"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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
"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.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|Pemail@example.com
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."
"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.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.
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."
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:
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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
"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."
"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.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.
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."
"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|Pemail@example.com
"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:
"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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
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."
"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):
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|Pemail@example.com
"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."
"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.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 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."
"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.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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
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.""
"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|Pemail@example.com
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:
"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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
"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|Pemail@example.com
"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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
"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|Pemail@example.com
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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
"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|Pemail@example.com
SCHIEFFER: Anything to add, Senator Kerry?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:
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.
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.
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.
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|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
Nice statement. More to come.
|W|P|109761329665460754|W|P|Reactions to Sinclair Decision|W|Pemail@example.com
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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!