Banking on Your Desperation : The Bush / Kerry War Ticket

By Stan Cox, in Counterpunch

Like tens of millions of American voters, I am desperate to see President Bush out of the White House. But I’m not voting for John Kerry. I’m not that desperate.

When it comes to the centerpiece of the Bush presidency — the invasion and occupation of Iraq — Kerry is taking a more belligerent line than even Bush himself. On July 16, he told the Wall Street Journal that he would be less likely than Bush to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq anytime soon, and that, if he were elected, the occupation would continue at least through his first term in office.

When asked how many additional troops should be deployed Iraq, Kerry said that once in office, he would "sit with the generals" and discuss the size of the increase. Earlier, he had told Defense News that he would add two divisions to the current 10-division army — an increase of 40,000 troops — while continuing reseach and development of the Star Wars missile defense/corporate welfare system and, not surprisingly, raising the overall military budget.
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Democratic Party Outsources Anti-Nader Efforts To India

GOP Says Dem. Contractor Outsourcing Work
The State.com
KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Republican Party alleged Tuesday that a contractor for the state Democratic Party is outsourcing work to India as he checks the validity of petition signatures for presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Republicans said Mark Grebner, of Practical Political Consulting in East Lansing, has sent digital copies of Nader’s petitions to a data entry firm in India. Grebner declined to comment on the allegation.

But Greg McNeilly, executive director of the state GOP, called the move hypocritical.

“Michigan Democrats are so intolerant of minority perspectives at the ballot box that they’ll outsource Michigan jobs in order to protect a two-party duopoly,” he said in a statement. “They are paying a firm in India for work that could be done by Michiganders.”

The state Democratic Party did not respond to a request for comment on the accusation, but says state Republicans deserve criticism for collecting 43,000 of the 50,000 signatures that may help Nader get on the state ballot. They say the GOP is helping Nader because it thinks he can take votes away from Democrat John Kerry.

At least 30,000 of the signatures must be valid to get Nader on the ballot. Challenges are due by Thursday afternoon.

State Democratic Executive Chairman Mark Brewer has said the party is checking every signature, and it turned to Grebner to help meet Thursday’s deadline.

Grebner said he has used foreign workers in the past in countries such as Bangladesh for work that can’t be done by his U.S. staff of about 15 full-time workers. That includes work for Republicans as well as for Democrats, he added.

“This really is work that you can’t do in the (United States) because it just doesn’t make economic sense,” Grebner said of the work he sends overseas. “I can’t hire people to do some things here.”

The Election is Over – We Lost

Now on to November 3rd
by Sam Smith – Progressive Review, May 2004

The winner is a supporter of three of the worst government decisions of our time: the war in Iraq, the Patriot Act, and the Bush education law.

He is a Yale graduate and a member of a secret society of dubious values and influence. He is arrogant with the sense of self-entitlement of the fully privileged yet has done little in life to justify this self esteem. And he is a tenured and servile member of an establishment that has trashed the Constitution, badly weakened the economy, made us hated around the world, and effectively brought to the end of the First American Republic.

To be sure there will be a consolation runoff in which we get to decide who we would rather do battle against for the next four years. This choice of battleground is not an insignificant matter but neither is it what a democratic election is supposed to be about. It is more like a cancer patient choosing between surgery and chemotherapy. We don’t have to wait for Katherine Harris; this election has already been fixed.
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An Open Letter to Dr. Erhenreich

It’s Over Barb!

By CHRIS RANDOLPH, Counterpunch

How unfortunate that you have chosen to continue the pseudo-liberal smear campaign against Ralph Nader as both a candidate and man in the pages of that stalwart progressive publication The New York Times. I see you were given column space because Thomas Friedman has taken leave to write another awful book in praise of Mammon. I hope you understood the assignment was to write a column in your own words and not in Friedman’s by proxy; having seen the results I can’t tell which your aim was.

Having dutifully done the dirty work of right wing extremists under cover of a lefty rubric in America’s newspaper of record, I can only hope the next time they let you write something for the Op-Ed page you can squeeze in a word for the downtrodden.

How unfortunate also that Nader decided to run for president without consulting you first. If it makes you feel any better, he didn’t consult me either, and I also voted for him in 2000. In looking over the US Constitution, it appears he isn’t actually required to ask permission from either of us.
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Silent Partners: How political non-profits work the system

Center for Public Intergrety

By Derek Willis and Aron Pilhofer

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2003 — It was the morning of November 6, 2002, the day after Democrats had lost control of the U.S. Senate, lost ground in the U.S. House of Representatives and were soundly beaten in several key gubernatorial races.

The man at the top of the party, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, had some explaining to do. Standing before the gathered media in Washington, D.C., he returned to a longtime Democratic lament: Republicans simply had more money.

Fundraising figures reported to the Federal Election Commission seemed to suggest he was right. The Republican Party raised slightly more than $691 million in the 2002 election, about $228 million more than the Democrats.

The GOP “had tens of millions of dollars of special interest money on their side,” McAuliffe told the assembled reporters, and that had tipped a number of races in their favor.

In fact, the disparity was not nearly as lopsided as McAuliffe suggested. As a new Center for Public Integrity analysis shows, Democrats and their allies funneled hundreds of millions of dollars through backdoor committees designed to influence key elections. In the 2002 race, the Democratic Party’s silent partners spent more than $185 million—more than double the money spent by Republican organizations.
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The Little Engine That Couldn’t

Kucinich Surrenders on Anti-War Plank

By RON JACOBS, Counterpunch

Well, history has repeated itself and, just like the saying goes, this time around it is pure farce. In this instance, I am referring to the attempt by Kucinich supporters to attach an antiwar plank to the Democratic Party’s 2004 platform. As anyone knows, of course, these platforms don’t really mean much of anything, but the fact that the Kerry people fought even the inclusion of a statement that called the Iraq war wrong from its inception proves once again how little difference there really is in the campaigns of the two men running for president of the United States this year. It also proves the pointlessness of any group of left-leaning Democrats who still believe that their party is capable of redemption along McGovernite lines.
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A letter to the Black Caucus from a Black woman living in South Central

by Donna J. Warren, San Francisco Bay View
SF BAYVIEW

“We respect your right to run, Mr. Nader. Withdraw.? – Elijah Cummings, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States House of Representatives

To Rep. Cummings and members of the Black Caucus,

You demanded independent candidates Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo withdraw from the presidential race in favor of NAFTA approving, Iraq invading, Afghanistan bombing, Sudanese pharmaceutical plant bombing, right-wing Israeli prime minister and convicted murderer Ariel Sharon supporting, impeachment of George W. Bush for the forced removal of democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide refusing, and mandatory minimum sentencing supporting – John Kerry.

Kerry’s contempt for human rights, international law, arms control and the United Nations is unforgivable.

“Anyone but Bush? was your cry when Nader and Camejo visited your offices in late June. But let’s be honest – when Bush delivered lie after lie after lie during his state of the union addresses, it was the Democrats who stood and clapped. The Democrats made the monster George Bush!
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