Thursday, June 30, 2005

shared sacrifice

Go here to learn about shared sacrifice.
http://americansforsharedsacrifice.org/index.html

NJVETCAUCUS: FIGHTIN' bUSHIT FROM NEW JERSEY TO WASH DC

NJVetCaucus, as best as I remember, has a RAISON
D'ETRE that began with the KERRY CAMPAIGN to combat
the Roverian trick of taking the light off of Bush's
disastrous IRAQ WAR as a phony exploitation of the War
on Terror and 9/11 by focusing it on the Vietnam War
OF THIRTY YEARS AGO and Kerry's service therein; he
would do this by organizing the "Swifties" around John
O'Neill, who debated Kerry on Vietnam in 1971.

I came to the NJVetCaucus because I provided O'Neill
his chance to debate Kerry by organizing VIETNAM
VETERANS FOR A JUST PEACE in 1971. The group of Viet
Vets that opposed Kerry and the VVAW anti-Vietnam vets
wanted debate, not shouting matches between VVJP and
Kerry's VVAW. The basic tenet was that since both
groups of vets had been in the same war but not always
in the same place; and since both were honest in their
stand; then, debate might enlighten the public so that
the fallen will not have died in vain and the
Vietnamese could count on a learned friend, not just a
cut and run fair weather friend that hands them over
to a Communist bloodbath.

But O'Neill had betrayed the cause of vets for a
second time in 2004 ;first time was in 1973 when he
remained silent as a Nixon White House aide, instead
of denying Nixon Asst Charles Colson's lie that the
White House created VVJP to serve as its propaganda
organ against Kerry, and let VVJP die in disgrace. He
betrayed "our" kids in Iraq by letting himself and the
Vietnam War be used by Rove to deflect campaign
attention from the ongoing war in Iraq, focusing it
instead on the long past war in Vietnam. I wanted to
get from him the same chance I provided him: A CHANCE
TO DEBATE; but not Vietnam, instead IRAQ-- the war NOW
killing "OUR" kids. Vietnam, after all, was a war for
historians to debate, not presidential candidates.

I never got to debate O'Neill because the Kerry
Campaign thought it best to remain silent to the
O'Neil and Swifties attack. As a result, that silence
caused a Kerry defeat. But the NJVetCaucus chose to
stay intact in order to help "take back America" from
Bush's "CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE" in both foreign and
domestic policies.

Early this year the group met with Sen. Corzine. It
discussed his views with him on national and New
Jersey issues and ALL decided that-- though they will
miss his wise representation as senator-- they would
fully support his campaign to become Governor of NJ.

BUT, MOST OF THE NJVETCAUCUS NEVER LOST ITS ORIGINAL
GOALS. IT STILL WANTS TO PREVENT THE DEFEAT OF "OUR"
KIDS IN IRAQ BECAUSE OF GW BUSH'S "BUSHIT"
INCOMPETENCE AND CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE.

THEREFORE, IT BEGAN ITS CAMPAIGN TO TAKE BACK AMERICA
FROM BUSH AND THE ROBBER BARONS BEGINNING IN NEW
JERSEY BY DEFEATING THE BUSHIT CLONE-- FORRESTER-- AND
ON TO TAKING BACK THE CONGRESS FROM THE BUSHIT CLONES
NEXT YEAR.

All, more or less, share Sen. Corzine's belief that we
can't just "bug out" of Iraq. But we can't let the
BUSHIT kill "OUR" kids either. So we must keep
debating Iraq, the War on Terror and the BUSHIT
presidency as before, while engaging in New Jersey
issues in order to get OUR candidate, JOHN CORZINE
elected Governor of NJ.

FOR MOST, IT IS *NOT* AN EITHER/OR ISSUE, FOR NEW
JERSEY IS, FIRST AND FOREMOST, ALONG WITH NEW YORK, ON
THE FRONTLINE OF THE WAR ON TERROR.

FURTHERMORE, SEC. OF VETERANS AFFAIRS NICHOLSON,
THOUGH A VIET VET HIMSELF, IS CUTTING BENEFITS FOR
VETERANS ON BEHALF OF GW BUSH. SO HE TOO "DRANK THE
COOL-AID" (BUSHIT FLAVOR). UNTIL THE DEMOCRATS RETURN
TO CONGRESS AND RESTORE THOSE BENEFITS, NJ VETERANS'
ONLY LINE OF DEFENSE IS THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY.
CORZINE HAS PROMISED TO HELP AND FOR THAT TOO the
NJVETCAUCUS STANDS BY HIM.

All in all, GW Bush exists now only to pay back his
ROBBER BARONS 2004 re-election supporters at taxpayers
expense-- THAT IS WHAT WE MEAN BY "BUSHIT"!

Karl Rove has taken control of bankrolling and
controls the message of the FORRESTER CAMPAIGN as his
FIRST step towards pulling another miracle for Bush: a
BUSHIT CONGRESS IN 2006. By combating FORRESTER, NJ's
is the first campaign battling Rove, the "BRAIN" OF
BUSHIT!!!!

BUT IRAQ GOES ON AND "OUR" KIDS PAY IN BLOOD AND WE IN
TREASURE. WE PAY SO THAT HALLIBURTON CAN GET FAT AND
RICH ALONG WITH THE OTHER BUSHIT ROBBER BARONS.

NJVETCAUCUS IS NOT ABOUT TO LET AMERICA RETURN TO THE
19TH CENTURY, WHEN THE LITTLE GUY WAS VICTIM OF
PARASITIC ROBBER BARONS. WE'RE GOING TO FIGHT THE WAY
*REAL* "LIBERALS" (Republicans and Democrats for clean
government FOR and BY the people) FOUGHT FOR JUSTICE
THEN. NJVETCAUCUS IS GOING TO HELP CLEAN THE BUSHIT
OUT OF AMERICAN POLITICS, BEGINNING IN TRENTON AND
ENDING IN WASH DC!

As best as I can see it, that makes the NJVetCaucus a
TWO PERSPECTIVES operation, fighting on two fronts:
NEW JERSEY AND WASH DC. So we must promote debate on
both Forrester BUSHIT and Bush BUSHIT at once. Jon
Corzine himself proved that that's how it's gotta be,
when he came to the NJVetCaucus at the Atlantic City
NJ Democratic Convention and called Rove's slander of
Democrats (code word: "LIBERALS") nothing but
"BULLSHIT"!

AS FAR AS WE'RE CONCERNED CORZINE'S "BULLSHIT" IS
CLOSE ENOUGH TO OUR "BUSHIT" TO MAKE CLEAR WHAT WE ARE
*TOGETHER* UP AGAINST.

SO, I DON'T THINK ANY OF YOU NEED FEEL THAT "YOUR"
ISSUE-- THE WASTE OF "OUR" KIDS' BLOOD AND OUR
TREASURE IN IRAQ FOR BUSHIT-- HAS BEEN SET ASIDE FOR
NEW JERSEY ISSUES. IN FACT, IT SEEMS TO ME, THE TWO
ISSUES ARE INSEPARABLE BECAUSE, FROM TRENTON TO WASH
DC, WE ARE SEEKING TO SWEEP AWAY THE BUSHIT!

SO SEE YOU AT THE NEXT NJVETCAUCUS MEETING WHERE
*BOTH* THE BUSHIT ABROAD AND THE BUSHIT AT HOME WILL
BE DISCUSSED AND THE BATTLE CAMPAIGN WILL BE PLANNED.

WORTH PODERING!


POLICIES AREN'T WHAT MATTER IN POLITICS.
The Case Against New Ideas
by Jonathan Chait Post date: 06.30.05
Issue date: 07.11.05
Ideas--the idea of ideas, anyway--have always held a
lofty place in our political culture. But perhaps
never before have they been imbued with such power as
at this particular moment. Since last November,
conservatives have been braying about their victory in
the war of ideas, often with a whiff of Marxian
assurance. "Conservatism is the ideology of the
future," gloated Republican National Committee
Chairman Ken Mehlman. "Republicans are driving the
course of history with new solutions." A GOP
operative, even while conceding President Bush's
recent difficulties, noted that things would be worse
but for the fact that "the Democrats are really brain
dead and have nothing positive to put on the table."

Oddly enough, it's not just conservatives who say
this. Liberals, too, widely attribute their minority
party status to a lack of new ideas. "Feeling
outmatched in the war of ideas," The New York Times
noted last month, "liberal groups have spent years
studying conservative foundations the way Pepsi
studies Coke, searching for trade secrets." Or, as
Washington Monthly Editor-in-Chief Paul Glastris wrote
last December, "[Y]es, there is plenty of blame to go
around, from an admirable but not widely loved
presidential candidate to his stunningly ineffective
strategists. But at this point, it requires a willful
act of self-deception not to see the deeper problem:
conservatives have won the war of ideas." Since the
2004 elections, liberals have earnestly set about
writing manifestos, establishing new think-tanks, and
generally endeavoring to catch up with a conservative
idea machine.

The notion that conservatives are winning politically
because they are winning intellectually has a certain
appeal, particularly for those in the political idea
business. And the aspiration of liberals to sharpen
their thinking is perfectly worthy. As analysis,
though, it's all deeply misguided. The current
ubiquity of such thinking owes itself to the fact that
liberals and conservatives have a shared interest in
promoting it. (Liberals in the spirit of exhortation
and internal reform, conservatives in the spirit of
self-congratulation.) But, more than that, it reflects
a naïveté about the power of new ideas, one that is
deeply rooted in long-standing misconceptions of how
our politics operate.

o begin with, the plain fact is that liberals have
plenty of new ideas. Troll websites of the Center for
American Progress, the Brookings Institution, or the
Century Foundation, and you will find them teeming
with six- and twelve-point plans for any problem you
can imagine: securing loose nuclear weapons, reforming
public education, promoting international trade,
bolstering the military, and so on. They get churned
out by the shelfful providing more material than any
presidential administration could hope to enact.

And these are not merely retreads of old wish lists.
The best liberal ideas take account of new
information. Noting academic findings that most
workers base their savings decisions on simple
inertia, Brookings scholar Peter Orszag and others
have proposed automatic 401(k) enrollment. Yale's
Jacob S. Hacker (writing in The New Republic and
elsewhere) has shown that Americans face growing
fluctuations in their income, and he is working on a
total income security plan.

Indeed, devising earnest new ideas is the very thing
liberals enjoy the most. Accusing them of having no
new ideas is like accusing a member of the Kennedy
family of excessive sobriety: If anything, the actual
problem is just the opposite. Liberals have way too
many new ideas and don't think seriously enough about
prioritizing them. Liberal think tanks have plans for
overhauling health care, slashing the deficit,
creating progressive savings accounts, beefing up
homeland security, and so on. The trouble is that it
would be hard to do all these things at once.

Now, one might point out that liberal intellectuals
have plenty of new ideas, but Democrats in elected
office do not. That, however, isn't true either. In
2004, John Kerry and John Edwards ran on a program
that was undeniably substantive. They proposed rolling
back a large chunk of Bush's tax cuts and dividing the
proceeds between deficit-reduction and a number of
spending programs, including a fairly innovative
health care plan that involved reimbursing employers
for catastrophic costs. Democrats in Congress do spend
most of their time reacting to an agenda controlled by
Republicans. But they have proposed a higher minimum
wage, terrorism risk insurance for private businesses,
legalizing the importation of prescription drugs, and
reinstituting pay-as-you-go budget rules.

You probably don't remember many of these ideas, if
you ever heard of them in the first place. But don't
feel guilty. There's a perfectly good reason for
ignoring these ideas: They have no chance of being
enacted as long as Republicans control the White House
and Congress. The truth is that liberal ideas aren't
getting any circulation because Democrats are out of
power, not vice versa. Not long ago, to take an
example almost at random, Senate Democrats held a
press conference with James Woolsey to unveil an
energy-independence agenda. Not a single major
newspaper or network covered it. This isn't because
reporters harbor a bias against liberals. It's because
they harbor a bias against ideas that stand no chance
of being enacted. And so, the vast majority of the
time, the press will simply ignore ideas put forth by
the minority party. Or those ideas will simply be
dismissed as impractical. Take this passage from a
column last month by Newsweek's Robert Samuelson:

In floor debate, the Democrats never offered a
realistic balanced budget. The closest they came was
in the House, where they promised balance by 2012.

Samuelson is, in a certain sense, correct. Any plan
that differs substantially from the Republican agenda
is unrealistic, because the Republicans would never
even consider it. But to mistake this lack of power
for a lack of alternate ideas confuses cause and
effect.

Indeed, during the first two years of Bill Clinton's
presidency, Democrats had all the positive ideas, and
Republicans found themselves in a position of
reflexive opposition: no health care reform, no
deficit reduction, no crime bill. The Washington Post
asked at the time, "Why are the Republicans, who
generated so many new ideas a decade ago, suddenly
reaching backward on economic issues?" Was this
because Republicans had run out of ideas? No, it was
because they opposed the particular ideas that the
party in power had thrust into the national spotlight.
Once Republicans won control of Congress on a wave of
anti-Clinton anger, it became clear that they had
plenty of specific ideas of their own. (At which point
the public ran screaming back to Clinton.)

Today, Democrats generally oppose change because
"change" means doing things Bush's way. This puts
Democrats in the dilemma of either supporting new
policies that are almost invariably bad--certainly
from a liberal perspective--or appearing wedded to the
status quo. Indeed, Bush has shrewdly exploited this
dilemma. In 2001, Democrats conceded that the
government needed to do something to stimulate
economic growth and forestall a recession. What
resulted was a Republican plan to shift the tax burden
downward and hemorrhage red ink. In 2003, Democrats
advocated added prescription-drug coverage to
Medicare. Bush used the occasion to hand out hundreds
of billions of dollars in giveaways to industry
backers.

It's one thing for Democrats to sketch out the sort of
alternatives they would prefer if they ran Washington.
But, as long as Republicans do run Washington--and
certainly as long as Bush sits in the Oval
Office--doing nothing is often going to be the best
available scenario for liberals. Emphasizing the
downside of bad change rather than the upside of
positive change reflects political necessity, not
intellectual failure.

ome of those who excoriate Democrats and liberals for
lacking ideas don't mean, when they say "ideas,"
specific plans of action. They mean something more
abstract--a philosophical schema for governing, which
often amounts to a slogan to describe one's ideology.
It is certainly true that conservatives enjoy a
long-standing edge here. Bush and his supporters have
described their policies with simple
aphorisms--smaller government, for example, or
promoting democracy abroad--that have eluded
Democrats. But Republicans often fail to abide by
their own ideas. While Karl Rove recently asserted,
"We believe in curbing the size of government; they
believe in expanding the size of government,"
government has in fact grown significantly under Bush
after shrinking under his Democratic predecessor. In
this case, the conservative superiority in "ideas"
simply reflects a greater capacity for hypocrisy.

Conservatives recognize the administration's failures
to abide by its professed principles, especially on
the growth of government, but this recognition seems
not to temper their ideological triumphalism. They
seem to spend half their time complaining about Bush's
ideological infidelity and the other half celebrating
their unambiguous victory in the war of ideas. An
example of the latter can be found in a long,
self-congratulatory essay in the May issue of
Commentary, in which former Olin Foundation Director
James Piereson asserts, "[N]ot only has conservatism
risen to prominence in the electoral sphere, but
conservative thought has seized the initiative in the
world of ideas as well."

The conservatives' celebration of their intellectual
triumph is further complicated by their oft-professed
hostility toward intellectuals. They attempt to square
this circle by portraying conservative intellectuals
as merely channeling the authentic popular will.
Irving Kristol famously said the role of conservatives
was "to show the American people that they are right
and the intellectuals are wrong." One imagines
Kristol, Piereson, and other conservative elites
relaxing in working-class bars; listening to the
denizens demand the privatization of Social Security
or complain about the burdens of the estate tax; and
then discovering, to their surprise and glee, that
there were indeed corporations and wealthy individuals
willing to fund the expression of such ideas.

While it has been fashionable to call Republicans the
party of ideas for the last 25 years or so, it is all
the more so now. The best case that can be made for
this label is on foreign policy, where Bush has busily
set out to expand democracy across the globe while
Democrats carp. Yet, even here, there is far less than
meets the eye.

The idea of spreading democracy may be a powerful one,
but we shouldn't forget that it's an ad hoc rationale
for the Iraq war--hastily put forward after Bush's
primary justification, weapons of mass destruction,
fell apart. If Bush believed in democracy-promotion as
a central goal of the war, he didn't trust the public
enough to make that argument (rather than the scary
prospect of Saddam giving weapons to terrorists)
anything more than a footnote to his prewar case. And,
when it comes to those places that pose the greatest
long-term danger, Iran and North Korea, even
conservatives admit the administration is bereft of
ideas.

Most important, the president (and his party) always
dominate foreign policy thinking. The tools of
statecraft lie in the hands of the executive branch.
Nearly every modern president, however inept his
foreign policy, manages to have a doctrine named after
him. (Remember the Carter Doctrine?) Again, a
comparison with the Clinton years is instructive.
Democrats in the White House talked about a new era of
humanitarian intervention, while Republicans grumbled
sullenly. ("We should not send our troops to stop
ethnic cleansing and genocide outside of our national
strategic interests," insisted George W. Bush.) That
Bush is the one promoting powerful ideas, with
Democrats largely on the sidelines, simply shows the
degree to which control of the White House determines
which party holds the initiative on foreign policy
ideas.

What other examples exist to support the notion that
conservatives have built an awesome ideas machine? The
one most often invoked is privatizing Social Security.
And, on the surface, it seems like a potent case.
Conservative think tanks have spent years nurturing
the idea of transforming Social Security, partially or
entirely, into a system of individual accounts.
Certainly, the history of privatization attests to the
right's ability to take hold of an idea hopelessly out
of the mainstream and inexorably drive it into the
center of the national debate.

Yet privatization isn't a good idea. By this, I don't
mean that I disagree with the concept of privatizing
Social Security, although I do. What I mean is that
the idea itself is half-baked. After Bush declared his
intention to focus on privatization this year, it soon
became clear that conservatives hadn't thought through
a number of enormous obstacles to their idea's
implementation. For instance, they seem not to have
considered that their optimistic assumptions about the
long-term return to stocks are nearly impossible to
square with their pessimistic assumptions about the
long-term finances of Social Security. Nor did they
figure out how to offset the costs of new accounts,
which caused the administration to propose clawbacks
that could lead to such awkward scenarios as a worker
dying and his dependents owing money to the federal
government. (Don't ask.) And, as Brookings economist
Martin Mayer has noted, mandatory annuities proposed
by Bush would make retirees enormously sensitive to
any changes the Federal Reserve makes to interest
rates just before they retire. The list of similar
problems is distressingly long. The more policy
aficionados study Bush's idea, the more it looks like
something cooked up by a throng of idealistic Ayn
Rand-reading undergraduates fresh from Econ 101.

Privatization also points to another weakness in the
conservative idea machine: its inability to address
the problems of the day. The concept of privatization
has slowly ground forward over 25 years or more,
propelled by an endless stream of conferences, papers,
and articles from conservative think tanks and
magazines. And Bush has sold it as a response to a
looming fiscal disaster. By any objective measure,
though, Social Security is not a major fiscal problem
compared with the deficit or health care. Health care,
in fact, is rapidly bankrupting both the government
and the private sector.

Here the comparison between right and left is
instructive. Liberals are brimming with ideas about
reforming health care and taming the deficit.
Conservatives have little to say about either of these
problems. On the deficit, they are theologically
opposed to raising taxes, and they have learned from
Newt Gingrich that massive spending cuts are political
poison. On health care, controlling costs means
controlling waste, yet much of that waste is income
for interest groups closely aligned with the
Republican Party, such as pharmaceuticals, HMOs, and
insurance companies. The GOP, then, may be the party
of ideas in the sense that its ideas have slowly and
inexorably ground forward over a long period of time
like glaciers over the Ice Age landscape. But, if this
process leaves them unable to confront the actual
problems facing the country, you have to wonder why
this is something liberals ought to emulate.

The point here is not that conservatives want for new
ideas. It's that the question of which ideas hold sway
is a function of which party holds power and what
priorities it has. It is certainly true that
conservatives have devoted more energy to the question
of fundamentally reshaping Social Security. But this
difference has nothing to do with who has more or
better ideas and everything to do with priorities.
Liberals like Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs have
devoted lots of energy to devising plans to end world
poverty. Liberals have devoted enormous attention to
the problem of global warming, while the Bush
administration insists it will kill any action on the
topic.

Is this because conservatives have no ideas, or are
committed to (as Bush recently described Democrats)
"the philosophy of the stop sign, the agenda of the
roadblock"? No, it's because conservatives
philosophically disagree with those ends. These aren't
contests of which side has more or better ideas. These
are ideological battles over resource allocation. When
Democrats regain power, their ideas will again control
the agenda, and Republicans will again find themselves
devoted primarily to the task of resisting change.

iven all this, why does everybody say the right has
won the war of ideas? To answer the question, you must
first understand that different people mean completely
different things when they say that Democrats have no
new ideas. And some of those who call for Democrats to
come up with new ideas don't actually mean that at
all.

One meaning has surfaced from Republicans with
particular frequency during the Social Security
debate. "[T]he only idea offered by Democrats is that
[Bush] abandon his plans to reform Social Security
altogether," lamented Weekly Standard Executive Editor
Fred Barnes last month. "George Bush has been willing
to address a long-term, politically thorny problem,"
observed David Brooks in the Times. "But his
Democratic counterparts are behaving like alienated
junior professors. No productive ideas. No sense of
leadership." In reality, Democrats have explicitly
stated their willingness to address Social Security's
future deficit as long as privatization is off the
table. So, when conservatives decry Democrats' lack of
ideas, they mean a refusal to adopt conservative
ideas.

Liberal pundits also like to flay Democrats for
lacking positive ideas, but they mean something else
entirely. "If the Democrats had a brain, they'd. ..."
is a familiar mainstay of the op-ed pages and the chat
shows. For instance, Washington Post columnist David
Ignatius argued two months ago, "A sensible Democratic
leadership would gather this very weekend to begin
formulating a plan to address America's looming
economic crises. These party leaders would develop
specific proposals to reduce the trade and budget
deficits that are spooking the financial markets....
They would reject Bush's half-baked plan for private
accounts, but at the same time they would give the
president political cover to do what's necessary to
begin matching future benefits to future revenue."

Just last month, another Post columnist, Steven
Pearlstein, chimed in, "Having railed against them in
vain for the past five years, you'd think Democrats
might try to reframe the issue on tax fairness." In a
recent Times column, Thomas L. Friedman wrote,
"Democrats [are] so clearly out of ideas." Friedman's
ideas? Promoting alternative fuels, "a new New Deal to
address the insecurities of the age of globalization,"
stem-cell research, and action on global warming.

Of course, the above describes the Democratic position
almost perfectly. It seems odd, but in fact this sort
of thing is quite common: One constantly hears
impassioned demands that the Democrats do exactly what
they are already doing. Often, this confusion simply
reflects the Democrats' inability to publicize their
ideas--or frustration at their inability to win
political victories in GOP-dominated Washington. (I
can't tell you how many conversations I've had in
which liberal friends ask why the Democratic leaders
aren't simply saying that Bush's tax cuts are
unaffordable and go to the rich, when in fact they are
doing so with stultifying repetitiveness.) Sometimes
it's merely a rhetorical device used by pundits to
express their own liberal views while appearing
nonpartisan.

ut the constant invoking of the idea gap isn't
entirely, or even mostly, disingenuous. Lots of
politicians and analysts earnestly believe it. They
believe it because they buy into a set of shared
assumptions, usually unstated, about how U.S. politics
works. The central assumption is that politics
revolves around issues and ideas--rather than things
like personality, tactics, and outside
circumstances--and that the party that wins is the one
that presents a more compelling vision of the future.

Because this interpretation is so widely shared, it is
usually offered as a statement of faith, with little
or no substantiation. Washington Post columnist
Sebastian Mallaby articulated this conviction in a
column last year. "Candidates (and especially
challengers) win elections by offering compelling
visions, and those visions have to be based on real
policies," he wrote. "Clinton won in 1992 not just
because of Carville's slogan, catchy though it may
have been; he won because he was prepared to grapple
publicly with thorny issues, from the sources of
American competitiveness to the pros and cons of
nafta." In June of 2000, U.S. News columnist and
longtime Washington eminence David Gergen wrote,
"There is a good reason why Governor Bush is forging
ahead in this race: He is becoming the candidate of
fresh ideas."

This sort of interpretation is common among
journalists. Up until the day of an election, the
energies of the candidates and their observers revolve
around which side has the stronger turnout operation,
whose ads work more, which candidate hurts himself by
putting the wrong kind of cheese on his cheesesteak
sandwich, and other minutiae. Immediately after the
voting, the locus of analysis switches completely, and
the election is retroactively determined to be a
referendum on the candidates' platforms.

Alas, this sort of thinking assumes a wildly
optimistic level of discernment by voters. Polls
consistently show that large swaths of the voting
public know very little about the positions taken by
candidates. In 2000, the National Annenberg Election
Survey found that just 57 percent of voters knew Al
Gore was more liberal than Bush, 51 percent knew he
was more supportive of gun control, and a mere 46
percent understood that he was more supportive of
abortion rights. "The voting behavior literature,
which is massive, shows that people are not
particularly idea-driven," explains Berkeley political
scientist Nelson Polsby. "They don't know what the
fashions are, with respect to what ideas go with other
ideas."

Political scientists have shown how factors like
economic performance and the rally-around-the-flag
effect can exert enormous influence over voting
behavior. A recent study in Science magazine was even
more disturbing to those who believe in the power of
ideas. Scientists showed the subjects pairs of
photographs, which turned out to be matched candidates
in Senate and House races. The subjects had to judge
within one second which candidate looked more
competent, on the basis of appearance alone. Their
choice matched the candidate who won an astounding
71.6 percent of the time in Senate races. If you
consider that a decent share of Senate races pit
unknown, underfunded challengers against popular
incumbents in highly partisan states, that is a
remarkably high percentage. Faith in the discernment
of the public is not based on proof, it's premised on,
well, faith.

This idealistic belief in the power of the voters to
judge superior policy ideas has deep roots. Alexis de
Tocqueville noted how it is customary for Americans to
speak flatteringly of the public in the unquestioning
way that Europeans speak flatteringly of their
monarchs. More to the point, it is often in both
sides' interest to think this way. Bill Clinton's 1992
victory has been widely attributed to his bold New
Democrat-populist platform, in contrast with George
H.W. Bush's tired defense of the status quo.

Democrats accede to this interpretation for the
obvious reasons. Republicans accede to it because they
see Bush as an ideological apostate and are therefore
eager to paint his defeat as a consequence of his
infidelity to conservative dogma. But, while Clinton's
innovative platform surely helped him seize the
political center, other factors--a sluggish economy, a
third-party candidate disproportionately hurting Bush,
and Clinton's charisma--surely mattered more.

This idealism retreated somewhat after the 2000
elections. (Given that his opponent received more
votes, it was awkward to paint Bush's triumph as a
consequence of his ideas.) But it has returned in full
force after the 2004 elections. There is plenty of
evidence that the rise in Bush's stature after
September 11, as well as John Kerry's ineptitude as a
candidate, played a decisive role. But both sides have
emphasized instead the role of ideas.

If elections themselves don't hinge on competing
ideas, then at least ideas can shape the long-term
ideological terrain, right? That's the story both
right and left have been telling. In his Commentary
essay, Piereson wrote that, in the immediate postwar
years, American businessmen "did not understand the
link between ideas and political movements, and
therefore did not see the need to mount a sustained
intellectual defense of their own interests." Piereson
does not explain what persuaded them to abandon their
lack of interest and aggressively fund conservative
think tanks and foundations. Liberals--who have
developed a fascination with corporations and the rise
of conservative institutions--have an explanation of
their own. They invest enormous importance in a memo
written by Lewis Powell in 1971, making the case that
corporate America must aggressively defend its
interests.

My colleague John B. Judis, though, has a far more
convincing explanation than a memo that changed the
world. In February, he wrote in these pages that
businesses adopted a more aggressive and
self-interested stance because the U.S. economy
changed. In the 25 years after World War II, U.S.
business enjoyed a dominant and cushioned position.
Therefore business leaders could afford to accommodate
unions and reasonable regulations. But, as the rest of
the world eventually caught up, profit margins shrank
and businesses began fighting unions and looking to
Washington to cut their taxes, eliminate regulations,
and institute other changes geared toward their bottom
line. The cultivation of conservative ideas certainly
played a role. But the great shift in U.S. politics
resulted not from the persuasive powers of
conservative intellectuals but dramatic changes in
underlying material conditions.

related assumption is that new ideas are better than
old ones. This meme has gained particular currency
during the Social Security debate. For instance,
conservative privatization advocate Peter Ferrara
dismissed liberal foe Robert Ball as a "well-meaning
gentleman who hasn't had a new idea in 40 years." The
accusation resonates with many liberals. The
Democrats' economic policy, as labor leader Andrew
Stern told Matt Bai of The New York Times Magazine,
"is basically being opposed to Republicans and
protecting the New Deal. It makes me realize how
vibrant the Republicans are in creating
twenty-first-century ideas, and how sad it is that
we're defending 60-year-old ideas."

The elevation of new over old is one of those beliefs
that can only survive as a background assumption,
without any critical scrutiny. Nobody tries to explain
why new is inherently better, because the notion is
obviously ridiculous. Take Social Security, for
instance. Whatever you think of the general virtues of
privatization, the program has actually grown more,
not less, suited to the character of the U.S. economy
over the last several decades. Social Security is
designed to safeguard individuals from various risks.
As the economy has grown significantly riskier, the
need for a program that offers people a risk-free
financial bedrock has grown stronger, and the case for
subjecting the program itself to more market risk has
grown more dubious.

The final cause of the idea-centric view of U.S.
politics is that ideas are sexy. Wealthy donors seem
to be particularly prone to ideophilia. Bai recounts
how Democratic operative Rob Stein showed a now
semi-famous slide presentation detailing the
$300-million-per-year conservative message machine to
venture capitalist Andy Rappaport. "Man," Rappaport
replied, "that's all it took to buy the country?" Both
conservatives and liberals talk about the "battle of
ideas" as though political success were simply a
matter of having one thousand policy entrepreneurs
chained to one thousand keyboards.

This conception of U.S. politics is especially
compelling to intellectuals. It is a vision of a noble
landscape in which philosopher kings hold sway. Each
side has its visionaries, wonks, and pamphleteers,
beavering away to see whose ideological manifestos,
new syntheses, and ten-point plans will prove decisive
in the next election. Writers and thinkers enjoy a
heroic central role in shaping history: We--not grubby
factors like attack ads or the state of the economy or
the candidates' ease before the cameras--hold the
future in our hands. Twenty years ago, Tom Wolfe
appeared before a gathering of conservatives in
Washington and declared that Marxism's appeal lay in
its "implicit secret promise ... of handing power over
to the intellectuals." The promise is not confined to
Marxism. It seems to have seduced everybody.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Why we're in Iraq

We are in Iraq because we have to be there, since that's where the terrorists are. But the terrorists are in Iraq because we are there and they know they can strike us there. So why are we in Iraq?

We are in Iraq because we have to be there, since that's where the terrorists are. But the terrorists are in Iraq because we are there and they know they can strike us there. So why are we in Iraq?

We are in Iraq because we have to be there, since that's where the terrorists are. But the terrorists are in Iraq because we are there and they know they can strike us there. So why are we in Iraq?

We are in Iraq because we have to be there, since that's where the terrorists are. But the terrorists are in Iraq because we are there and they know they can strike us there. So why are we in Iraq?

We are in Iraq because we have to be there, since that's where the terrorists are. But the terrorists are in Iraq because we are there and they know they can strike us there. So why are we in Iraq?
And where is my medication?

I'm flying my flag July 4, Mr. President.

I lifted this from democraticunderground.com and edited it to suit my needs as the author suggested.
I'm flying my flag July 4, Mr. President.

You bet I will.

I'll fly it for our troops, just as you suggested tonight. They're doing the job you sent them to do, even the ones who don't agree with you.

Hell, it's my flag just as much as it is yours, since both our daddies fought for it and the freedom it represents. But it means much more to me than just that. I hope you'll hear me out.

We have some things in common, Mr. President. Our fathers both fought honorably in World War II. And you and I served during the Vietnam War.

We both got lucky on that Vietnam thing, Mr. President. You were lucky enough to have your dad get you off the hook so someone else could take your place. I was lucky enough to get back alive. Like I said, we we both got lucky.

I just heard you speak tonight of the war on terror. Of murderous ideology, of images of violence and bloodshed. You linked the terror we all felt on September 11, 2001 to the current "war on terror", as you call it, in Iraq.

Mr. President, I must say, do you really think we're that gullible?

I'll give you credit where it's due, Mr. President. You had either the courage or the gumption tonight to quote the very person whose name you've avoided for months: Osama bin Laden, whom you credit here:

"This Third World War is raging'' in Iraq. "The whole world is watching this war.'' He says it will end in "victory and glory or misery and humiliation.''

Mr. President, I despise Osama bin Laden, and I supported you, perhaps for the only time, when you promised to go after him and hunt him down. But Osama bin Laden is right about how all this will end. Which will it be, in the end? Victory and glory? Or misery and humiliation?

So we all want to know, why are we in Iraq instead? Why did you lie to us? Do you think we haven't figured it out? Come on, Mr. President. Let's keep it real for once, just you and me. You've gotten us into a real mess here, fella. Folks are starting to think you're in over your head.

Mr. President, we're of the same generation. Like I said, we have some things in common. But I must say, I think you've forgotten something very important that I was brought up with.

You've forgotten the American people. You know, the ones you represent.

Among us are the sick and old.

There are veterans who have returned from wars and paid the price asked of them only to find they can't get health care.

There are moms and dads who have lost their jobs, and sometimes their kids in your war.

There are people who work hard every day just to get by and feed their kids who have had their jobs sent to foreign lands so your rich friends can make more money.

Across the land, regular folks who have lost their children to this war expected more from you tonight. Instead, they got more of the same. They deserve better. We forgot Poland.

You forgot America.

Mr. President, my flag will fly on July 4th. Not because of you, but in spite of you. You see, I flew this flag long before you and your supporters wrapped yourself in it for personal gain. I flew it then and I fly it now because I believe in what it really stands for, not as a Republican Party trademark but as the banner of a free nation, worthy of respect and admiration around the world.

The flag belongs to the American people, and it represents all of us. Not some; all. Even those who choose to burn it.

I'm flying my flag July 4, Mr. President. Just like you said.

Senator Corzine response to Bush Speech of 28 June on Iraq

Press Release of Senator Corzine

Corzine Statement on Bush Speech Marking the First
Anniversary of Iraqi Sovereignty

Contact:
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Washington DC - U.S. Senator Jon S. Corzine (D-NJ)
tonight released the following statement regarding
President George W. Bush’s remarks in Fort Bragg, NC.
Bush’s speech marked the first anniversary of Iraqi
sovereignty after the American-led invasion that
toppled Saddam Hussein in the spring of 2003.

“The president failed to give the American people and
our troops the specific plan for success they deserve.
He appropriately offered a more sober assessment of
the war than Vice President Cheney and others in his
Administration. But he provided no new information
about how the insurgency will be defeated, how many
U.S. troops will eventually be deployed or how much it
will cost.

“We must prevail. Contrary to what the Administration
told us before the war, Iraq was not a central front
in the War on Terrorism. But it is now. The president
has much more work to do to overcome the concerns of
the American people. We need a realistic but clear
plan, including measurable benchmarks with regard to
Iraqi political progress, the training of Iraqi troops
and Iraq’s economic reconstruction. And most
importantly, we need assurances that our troops have
all the equipment and resources they need.”


THE ISSUE IS CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE!

How many times have I heard an incompetent physician
walk away from an expired patient dramatically saying:
he was very sick, very, very sick; I did everything I
could, but he was too sick to survive; but I had to
keep spirits high and seem optimistic, for the
family's morale.

So, Mr. Bush is trying to cover up the idiot's
planning of his administration's CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE
in Iraq by pretending that Iraq was so critical that
he had to intervene; and now, what can we do but hang
in there. Ironically, yesterday's is a speech he
pulled off the shelf from last year when he faced the
same crisis in confidence with the same BUSHIT.

I will not make the case for CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE right
now. But fact is there are always autopsies after the
the CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE causes expiration. And, all
the doctors eventually discover the incompetence at
the Wet Tissue Conference. Yet, I wonder, why wait for
the pathologists-cum-historians to give us the autopsy
report? Why must we silently accept the losses of life
and treasure while Bush dabbles in other schemes to
pay back the robber barons that fueled his 2004
campaign?

We want debate-- responsible and knowledgeable-- now.
We want Bush to know that his BUSHIT speeches will no
longer do-- especially if they are simply rehashes
from last year, rhetoric devoid of analysis and
solutions. This is policy by speechwriters, not by
President. Mr. Bush has left Rumsfeld in place for
later use to deflect irate criticisms on Iraq from
himself and onto Rumsfeld when the latter is kicked
out in disgrace.

We cannot pretend to be GOOD AMERICANS without
thinking of all those kids in Iraq as our kids instead
of seeing them as just guys and gals stupid enough to
volunteer when there is no more conscription. And, as
their parents, the question is for us, not, our kids,
the soldiers in the field, to answer: how do we feel
about our kids killed and maimed in this way,
justified by such a hollow rehash speech full of false
claims, misleading assertions and no sound arguments,
nor new solutions?

OUR KIDS DYING IN IRAQ DESERVE AT LEAST MORE DEPTH AND
CONCRETE LEVELING WITH US OUT OF RESPECT FOR THE PRICE
THEY PAY!

In the end, Bush is allowed to get away with his
CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE as Commander-and-Chief; the same
as that which he was let to get away with as DWI. Only
serious and responsible debate will shed enough light
to prevent yet another generation to be added to the
pointlessness of lessons still unlearned after Korea
and Vietnam.

Maybe a lot of soldiers in Iraq feel good about what
they are doing. I would hope so, for anything less
might severely affect morale. But that does not excuse
us from responsibly exposing the CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE
at the top that is killing so many of the best of
America's youth.

How to help Iraq Vets

A worthy endeavor:
Jimmy Sturla of Pequannock was wounded in Iraq a while back.
His Mom and family have a thing where they have fund raisers
for the guys coming home wounded. They have been giving money
to selected guys I think in NJ to help them and their families.

They are doing pretty good too. There's a lot of events coming up.
That's all the info I have now. I'll try to get contacts.

Max Clelland coming to NEW JERSEY!

Hi Everyone,

I would like to let you all know that pending final
confirmation today, it looks like we are a go for
holding a vets event with Max Clelland on July 28.
Given that Max is a national figure, we would like to
make this a big rally for Sen. Corzine and will invite
vets and non-vets to attend (but it will be billed as
a vets event). We need to move very fast in putting
this event together since we are only a month out
right now.

We need to find a location. Does anyone know of one?
Here’s what we are looking for in a location:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1) <!--[endif]-->Fairly
close to Newark (as the senators will be coming on
train and plane)—location in Union, Middlesex, or
Bergen counties could work.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2)
<!--[endif]-->Location would have to accommodate about
300-500 people (I assume that’s the crowd size we’d
get) and handicapped accessible

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3) <!--[endif]-->A
pre-existing stage would be fantastic (so we don’t
have to pay for one)

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4) <!--[endif]-->Cost:
free if possible otherwise let me know the figure and
I will see if we can cover the cost

Please let me know asap. We should get our
invitations out by the end of this week (at the
latest).

Thanks!

--Jason

Jason Cassese

Constituency Outreach Director

Victory 2005

317 George St.

Suite 105

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Phone: (732) 729-9940

Fax: (732) 729-9941

jason@njdems.org

Nicholson, chops Vets for Bush

w Sec. of VA Nicholson before the Congressional
Committee on Appropriations.

He has a budget shortfall of $1.5 BILLION for 2005 and
a 6% underestimation for 2006. Only 13% of that budget
shortfall is for the added stress of Iraq related
vets. The rest is clearly because of Vets that lost
employment or retirement health benefits and are
forced to resort to VA-- not the best of medical care,
as some Congressmen pointed out.

The Congressmen-- Republicans as well as Democrats--
in the word of one Congressman, A REPUBLICAN, deemed
his not coming to Congress for a supplemental,
"bordering on stupidity."

This administration wants an open-ended Iraq
commitment on the basis that we're stuck there and at
the same time tried to cut VA benefits. Stay tuned,
it's going to get worse!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Questions for Bushigula

Watching the president promote his Iraq War on TV brought up several questions. Now that Iraq has been disarmed of WMD and Saddam Hussein is in custody, why do we still risk the lives of our people in uniform? Why does he continue to mix the events of 9-11 with the Iraq invasion and occupation? Why are energy prices at record highs? Where are the flowers and chocolates awaiting our soldiers? Why does this administration cut veterans benefits while making new disabled veterans? Why is Osama bin Laden still at large? What part of an exit strategy is 14 permanent bases? How do you tell someone to be the last man to die for a mistake? Oh, I forgot, our "Dear Leader" never makes any mistakes. And why did he ignore the August 6, 2001 PDB?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

MR CORZINE, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL FOR VETS

By: danielet June 26 at 3:02 PM EST

If there is one group that is really supporting Corzine for Governor it is military veterans in New Jersey. This was obvious from the filling of every seat at the Vet Caucus at the Atlantic City Democrat gathering. I was on the program as a speaker and must say that I haven't seen such determination and resolve since I saw some of these vets in uniform in battle. But, when I got to the Convention I also realized that a lot of Vets who wanted to come were not there. Why is that? Could it be that they do not care?
WELL, MOST OF THE VETS THAT I KNOW WHO WERE NOT THERE CONSIDER THE CORZINE CAMPAIGN A LIFE AND DEATH MATTER, SO WHY DIDN'T THEY SHOW UP?

WELL, SOMEONE IN THE NJ DEMOCRAT PARTY CAME TO THE LAST VETS FOR CORZINE MEETING A FEW WEEKS BEFORE THE CONVENTION AND ANNOUNCED THAT ANYONE WHO WANTED TO GO HAD TO PAY THE $90 REGISTRATION FEE, NO EXCEPTIONS.

FOR MOST OF THE VETS PUTTING HEART AND SOUL INTO THE CAMPAIGN OF FELLOW-VET JON CORZINE $90 IS A LOT OF MONEY. IT IS ABOUT ONE WEEK'S FAMILY FOOD BILL FOR MANY OF THEM. SO, THOUGH THEY ALL LOVE CORZINE AND WOULD HAVE WALKED ON THEIR HANDS TO GET TO ATLANTIC CITY TO SHOW THEIR SOLIDARITY WITH CORZINE, THE $90 WAS AN IMPOSIBLE WALL FOR THEM TO CLIMB.

In fact, when ONE got there, ONE found out that entry was free. But these vets know "crashing" as something you do to the Enemy's fort, not your own. And so, refused a special dispensation, they assumed that they are not as wanted by the NJ DEMOCRAT PARTY leadership as they are wanted and welcomed by the Corzine Campaign.

However, as the Governatorial candidate, Corzine is the leader of the NJ Dems. So I ask:

Governor-to-be Corzine, please

DON'T YOU THINK THAT NEW JERSEY'S VETS HAVE PAYED ENOUGH IN HARM'S WAY IN ORDER TO NOW BECOME A PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS?

PLEASE SIR, EXCERCIZE YOUR AUTHORITY AND DECLARE THAT HENCEFORTH, ANY VETS FOR CORZINE-- THOSE PEOPLE WHO WORK HEART AND SOUL AS VOLUNTEERS FOR YOUR ELECTION--BE ALLOWED FREE-- REPEAT FREE-- ADMISSION TO ALL YOUR CAMPAIGN EVENTS, INCLUDING YOUR FOR SURE INAUGURATION!

A LOT OF THE VETS THAT HAD GOOD FORTUNE UPON THEIR RETURN FROM SERVICE AND HAVE MADE IT ECONOMICALLY WOULD CONSIDER $90 NOTHING. UNFORTUNATELY,MOST OF OUR STATE'S VETS HAVE TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS BECAUSE, ONCE OUT OF SERVICE, EACH WAR'S VETS FIND THE PLATE LESS FULL THAN THE PREVIOUS WAR'S VETS. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO PUT CASH IN THE POCKETS OF THE ROBBER BARONS. IN FACT, KARL ROVE AND THE ROBBER BARONS ARE PUTTING A LOT OF CASH INTO THE FORRESTER CAMPAIGN, SO THEY CAN AFFORD LE BEAU GESTE OF LETTING VETS IN FOR FREE AT POLITICAL EVENTS TO SHOW THEIR GENEROCITY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME CUTTING VET BENIFITS DRASTICALLY SO THAT THERE WILL BE MORE CASH AVAILABLE FOR MARKET SPECULATION IN CHINA AND OUTSOURCING OF JOBS.

BUT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY IS THE PARTY OF THE COMMON MAN. SO, NO MATTER HOW POOR A MAN, THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR HIM IN IT. WELL, THE NEW JERSEY VETS HAVE PAYED MORE THAN THE COST OF ENTRY INTO ANYTHING IN THIS STATE. THE IRAQ VETS WILL BE ESPECIALLY NEEDED. THEIR YOUTH AND ENERGY WILL BE VITAL IN THE BATTLE TO STOP THE VISCIOUS BUSH CUTS IN VETS BENIFITS AND SERVICES FOR THE SICK, DISABLED AND AGING VETS TOO WEAK TO FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES. MORE THAN A QUARTER OF THE RETURNING VETS CANNOT FIND A JOB IN BUSH'S AMERICA. SO, TO CHARGE THEM TO COME AND PARTICIPATE IN THE CAMPAIGN IS LIKE CHARGING THEM FOR THEIR AMMO AND GAS FOR THEIR HUM-VEES IN IRAQ.

PLEASE MR. CORZINE. TAKE THE LEAD AS ONE OF THESE VETERANS YOURSELF AND ORDER: anything Democrat in this state welcomes all vets FREE from now to your inauguration because your fellow vets have payed more than enough for the priviledge to participate in the very political FREEDOM they all fought to preserve and protect!

THAT WAY, THESE FIGHTERS TO THE END WILL KNOW THAT THE VICTOR THEY SO ENTHUSIASTICALLY SUPPORT WILL WELCOME THEM AT HIS SIDE, ALL THE WAY TO THE VICTORY PARTY, THE INAUGURATION, AS BROTHERS BOTH IN ARMS AND IN POLITICAL FREEDOM.

CORZINE AND THE "B" WORD

Karl Rove is putting his fingers in the NJ Governor's race pie and stiring it up. As I said, OUR state's campaign is the first battle in Rove's campaign to win back a BUSHIT Congress. Many consider him the "miracle man" that got Bush a Republican Congress in 2002 and got Bush re-elected in 2004.

The Rove style is simple: DEMONIZE 'EM!

By attacking the opponent and making him seem like some four headed freak, all that a Rove created candidate has to do for himself is say: WHO DO YOU PREFER, A FOUR HEADED FREAK OR ME?

That's what was done in 2004. Bush sounded like an idiot debating on Iraq, so Rove got John O'Neill and the "Swifties" to make the Vietnam War of thirty years ago the issue instead of the Iraq War maiming and killing our kids.

Rove went to Fundamentalist Christians (quietly in private meet-ups in allegedly APOLITICAL-- tax-exempt Churches) that the opposition is the "anti-Christ" so that then he wouldn't have to expalin his candidate's devilish rule of America.

Well, now, preparing for NJ's Governor Race, Karl Rove said that LIBERALS-- of course, meaning Democrat candidates-- wanted to engage the 9/11 terrorists with psychotherapy, while CONSERVATIVES-- meaning Republicans, of course-- wanted to go after them and blow them up in order to make America safe. With New Jersey as a main port of entry on the front line of the war on terror, Karl figured, the issue would not be Forrester's circus clown performance in the Republican primary debates but how dangerous New Jersey would become if Corzine is elected.

In case you didn't know it, CORZINE WAS A MARINE....while Karl Rove was what he always was and always will be:a rollypolly little fat boy with a big mouth. Often in his career he would yell at someone: You're dead meat, even though, without a meatgrinder he could never bring that about. But bravado in politics seems his only way to go for this little fat boy with a big mouth.

When Corzine addressed the Vet Caucus at the Atlantic City NJ Democrat Convention, he was asked about the Rove comparison of Dems and Reps. Corzine said that frankly that was "BULLSHIT" because all Americans after 9/11, Republicans and Democrats, supported Bush in his war against alQaeda.

FRIENDS, AS A REPUBLICAN, I FOUND CORZINE'S WORDS MUSIC TO MY EARS BECAUSE, YOU SEE, TO ME, BUSH AND HIS ILK ARE *NOT* REPUBLICANS NOR CONSERVATIVES. BUSH IS JUST A SPOILED BRAT WHO THINKS HE IS "IT."

BUT, IN FACT, BUSH IS NOT "IT," HE IS NOTHING BUT *BUSHIT*!!!!

So, I figure, if Corzine can call Rove's evil words appropriately,"bullshit," then surely I can call the headless mouths that took over my Republican Party, BUSHIT--- If she had the courage, I'm sure our last Republican governor would be glad to call the Bush Administration "BUSHIT" instead of "bullshit." So, come on Republicans, speak from the soul:

STOP THE BUSHIT!!!!!!

Bush & Co. usurped the Republican Party. Now, with Congressional elections coming, most
Republicans in Congress are begining to realize that they are covered in *BUSHIT* and are desperately trying to wash it off before the 2006 Congressional Campaign.

THIS IS THE MESSAGE I-- *AS* *A* *REPUBLICAN* HAVE BEEN TRYING TO GET ACCROSS TO YOU:

PLEASE DO NOT JUDGE US ALL BY THE BUSHIT. IT WILL TAKE TIME, BUT ONE BY ONE, WE WILL GET OUT OF THE *BUSHIT* TO JOIN YOU IN A TRULLY BI-PARTISAN SAVING OF AMERICA FROM SINKING IN THE *BUSHIT*.

IN THE MEANTIME, I'M SO GLAD THAT SEN. CORZINE CALLED ROVE'S *BULLSHIT* EXACTLY WHAT IT IS--"BULLSHIT" BECAUSE NOW I CAN INSIST THAT WE CALL THE BUSH CLONE, *FORRESTER* EXACTLY WHAT HE IS: A BUSHIT CLONE....

Please note that I did not call him "bullshit." I don't want to lower the tone of the campaign as Rove did before Forrester does it by adopting Rove's rhetoric. But, unless he breaks with Bush on all the issues of a giveaway America for the robber barons, as far as I'm concered, though he thinks that he is *IT*-- as Bush thinks he is *IT*-- to me AS A REPUBLICAN-- he is nothing but *BUSHIT*

It's not easy to be a registered Republican supporting Corzine, a Democrat. But for me America comes first and to save America I'm forced to come to you Democrats and ask you to please help save America from Trenton to Wash DC, one election at a time-- STARTING WITH CORZINE FOR GOVERNOR-- because, to me, Forrester is not a real Republican:

*FORRESTER*=*BUSHIT*

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Our flag can stand on its own

Conyers Challenges GOP on Flag Desecration Amendment

BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

News from Rep. John Conyers, Jr.:
Congressman John Conyers, Jr.
Michigan, 14th District
Ranking Member, U.S. House Judiciary Committee
Dean, Congressional Black Caucus
"Patriotism means to always stand by your country, and your government when it deserves it."
(Mark Twain)
www.house.gov/judiciary_democrats/

Representative John Conyers, Jr., (D-MI) House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, delivered the following statement on H.J. Res. 10, the flag desecration amendment, today on the House floor:

"Today's consideration of H. J. Res. 10 will show whether we have the strength to remain true to our forefather's constitutional ideals and defend our citizens' right to express themselves, even if we vehemently disagree with their method of expression.

Few Americans favor burning the flag. I personally deplore desecration of the flag in any form, but am strongly opposed to this resolution. This resolution goes against those ideals the flag represents and elevates a symbol of freedom over freedom itself. If adopted, this resolution would represent the first time in our Nation's history that the people's representatives voted to alter the Bill of Rights to limit the freedom of speech.

While some may say that this resolution is not the end of our First Amendment liberties, it may be the beginning. By limiting the scope of the First Amendment's free speech protections, we are setting a most dangerous precedent. If we open the door to criminalizing Constitutionally-protected expression related to the flag, it will be difficult to limit further efforts to censor speech. Once we decide to limit freedom of speech, limitations on freedom of the press and freedom of religion cannot be far behind.

It has been said that the true test of any nation's commitment to freedom of expression lies in its ability to protect unpopular expression, such as flag desecration. As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' wrote in 1929, the Constitution protects not only freedom for the thought and expression we agree with, but "freedom for the thought we hate."

This resolution is in response to two Supreme Court decisions - Texas v. Johnson in 1989 and United States v. Eichman in 1990. It is always tempting for Congress to "show the Court who's boss," by amending the Constitution to outlaw flag-related expression. But if we do, we will not only be carving an awkward exception into a document designed to last for the ages, but will be undermining the very Constitutional structure Jefferson and Madison designed to protect our rights. In effect, we will be glorifying fringe elements who disrespect the flag, and what it stands for, while denigrating the Constitutional vision of Madison and Jefferson.

Concern about the "tyranny of the majority" led the framers to create an independent judiciary free of political pressure to ensure that the legislative and executive branches would honor the Bill of Rights. A Constitutional amendment banning flag desecration flies in the very face of this carefully balanced structure. The fact that the Congress would consider the first ever amendment to the Bill of Rights without so much as a hearing this Congress makes this all the more objectionable.

James Madison warned against using the amendment process to correct every perceived Constitutional defect, particularly concerning issues which inflame public passion. And unfortunately, there is no better illustration of Madison's concern than the proposed flag desecration amendment. History has proven that efforts to legislate respect for the flag only serve to increase flag-related protest, and a Constitutional amendment will no doubt increase such protests many times over.

Almost as significant as the damage this resolution would do to our own Constitution is the harm it will inflict on our international standing in the area of human rights. Demonstrators who ripped apart communist flags before the fall of the Iron Curtain committed crimes against their country's laws, yet freedom loving Americans applauded their brave actions. Yet if we pass this amendment, we will be aligning ourselves with autocratic regimes such as those in Iran and the former Soviet Union, and diminish our own moral stature as a protector of freedom in all of its forms.

Those of us who oppose this amendment to the Constitution prohibiting the physical desecration of the flag express the sentiment of many Americans. In May 2005, a majority of Americans opposed such an amendment by 63% to 35% because of its First Amendment restrictions. Our veterans, citizens who have risked their lives to defend the ideals the flag represents, oppose this amendment as well. Veterans for Common Sense and Veterans Defending the Bill of Rights do not want to see the First Amendment unraveled and a desecration of what the flag represents.

For those who believe a Constitutional amendment will honor the flag, I would urge them to actually read the Supreme Court's 1989 decision in Texas v. Johnson. The Majority wrote, "[t]he way to preserve the flag's special role is not to punish those who feel differently about these matters. It is to persuade them that they are wrong ... We can imagine no more appropriate response to burning a flag than waving one's own, no better way to counter a flag burner's message than by saluting the flag ... We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents."

I urge the Members to maintain the constitutional ideal of freedom and to vote against this Resolution."

BUZZFLASH NEWS ALERT

Soldier w/ BALLS contradicts Rummy's BUSHIT!

Top Commander Says Insurgency Still Strong By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 26 minutes ago



The top American commander in the Persian Gulf told Congress on Thursday that the Iraqi insurgency has not grown weaker over the past six months, despite a claim by Vice President Dick Cheney that it was in its "last throes."

Gen. John Abizaid's testimony came at a contentious Senate Armed Services Committee hearing at which Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld clashed with members of both parties, including a renewed call by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record) of Massachusetts for him to step down.

Citing what he called repeated "gross errors and mistakes" in the U.S. military campaign in Iraq, Kennedy told Rumsfeld: "In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the secretary of defense?"

"Isn't it time for you to resign?" Kennedy asked.

"I've offered my resignation to the president twice," Rumsfeld shot back, saying that President Bush had decided not to accept it. "That's his call," he said.

Kennedy has called for Rumsfeld's resignation before.

Rumsfeld, Abizaid and other top defense officials were grilled on the future presence of U.S. troops in Iraq. As to proposals from some lawmakers to set a timetable for U.S. withdrawal, Rumsfeld said: "That would be a mistake."

But even some Republicans expressed open skepticism with U.S. policy in Iraq, with U.S. deaths now surpassing 1,700 since the war began in March 2003.

"Public support in my state is turning," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record), R-S.C. "People are beginning to question. And I don't think it's a blip on the radar screen. We have a chronic problem on our hands."

Committee Democrats and some Republicans on the panel accused the administration of being overly optimistic, including Cheney's Memorial Day "last throes" observation about the insurgency.

Abizaid told the panel: "I believe there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago." As to the overall strength of the insurgency, Abizaid said it was "about the same" as six months ago.

"We see good progress in both Iraq and Afghanistan... But we are realistic. And we know that great change is often accompanied with violence. We are not trying to paint a rosy picture," Abizaid said.

Told by Levin, the committee's senior Democrat, that his assessment directly contradicted Cheney, Abizaid said: "I don't know that I would make any comment about that other than to say there's a lot of work to be done...I gave you my opinion."

In a CNN interview last month, Cheney said: "I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."

"The fact is that the insurgency has not weakened," Levin said. "Our men and women in uniform are serving with great honor. They deserve an objective assessment of the situation in Iraq. They deserve a clear layout of the next steps there. They're not getting either from the administration."

Rumsfeld voiced strong opposition to congressional calls for an exit strategy with a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.

"Timing in war is never predictable. There are never guarantees," Rumsfeld said. "Those who say we are losing this war are wrong. We are not."

Testifying on the progress in training Iraq's own security forces, Rumsfeld said these forces have "a way to go," but progress was being made.

The administration contends that Iraqis must be able to defend their own country against a lethal insurgency before a timeline for bringing home troops can be considered.

But progress has been slower than expected. In recent weeks, insurgents have increasingly targeted Iraqi security forces. And U.S. casualties, war spending and public skepticism continue to climb, ruffling both Republicans and Democrats.

"Leaving before the task is complete would be catastrophic," Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the panel.

Levin said there was "no military settlement without a political settlement."

He said the Bush administration should tell the Iraqis that if they do not meet their deadline for drafting a constitution — August 15, with a possible six-month extension — the United States will consider setting a timetable for troop withdrawals.

"We must demonstrate to the Iraqis that our willingness to bear the burden ... has limits," Levin said.

Iraqis are to vote on the proposed constitution in a referendum by Oct. 15. It must be ratified by a two-thirds majority of voters. If approved, elections for a permanent government would be held by Dec. 15.

Rumsfeld and committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., added their voices to those urging Iraq to stick to that schedule.

Warner, meanwhile, praised Bush for "steady and unflinching resolve.

"Our great nation has an enormous capacity for sacrifice and hardship when we understand the cause is just," he said.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bush welcomes Vietcong terrorist to White House

Well, well well...Mr. Kiet, Hanoi's Prime Minister has come to kiss-up to GW Bush. For some of us that means BBBBAAAAARRRRFFFF.....[vomit, vomit, vomit] because while our Mr. President was hiding out from the Texas National Guard snorting cocaine, blowing pot and boozing it up-- the neurological and cognitive consequences are there for all to see-- and making a "Republican career, GOD FORBID, for himself being useless to the campaign of someone beholding to his "Poppy," the rest of us remember our days in Vietnam. For GW, of course, there are no such memories, for he never ever heard a gun go off aimed at his head. Those days are not just memories for us, they are also for the people of both North and South Vietnam; those days are our common past, but also their present and future. The "bloodbath" has turned into a trickle since 1976 when the "blood debt" was paid by some 500,000 South Vietnamese who were our allies but we never got out. Now the victims are Communists and non-Communists alike who think that a Mafia regime is not what the Vietnamese people deserve.

Ahhhh, but don't tell that to Georgie boy. After all, not only is war and all its horrors unknown to him, there's nothing wrong in his mind with a terrorist mafia regime so long as it is on his side. All his crap about "D-E-M-O-C-R-A-C-Y" is Bushit "democrapy," because he also wants our nation run by the Mafia of robber barons that funded his election.

Well, now there is no doubt about the BUSHIT DEMOCRAPY Bush had in mind in his Inaugural speech. It's just that he mangles his own words-- as you all know-- and instead of "democrapy" he misstated it as "democracy." The media got fooled by his error.

But now there's no doubt that all the cruds in the world can count on our support if the accept to fight-for dollars in Iraq so that the sons and daughters of Bushits don't get drafted these are our "democrapic" allies in the war on turd terrorism, what with Bush seeing into the little Stalin Putin's soul, his warm kiss looking down the throat of his new friend, one time Vietcong terrorist's, perhaps also seeing his "good" (sic) soul; similarly, General Meyers, Capo de capos-- Chief of the Joint Chiefs-- yesterday told the killer boss of Uzbekistan that we, the American people (he sure didn't speak for me) support him and agree with him that all the hundreds of peaceful demonstrators he shot down in cold blood are nothing but filthy terrorists, as he says; what else could they be? After all, they were all Islamics, doesn't that prove it?

There you go folks. You got poor Condi Rice-- an honest woman-- telling the masters of Egypt that they better get "democrapic" or else, and Meyers telling the Uzbek killer: keep up the good work. Doesn't matter how hypocritical that makes us look. After all, it's only politics!

But we in New Jersey who were in Vietnam cannot treat all this as "just politics" because that makes us and what we did there nothing but bulls--t. Well, it was not that. It was the REAL fight for democracy. And we will remind the American people the difference between the freedom and democracy we fought for as opposed to the Bushit Democrapy Georgie boy is peddling to the Chief Vietcong now graduating from taking over the US Embassy in Saigon for a day to the White House for a day.

Already DoD is talking about getting Mafia Vietnam to send troops to Iraq. Bush can't sell his soul for that-- he lost it long ago-- so he's going to sell ours-- the very souls we brought back from Vietnam.

Well, 9/11 got Americans to crap in their pants and so they put Bush back in because he promised NO DRAFT. In November 2004, with their kids safe with no draft to send them to Iraq, what did anybody care who was elected. But now Americans found their conscience and are asking: WHO IS THAT MORON? WHAT THE HELL IS HE SAYING?

Yes sir, folks-- 70% of Americans find our Iraq casualty rate unacceptable. So, though they found all the BUSHIT of the campaign acceptable, since he was not going to re-establish the draft, now that they find the casualty rates unacceptable, they are suddenly asking themselves: Who is that asshole on TV? How the hell did he ever get to the White House? Who are all these scumbags he is meeting with?

Alas, it's a bit late. He's in for another 3 1/2 years unless Congress impeaches him. But the Republican Congress can't bring itself to do that, even though, with the election coming, they are more and more disregarding him. Therefore, it's up to us to recapture the House and Senate with DEMOCRATS who are not drinking the Cool-ade and are not addicted to Bushit. Like an interplanetary spaceship, getting a boost for its trip from a slingshot effect, we are, in New Jersey, going to get momentum through a slingshot effect by electing Jon Corzine as Governor this fall.

Karl Rove made Bush President and now has to come up with another miracle in 2006, keeping a Republican majority in both Houses of Congress. There is a right-wing of the Democratic Party (the same wing that thought it better to lose in 2004 in order to get its candidate all set for 2008) is seeking to make the Democratic Party a Karl Rove look-alike. Already, the same NEOCONSERVATIVES that brought us this war on terror-- screwed it up so bad during their control of DoD that it is beginning to look like 9/11-bis in terms of catastrophe-- are negotiating with the Rove-look-alike-wing of the Democratic Party to be let into it in exchange for their big $$$$ contributions if they are promised to control US foreign policy. Remember, after being Communists, they became Democrats and only later did they discover the joy of being robber barons as "Conservative" Republicans (sic-- I'm a Conservative and I assure you none of them are the real thing).

So let's hand Karl Rove his first defeat-- a Corzine win and a wippin' to his boy Forrester. From there on in it's on to the stars and a Democrat Congress again. That way the Bushit can be kept in check. Rove is a little turd who threatens to kill anyone who gets in his way. "You're dead meat," is his favorite response. Well, we all heard machineguns and bombs go off so what's a little fart. Let's teach that turd a lesson....let's show that you can't pull another political miracle with another political moron. Let's work to lay to waste all the $$$$ the Republican National Committee and the robber barons are investing in New Jersey as proof that they've still got the American people by the throat....Let's liberate America beginning our war of national liberation in New Jersey!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Forrester IS INDEED Bushit! here's proof of link!

Karl Rove New Jersey Visit

June 21, 2005



Another Example of Why

Doug Forrester is

“WRONG FOR NEW JERSEY”


Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s Chief Political Strategist, is headlining a fundraiser for Doug Forrester--TOMORROW. We need to stand up against George W. Bush and his buddy Doug Forrester’s

radical right-wing plans for New Jersey.



Please Join Fellow Democrats as We

Rally for New Jersey

at The Home of

Anne Torre


52 Navesink Ave.
Rumson, NJ



Time: 4:15 pm

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2005



For more information call Jonathon at (352) 262-1285 or email: Jonathon.murray@njdems.org

ATTENTION

ATTENTION ALL NJ VETS ON THIS CAUCUS LIST!!!

Please send your e-mail address to "njvetcaucus@yahoo.com" if you want to post on this blog as an OFFICER and not just a comment as a GRUNT. I will send you instructions on how to do it and you can start a thread upon which others can post.

Hope to see you in Atlantic City or at least to see you blog a thread on this site.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

downing street

What does it take to have the media give due attention to the Downing Street memos? At some point the celebrity news, murder plots, kidnappings and the latest expulsions from "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" will fade from public attention.
Suggestions:
--Does Howard Dean have to draw attention to himself by calling for outrage?
--Must there be a critical number of bodies bags headed home?
--Will it take counter "Swifties" movement to ignite the press & the public?
--Will it take a major catastrophe to attrack coverage, discussion & a retracing of our reasons for going to war?

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Forrester=BUSHIT!

GW Bush wanted to be President. But he couldn't get deep pockets to invest in an unknown. But the neocons saw their chance. They bet in an unknown and bought his presidency. They got in return their WAR IN IRAQ after 9/11. However, they almost lost Bush his re-election, so they were all kicked out of government. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq goes on. Why?

First of all, as the DOWNING STREET MEMO shows, Bush was going to go to war from day one. The only issue was when? How could he refuse, it was "a perfect storm." Both the neocons, who bought themselves a president, and the Saudis, who had long ago bought themselves the Bushes, wanted Saddam Hussein kicked out with US blood and treasure. When two such bitter enemies on whom you so much depend want it, how could he refuse!

But now that Bush kicked out the neocons he is, as he said at a $5000 a plate dinner for his re-election campaign, devoting the second term, "until you hear me quack like a duck,"-- ie. Becomes a "lame duck president"-- paying back all the robber barons whose deep pockets gave to his re-election, at taxpayers' expense. That means the murdering of the middle class with out-sourcing and China controlling the dollar.

This Bush can do because he has a monopoly in the Federal Govt. It is not a Republican White House and a Republican Congress. As a Republican I warn you, it is only a BUSHIT White House and Congress! If left to have its way, it will be as much of a return to the robber baron days of the late 19th-early 20th Centuries, when murder and mayhem by the HAVES predating on the HAVE NOTS was the daily fare. That is NOR compassionate, that is NOT Conservative and that is NOT Republican!

Really, most Americans, Republicans and Democrats, are distinguishable from the BUSHIT ROBBER BARONS by one thing. The Bushit types think that freedom is a "gift from God" allowing them to be predators on their neighbors. But everyone else believes that freedom is a "responsibility," for the more freedoms I give myself, the less freedom has my neighbors. That's simply good physics, and, as the old commercial says, "never try to fool Mother Nature." Instead, we should all be responsible good neighbors, exercising our freedoms in a way that does not abrogate that of what God told us is our "brothers and sisters." That is the real principle of Christianity that is classical LIBERALISM, so let us not hide from the "L" word, the commandment of God!

I am a Republican but I am forced to come to you and plead with you to help Jon Corzine get elected as New Jersey's next Governor. I consider it the first step in taking back America from the Bushit and the robber barons. You see, a lot of Republicans are beginning to see that Bush has no policies, that he is all BUSHIT. And, thinking of their survival in elections next year they are rebelling against this no policy government. But Karl Rove wants to provide Bush with another Congressional domination by the robber barons. Towards that end New Jersey is critical because, if Corzine and Lautenberg retire before their terms are finished, whoever is elected governor this year gets to pick two senators. Thus, if Forrester is elected, he gets to pick two RED senators for a BLUE state!! That is why the White House is sinking $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ into the Forrester Campaign. You see, Forrester is only a stand-in for the robber barons that want to control America. It is hard for me as a Republican-- a conservative Republican at that-- to urge you to elect Corzine. But the very America you all abrogated your freedoms as soldiers, risking your lives to defend, is at stake. Anyone who watched the Republican primary candidates for governor debate knows full well what "MY" party offers. When they didn't moonwalk and fudge figures making wild promises, they insulted each other. Someday, I hope, my party will field real and good candidates that I can support, who also see freedom as a God-given responsibility, not a predatory right, like Jon Corzine. Then I will be on the opposite side of a responsible campaign-- NOT BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, as now-- but to elect the better of two men or women. Now it is a no-brainer...CORZINE IS THE ONLY REAL CHOICE, the New Jersey citizen's choice. Forrester is a fill in for BUSHIT, for the robber barons.

And so, dear band of brothers, I plead with you to get into yet another battle to take back America from the robber barons by exposing the BUSHIT that has invaded our state by helping to elect Jon Corzine as our next NJ Governor. Beginning with this campaign, America will again become the land of Republicans and Democrats (or vice-versa, if you like), not the land of the robber barons and the BUSHIT that has pleagued us for so long. I worked hard to get Bush elected in 2000. Now I will work just as hard to reverse my catastrophic mistake. Can we work together to give our kids an America of the people and by the people?

Daniel E. Teodoru

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Welcome!

New Jersey Veterans Caucus

This caucus is for you, the Veterans from New Jersey eager to talk to each other and to all at the same time about what to do in order to save America from BUSHIT!

OUR FIRST TASK is to elect Jon Corzine as Governor of New Jersey. Towards that end we are working with the Corzine Campaign.

This page is just going up as a skeleton in time for the Vet Caucus in Atlantic City in two weeks. Please feel free to communicate on this site any ideas you have in mind. That way, should you miss any meetings, you can still make your influence fully felt. Everything depends on you. We are a UNIT and cannot achieve victory in our endeavors unless each of us does his part. However, we are a bit loose in our command structure. Unlike an army, we are truly democratic. Here are the two ranks:

(1) OFFICER: someone who initiates a BLOG comment on this site.
(2) GRUNT: anyone who responds to that comment in a thread.

The rules are simple: no personal insults, no foullanguage, no hatefulness, reasonable English.

Please refer to this site to see what's new. Andplease make your reactions and views known, either asOFFICER or GRUNT by initiating or responding tocomments.