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June 09, 2004



OK and? Meaning to say what's the big deal?
I was no fan of Reagan and I don't really see what all of the extended and long winded coverage is all about. I do give Reagan credit
for what he did accomplish during his Presidency
and mourn the passing of another leader.

I really don't understand what your criticism is all about? Is this really all about that underlying absolute hatred for the man
extending back to that 2000 election he won? Has it really left that much bitterness in the mouths of the Democrats? So bitter that they have become completely possessed by it they will find anything, anything at all to criticize
Bush over?

Get a grip for cryin out.


I actually saw a Democratic speech writer bring up again the "stolen" election. Even though nobody can be 100% objective it would seem that anybody looking at that objectively would give it up. Let's see, when the newspapers tallied the votes independantly, Bush won and Gore only wanted to recount the handful of highly Democratic counties/districts. Why not the whole state? I hate to say it, but since the Dems keep bringing it up, I know this leads to a lot of the Bush-hate. I know people will say it's his foreign policy, but if that's all, why do they keep bringing the 2000 election up at all?


Bush is free to place whatever on earth he wants on his website. Just goes to show the desparation of his campaign. Since his policies are not likely to get him re-elected and his perpetually negative and misleading ads aren't helping his ratings, he now hopes some of Reagan's shine will rub off. Who cares?


the Bush campaign is so predictable. This would be laughable if it wasn´t so damn opportunistic...

"The life and example of Ronald Reagan reinforces how important conviction and determination are in a president," Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt said in an apparent dig at Bush's presumed Democratic challenger, Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), whom Republicans have accused of flip-flops. "Reagan's legacy of optimism and of patriotism should inspire everybody, regardless of political party."



"Opportunistic"? I'm waiting for one of you to say that Bush planned for Reagan to die during the election campaign.


Obviously, the Bush campaign is free to do what they want. Some will swayed by sympathy and respect for the former president, others will feel exactly opposite. Doesn't matter.

Jim, regarding the 2000 election, you're right that many Democrats are still bitter about it to no useful end. But as a members of the American public, my problem with it is that both parties did absolutely everything they could, to swing things to their advantage instead of simply figuring out what the actual count was.

For the record, I think Bush would have won no matter how many hanging chads were recounted, but more importantly, I thought that our courts failed miserably on being non-partisan. They had the job to interpret the law and hand out a decision on an issue that really wasn't that complicated. But 5-4 votes in both the appeals and Supreme Court splitting straight down party lines... the real loser is the American voter, because what I saw in that whole mess was not democracy.


The American public is also a loser when Justice throws our own citizens in a jail with no key on evidence that can't be admitted in court.



Ah yes Jeff, let me see now, "While Padilla did indeed propose such a mission, top Al Qaeda leaders were cool to the idea and directed him to pursue a more conventional plot to blow up apartment buildings, the report states."

I assume then that all's well so long as "one of our own citizens" blows up apartments rather than releasing a dirty bomb? All will be forgiven.

And I also assume that since Mr. Zubaydah didn't think a bloody dirty-bomb would and "cause too much of a problem for Al Qaedia", the poor unfortunate and misunderstood terrorists, that too is OK and all's well?

After meeting with Abu Zubaydah—who, according to another Al Qaeda detainee in custody, thought the “dirty-bomb plan would not work” and “would cause too much of a problem for al Qaeda,”

And, obviously, Mr. Padilla's trip to Pakistan
to meet with "master Al Qaeda operational planner"
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and proposed the dirty-bomb
plot **again** can also be ignored and all's well?

"according to the report—Padilla was sent to Pakistan in March 2002 to meet with master Al Qaeda operational planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Padilla then proposed the dirty-bomb plot again,"

And it is also quite obvious that since Mr. Mohammed was, fortunately, "very skeptical" about a dirty bomb plot and "instead suggested that Mr. Padilla, the poor "innocent citizen", and his accomplice undertake the "apartment-building operation" can also be overlooked and all's well?

"but Mohammed also was “very skeptical” about the dirty bomb plot and “instead suggested that Padilla and his accomplice undertake the apartment-building operation,” the Pentagon report states."

I guess that since no dirty bomb plot was approved by the beauracrats within Al Qaeda
and "only" an "apartment-building operation"
was approved and, fortunately, the operation
was prevented from happening then all's well and should be ignored.

And obviously since the evidence can't be admitted in court, for questionable reasons, it is glaringly obvious the poor misunderstood, and picked on Mr. Padilla should be freed and perhaps, next time, they'll catch him after he's either released a dirty bomb or blown up an apartment building. Maybe he'll even accomplish both the blowing up of a dirty bomb and an apartment building. But at least "one of our own citizens" will have been freed. Now that's really comforting to know.

