the time at al Qaqaa was a mere "pit stop." Here is what the report said (from TPM, emphasis their's):
"Following up on that story from last night, military officials tell NBC News that on April 10, 2003, when the Second Brigade of the 101st Airborne entered the Al QaQaa weapons facility, south of Baghdad, that those troops were actually on their way to Baghdad, that they were not actively involved in the search for any weapons, including the high explosives, HMX and RDX. The troops did observe stock piles of conventional weapons but no HMX or RDX. And because the Al Qaqaa facility is so huge, it's not clear that those troops from the 101st were actually anywhere near the bunkers that reportedly contained the HMX and RDX. Three months earlier, during an inspection of the Al Qaqaa compound, the International Atomic Energy Agency secured and sealed 350 metric tons of HMX and RDX. Then in March, shortly before the war began, the I.A.E.A. conducted another inspection and found that the HMX stockpile was still intact and still under seal. But inspectors were unable to inspect the RDX stockpile and could not verify that the RDX was still at the compound.

Pentagon officials say elements of the 101st airborne did conduct a thorough search of several facilities around the Al QaQaa compound for several weeks during the month of April in search of WMD. They found no WMD. And Pentagon officials say it's not clear at that time whether those other elements of the 101st actually searched the Al QaQaa compound.

Now, Pentagon officials say U.S. troops and members of the Iraq Survey Group did arrive at the Al QaQaa compound on May 27. And when they did, they found no HMX or RDX or any other weapons under seal at the time. Now, the Iraqi government is officially said that the high explosives were stolen by looters. Pentagon officials claim it's possible -- they're not sure, they say, but it's possible that Saddam Hussein himself ordered that these high explosives be removed and hidden before the war. What is clear is that the 350 metric tons of high explosives are still missing, and that the U.S. or Iraqi governments or international inspectors, for that matter, cannot say with any certainty where they are today."
The division stayed there for less than 24 hours, and inspected a few buildings, definitely not inspecting the entire compound. Now the New York Times is publishing a story tomorrow confirming all of this and explaining how the administration is now calling it a "mystery" how the explosives disappeared.
"White House officials reasserted yesterday that 380 tons of powerful explosives may have disappeared from a vast Iraqi military complex while Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, saying a brigade of American soldiers did not find the explosives when they visited the complex on April 10, 2003, the day after Baghdad fell. But the unit's commander said in an interview yesterday that his troops had not searched the facility and had merely stopped there for the night on their way to Baghdad."
And then this:
"President Bush's aides told reporters that because the soldiers had found no trace of the missing explosives on April 10, the explosives could have been removed before the American invasion. They based their assertions on a report broadcast by NBC News on Monday night that showed video footage of the 101st arriving at Al Qaqaa. By yesterday afternoon, as Mr. Bush made his way through Wisconsin and Iowa, his aides had moderated their view, saying it was a "mystery" when the explosives disappeared. They said that it could have happened before or after the invasion and that Mr. Bush did not want to comment on the matter until the facts were known."
I wonder what they will claim next. My guess is it just as stupid as everything else they've done in their 4 years. Sorry about the decrease in posts today, been very busy. |W|P|109885246049323566|W|P|New explosives story news|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/25/2004 10:50:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The Washington Post is reporting tomorrow that the Bush administration will seek an increase in emergency funding of almost $70 billion. From the lead to the article:
"The Bush administration intends to seek about $70 billion in emergency funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year, pushing total war costs close to $225 billion since the invasion of Iraq early last year, Pentagon and congressional officials said yesterday."
Of course, these are all estimates and assuming that President Bush is re-elected to a second term. The article goes on to discuss the impact of the huge new request:
"Bush has said for months that he would make an additional request for the war next year, but the new estimates are the first glimpse of its magnitude. A $70 billion request would be considerably larger than lawmakers had anticipated earlier this year. After the president unexpectedly submitted an $87 billion request for the Iraq and Afghanistan efforts last year, many Republicans angrily expressed sticker shock and implored the administration not to surprise them again.

This request would come on top of $25 billion in war spending allocated by Congress for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The two bills combined suggest the cost of combat is escalating from the $65 billion spent by the military in 2004 and the $62.4 billion allocated in 2003, as U.S. troops face insurgencies that have proven far more lethal than expected at this point."

If a proposal from a second Bush administration (God help us all if that is true) shocks and surprises Republicans the way it did the first time, the nation could be in for some big debate and it could split the Republican party pretty interestingly. I guess the Senate turnout will get even more interesting then, especially if the Republicans reclaim a majority, if it splits, or if the Democrats take over.|W|P|109876264256224286|W|P|Increasing in funding for Iraq and Afghanistan to be requested|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/25/2004 06:27:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The Bush Administration and the White House are doing everything they can to discredit, ignore, or pass the buck on the report of the missing explosives. It's simply pathetic what they've done to try and bury the story. First, take a look at this:
"Now my opponent is throwing out the wild claim that he knows where bin Laden was in the fall of 2001, and that our military passed up the chance to get him in Tora Bora. This is an unjustified criticism of our military commanders in the field."
This was President Bush today at a stump speech in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His wild claim is indeed reality. The Washington Post in April 2002 issued the report in the following link with this headline "U.S. Concludes Bin Laden Escaped at Tora Bora Fight." Next, what Press Secretary Scott McClellan had to say at the morning press gaggle (it's long, but worth reading):

"MR. McCLELLAN: Maybe the best way to do this is kind of walk you through how we came to be informed about this. The Iraqi Interim Government informed -- told the IAEA -- the International Atomic Energy Agency on October 10th that there were approximately 350 tons of high explosives missing from Al Qaqaa in Iraq. And they informed the IAEA because these munitions were subject to IAEA monitoring, because they were considered dual-use materials. And the International Atomic Energy Agency informed the United States mission in Vienna on October 15th about these -- this cache of explosives that was missing because of some looting that went on in Iraq toward the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or during and toward the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Q When did the President find out?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's why I said, we were informed on October 15th. Condi Rice was informed days after that. This is all in the last, what, 10 days now.

Q She was informed days after October 15th?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, and she informed the President. And the first priority, from our standpoint, was to make sure that this wasn't a nuclear proliferation risk, which it is not. These are conventional high explosives that we are talking about. And the President wants to make sure that we get to the bottom of this. Now, the Pentagon, upon learning of this, directed the multinational forces and the Iraqi survey group to look into this matter, and that's what they are currently doing.

Now, if you go back and look at the Duelfer report that recently has come out, according to the Duelfer report, as of mid-September, more than 243,000 tons of munitions have been destroyed since Operation Iraqi Freedom. Coalition forces have cleared and reviewed a total of 10,033 caches of munitions; another nearly 163,000 tons of munitions have been secured and are on line to be destroyed. That puts this all -- that puts this all in context.

Q Prior to the 10th, and the notification by the interim government, whose responsibility was it to keep track of these munitions, the IAEA or the multinational force in Iraq?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think you need to look at the time. I think the Department of Defense can probably answer a lot of these questions for you. But that's why I pointed out what we did to -- literally, there were munitions caches spread throughout Iraq at the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. That's why I pointed out the large volume of munitions that have already been destroyed and the large volume that are on-line to be destroyed. The sites now are the responsibility of the Iraqi government to secure.

