Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Official Blog.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Our President needs replacing

Edward Kennedy spoke out Tuesday about the corrupt goals of the Bush administration and the dozens upon dozens of mistakes that have been made over the past three and a half years. Kennedy also spoke out against divisiveness, saying:
Our country demands a great deal from us, and we rightly demand a great deal from our leaders. America is a compact, a bargain, a contract. It says that all of us are connected. Our fates are intertwined. Fifty states, one nation. Our Constitution binds us together.

Yet in our own time, there are those who seek to divide us. One community against another. Urban against rural. City against suburb. Whites against blacks. Men against women. Straights against gays. Americans against Americans.

In these challenging times for our country, in these fateful times for the world, America needs a genuine uniter - not a divider who only claims to be a uniter. We have seen how they rule; they divide and try to conquer. They know the power of the people is weakened when our house is divided. They believe they can’t win, unless the rest of us lose. We reject that shameful view.

The Democratic Party has a different idea. We believe that all of us can win. We believe we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. And when we say all, we mean all.

Today in this global age, our goal of the common good extends far beyond America’s borders. As President Kennedy said in 1963 in his quest for restraint in nuclear arms: “We can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
Edward Kennedy's entire remarks will remain available from the NPI archive.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Clinton: Send Kerry!

Former President Bill Clinton spoke to the nation on Monday night, on he first night of the Democratic National Convention, asking Americans if they were satisfied of four years of Bush in the White House. President Clinton showed that there is a divisive different between the Republican and Democratic parties, saying:
In this year's budget -- in this year's budget, the White House this year wants to cut off all the federal funding for 88,000 uniformed police officers under the COPS program we've had for 10 years. Among those 88,000 police are more than 700 members of the New York Police Department who put their lives on the line on 9/11. With gang violence rising and with all of us looking for terrorists in our midst and hoping they're not too well armed or too well dangerous -- too dangerous, the president and the Congress are about to allow the 10-year-old ban on deadly assault weapons to lapse.

Now they believe it's the right thing to do, but our policy was to put more police on the street and to take assault weapons off the street - and it gave you eight years of declining crime and eight years of declining violence. Their policy is the reverse. They're taking police off the streets while they put assault weapons back on the street. Now if you agree with that choice, by all means vote to keep them in office. But if you don't, join John Kerry, John Edwards and the Democrats in making America safer, smarter and stronger again.

On homeland security -- on homeland security, Democrats tried to double the number of containers at ports and airports checked for weapons of mass destruction. It cost a billion dollars. It would have been paid for under our bill by asking the 200,000 millionaires in America to cut their tax cut by $5,000. Almost all 200,000 of us would like to have done that, to spend $5,000 to make all 300 million Americans feel safer. The measure failed. Why? Because the White House and the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives opposed it. They thought our $5,000 was more important than doubling the container checks at our ports and airports. If you agree with that, by all means reelect them. If not, John Kerry and John Edwards are your team for the future.

These policies have turned a projected $5.8 trillion surplus that we left -- enough to pay for the baby-boomer retirement -- into a projected debt of almost $5 trillion, with over $400 billion in deficit this year and for years to come. Now, how do they pay for that deficit? First, by taking the Social Security surplus that comes in every month and endorsing the checks of working people over to me to pay for the tax cut. But it's not enough, so then they have to go borrow money. Most of it they borrow from the Chinese and the Japanese government. Sure these countries are competing with us for good jobs, but how can we enforce our trade laws against our bankers? I mean, come on!
Bill Clinton's entire remarks will be available from the NPI Elections Center.

Hillary calls for new leadership

Former First Lady and current New York Senator Hillary Clinton delivered a short but sweet speech to the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, calling for new leadership and new vision in the White House.

Addressing the mistakes of the past three and a half years, Clinton spoke of how John Kerry would do differently:
He will lead the world, not alienate it. Lower the deficit, not raise it. Create good jobs, not lose them. Solve a health care crisis, not ignore it. I know a thing or two about health care. And the problems have only gotten worse in the past four years.

We need to rededicate ourselves to the task of providing coverage for the 44 million Americans who are uninsured and the millions of others who face rising costs. We need to lift the ban on stem cell research, and find cures that will help millions of Americans.
Hillary was greeted by rousing cheers and a roar of applause. The Clintons presided over one of the most prosperous times in American history and have remained politically active even after they left the White House in 2000. Her message remains crystal clear: without John Kerry in the White House, America will continue to disintegrate over the next four years.

Hillary Clinton's entire remarks will be available from the NPI Elections Center.

Carter slams Bush administration

In a rousing speech to Democrats, former President Jimmy Carter spoke out against the mistakes and miscalculations of the Bush administration over the past three and a half years.

Carter attacked the record of the Bush administration, saying they had squandered opportunities and made bad choices. He highlighted the need for trust, saying:
Truth is the foundation of our global leadership, but our credibility has been shattered, and we are left increasingly isolated and vulnerable in a hostile world. Without truth, without trust, America cannot flourish. Trust is at the very heart of our democracy, the sacred covenant between a president and the people. When that trust is violated, the bonds that hold our republic together begin to weaken.
He also blasted the administration on issues such as Iraq and the environment, calling for new leadership:
After 9/11, America stood proud, wounded but determined and united. A cowardly attack on innocent civilians brought us an unprecedented level of cooperation and understanding around the world.