Perhaps the Democrats will even make Mr. Padilla
their poster child for the upcoming elections?

Padilla, for his part, has told interrogators that he never swore an oath of allegiance to Al Qaeda and, after spending time in one of the terror group’s training camps, had second thoughts and wanted to return home. “He says he and his accomplice proposed the dirty-bomb plot only as a way to get out of Pakistan and avoid combat in Afghanistan, yet save face with Abu Zubaydah,” according to the Pentagon report.


J.J., come on dude. You know as well as I do that if the shoe were on the other foot we Democrats would be doing the same thing and the Republicans would be whining about it.

Yes Bush's ratings are down but, isn't it interesting that Kerry, no matter what he says or does, can't seem to bring his ratings up that much either?

Now isn't that laughable?


"We democrats?"

Chrish, are you a democrat?


Jim, I'm not arguing that he shouldn't be thrown in jail forever if he is guilty of those crimes. You have said nothing that I need to refute or disagree with. If he did all those things, then you charge him and try him. Realize that we do that with everything from serial killers to traffic tickets. Even Tim McVeigh got his day in court. Would you rather than a prosecutor could say that you were in bed with al Qaeda, resulting in you being locked up forever? Or beat the living crap out of you to get a confession?

All of the things that you have read about Padilla are completely one sided. He has disappeared off the face of the earth with no representation. There is no reason to believe any of it, especially since the government doesn't dare to bring the case to court. Why do you believe the Bush administration official line every time? Do you never question what they say to you?

I think you know full well that everyone deserves a chance to defend themselves. It's also obvous to me that you've never been in the mix yourself to see how biased police and prosecutors can be. I was involved in one case where state police hid evidence that would have proved the innocence of the accused.

In the Padilla case, they don't even have enough to charge the man with a crime. Check out this article on another case where they were completely wrong and realize it could happen to you any time.



Jim, I wish you would just make an argument that is on point with what I'm saying instead of raving like a lunatic. Did I say that Padilla should be set free? No, I did not. I believe he should be able to defend himself and nowhere did you you address that.

Of course, the government should have certain powers for the sake of national security. But to throw someone in solitary confinement and throw away the key... that's Saddam's way of doing things and you know it. It's among the many reasons you justified the war.



yep I am a registered Democrat and not happy where the party has been going for the past several decades, especially here in California.


I think one of the first rules in making an argument is to address the person who is arguing with you. You may want to look up at these posts again and see who is talking about Padilla. Don't assume everything that is said that you don't agree with was posted by me.


Jeff, I believe you're addressing the wrong person in your posts. It t'was I not Jim that
posted that response to your initial post... :o)

Since you put it that way I do agree with your position that even a Padilla should be given the right to due process.

I don't deny that perhaps in some situations they've gone a little overboard in their fervor to protect the citizenry of this country.
But, I would rather they err on the side of caution rather than the stupidity, foolishness,
and political correctness pre 9/11.

"Political Correctness"? Yep, political correctness. It is political correctness, which
continues to this day, that avoids the hard choices that must be made to ensure the security of Our country and Our people.

It is political correctness that forces security at our airports to pull aside old people and babies or children to ensure they aren't terrorists while allowing those who fit a known
"profile" to board completely unchecked. It is
political correctness that ties the hands of our border patrols and allow illegal immigrants, of
which terrorists could be amongst them, to cross over in larger and larger numbers.

It is also political correctness that pushes the idea of giving illegal immigrants again, of which
terrorists could be amongst them, driver's licenses which would allow them to travel anywhere in the USA unencumbered.

Whether you wish to accept or not is fine but,
the reality is We are in a war against terrorists. Forget Iraq for the moment. Al Qaeda and other's are still determined to destroy us one way or another and will whatever is in their power to hit us again as hard as they possibly can. That is the reality. I don't like it anymore than you and wished it and they would all go away. I wished it were still like it was before 9/11 and we weren't at war with terrorists
and we weren't in Iraq and everything was nice and
we could all bitch at or praise the Bush presidency on his economic, environmental, energy, or job policies. Sadly, that is not the case there are those who's only intent and purpose is to do harm against Us, Our country, and
other's in the world whom they hate and are opposed to.

That's my point Jeff. I don't like it but, neither am I going to attempt to sit back and try
and act as though everything was like it was before 9/11.

Oops. My apologies, Jim.