Q But after Iraqi Freedom, there were those caches all around, wasn't the multinational force -- who was responsible for keeping track --

MR. McCLELLAN: At the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom there were a number of priorities. It was a priority to make sure that the oil fields were secure, so that there wasn't massive destruction of the oil fields, which we thought would occur. It was a priority to get the reconstruction office up and running. It was a priority to secure the various ministries, so that we could get those ministries working on their priorities, whether it was --

Q So it was the multinational force's responsibility --

MR. McCLELLAN: There were a number of -- well, the coalition forces, there were a number of priorities at the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. And munitions, as I said, were literally spread throughout the country. And we have gone in and destroyed, as I pointed out, more than 243,000 tons --

Q Was it the coalition's responsibility to take care of that --

Q This morning, in Senator Kerry's remarks, he calls this one of the greatest blunders in the Iraq mission and this presidency. How do you respond to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Senator Kerry has a strategy of protest and retreat for Iraq. It is essential that we succeed in Iraq, because Iraq is critical to winning the war on terrorism. The President will talk in his remarks today about how the terrorists understand how high the stakes are in Iraq. They are doing everything they can to try to disrupt the progress we are making toward free elections in Iraq. And this is a critical difference in how the two candidates view the war on terrorism. Senator Kerry has a strategy for retreat and defeat in Iraq. The President has a strategy for success in Iraq. We are making important progress. And as I pointed out, the first priority, when it came to these munitions, was to make sure that there was not a nuclear proliferation risk. There is not a nuclear proliferation risk. We're talking about conventional explosives, when we talk about these -- and that's why I pointed out the more than 243,000 munitions that have already been destroyed, and nearly 163,000 munitions that are in the process or are awaiting to be destroyed now. So this, as I said, this was pointed out by the Iraqi Interim Government to the IAEA, and then we were informed about it just in recent days.

Q Scott, did we just have enough troops in Iraq to guard and protect these kind of caches?

MR. McCLELLAN: See, that's -- now you just hit on what I just said a second ago, that the sites now are really -- my understanding, they're the responsibility of the Iraqi forces. And I disagree with the way you stated your question, because one of the lessons we've learned of history is that it's important to listen to the commanders on the ground and our military leaders when it comes to troop levels. And that's what this President has always done. And they've said that we have the troop levels we need to complete the mission and succeed in Iraq.

Q But you're saying this is the responsibility of the Iraqi forces. But this was our responsibility until just recently, isn't that right? Weren't these -- there is some U.S. culpability, as far as --

MR. McCLELLAN: You're trying -- I think you're taking this out of context of what was going on. This was reported missing after -- when the interim government informed that these munitions went missing some time after April 9th of 2003, remember, that was when we were still involved in major military action at that point. And there were a number of important priorities at that point. There were munitions, munition caches spread throughout Iraq. There were -- there was a concern that there would be massive refugees fleeing the country. There is concern about the devastation that could occur to the oil fields. There was concern about starvation that could happen for the Iraqi people.

So -- and obviously there is an effort to go and secure these sites. The Department of Defense can talk to you about -- because they did go in and look at this site and look to see whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction there. So you need to talk to Department of Defense, because I think that would clarify that for you and set that record straight."

Be sure to pay particular attention to where McClellan moves the blame entirely to some other organization (such as the interim Iraqi government) or passes the buck when it comes to information. Also, take a look at this. First he says they have 163,000 munitions still waiting to be destroyed but a few minutes later he says we have 363,000 munitions still to be destroyed. Which one is it, Scott? Or are you just basing your story on lies and miscommunications, like the entire Iraq War? Overall, what we are seeing is the efforts of the Adminstration to push this story quickly out of the news cycle. But I highly doubt this is going to happen. Already, contradictions are evident from within what McClellan said in the press gaggle and the claims made in the New York Times story. Stay up to date with the most recent news on this and other political news by checking out The Forecast as well as Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo. |W|P|109874688764938136|W|P|Avoiding the blame|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/24/2004 10:50:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Huge breaking news tonight! Speculation has been spreading across the Internet world as well in some newsrooms of the possibility that a huge munitions dump had been unguarded after the US invasion of Iraq or that some kind of catastrophe had happened. Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo broke the story for me tonight from information he received from The Nelson Report. Now the New York Times has broken the story to do and it should be a huge front page splash tomorrow morning. Here's a brief synopsis, if that is possible in this situation, from the Times:
"The Iraqi interim government has warned the United States and international nuclear inspectors that nearly 380 tons of powerful conventional explosives - used to demolish buildings, produce missile warheads and detonate nuclear weapons - are missing from one of Iraq's most sensitive former military installations.

The huge facility, called Al Qaqaa, was supposed to be under American military control but is now a no-man's land, still picked over by looters as recently as Sunday. United Nations weapons inspectors had monitored the explosives for many years, but White House and Pentagon officials acknowledge that the explosives vanished after the American invasion last year.

The White House said President Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was informed within the past month that the explosives were missing. It is unclear whether President Bush was informed."
Why did this happen? Josh Marshall has lots of interesting analysis on TPM (see link above). I simply can't fathom how this could happen. More from the story:
"The International Atomic Energy Agency publicly warned about the danger of these explosives before the war, and after the invasion it specifically told United States officials about the need to keep the explosives secured, European diplomats said in interviews last week. Administration officials say they cannot explain why the explosives were not safeguarded, beyond the fact that the occupation force was overwhelmed by the amount of munitions they found throughout the country.

A European diplomat reported that Jacques Baute, head of the I.A.E.A.'s Iraq nuclear inspection team, warned officials at the United States mission in Vienna about the danger of the nuclear sites and materials once under I.A.E.A. supervision, including Al Qaqaa.

But apparently, little was done. A senior Bush administration official said that during the initial race to Baghdad, American forces "went through the bunkers, but saw no materials bearing the I.A.E.A. seal." It is unclear whether they ever returned.

By late 2003, diplomats said, I.A.E.A. experts had obtained commercial satellite photos of Al Qaqaa showing that two of roughly 10 bunkers that contained HMX appeared to have been leveled by titanic blasts, apparently during the war. They presumed some of the HMX had exploded, but that is unclear.

Other HMX bunkers were untouched. Some were damaged but not devastated. I.A.E.A. experts say they assume that just before the invasion the Iraqis followed their standard practice of moving crucial explosives out of buildings, so they would not be tempting targets. If so, the experts say, the Iraqi must have broken I.A.E.A. seals on bunker doors and moved most of the HMX to nearby fields, where it would have been lightly camouflaged - and ripe for looting.

But the Bush administration would not allow the agency back into the country to verify the status of the stockpile. In May 2004, Iraqi officials say in interviews, they warned L. Paul Bremer III, the American head of the occupation authority, that Al Qaqaa had probably been looted. It is unclear if that warning was passed anywhere. Efforts to reach Mr. Bremer by telephone were unsuccessful. But by that time, the Americans were preoccupied with the transfer of authority to Iraq, and the insurgency was gaining strength. "It's not an excuse," said one senior administration official. "But a lot of things went by the boards.""

