Tuesday, November 02, 2004
War on Terrorists. Notice the difference in terms. As the 9/11 Commission pointed out, we’re not at war against terror. Terror is a TACTIC. Our enemies are the people who have attacked us and want to attack us again.
Yet, instead of actually finding and crushing those people, we changed focus to Saddam Hussein who, while vile, was being contained. We’ve done Osama bin Laden’s recruitment for him, creating murderous enemies where we didn’t have them before.
Besides dropping the Big One, how do you fight terrorists in 60 countries? You can’t kill them all. What we can do is increase our defenses, cut off the funds of the terrorists, and FIX THE INTELLIGENCE APPARATUS. This is something that the House of Representatives now is blocking. Bush has paid lip service to the workable version of intelligence legislation proposed by the 9/11 commission – you know, the one that takes away the power of the Pentagon neocons who got us into Iraq. But if Bush wanted it to happen, it would have and it hasn’t. Look at Bush’s appointment of party hack Porter Goss and you see how serious he is about fixing the CIA.
Economy: Why don’t we take Leo’s version of the economy – robust growth, more jobs, more money coming into federal coffers – and run it by, say, people in Ohio or Pennsylvania? You know, the ones whose unemployment benefits have run out, the ones who aren’t counted in the unemployment rate because they’ve stopped looking for work, the ones whose new job(s) pay $9,000 a year on average less than their old ones. Many of those who are not unemployed fear unemployment. Even if they don’t, they’ve seen their incomes shrinking in real terms, their health care benefits reduced or gone, and the cost of living going up.
Bush doesn’t know any of these people, that’s for sure. If he did, he wouldn’t have answered that question in the debate by telling the person who had just lost a job to go to community college. (After the debate, we received several emails from unemployed engineers in Silicon Valley wondering which particular Associates’ Degree that Bush might think they should pursue.) I had to laugh when Bush waxed so poetic over education, since Republican administrations in the states blocked women coming off welfare from pursuing education to lift them above Wal Mart wages.
Heck, why not run this vision of a rosy economy by any old economist who isn’t employed by the Republicans? It simply does not match reality. It was tax cuts, not 9/11, that brought us much of the monster deficit that has America in a bind, unable to move forward.
Domestic Agenda: No Child Left Behind originally was intended as a back door to vouchers, but that didn't happen. By failing to fund it sufficiently, Bush crippled its effectiveness and imposed unfunded mandates on the states.
Ask seniors trying to figure out the Byzantine rules of the drug prescription cards what they think of Bush’s great drug prescription plan. By forbidding Medicare from negotiating prices, Bush’s plan provided a windfall for drug companies and little help to anyone else.
As for a safety net, Bush is cutting funding for subsidized housing, has cut after school programs, and wants to increase work requirements for welfare recipients while NOT increasing help for child care. His administration has made several runs at reducing the effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit, a support for working people that even Ronald Reagan championed.
(BTW, Kerry served more than a year in Vietnam, for which he volunteered: the first, about a year on the USS Gridley, and then four months on Swift Boats.
posted by Carol Towarnicky at # 2:16 PM
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