Chrish, I'm sure we agree almost on every point in this case. But the war on terror began long before 9/11... just that most of the American public wasn't afraid of it earlier. Most of us forget how devastating the Oklahoma City bombing was and that was domestic terrorism.

We must pursue policies that stop terrorism, sometimes at the expense of liberty. But many policies that I've seen come out of this administration destroy the freedom and liberty that we're defending overseas with no benefit! Consider the suggestions that we turn the cable guy and the mailman into spies, reporting suspicious things. Or the tip line that is so overflooded that no one could ever determine a real threat from a fake one? Or telling illegal immigrants from the middle east to come forward only to deport them (never mind that people who voluntarily come forward are prone to being honest and trusting, rather than terror)?

The Padilla case provides a great example of this. In the name of national security, they have denied him everything. How is letting the man talk to a lawyer, a risk to national security? The fact of the matter is that it's not, yet they stopped him from having anyone to talk to for a damn long time. The only voice we've heard on this is from Ashcroft and prosecutors just love announcing "We caught the bad guy!" It's completely self serving, both for him and the whole administration.

All those passages that you quoted me above are from the prosecution to argue that he's an enemy combatant. The article that I cited raises doubts because even though the prosecution is the only side speaking, what they have said casts doubt on their own story. He's the dirty bomber! No wait, he was planning to bomb apartment buildings, no wait, maybe this, maybe that. This is not how American justice works.

They smeared him when they caught him, the world forgot about him for two years, and now that the Supremes are going to make a decision, they've begun yet another public campaign to smear him hopoing to sway the justices. How convenient. All of this is so suspicious, that we have no reason to believe anything that Justice says and we already know how incompetent the FBI can be.

It isn't even the Bush administration either... remember what Janet Reno did to Wen Ho Lee when Chinese spies were more important than terrorism? Nine months of solitary and punitive confinement (shackles), one dubious plea probably under extreme duress to a single charge out of 59, and an extraordinary apology from the judge, saying that he was pressured and misled by the executive branch.

I'm not even talking about guilt or innocence. You can only reach a conclusion about that when there is fairness.


I came across a website of Bushisms. These quotes are not recent, but I was leafing through a relatively new book on his Bushisms and not much has changed.
Shouldn't the position of president require at least a semblance of capacity for abstract thought? I am perplexed at how people still consider voting for him. Jim/Crish, any input?

"One of the common denominators I have found is that expectations rise above that which is expected." Los Angeles, Sept. 27, 2000

"...more and more of our imports are coming from overseas." On NPR's Morning Edition (9/26)

"I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy."
Redwood, Calif., Sept. 27, 2000
(J.J. says: at least he told the truth, for once.)

"This is what I'm good at. I like meeting people, my fellow citizens, I like interfacing with them." Outside Pittsburgh, Sept. 8, 2000
(J.J. says: interface this)

"Listen, Al Gore is a very tough opponent. He is the incumbent. He represents the incumbency. And a challenger is somebody who generally comes from the pack and wins, if you're going to win. And that's where I'm coming from."
Detroit, Sept. 7, 2000
(J.J. says: what does that mean? And what does it mean for Kerry?)

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers." Houston,Texas, Sept. 6, 2000
(J.J. says: what the...?)

"We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans." Scranton, Pa., Sept. 6, 2000
(J.J. says: apparently decisions are made based on approval ratings in the last poll)

"As governor of Texas, I have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those standards."
CNN online chat, Aug.30, 2000
(J.J. concludes that "high standards" must be a relative term)

"Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness." Ibid
(J.J. remembers many broken campaign promises. Now that is trustworthy!)

"This campaign not only hears the voices of the entrepreneurs and the farmers and the entrepreneurs, we hear the voices of those
struggling to get head" Ibid
(aaahh! no wonder he always ignores JJ)


Jim says: Why does J.J. refer to himself in the third person?

Peace out


JJ does so because he does, sometimes have a sense of humor. =)

Jim, you didn't answer my question. How can people still consider voting for him? He is not exactly a bright guy.


Hurray! Three cheers for the Brits...

International Herald Tribune: Labour headed for big losses in U.K.