But in just 34 months we have watched with deep concern as all this good will has been squandered by a virtually unbroken series of mistakes and miscalculations. Unilateral acts and demands have isolated the United States from the very nations we need to join us in combatting terrorism.

Let us not forget that the Soviets lost the Cold War because the American people combined the exercise of power with the adherence to basic principles based on sustained bipartisan support. We understood the positive link between the defense of our own freedom and the promotion of human rights. But recent policies have cost our nation its reputation as the world's most admired champion of freedom and justice.

What a difference these few months of extremism have made. The United States has alienated its allies, dismayed its friends, and inadvertently gratified its enemies by proclaiming a confused and disturbing strategy of preemptive war.
Carter's speech was one of the most critical speeches of the administration's policy of the entire night, and a great speech that outlined why President Bush must be replaced in November 2004.

Carter's entire remarks will be available from the NPI Elections Center.

Gore Asks Republicans and Nader Supporters Tough Questions

Former Vice President Al Gore delivered a rousing speech to Democrats on the first night of the Democratic National Convention. He injected humor and sincerity into his speech. He also reminded Democrats that "every vote counts" and that "every vote must be counted".

Gore also asked tough questions of Republicans, saying:
And it is in that spirit, that I sincerely ask those watching at home tonight who supported President Bush four years ago: did you really get what you expected from the candidate you voted for? Is our country more united today? Or more divided? Has the promise of compassionate conservatism been fulfilled? Or do those words now ring hollow?

For that matter, are the economic policies really conservative at all? For example, did you expect the largest deficits in history, year after year? One right after another? And the loss of more than a million jobs?

By the way, I know about the bad economy. I was the first one laid off. And while it’s true that new jobs are being created, they’re just not as good as the jobs people have lost. And incidentally, that’s been true for me too. Unfortunately, this is no joke for millions of Americans. And the real solutions require us to transcend partisanship. So that’s one reason why, even though we meet here as Democrats, we believe this is a time to reach beyond our party lines to Republicans as well.
Gore also asked tough questions of Nader supporters, reaching out to those who voted for the third party in candidate:
And I also ask tonight for the consideration and the help of those who supported a third party candidate in 2000. I urge you to ask yourselves this question: Do you still believe that there was no difference between the candidates? Are you troubled by the erosion of America’s most basic civil liberties? Are you worried that our environmental laws are being weakened and dismantled to allow vast increases in pollution that are contributing to a global climate crisis?
Al Gore rightfully should have been elected in 2000. He won the popular vote, and he should have been President for the last four years. Instead, America was stuck with a President who feels free to act unilaterally, disregard and pollute the environment, squander the goodwill towards America that we gained after September 11th, show no concern for the jobs and healthcare of millions of Americans, and not do enough to protect us from the terrorist threat, choosing instead to invade Iraq.

Gore's entire remarks will be available from the NPI Elections Center.

2004 DNC gets underway

From the Democratic Party, here's an overview of the convention:

Four Days to Spotlight the Kerry-Edwards Vision for a Nation “Stronger at Home, Respected in the World”

The 2004 Democratic National Convention opens in Boston today with a prime-time focus on the Kerry-Edwards plan for America’s future. A comprehensive agenda to build an America that is stronger at home and respected in the world, the Kerry-Edwards plan will strengthen the middle class by creating new and better jobs and keeping American jobs at home, make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans, end our dependence on Mideast oil and strengthen national security.

When the convention gavels open today, it will mark the opening of the most diverse convention in Democratic Party history.

Notable events:

  • The first ever Veterans Caucus in Democratic Party History;
  • The first in a series of video moments featuring families and individuals talking about how John Kerry has touched their lives;
  • First of nightly “Mosaic of Americans” segments satelliting Americans from across the country into the hall;
  • Former Kerry Crewmate Rev. David Alston speaks about his experience serving with Kerry;
  • John Edwards and John Kerry talk about health care and their plan for the future as they continue to blaze America’s Freedom Trail into Boston at separate campaign stops in Cape Canaveral, FL and Raleigh, NC.
“This convention will tell the story of John Kerry and John Edwards, and their plan to make us stronger at home and respected in the world,” said Kerry-Edwards Campaign Manager Mary Beth Cahill. “Today we share with America the Kerry-Edwards plan for America’s future – an optimistic plan that says together, we can do better. We can have an economy that strengthens the middle class and keeps jobs here in America. We can have a health care system with lower costs that is accessible for all. We can end our dependence on Mideast oil and create good jobs in the process. A plan that says America is safer when we are respected in the world and will make this country more secure by reforming intelligence, strengthening our military and investing in homeland security.”

On Monday, featured speakers will highlight key elements of the Kerry-Edwards optimistic plan for America’s future, including: Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones of Ohio who will talk about the plan to create new and better jobs at home and a stronger economy for the middle class, Representative Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin who will discuss the plan to create affordable and available health care for all Americans, and Representative Bob Menendez of New Jersey who will discuss the Kerry-Edwards’ plans to strengthen America’s position in the world.

Veterans will convene the first ever Veterans Caucus at a Democratic convention. