Monday, November 21, 2005

Cheney Tries Standup Comedy

When I saw this headline on Yahoo (Cheney: Some Iraq Critics Are 'Dishonest' ) I wondered if Cheney was trying his hand at standup comedy? Apparently he was being 'serious'.

The man who brought you fears of 'mushroom clouds', yellow cake, and aluminum tubes, (all knowingly false claims) is trying to call war critics dishonest. Anyone else find that funny? Actually funny isn't the best word for what describes how I feel about Cheney's abuse of trust with the American people. Disgusting, impeachable, criminal, cowardly, and sickening are but a few that come to mind.

If you have any words to describe Cheney or a message for him please leave it below.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Kerry Condemns "Swift Boat" Style Attacks On Murtha

In a letter to his 3 million supporters Kerry denounced the Republican leadership for their attacks on Jack Murtha, a decorated Vietnam Vet and Democratic member of the House, whose outspoken critism of the President's handling of Iraq has Republicans lashing out at his patriotism. Kerry urges supporters and concerned citizens to fight back against the Republican smear tactics. - IFK Editor

This is our moment of truth. You and I have to make it absolutely clear that we won't stand for Republican "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.

Yesterday, an extraordinary congressman, former Marine Drill Sergeant and decorated Vietnam veteran, spoke out on the war in Iraq. He didn't come to that moment lightly. He spoke his mind and spoke his heart out of love for his country and support for our troops. No sooner had the words left his lips than the vicious assault on his character and patriotism began.

Today, in a statement on the Senate floor, in interviews with the national media, and in this message to you, I am seeking out every opportunity to defend a brave American hero that the Republican attack machine has set their sights on.

I urge you to do the same. Whether you agree or disagree with Jack Murtha is irrelevant. These despicable attacks on Jack Murtha's patriotism and courage must be met with an enormous public outcry. Call your local talk radio show, write a letter to the editor, phone your members of Congress - join me in acting now to reject these "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.

It disgusts me that a bunch of guys who have never put on the uniform of their country have aimed their venom at a marine who served America heroically in Vietnam and has been serving heroically in Congress ever since. No matter what J.D. Hayworth says, there is no sterner stuff than the backbone and courage that defines Jack Murtha's character and conscience.

Dennis Hastert -- the Speaker of the House who never served -- accused Jack Murtha of being a coward. Well let me tell you, Jack Murtha wasn't a coward when he put himself in harm's way for his country in Vietnam and earned two purple hearts -- he was a patriot then, and he is a patriot today. Jack Murtha's courage in combat earned him a Bronze Star, and his voice should be heard, not silenced by those who still today cut and run from the truth.

Instead of letting his cronies run their mouths, the President for once should stop his allies from doing to Jack Murtha what he set them loose to do to John McCain in South Carolina and Max Cleland in Georgia.

The President should finally find the courage to debate the real issue instead of destroying anyone who speaks truth to power as they see it. It's time for Americans to stand up, fight back, and make it clear it's unacceptable to do this to any leader of any party anywhere in our country.

I urge you to join today in a massive public outcry that rejects the attempt to demonize and destroy anyone who dares to disagree with George W. Bush's aimless "stay for as long as it takes" policy on Iraq.

Please act now. Call and email your elected officials. Flood talk radio with calls rejecting these vicious smear tactics. Send a letter to the editor. Express your outrage about the tired old Rovian "Swift Boat" style attacks on Jack Murtha.


John Kerry

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Kerry Fires Back at Cheney & Bush on Iraq

In an escalating battle of words, ideas and the future of American Forign Policy in Iraq, John Kerry slammed Vice President Cheney for his recent comments on Iraq critics. As Kerry bluntly states, Cheney has about as much credibility as a fox in a hen house on the issue of Iraq. Cheney was the war's biggest cheerleader repeatedly scaring the public with talk of mushroom clouds, when the facts did not support his statements. Hey Dick, that's called Lying. Spinning it now still makes you a liar. - IFK Editor

"It is hard to name a government official with less credibility on Iraq than Vice President Cheney. The Vice President continues to mislead America about how we got into Iraq and what must be done to complete the still unaccomplished mission.

"My commitment to our country has been steadfast from the day I signed up to serve in the Navy through my service as a United States Senator fighting for our troops and our national security. Too often when it's been time to tell the truth to the American people, Vice President Cheney has had other priorities.

"While the Vice President engages in the politics of fear and smear, Americans want their government to honor the memory of the more than 2,000 brave Americans lost in Iraq, and they have not forgotten that Osama bin Laden remains on the loose. If the Bush White House cared as much about our troops as they do about their plummeting political fortunes, they would at last offer a clear strategy for success in Iraq and work to bring home 20,000 troops after the successful Iraqi elections. Then, and only then, would they be even beginning to offer leadership equal to our soldiers' sacrifice."

For more info on Kerry's Iraq Plan visit

Monday, November 14, 2005

Kerry Goes After Bush on Iraq Claims

Kerry seems to be taking the lead in blasting Bush on his Iraq policy and misuse of prewar intelligence. Bush's flailing attempts to fight back show he's on the ropes. Here Kerry throws another hard right to debunk the President's latest untruths. - IFK Editor

MR. PRESIDENT, Veterans Day is sacred - or it is supposed to be. Veterans Day is a day to honor veterans, not to play attack politics. The President, who is Commander in Chief, should know and respect this.

Veterans Day originally marked the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, when the guns of World War I, the war to end all wars, finally fell silent. Instead of honoring that moment, instead of laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, instead of laying out a clear plan for success in Iraq, the President laid into his critics with an 11th hour rhetorical assault that dishonored America's veterans and those serving today, even as he continued to distort the truth about his war of choice.

Perhaps most striking of all is that his almost desperate sounding Veterans Day attack on those who have told the truth about his distortion was itself accompanied by even more distortion.

Does the President think that the many generals, former top administration officials and Senators from his own party who have joined over two thirds of the country in questioning the President's handling of the war in Iraq are all unpatriotic too? This is America, a place where we thrive on healthy democratic debate. The President does not have a monopoly on patriotism, and this is not a country where only those who agree with him support the troops and care about defending our country. No matter what the President says, asking tough questions isn't pessimism, it's patriotism. And fighting for the right policy for our troops sends them exactly the right message to the troops: that we take the decision to put them in harm's way seriously, and that our democracy is alive and well.

The President even used the solemn occasion of Veterans Day to continue his campaign of misrepresenting the facts and throwing up smokescreens. His statement that Democrats saw and heard the same intelligence he did is just flat out untrue - unless of course the President and his Administration didn't do their job and study the additional intelligence given only to them and not the Congress. As the Washington Post put it on Saturday, "Bush and his aides had access to much more voluminous intelligence information than lawmakers, who were dependent on the administration to provide the material."

But that whole discussion is nothing more than an effort to distract attention from the issue that matters most and can be answered simply: did the Administration go beyond what even the flawed intelligence would support in making the case for war? Did they use obviously inaccurate intelligence despite being told clearly and repeatedly not to? Did they use the claims of known fabricators? The answer in each case is yes. And the only people who are trying to rewrite that history are the President and his Republican allies.

There is no greater breach of the public trust than knowingly misleading the country into war. In a democracy, we simply cannot tolerate the abuse of this trust by the government. To the extent this occurred in the lead up to the war in Iraq, those responsible must be held accountable. That is why Democrats have been pushing the Senate Intelligence Committee to complete a thorough and balanced investigation into the issue.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Book Review: The Truth (with jokes) by Al Franken

Rather than suffer flashbacks from my grade school book report days, I'll just say read the book: THE TRUTH (with jokes). The first half stands out to me because Franken offers one of the best recaps of the 2004 election I've read, in all its gory, gut wrenching details.

His analysis, while certainly laugh out loud funny in spots, is an honest account of how Bush used "fear, smear, and queers" to win the closest re-election of an incumbent President in American history.

Franken debunks both right-wing and left-wing Kerry bashing from the swift boat vets, to supposed flip-flops, to Kerry's views on Iraq.

In a way I think the book may be harder for ultra lefties to read because it clearly makes the case that Kerry wasn't that bad of a candidate, despite some miscues. I know that's Hearsay to some.

Based on Franken's analysis I would almost go so far as to say Kerry could be the leading contender for 2008 (if he decides to run) because he has already faced the smear tactics, but that's just one man's opinion. Read the book to form your own.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Kerry Counters Bush / McCain on Iraq

Directly challenging the President and now war hawk John McCain on their 'stay the course' rhetoric in Iraq, Kerry offers the following:

To Bush:
"I wish President Bush knew better than to dishonor America's veterans by playing the politics of fear and smear on Veterans Day. Instead of trying to salvage his slumping political fortunes, the Commander in Chief should honor our men and women in uniform with a clear strategy for success in Iraq. But this Administration abandoned that path long ago, and our troops have paid the price for it.

"This administration misled a nation into war by cherry-picking intelligence and stretching the truth beyond recognition. That's why Scooter Libby has been indicted. That's why a statement in the State of the Union Address was retracted. It's a dangerous day for our national security when an Administration's word is no good. Today they continue the same games hoping Americans forget the mess they made in Iraq that's cost over 2,000 Americans their lives and their failure to find Osama bin Laden. Americans will not forget, and neither will those of us who defend our country by asking tough questions and demanding a new course in Iraq."

To McCain:
"The path forward in Iraq must defeat the insurgency and keep faith with our troops, rather than be driven by the politics of the Republican base or rigid adherence to President Bush’s aimless course. The plan I have offered would correct our course. The speech Sen. McCain delivered does not," Kerry said today.

"I disagree with my friend Sen. McCain’s mischaracterization of my plan to succeed in Iraq and bring our troops home within a reasonable timeframe. The way forward in Iraq is not to pull out precipitously or merely promise to stay ‘as long as it takes.’ To undermine the insurgency, we need to pursue both a political settlement and the withdrawal of American combat forces linked to specific, responsible benchmarks - beginning with the completion of successful December elections. These additional troops are in Iraq only for the purpose of providing security for the upcoming elections. If they remain in Iraq after that benchmark is achieved, it only exacerbates the sense of American occupation," said Kerry.

"While some say we can’t ask tough questions because we are at war, I believe that during wartime we must ask the hardest questions of all. It’s essential if we want to correct our course and do what’s right for our troops instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. No matter what anyone says, providing a better course isn’t a road to disaster, it’s patriotism," Kerry added.

Friday, November 11, 2005

A Victory for the Environment, If It Sticks

Moderate Republican House members banded together with an overwhelming majority of Democrats to remove Arctic Refuge drilling language from the Budget Bill. While there's still a chance powerful Senate Republicans with their hand in the oil lobbyist pockets will throw a fit and try to re insert the drilling language, it's a major victory for the environment, and a HUGE defeat for Bush. (For now). -IFK Editor

Letter to Kerry Supporters:

Thanks in no small part to your grassroots leadership -- we've won another skirmish in a decade-long battle over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But the battle is far from over.

During the last week thousands of you called your elected representatives demanding that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge be protected, and your message was heard. Today the House of Representatives stripped the proposal from the budget reconciliation that would have opened up the Refuge and allowed drilling. This vote saved the Refuge from the special interests who would destroy it, at least for now.

This victory is testimony to your hard work and the President's slumping political standing that he can no longer force the Republican Party to grudgingly support a blatant special interest giveaway that vast majorities of Americans oppose. But let's not forget what happened here.

Republican leadership was perfectly willing to use underhanded tactics to sneak destruction of the Refuge in the budget. We should not be surprised if they try again.

I'll be sure to keep you updated in the future on the status of the Refuge here on Capitol Hill. But today, I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations on a great victory and a job well done.


John Kerry

Kerry and McCain Get Into It Over Iraq

By Tom Hayden

A glimmer of actual debate over Iraq is emerging in the US senate between two U.S. Vietnam War heroes, John McCain and John Kerry. McCain, in a speech today, unfortunately called for more troops to be sent into the meatgrinder of Iraq, endorsing a new theory among insiders that safe havens, or "oil stains", must first be established before they can spread. The theory, which assumes that millions of Iraqis are just waiting to take cover under the umbrella of foreign occupation, is more likely to leave blood stains -- both American and Iraqi -- than islands of stability.

Politically, the hawish McCain speech "balances" his sharp attacks on U.S. policies of torture, and puts both the president and the Hillary Clinton-Joe Biden Democrats on the spot.

McCain's speech was critical of Kerry, who two weeks ago proposed a political settlement joined to a 12-15 month withdrawal.

Kerry says McCain "mischaracterizes" his views. Kerry wants the 20,000 troops recently sent for the Dec. 15 elections to be withdrawn immediately afterwards, while McCain wants them to stay and grow in number. Kerry argues that McCain's plan for escalation "only exacerbates the sense of American occupation."

Kerry's position is a modest one, to bring home the troops sent for the Dec. 15 election when the election is over. His stand, however, blunts the ability of Bush to take credit for the December withdrawal, while McCain puts pressure on Bush to choose an unpopular path of troop increases at a time when the armed forces are stretched to the breaking point and public opinion is running strongly against the war.

Kerry's position -- a poliical settlement coupled with a 12-15 month pullout -- puts pressure on the Democratic hawks and fence-sitters as they enter the 2006 election year asking for the support of disgruntled voters.

The anti-war movement is not likely to embrace Kerry's position, at least not uncritically. But finding a way to break the ice in the Senate will put Iraq on the front pages and encourage stronger anti-war voices and candidates in the elections just around the corner. And that's not good news for Bush and his political team, whose plan has been to make Americans forget Iraq during the next year.

When the elephants fight each other, even when the elephants and donkeys fight, the grasshoppers can chirp more loudly.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Evidence that Republican Administration Mislead America into War

More mounting evidence that Bush/Cheney and their Republican 'Yes Men' cabinet members were cherry picking Iraq intel to support their rush to war, despite a clear lack of credibility. -IFK Editor

US intel on Iraq-Qaeda ties 'intentionally misleading': document

WASHINGTON, (AFP) - US military intelligence warned the Bush administration as early as February 2002 that its key source on Al-Qaeda's relationship with Iraq had provided "intentionally misleading" data, according to a declassified report.

Nevertheless, eight months later, President George W. Bush went public with charges that the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein had trained members of Osama bin Laden's terror network in manufacturing deadly poisons and gases.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Setting the Record Straight on Kerry's Iraq Vote

For those that repeatedly claim Kerry voted for the war, how about checking your rhetoric at the door and look at the facts rather than the Republican talking points. Bush alone took the country to war and is responsible for the current mess. Did Kerry manipulate CIA intelligence? Did Kerry lie to the American people in a state of the union address? Did Kerry exaggerate WMD claims and invoke images of a nuclear holocaust to press the case for war. No. No. No.

In fact if you read what Kerry said on the Senate floor during the vote he clearly warned the President against rushing to war when there were other options to try first. Yes you have to protect America, but clearly pursuing a war of choice with Iraq based on deliberate false claims is an impeachable offense rather than smart foreign policy. -IFK Editor

John Kerry Did Not Vote To Go To War
Evelyn Pringle

Political pundits are always saying Kerry voted for the war. He did not vote to go to war. He voted for a resolution that gave Bush the authority to use force as a last resort, if it became absolutely necessary to protect us from an imminent threat from WMDs.

If Kerry is guilty of anything, it’s of being gullible enough to believe the lies told by the President of the United State, and his fellow liars, on the world stage.

In a speech on the Senate Floor on the day of the vote, Kerry made it clear that he was not voting to go to war when he said, “approving this resolution does not mean that military action is imminent or unavoidable.” It means “America speaks with one voice.”

Kerry had no reason to think Bush was set to go to war. As he pointed out, any threat posed by Saddam and his WMDs, was “not imminent, and no one in the CIA, no intelligence briefing … suggests it is imminent. None of our intelligence reports suggest that he is about to launch an attack,” Kerry said. “Every nation has the right to act preemptively, if it faces an imminent and grave threat, for its self-defense…The threat we face today with Iraq does not meet that test yet.”

Kerry said that he would only agree to go to war for one reason, to rid Saddam of WMDs. He emphatically warned Bush that if he did take the country to war for any other reason than an imminent threat, that he would be the first to speak out and demand that Bush be held accountable.

As we know now, there never were any WMDs and so therefore, as Kerry made clear, he would have never voted to go to war.

He clarified what his vote meant when he said, “let me be clear, the vote I will give…is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies,” he said.

“In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments…to work with the United Nations…to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.”

“If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent–and I emphasize “imminent”–threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.”

In my opinion, the day for demanding accountability from Bush has long passed. It should have happened the day he took the country to war in Iraq. That said, I look forward to an opportunity to demand accountability from the Bush administration.

Kerry warned us about what would happen if Bush took us to war without just cause, and without our allies. He speech on the Senate floor on the day of the vote almost seems prophetic in hindsight. Here are a few excerpts from his October 9, 2002 Senate speech:

“The President needs to give the American people a fairer and fuller, clearer understanding of the magnitude and long-term financial cost of that effort.

“The international community’s support will be critical because we will not be able to rebuild Iraq single-handedly. We will lack the credibility and the expertise and the capacity.

“The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed.”

Everything Kerry said would happen, happened. The skyrocketing costs of the war, both in lives lost, and tax dollars spent blow Americans away. The country was not prepared to sustain such a drastic drain on its resources. Nor were we prepared for the hatred that has been directed at Americans, not only in Iraq, but also throughout the Middle East.

Just like Kerry predicted, the region has become a magnet for terrorists that hate Americans. And he’s right; Saddam’s capture provides no consolation when weighed against the mess Bush got us into.

A scheme that turned Iraq into a boomtown for Bush and his fellow war profiteers, has turned into a never-ending nightmare for the rest of the country. First thing we see each morning, when we turn on the TV or pick up a newspaper, is the number of soldiers killed or injured the day before. And there is no end in sight.

John Kerry bears no responsibility whatsoever for the war in Iraq. If he had been president we never would have ended up there to begin with.

By Evelyn Pringle

Poll: Kerry Would Top Bush Today

If last year’s presidential election were being held today, the results might well be different than the results of a year ago. 41% of registered voters say that if the 2004 election were being held today, they would cast their ballot for Democratic candidate John Kerry, while 36% say they would vote for President George W. Bush. 13% say they would vote for someone else, and 6% wouldn’t vote at all.

More Results

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Angry Kerry Supporters Seek Ohio Reform

Yes the news is mostly bad for the Bush administration: Libby's indictment, Rove's unethical role in outing a CIA agent, misleading allegations in the run up to war, and now an ultra right-wing nomination to the Supreme Court, but this only goes to show how important our right to vote really is.

How different would America's agenda be if John Kerry had won Ohio in 2004 and become President. This fact is not lost on a group pressing to reform elections in Ohio. -IFK Editor

See: Angry Kerry Supporters Seek Ohio Reform

Still angry a year later, John Kerry supporters across the country are donating money to an effort to overhaul elections in the state they blame for costing them the White House.

A New Mexico retiree who became incensed after reading last fall about pre-election directives by Ohio's secretary of state gave $100. A substance-abuse counselor in Maine who suspects Ohio-made electronic voting machines were tampered with to give President Bush the victory contributed $25.

"There were so many questions and allegations about voter fraud, vote machine tampering, that it really frightened me," said Elizabeth Schrader, 50, of Old Hickory, Tenn. "Serious voter reform is necessary in all 50 states."