Early results on Friday showed big losses for Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour government in local council elections in England and Wales in what was seen as a demonstration of anger over the war in Iraq.
Blair led Britain into Iraq despite the war's deep unpopularity, even among some of his cabinet members. The elections Thursday were the first opportunity for the British electorate to register their disapproval formally.
The vote is likely to be one of the most painful defeats for Labour in recent years and looked likely to push the government into an embarrassing third place behind the opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
In another closely watched result on Friday, Dutch opposition parties critical of the Iraq war scored significant gains at the start of elections for the European Parliament. In Britain, the election results showed that Labour had lost more than 200 seats and control of at least seven councils, after about half of the 166 councils that voted Thursday declared results.
The results could be a bellwether for the British general election, which is now possibly less than a year away.
Blair, who was in the United States for the Group of 8 summit meeting in Georgia and Ronald Reagan's funeral in Washington, sought to play down the domestic political damage.
In Britain, David Blunkett, the home secretary, said he was mortified by Labour's losses.
Analysts said that the poor performance was likely to reopen questions about Blair's leadership and could give ammunition to challengers within the Labour Party.
Liam Fox, the Conservative Party chairman, told the BBC: "If I were the Labour Party I would be worried that for the first time in history in this country a governing party does not come second but third."

(The article goes on to mention the Dutch elections)

Provisional results were released early in the Netherlands, which voted along with Britain on Thursday.
Those results suggested strong gains for the leftist opposition parties and losses for the conservative coalition government, in a further sign of voter backlash against the war.


Because Albert Einstein is dead. Stephen Hawking isn't running. Neither are any nuclear physicists that I know of. Are you saying whoever has the high intelligence quotient should win? Of course now days when we do these tests we have to factor against people who are privilged by falling into money, so Kerry will be penalized.

How can I pick Bush over Kerry? I want a leader and not a waffler. I want someone with conviction. I want someone who will stand up for what is right and not worry about getting Chirac's permission. I want someone who is more concerned with protecting the his nation than he is about poll numbers. I want someone who believes that all people deserve a democracy. I've actually heard critics say, "Arabs don't want a democracy. Middle Easterners can't handle elections. blah blah blah" They said the same things about the Japanese after WWII. Hmmm...Japan, Germany, peaceful and prosperous. Nope it will never work. I don't want a Monday morning quarterback. I've even seen people on this sight say, "If they didn't want Saddam, they should have taken him out themselves." Ya right. I want someone who believes that democracy (giving people a say in their own government) leads to peace. I want someone who believes that BOTH Palestinians and Israelis have a right to live in peace and it will have to be in separate states. Afterall this is the root of most of our terror. I want someone who will reduce taxes and government spending (Bush needs to work on the second part - big time). I want someone who believes in EQUAL rights. I want someone who sees the glass as half full.
I don't want someone who will ignore the threats of the world ("bin laden, oh you can keep him"). ("Monsiuer, you have brought your Nazi tanks to Paris again. Merci.") I don't want Neville Chamberlain and I don't want this years winner of the Jeopardy Tournament of Champions. I want George Bush!!!

and by the way, I know all of the criticisms you will make of me so have fun.


Jim, no criticism, seriously. But I would like you to defend the positions you take, because they are open to attack. Consider the often repeated Bush is a strong leader and Kerry is a waffler. How do the facts support this?

Bush said we could go it alone, Bush now needs the U.N. and the help of other countries. Bush said disband the Iraqi army and Baathists, now he needs them to come back. Bush said no to forming both Homeland Security and the 9/11 Commission, no to testifying, and no to Rice testifying. Bush is for free trade, but he puts in steel tariffs, then takes them back because they're illegal!

Each time, he's been forced back on his heels, worst of all because soldiers are dying. Of course, he avoids waffling on many topics by either complete silence or changing the topic. Since there's no WMD, admit no mistakes and push forward on terrorism and Saddam is a bad dude.

The main reason that Bush's plans for Iraq look so much like Kerry's is that he has been moving closer and closer to the Democrat position ever since the invasion. Ironically, this is a sore point since Kerry can't distinguish his plan, but it's the biggest waffle of all for Bush, being forced to take the opposing party's position that was there all along.

As for protecting the nation over poll numbers, what evidence is there of that? All people deserve a democracy? I believe that too, so exactly how is our ally, Saudi Arabia a democracy? Has Bush supported change there or helped the royal family get richer? How did he do in Haiti? Many of our war allies in central Asia are tremendously undemocratic, but now they get a free pass, just like Russia.

You mention the Palestinian issue, where the hell has Bush been on this, except supporting everything that Sharon does? I know he supported disbanding the settlements, now he supports keeping the settlements, another big waffle. In the beginning, he didn't even want to get his hands dirty, remember that?

As for reducing government spending, please, his record there is pathetic. Bush won't even tell us what real costs are and each estimate keeps going up. Social security is a myth and the value of our dollar (meaning all of our bank accounts) has dropped 30-40% against most major currencies.


Sigh, where to begin?

Jim, name one person who has ever said, "Arabs don't want a democracy. Middle Easterners can't handle elections. blah blah blah" other than Bush claiming that someone has said it. Bush lies when he says that and now that you say it, I accuse you of lying as well. Don't take that personally, but you know its true.
Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but seriously, if you want someone with all that has all the characteristics that you posted, Bush should be the last person you should vote for.
As for Monday morning quarterbacks, I think that would describe most of the warmongers in regards to Iraq. The rest of us prefer to think of ourselves more as a Saturday afternoon coaches (you know, those who think about the consequences of their decisions.)
Someone concerned more about... than his poll numbers? Bush must take the cream for someone who governs by polls (when ratings are good, he is slave to big interests like no man before him; when ratings are bad, he is blames everyone but himself.)
Further, I am not suggesting that the higher the IQ, the better the president, but would hope to have someone who can at least prove to us that he is capable of abstract reasoning. His idiocy is downright scary. Did you actually bother to read some of his comments? It's ok if someone messes up once or twice in a while like that, but to do it consistently is a sure sign of major issues.

Hey, I didn't start out hating Bush; it was his policies that drove me that way. If, after all that has happened, you still chose to vote for him, I question your sense of objectivity. But, seeing the glass half empty now, I don't believe we can afford 4 more years of his moronic policies. Why? The biggest surplus ever turned into the biggest deficit ever in less than 3 years should be one reason.
Want another one? Wonder how Bush felt the other day when he kissed Chirac's ass and still got denied NATO assistance? Of course you can go and blame France for all our problems, that seems to be the only thing Bush-apologists seem to be good at. You can make fun of events from 60 years ago (no skin off my back), but that is not gonna pay the $200 billion that we now have to fork out in Iraq. I've asked you before if you wanted to pay my share but you just ignored it. I am offering it to you again.

well said. Wish more people could think like you. Bush-apologists would have us believe that he is a strong leader protecting us (he has been sent by God for this purpose, according to General Boykin and Rev. Falwell.) But do you recall the WHOLE month of August that Bush was on vacation in 2001 while our deficit was disappearing and he was ignoring warnings about terrorism in the US? Do you recall the 9 minutes of deer-in-the-headlights trance after Bush was informed of a the attack? (I used to think it was only a few seconds, but that terrible liberal media failed to inform us that he sat there for almost 9 minutes.) Do you remember how he ran off to his nuclear bunker in Nebraska once he actually did get his ass in motion? Too bad the people in the World Trade Centers didn't have the option of hiding in bunkers. Yes, Jim would have us believe that Bush is a strong and resilient leader. So fearless that he failed to show up while protecting us from surprise attack by Mexico during Vietnam.



was it you that mentioned you were from California? I'm kind of curious what your take on the Enron affair was and how you feel about Bush's "best friends" relationship with Ken Lay.
This is part of an opinion article from the Texas Star-Telegram, but it also quotes some Enron comments...

Sun, Jun. 06, 2004
AUSTIN - CBS News has acquired tapes of Enron employees boasting about how they were "[expletive] over" California during the late, great "energy crisis" there.

My favorite segment in these charming conversations is the dismay at Enron when local utilities try to get the money back. "They're [expletive] taking all the money back from you guys?" inquires an Enronite. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"

"Yeah, Grandma Millie, man."

"Yeah, now she wants her [expletive] money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her [expletive] for [expletive] $250 a megawatt hour."

Grandma Millie. The nerve of her. Imagine thinking it's wrong to rig a market and overcharge by billions of dollars. But hey, no worries at Enron, because George W. Bush is about to be elected president. "It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay secretary of energy."

"When this election comes, Bush will [expletive] whack this [expletive], man. He won't play this price-cap [expletive]."

Bush said obligingly in May 2001, "We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse, and that's why I oppose price caps."

Bush eventually changed course, as he so often does, which adds such special piquancy to his campaign against John Kerry for "flip-flopping."

I just wanna point out that I am not accusing Bush of being involved in the price-fixing scheme, but it should be quite obvious that he more than bent over backwards to help out Enron and friends in regards to national energy policy. When the scandal finally broke out, I remember Bush turning down a request by then-governor Davis for federal help because it was a "state matter." (Ironically, just a few months later, Bush blocked Davis from introducing vehicle emissions standards for SUV's, saying that it was a "federal" matter.)
But also consider that Bush and Lay are best of friends, Bush refers to Lay as "Ken-boy" and that Ken-boy personally interviewed and approved/rejected every single person nominated to be on Bush's cabinet. That is a very cozy relationship in deed; a bit too cozy for me considering all that has happened in the energy industry in the past 3.5 years. How do Californians feel about all of this?

some expat related news


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