This is absolutely one of the biggest flaws of the Iraq war made public today. Evidentally, this story had been supressed by some in the past few weeks, but now that it has broken right before the election, it is unknown what kind of impact it will have on both the Bush and Kerry camps. We all know what I hope: go JK!|W|P|109867625573256616|W|P|Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished From Site in Iraq|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/23/2004 11:39:00 AM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|A few weeks ago, I posted a few (here and here) Bob Herbert columns about the disenfranchisement and suppression of mainly black elderly voters in urban Florida towns. Evidentally, the right is beginning to take this policy to the extreme. Today's NY Times profiles the efforts of the Ohio GOP to challenge as many folks' votes as possible:
"Republican Party officials in Ohio took formal steps yesterday to place thousands of recruits inside polling places on Election Day to challenge the qualifications of voters they suspect are not eligible to cast ballots. Party officials say their effort is necessary to guard against fraud arising from aggressive moves by the Democrats to register tens of thousands of new voters in Ohio, seen as one of the most pivotal battlegrounds in the Nov. 2 elections."
This is simply voter harassment. And to get around many state laws requiring any partisan displays to be a certain distance away from the polling place, these people are being hired as poll watchers, meaning they can legally be there. But this isn't only happening in Florida and Ohio. Thursday, here in Des Moines, IA, at Drake University, about 4 satellite voting booths were set up so that students registered on campus and in a few local precincts could come by and cast their vote early. Lines were indeed long and it took a while for people to vote, but over 450 people (mostly students) came out to vote that day. But the suppression and harassment of voters still existed. Inside the student union where the voting was taking place, the nonpartisan group New Voters Project, an independent group which has focused its registration on 18-24 year olds, was harassed and asked to leave by the Republican poll watcher. According to eyewitnesses as well as those involved, the poll watcher came over and immediately began demanding to see the registration of each new student who had just registered. When the youth working for the NVP said "no" he began causing a huge seen and himself tried escorting them outside of the building. A county official who happened to be there came over and began to try to calm the gentelman down. His challenge was that the NVP was partisan, because they were registering more democrats than republicans. This was true--many students here on campus have democratic leanings and were registering to vote for John Kerry and John Edwards. The county official could not get the man to calm down, so he finally gave up and asked the youth from the NVP to please leave the building and attempt to register people to vote outside. My belief, after witnessing where they were forced to be outside, they were unable to register as many voters as they could. Unfortunately, today is the final day to register to vote on campus, but satellite voting is complete. Most students who have not already voted, either through satellite or absentee, will now be forced to find time in their day to walk across most of campus to wait in a highly trafficked polling place to cast their ballot--on a Tuesday, a student's most busy class day. |W|P|109854957343045621|W|P|Voter suppression everywhere|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/03/2005 11:04:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Michael|W|P|We had been blogging trying to find how our world sees the internet commerce business. Residual income has been a lifeline for us. Your site provides some of the best examples of this sort and we will bookmark yours. Another one we found was and appears to be related to yours is ##KEYWORD## site/blog. It pretty much covers ##KEYWORD## related stuff.10/22/2004 06:08:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Not a lot of stuff from me today...it is a Friday and I'm busy. Anyway, the big news of the day: Kerry supporters are in fact more informed and grasp big concepts better than Bush supporters. These are the results of a joint report by the Center on Policy Attitudes and the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, which reports something we already knew:

Democrats are voting for Kerry because they understand the issues, while Republicans are voting for Bush because they’ve been misled by the President.

The report, entitled "The Separate Realities of Bush and Kerry Supporters," (PDF file, Abobe Acrobat Reader needed) explains that large majorities of Bush voters believe the following things, all of which are false:

  • A large majority of Bush supporters believe that before the war Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or a major program for building them.
  • A substantial majority of Bush supporters assume that most experts believe Iraq had WMD and that this was the conclusion of the recently released report by Charles Duelfer.
  • A large majority of Bush supporters believes that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda andthat clear evidence of this support has been found.
  • A large majority believes that most experts also have this view, and a substantial majority believe that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission.
  • A majority of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would like to see Bush reelected.
  • Bush supporters also lean toward overestimating support in Islamic countries for US-led efforts to fight terrorism.
The biggest finding, in my opinion, is this one:
"Majorities of Bush supporters misperceive his positions on a range of foreign policy issues. In particular they assume he supports multilateral approaches and addressing global warming when he has taken strong contrary positions on issues such as the International Criminal court and the Kyoto Agreement. A majority of Kerry supporters have accurate perceptions of Kerry positions on the same issues."
All of this information begs the question: Why do Bush supporters so overwhelming believe things that have been proven false? The report says:
"So why are Bush supporters clinging so tightly to these beliefs in the face of repeated disconfirmations? Apparently one key reason is that they continue to hear the Bush administration confirming these beliefs. Among Bush supporters, an overwhelming 82% perceive the Bush administration as saying that Iraq had WMD (63%) or a major WMD program (19%). Only 16% of Bush supporters perceive the administration as saying that Iraq had some limited activities, but not an active program (15%) or had nothing (1%). The pattern on al Qaeda is similar. Seventy-five percent of Bush supporters think the Bush administration is currently saying Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda (56%) or even that it was directly involved in 9/11 (19%). Further, 55% of Bush supporters say it is their impression the Bush administration is currently saying the US has found clear evidence Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda (not saying clear evidence found: 37%)."
|W|P|109848650327734096|W|P|Proof: Kerry supporters smarter than Bush supporters|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/21/2004 10:56:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The New York Times is reporting that the United States has greatly revised estimates on the number of insurgents and their monetary capacity in Iraq. The report, which should be a front page splash tomorrow morning, explains the significant underestimations that the government made when first assembling a view of the Iraqi insurgency.
"When foreign fighters and the network of a Jordanian militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, are counted with home-grown insurgents, the hard-core resistance numbers between 8,000 and 12,000 people, a tally that swells to more than 20,000 when active sympathizers or covert accomplices are included, according to the American officials. In recent interviews, military and other government officials in Iraq and Washington said the core of the Iraqi insurgency now consisted of as many as 50 militant cells that draw on "unlimited money'' from an underground financial network run by former Baath Party leaders and Saddam Hussein's relatives."
What I don't understand is how the United States could not have predicted this. As seen now, at least two reports prior to the Iraq invasion predicted this type of outcome (see previous entry). Furthermore, the report states that these new estimates and this new information aren't not going to result in any major military strategy changes in Iraq.
"These estimates contrast sharply with earlier intelligence reports, in which the number of insurgents has varied from as few as 2,000 to a maximum of 7,000. The revised estimate is influencing the military campaign in Iraq, but has not prompted a wholesale review of the strategy, officials said."
When looking specifically at these new estimates I would think that a new strategy would have to be considered or at least a review of the current one because all the American public sees is death and destruction of US forces who battle the insurgents. Many satirical weblogs and other comedy sources have began to parody the actions of American forces against the insurgency, particularly The Onion (the headline reads, "U.S. Finishes A 'Strong Second' in Iraq War"). However, I could be wrong in this perspective since I don't have a lot of understanding how military policy works. But from a concerned civilian's point of view, some kind of review or revision of policy needs to take place. |W|P|109841739851903137|W|P|US reports new Iraqi insurgent data|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/21/2004 06:16:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Today is a good day for articles/op-eds I guess. I've found a few that I recommend to you, my faithful readers. First, an op-ed piece from the faniciful New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. It is her take on President Bush's assurance of God's grace on his actions. It is very enlightening and thought provoking. Second, a political piece from a local "alternative" weekly (from Des Moines). The people at PointBlank have grown tired of the spin and any satire they use would be redundant and over used, so they've decided to take the spin to an insane and almost scary level. Check out the stuff from Tim Schmitt here. Finally, it seems like George Tenet is beginning to admit the mistakes of America and the problems that existed (or still may) inside the CIA. A small Michigan local paper is reporting that Tenet said that the Iraq war was "wrong" at a recent meeting with about a thousand or so people. The full text of the article from The Herald-Palladium is here. |W|P|109840060479115104|W|P|Excellent articles|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/21/2004 04:41:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The Kerry Campaign needs to listen up. Big news on the economic front. As most of us well know, the economy definitely is not doing as well as Bush has been hyping. Now, a nationally recognized and respected institution has furthered the argument that the economy ain't doin' so hot. The AP is reporting:
"The Index of Leading Economic Indicators, a widely watched barometer of future economic activity, edged lower in September for the fourth month in a row, indicating a slowing in economic growth... Economist Ken Goldstein called the September decline a "clear signal that the economy is losing momentum heading into 2005."
Big stuff for the Kerry camp to hammer Bush on. As we see, Bush clearly isn't reigning over an economy as strong as he's been making it out to be. Hopefully this will open more people's eyes to the fact that Bush just isn't great for the economy. |W|P|109839493011766808|W|P|Economic news|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/20/2004 03:13:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The Washington Post in a front page story today explained how members of Congress and any member of their staff who wished for a shot could walk into the Congressional physician's office and demand a flu shot--regardless of the CDC's guidelines for those in dire need of the shot. From the article:
"While many Americans search in vain for flu shots, members and employees of Congress are able to obtain them quickly and at no charge from the Capitol's attending physician, who has urged all 535 lawmakers to get the vaccines even if they are young and healthy. But people of all ages who are credentialed to work in the Capitol can get a shot by saying they meet the guidelines, with no further questions asked, said the spokesman, who cited office policy in demanding anonymity. The policy applies to thousands of legislative staffers, police officers, construction workers, restaurant employees, journalists and others who work in the Capitol complex."
So while millions of Americans who meet the CDC requirements are still waiting in lines and lotteries for shots, totally healthy Congressional officials (thousands of them) are walking in and getting the shots, no questions asked. However, the Bush Administration has found the solution for the flu vaccine shortage--let's import vaccines from Canada! Am I the only one who finds this hypocritical? My understanding of the Bush policy is that Canadian drugs have not been proven safe or effective. However, what Bush and his Republican congressional colleagues misunderstand is that these drugs are from 1) mainly American-based companies, then should be safe and meeting FDA guidelines; and 2) they're cheaper for seniors and the rest of the American people! Maybe now that they realize the importance of Canadian medicines in American health, they can start reforming Medicare and legislation to begin the mass importation of Canadian drugs to level the "paying" field for seniors. |W|P|109830325392209960|W|P|No flu vaccine shortage for Congress|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/20/2004 02:40:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|On Monday, CBS News and the New York Times released the results of polling from October 14-17 (Adobe Acrobat required). It's taken me a while, but I finally had the time to go over specific internal numbers from the poll, and the results aren't too good for the Bush/Cheney campaign. Ruy Texeira at The Emerging Democratic Majority's weblog "Donkey Rising" has more numbers crunched here. Be sure to check out the rest of the site as well. Here are some specific numbers:
  • 51% of Registered Voters (RVs) feel that Bush doesn't have the same priorities for the country as American's do
  • 51% of RVs feel that Kerry understands the needs of the people and their problems
  • 64% of RVs think the Bush Administration did a poor job of thinking through what would happen in Iraq
  • 60% of RVs think the Bush tax cuts mostly helped the rich
  • 44% of RVs think the Bush administration's policies have decreased the overall number of jobs in America
  • 54% of Total Respondents (TRs) think Bush is doing a poor job handling the Iraq situation
  • 57% of RVs think the country is on the wrong track
  • 54% of TRs disapprove of Bush's handling of foreign policy
  • 53% of TRs disapprove of Bush's handling of the econmy
  • President Bush has a 44% approval rating among TRs
  • 53% of RVs think that Bush doesn't understand the needs and problems of the American people
  • 52% of RVs are uneasy with Bush's ability to handle an international crisis
  • 55% of RVs feel that things are going somewhat or ver badly in Iraq
  • 58% of RVs do not think that Bush has developed a clear plan for Iraq
There were 1048 total respondents and 931 registered voters in the poll. Essentially, America is showing it's lack of faith in President George W. Bush. However, the polling results for Kerry were not as strong as democrats would think they would be. In the end, polls don't exactly mean a lot. However, during the past decades, they have been quite indicative in the last two weeks or so of the election to determine the national outcome. Pay particular attention to state polls as well, as we see states that have been leaning towards Bush or Kerry are now becoming strong for that candidate, or are coming directly to a tie. |W|P|109830124872324822|W|P|Bad news for Bush in CBS/NYT poll|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/20/2004 04:16:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|It never ceases to amaze me the general ignorance of lazy people. For anyone (liberals come to mind first) to not take a moment to look at a bigger picture and educate themselves, is nothing short of intentional stupidity. These are the people who listen to a sound-bite and then take it at face value. They never take a moment to look beyond and discover the motivating reality of fact.
Point 1: Tax cuts for the 'rich'. It is not about the 'rich' it is about business. More than 80% of all business are small & medium in size, and are taxed on the personal income brackets. To raise taxes on the 'rich' is to raise taxes on (more than) 80% of all business. The math is simple, especially for business owners like me, the more I pay in taxes, the less business I do, the less business I do the less money I have for payroll. No money for payroll means I HAVE to fire people. DUH, If you raise taxes you raise unemployment. History shows this pattern over and over and over, yet you still don't understand it.
If taxes are lower, I can make more money, expand my business and HIRE MORE PEOPLE. The more business I do, the more I pay in taxes because there is more cash flow. This is economics 101. The more you have the more you spend.
Point 2: The more government manages your life, the less (of your) life you have to manage. The basic concept of a FREE ENTERPRISE system, is that the market determines the need and the price. When government manages the market, the market cannot function. It is not a perfect system granted. However it is the most effective system invented to date. Maybe some people have more, and some will have less this is how it is suppossed to work. In a sybiotic relationship where all work for the common good. NOT a confrontational manner like 'rich vs. poor'. When government steps in to 'balance' the good for all, the government is working to make everything equal and fair for everyone. This is not possible in a free enterprise system in fact it completely contradicts any free market environment. The type of system that makes everyone equal is called SOCIALISM. It has been tried many times before, and has failed every single time. Liberals (in my experience) are mostly socialists and most (in my experience) do not even realize their position. However, once they actually begin to look just beyond the cover of the book or listen past the sound-bite, they begin to understand the reality and sometimes harshness of a free enterprise system.
Point 3: CHARACTER COUNTS!! You cannot establish a record of more than 20 YEARS, and then deny it, discount it or run from it. Running away yelling and shouting and pointing the finger at someone else is the easiest thing in the world to do. It distracts attention from yourself, if only for a moment. IF your lucky, some people will be blind and deaf enough to follow you and believe you. If you keep it up long enough maybe you might fool a lot of people. The truth is ALWAYS there, and you cannot hide forever.
John Kerry came back from Vietnam and protested according to his rights. During his protests he also LIED (to congress & the people) about the facts of truth. The consequences of his actions, are that POW's were held longer, and tortured more than they would have been without his involvement. His actions gave aid and comfort to the enemy (the V-C) and thus he is (according to the US Constitution) INELIGIBLE (and unfit) to be the President of the U.S.
To tell everyone anything they want to hear, just to advance yourself and improve your position, to take both sides of every issue, is the most clearcut sign of a lack of emotional maturity, a lack intelectual foresight, a lack of moral fiber and a complete void character and integrity. This is the man that people want as their leader, the man they want to put into a position as the most powerful man on the planet? To so (in my opinion) blindly follow a person like this, is a sign of how many people identify with him, because they too share those same lack of traits such as character. Being a character, does NOT mean that you have any character.

Finally. In my experience most people vote for a person, not because of who he is as a person, but because they hate the other person. This has got to be the most insane and STUPID reason possible. If (for example) we were to say that both candidates are 'evil'. To vote for the most evil, because you hate the lesser evil is TOTALLY INSANE, not to mention self-defeating.
If there are only two choices, and both are evil, is it not the WISER thing to do, to vote for the one who is LESS evil compared to the other?????

This is not about two idiots fighting for a job. It is about US the people (and our children), and what is BEST for us in the big picture over the long term.
I FIRMLY believe that I have the right to earn what I make, and to keep what I earn. If 10% is good enough for (a) God, then why does man need to take another 40% of what I earned through my sweat and blood?
I FIRMLY believe that I have the right to health care, AT MY OWN EXPENSE. This is my own accountability to my soul, and my own responsibility to my life and my family. I do NOT want handouts or freebies, let alone the strings and restrictions that would come from those handouts. I CHOOSE what to eat, and I CHOOSE who I want as a doctor to guide me. This is an exercise in the FREEDOM OF CHOICE that the constitution is suppossed to protect us with.
I FIRMLY believe that I have the right to feel SAFE in my house, SAFE in my travels and SAFE in my country. I believe that those who would do us harm, should be stopped BEFORE they get here. We did not start this problem, but we DAMN well better STOP it, no matter where it is before it gets out of control. No more than a nasty virus. Just like Small Pox, contain it and eradicate it before it infects, spreads and destoys everything in it's path. This is terrorism on a global scale, and must be stopped not reduced to just a nuisance.

Get a grip people.........

The terrorist's are winning. If you cannot board a plane without taking off your shoes for inspection for fear of a bomb, is that not terror? Is that not the point of terrorism? to inflict terror and fear?10/20/2004 06:36:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Chris Woods|W|P|First of all, thanks for your comment, it’s the first I’ve had in a while.
Second, please don’t seem so upset with your fellow Americans who partook in this poll. Not everyone who disagrees with you is a liberal socialist as you seem to describe them.

To respond to your points:
First, while the target might have been small business, the fact is that the main benefits of the Bush tax cuts, from 2001, 2002, and 2003 have all benefited the wealthiest 2%.

And in fact, Bush’s tax cuts have not been helpful to most small-business owners. According to policy studies by the Brookings Institution (a nonpartisan think tank):
“In the aggregate, taxpayers with business income would receive net tax cuts, even after financing, but most individual taxpayers with business income would see their burdens rise. Under proportional financing, 72 percent of tax filers with business income would be worse off, including more than 60 percent in the top quintile, and even 37 percent in the top 1 percent of the income distribution. Under lump sum financing, those figures are lower, but even so, a majority (58 percent) of all tax filers with business income would be worse off, including almost all of those filers in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution.”
When looking at John Kerry’s proposal to repeal Bush’s tax cuts on those making more than $200,000 a year, the impact on small business is minimal at most. According to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, less than 3 percent of filers with positive business income actually fall into the top two tax brackets (that is, they have income of $175,000 or more). And while many of those who would be affected by the proposed increases do have business income, 97 percent of small businesses overall would not be affected by Kerry's proposal.

I understand the basic economic concepts you are making, but you’re flawed if you’re assuming that the Bush tax cuts have benefited small business all around. They have not.

To address your second point: This is completely an ideological point of view, thus a legitimate response, since I’m assuming you are a very conservative person. However, I would argue that when the government intervenes, it is an effort to increase people’s quality of life. If you look at most democracies around the world some level of socialism exists. You learn this in a basic comparative politics class in high school or college. Furthermore, Dr. Arthur Sanders, professor of politics at Drake University, says that most Americans are hypocritical in some senses, as they love and appreciate most governmental improvement systems such as the transportation department (they build roads) as well as the department of defense (which protects us from threats). However, the problem of “big government” as Republicans would say. Moreover, your contempt for liberals and socialists is unwarranted besides your own biased point of view. I would recommend you look at the socialist governments that have and still exist in many nations in Europe, such as Sweden and German. France has also had an effective socialist party rule the nation in recent decades, take a look at there efforts and then add some reasons to give your position grounding.

Finally, to your third point—character does indeed count. What I am trying to figure out is where you get the idea that John Kerry (who I assume you are referencing to with the 20 year senate record) is trying to deny, discount, or run from his record. That is absurd! You point out that “IF you are lucky, some people will be blind and deaf to follow you and believe you,” but I don’t think YOU yourself have checked out what has happened to America under this administration.

Furthermore, your attack on John Kerry is a blatant lie. Where is your proof or evidence that he LIED to Congress? The simple fact is that there is none. He saw the terrible atrocities that were occurring and the terrible situation of American soldiers there. He testified honestly and openly, which is what a good American should do. You say that POWs were held longer and tortured more—says WHO? You make another assertion here that is absolutely absurd!

The rest of your arguments are simply flung out there with no evidence, just personal opinion, and very little back up or your own analysis.

I respect that you think you can take care of yourself and your own health care—you deserve that respect then.

I do agree that terrorism does need to be stopped. However, I don’t think that war against groups without any clear base of operations, but that are spread out globally, is a good idea. We should not attack states in an effort to curb terrorism—we should take out the terrorists themselves and promote independently grown democracy throughout the Middle East and the Muslim world. For more information on this, check out a book by Benjamin Barber called Fear’s Empire. Another good one by him is Jihad vs. McWorld. They both might be enlightening to you.

And finally, on the issue of fear—it’s going both ways. Both candidates are capitalizing on the people’s fear and its wrong. This election shouldn’t have to boil down to safety from terror; it should involve domestic economic and health care issues and multitudes of others as well.

Again, thanks for your comments.10/20/2004 01:18:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Tons of new polls have come out lately, making John Kerry's standings higher and his chances November 2nd even greater. Check out Electoral-Vote.com for the most recent state polls and the electoral map currently. Make sure you read his fine analysis as well, the Votemaster is a pretty bright guy. Secondly, check out The Emerging Democratic Majority's weblog here. They've got a lot of stuff about Gallups racially biased and distorted numbers, as well as a good break down of recent internal CBS/NYT numbers that are very damaging and potentially disasterous to the Bush/Cheney campaign. Finally, if you live anywhere near a vote-early or satellite voting location, go cast your ballot for John Kerry! There will be a more in-depth look at recent internal numbers soon. But I've got class, don't expect them till about 2 PM or so. |W|P|109828275647942610|W|P|New polls put Kerry in strong position|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/21/2004 04:50:00 PM|W|P|Blogger PHXguy0506|W|P|Awesome! I think it's going to be a close race, but if we're lucky Kerry will win!10/21/2004 06:50:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Chris Woods|W|P|It will indeed be a close race...but luck won't help us, we just need to do everything we can to volunteer and contribute to the DNC and Kerry to help them take back this country!10/19/2004 09:18:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll results are out, proving that the race is simply a dead heat. Among registered voters, Bush leads Kerry 48% to 46%. Among likely voters (those who express high interest in this election and plan to vote in November), who make up 82% of respondents, the race is a tie with both candidates receiving 48%. This is big news. There is no momentum for either candidate that can be created now. We just have to wait and see what happens on election day. And by God, John Kerry better win. |W|P|109823873505725121|W|P|Dead heat!|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/19/2004 04:05:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Yahoo! News has posted a story declaring that Sinclair Broadcasting will change its plans to air an anti-Kerry documentary:
Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI - News) announced today that on Friday, October 22, 2004 at 8:00 p.m. (7:00 p.m. central time) certain television stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. will air a special one-hour news program, entitled "A POW Story: Politics, Pressure and the Media." In order to minimize the interruption of normally scheduled programming in those markets where Sinclair owns and/or programs more than one television station, the news special will be broadcast on only one of those stations. A complete list of stations which will be airing the program and the times of such broadcasts is attached. The news special will focus in part on the use of documentaries and other media to influence voting, which emerged during the 2004 political campaigns, as well as on the content of certain of these documentaries. The program will also examine the role of the media in filtering the information contained in these documentaries, allegations of media bias by media organizations that ignore or filter legitimate news and the attempts by candidates and other organizations to influence media coverage. Contrary to numerous inaccurate political and press accounts, the Sinclair stations will not be airing the documentary "Stolen Honor" in its entirety. At no time did Sinclair ever publicly announce that it intended to do so. In fact, since the controversy began, Sinclair's website has prominently displayed the following statement: "The program has not been videotaped and the exact format of this unscripted event has not been finalized. Characterizations regarding the content are premature and are based on ill- informed sources."
Hmm...great to see they finally realized they were headed for deep shit.

|W|P|109821993801617178|W|P|Sinclair begins to crack under pressure|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/19/2004 01:35:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|ABC News has a story quoting Dick Cheney at a campaign stop in Carroll, Ohio, as saying:
"The biggest threat we face now as a nation is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with… biological agents or a nuclear weapon or a chemical weapon of some kind…"
The Bush/Cheney campaign is continuing to instill fear among Americans by hyping the terror threat and accusing John Kerry of being soft on terrorists. This is a blatantly false claim by the campaign and only furthers the problems here in America. By creating an atmosphere of fear and terror in America, we are helping the terrorists and George W. Bush win. Fear is instilled in Americans believing that if you protest, you will get in trouble. People are told to vote for Bush because he will make you safe. And I'm sure he probably could, but has he done that in the three years after September 11, 2001? No! All he has done is continue to coerce fear into American's hearts by devising ways to keep them scared, most notably through a color-coded chart that helps people to continue to be scared.
|W|P|109821093938086264|W|P|Cheney continues fear-mongering|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/19/2004 01:19:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Joshua Micah Marshall, author and blogger of the Talking Points Memo, points out the problems Sinclair Broadcasting is facing after issuing a memo to all local companies requiring them to air an anti-Kerry propaganda film prior to the election. David Brock's MediaMatters.org have: "just annouced that they've underwritten the costs of a shareholder action to force Sinclair Broadcasting to provide real equal time to balance their forced airing of the hour-long Swift Boat smear." The Media Matters link is here. Furthermore, they have another lawsuit coming towards them this afternoon. Check out the story here. Evidentally, they also fired their Washington bureau chief after denouncing their actions in a Baltimore Sun interview. The AP has the story here through Yahoo! News. |W|P|109820997450160928|W|P|Sinclair faces lawsuits today|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/18/2004 04:13:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|At the end of today's episode of CNN's Crossfire, Republican pundit Robert "Douchebag for Liberty" Novak, while agreeing with the left's James Carville that he shouldn't attack the "hacks" on Crossfire, said that the public now has proof of what he knew all along: Jon Stewart isn't funny and he is uninformed. This was in response to Stewart's appearance last Friday, where he was in heated argument/discussion (link is transcript) with Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. Evidentally, the man who is now a best-selling author (check out America the Book) and who reports on the absurdity of politics and news in this country knows absolutely nothing about what happens in the real world. Novak is an ass-clown. The man knows nothing and is now stuck in a wheelchair because he couldn't walk and fell and broke his hip. The man is simply a conservative lip-service boy, advocating radical ideas. He even agreed with Congress Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) position on abortion (pro-life no matter incest or rape) and that single women and gays should not be teachers. Few Americans believe in these things, especially not a lot of conservatives. Bob Novak, do the world a favor and pull your lip up over your head and swallow. |W|P|109813399563919690|W|P|Douchebag for liberty calls Stewart "uninformed"|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/17/2004 11:12:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Sometimes I wonder if I always view the glass half-empty. It seems that when it comes to politics, the last few days I have been extremely pessimistic. On Thursday night, I had the opportunity to watch John Kerry, John Edwards, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and Elizabeth Edwards all gather together at the Iowa State Fairgrounds for Iowa's largest political rally in history. Some 15-16 THOUSAND people showed up to support John Kerry. But somehow, as much as I was spurred to action and excited by a Kerry presidency, I keep feeling this tinge in my stomach when thinking about the election. In just two short weeks, America could be on the path towards righteousness and revitalization with John Kerry elected president. Or we could continue our trend on a path towards death and destruction with George W. Bush as President. New polls are coming out day after day, putting the race at an almost statistical tie in states...but a lead for Bush in the national polls. This worries me. I cannot stand another 2000 election, when the man people wanted to be President and wins--but actually loses. If Bush is elected President, I fear for the country and for myself. But I do not know if John Kerry can beat him. It seems that people on both the right and the left who are staunch supporters of their party's candidate are missing the most important question in who to vote for in this election. John Kerry brought it up in the rally on Thursday and has said it time and again: Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Some may say that because of Bush's tax cuts that those above $200,000 annual income definitely are. Others may say that those low-income families who received a child tax-credit are better off. But this election is more than just the economy. Its how people feel and how America is perceived internationally. For centuries, America was a beacon of home--the guiding light for democracy in an undemocratic world. But we have tarnished that image. First, the elections of 2000 showed that even in democracy, problems of tyranny can occur, which result in a terrible person being elected president. Secondly, it was compounded by the fear that the President surrounded us in after 9/11/01. We could've come together as a nation to stand up to threats against America and brought the world together as it never has been before. Instead, the President tells us to resume our shopping and the government will defend us. They instill fear upon the people talking about WMDs, biological attacks, and creating a color-coded threat chart. All these tools have the residual effect of multiplying the fears of ordinary Americans and tell them that duct tape and neocons are their only hope. Finally, our actions in Iraq prove the imperialistic ideas of American conservatives and American politics outright and spur numerous protests from both Americans and those around world. We ignore them and destroy a country so we can have oil. This is not what America is meant to be. Nor should it ever have to be this way again. But I don't think John Kerry will have the abiity to fix it all. And right now, I don't know if anyone can save us from a second Bush term. God pray for those who have the strength to stand up against a cruel adminstration, for we carry on your dreams of compassion and faith. We do not use your name and your faith as a means to an end...we use it in our actions to act as a leader in the world to help others. Pray for us. |W|P|109807354177398468|W|P|What will the outcome be|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/16/2004 08:52:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|It's only 17 days until the most important election of my life so far. For those of you who read this on a regular basis, I don't need to tell you again who I am voting for. But I will for those of you who are new to the Forecast. I am voting for John Kerry. And hopefully by next week I already will have thanks to my absentee ballot. There are numerous reasons I'm voting for John Kerry. And no, to those conservative readers, it's not primarily because I want George W. Bush out of the White House. That is a big part, but it is not the primary reason. I am voting for John Kerry because he can lead us effectively in a world that requires alliances with nations that have an impact in world affairs. Nations such as Germany, France, Russia, Great Britain, Jordan, Israel, Japan, and Spain. If a Kerry Administration needs a coalition to fight for something, God be with us so that it is not necessary, I want to rely on a huge coalition of nations--not just Poland and Australia. I am voting for John Kerry because I need help to graduate from college. John Kerry and John Edwards have a plan for education, from Kindergarted through graduate school and beyond. George W. Bush and the Republican Congress cut the amount of money I can get from a Pell Grant or from a Perkins Loan. Bush says more and more students are getting Pell Grants. But this is because incomes have gone down. These people getting them still aren't getting enough money. I am voting for John Kerry because I want a balanced budget someday and a smaller national debt. George W. Bush, partially for reason beyond his control, but mostly for those in his control, has drove our nation deep into debt--one that will hurt us deeply. I am voting for John Kerry because he supports stem-cell research. With the funding and his help, maybe someday my little brother won't need an 8-hour infusion of gamma globulin every four weeks to stay alive so that the common cold won't kill him. I am voting for John Kerry because he can help this nation and bring us back from the brink of disaster. I am voting for John Kerry because I care about where this country is going...and I want to be proud and patriotic for the rest of my life. Please go to JohnKerry.com and find out why YOU should vote for John Kerry too. This is too important of an opportunity to waste. We need YOUR help. The world needs YOUR help. George W. Bush has locked up almost 220 electoral votes so far. Help us make sure John Kerry gets the 270 necessary to win the electoral college. We can't let this opportunity slip by. Please. |W|P|109797798372184215|W|P|Why I am voting for John F. Kerry and why you should too|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/01/2005 04:21:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Steve Austin|W|P|Nice blog. Please check out my bad credit debt consolidation loan blog. It is all about bad credit debt consolidation loan.10/02/2005 01:47:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Billy|W|P|Hey, you have a great blog here! I'm definitely going to bookmark you!
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Come and check it out if you get time :-)10/14/2004 01:44:00 AM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|I know this is a late post, but, that's what happen when you have midterms. Tonight I had the luxury of sitting with Iowa Senator Tom Harkin (Dem.) and watch the third and final debate that John Kerry was sure to win. And he did--4 minutes or so into it. You want proof of the amazing win? You got it. The first question asked by the CBS moderator was "will our children and grandchildren ever live in a world as safe and secure as the world in which we grew up?" Kerry said yes, as did Bush. The real fun came when Kerry got to respond to what Bush said. Transcript from MSNBC:
SCHIEFFER: Anything to add, Senator Kerry?

KERRY: Yes. When the president had an opportunity to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, he took his focus off of them, outsourced the job to Afghan warlords, and Osama bin Laden escaped.

Six months after he said Osama bin Laden must be caught dead or alive, this president was asked, “Where is Osama bin Laden?” He said, “I don‘t know. I don‘t really think about him very much. I‘m not that concerned.”

We need a president who stays deadly focused on the real war on terror.
Kerry claims that Bush isn't that concerned with Osama bin Laden and just moved away from the original target of the war on terror. Bush's reponse was a vehement denial, very wackily said, with weird pronounciation of the word exaggerations:

SCHIEFFER: Mr. President?

BUSH: Gosh, I just don‘t think I ever said I‘m not worried about Osama bin Laden. It‘s kind of one of those exaggerations.

Of course we‘re worried about Osama bin Laden. We‘re on the hunt after Osama bin Laden. We‘re using every asset at our disposal to get Osama bin Laden.

My opponent said this war is a matter of intelligence and law enforcement. No, this war is a matter of using every asset at our disposal to keep the American people protected.
Bush denies ever saying that. Here come's the real killer that you know has to be coming. And your predictions are right--Bush said it. Stuff from the Washington Post and the White House press room proving it; and MSNBC has video to back it up, but no online link.
Q: Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden. Why is that? Also, can you tell the American people if you have any more information, if you know if he is dead or alive? Final part, deep in your heart, don't you truly believe that until you find out if he is dead or alive, you won't really eliminate the threat of---- "The President: Well, deep in my heart, I know the man is on the run if he's alive at all. Who knows if he's hiding in some cave or not? We haven't heard from him in a long time. And the idea of focusing on one person is--really indicates to me people don't understand the scope of the mission. "Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just--he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network is--his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is--as I've mentioned in my speeches, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death, and he himself tries to hide--if, in fact, he's hiding at all. "So I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly [Kelly Wallace, Cable News Network], to be honest with you. I'm more worried about making sure that our soldiers are well supplied, that the strategy is clear, that the coalition is strong, that when we find enemy bunched up like we did in Shahi-Kot Mountains, that the military has all the support it needs to go in and do the job, which they did.
Boom!!! Bullet through the heart of the Bush campaign if anyone, just anyone, can get this broadcast mainstream and soon! November 2nd can only come so fast. Beware Bush--the END is near. |W|P|109773267569449962|W|P|The Election is Over|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/12/2004 11:35:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The Conservative-leaning Washington Times is reporting that a group of about 25 Chechen terrorists travelled to Mexico and backpacked across the border into the US, according to a reliable intelligence source. The story is here. More to come later...this could be interesting if it is true. |W|P|109764214392112414|W|P|Chechen terrorists in America?|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/12/2004 03:34:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|From the Drudge Report:

FCC COMMISSIONER COPPS CRITICIZES SINCLAIR CORPORATE DECISION TO PREEMPT LOCAL STATIONS FOR POLITICAL BROADCAST Commissioner Michael J. Copps reacted to reports that Sinclair Broadcast Group will preempt more than 60 local stations across the country to air an overtly political program in the days prior to the Presidential election. Copps stated: “This is an abuse of the public trust. And it is proof positive of media consolidation run amok when one owner can use the public airwaves to blanket the country with its political ideology -- whether liberal or conservative. Some will undoubtedly question if this is appropriate stewardship of the public airwaves. This is the same corporation that refused to air Nightline’s reading of our war dead in Iraq. It is the same corporation that short-shrifts local communities and local jobs by distance-casting news and weather from hundreds of miles away. It is a sad fact that the explicit public interest protections we once had to ensure balance continue to be weakened by the Federal Communications Commission while it allows media conglomerates to get even bigger. Sinclair, and the FCC, are taking us down a dangerous road.”

Nice statement. More to come. |W|P|109761329665460754|W|P|Reactions to Sinclair Decision|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/11/2004 03:45:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|The New York Times is reporting today that Sinclair Broadcasting Group is requiring all local outlets to preempt primetime programming to show a documentary movie called "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal." The story can be viewed here. The documentary "features Vietnam veterans who say their Vietnamese captors used Mr. Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony, in which he recounted stories of American atrocities, prolonging their torture and betraying and demoralizing them." These douchebags at Sinclair have done this before, and I sure they'll do it again. As of 3 PM this afternoon, the only response from the Kerry/Edwards Campaign that I know of is a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission. |W|P|109752752840830938|W|P|Anti-Kerry prime time movie|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/03/2004 04:25:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Electoral-Vote.com has some interesting poll results up right now about the United States Senate. Five southern democratic senators are retiring at the end of this session, and only three republicans are. The Republicans early on were giddy about possibly picking up five southern Senate seats, but the crazy thing is that Democrats lead in four of the five seats, and the three other seats vacated by Republicans. If the election were held today, the Democrats would reclaim the Senate, 52-48, counting Independent Jim Jeffords as a Dem. since he caucuses with him. Check out the full table of percentages and information here. |W|P|109683874164249727|W|P|Senate swings towards democrats in election|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/01/2004 01:45:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|I think it's time for me to articulate a little bit more on my views as a liberal and why JFKerry and J-Ed should be the next President and VP of the good ol' US of A. I came across this idea after reading viewer's responses from the first debate on CNN.com. I'm gonna address the few that I thought I could answer well, and they might be some of the most controversial. The rest can be read here.
  1. Tim Thompson from Glen Carbon, Illinois: "Prior to this debate, I was undecided, but after seeing John Kerry speak, I will definitely be voting for him. Kerry set forth real points in support of his position on the war. Conversely, President Bush seemed to continually rely on the assertion that Kerry flip flopped. This seems to have become a trend for Bush. Rather than speak to his own record and things he and his administration have done, he has attempted to garner votes with the use of sound bites." Tim's got the right idea. He really articulates well the views of a lot of Americans about this first debate. The whole "flip-flopper" issue just boggled my mind. If it didn't work the first time he tried it, why keep doing it? You only need one soundbite for the GOP spin-machine to do their job, so stop it after one or two times saying it, please, Mr. Bush.

  2. Richard Roadman from Gastonia, North Carolina: "I think Bush won the debate, and Kerry only reinforced my fears of having a non-committal weak leader as commander in chief of our military." Rich, may I call you Rich?, I think you're a bit backwards. In case you hadn't noticed in the past four years of the Bush Administration, Dubya has not led our military in many many ways. Most of the work has been done by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. And he doesn't treat our soldiers very well--they have a hate-hate relationship. A leader who looks at both sides of the issues, represents the will of his constituents (I know that's a big word--it means the people of the United States who elected him), and who knows how the military works is what America needs. Bush skipped Air National Guard duty. He doesn't know shit. Sorry if I seemed mean, I just don't like you.

  3. Wes Robbins from South Bend, Indiana: "Senator Kerry was the clear winner. He made concise, well thought out points. He made it very clear how absurd President Bush's charge of flip-flopping is. President Bush seems to think that repeating the same thing over and over again somehow is a sign of strength and conviction in a leader. It is not." Way to go, Wes! You get the gold star for the day for being so bright!

  4. Barbara from Atlanta, Georgia: "Bush won. Fighting terrorism doesn't follow the old rules." First of all, what the hell is sDubya's mom doing in Atlanta, sending her support on CNN? Shouldn't she be on Fox News or something talking about her boy did so good and then getting angry at Alan Colmes for being a lefty bastard? Listen, Babs, you're right--fighting terrorism doesn't follow the old rules. But the problem is, your President and his Neo-Con gang are following the old rules. They are attacking states. Terrorists don't control states, they aren't a government. As Benjamin Barber said, "They're a malevolent NGO [non-governmental organization]." They should combat terrorism at it's base: radical, Saudi-supported, Wahabist madrasas (Islamic schools that teach Western hatred) which are prevalent in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and even Iraq. The fact is that the more terrorists we kill, it still doesn't matter because more and more children are taught in their ways every day. We should reform education first--not spend millions of dollars on givingtates weapons to kill terrorists alone, but fixing their schools too. And we should fix whatever school you went to that taught you to love people like Bush and hate people like Kerry. Damn NCLB!

Well, that's all I have on this. If anyone else has any funny comments that you've heard and have a response to, just drop a comment. If they make me laugh, I'll post 'em and give you credit. |W|P|109665636116740850|W|P|Responding to the people's opinions|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com10/01/2004 12:56:00 PM|W|P|Chris Woods|W|P|Preliminary Nielsen Ratings are in for the first presidential debate, which took place last night at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The Drudge Report is reporting that in 2000, an average of 46.6 million people watched the debate between then Vice President and Democratic candidate Al Gore and Republican challenger and Texas governor George W. Bush. However, last night's debate, which was surprisingly highly substantitive, had an average of 55 million viewers. This is great news. Hopefully most viewers saw what even the most conservative of pundits reported: John Kerry performed fabulously while Bush seemed, what Al Franken called, peevish. The funniest thing that has happened so far after the debate is this: the Democratic National Committee has posted a video called "Faces of Frustration" documenting President Bush's multiple reactions to what John Kerry was arguing during the debate. Think to the DNC is here. By the way, if anyone reading this wants to be a contributor to The Political Forecast, please send an email to cdw003@drake.edu with any qualifications you think you may have. Being a liberal isn't needed, but if you are an open-minded conservative or independent who won't just lie like Bill O'Reilly drop me an email and I'll be glad to consider you! |W|P|109665355476118969|W|P|Debate audience is huge|W|P|christopherdwoods@gmail.com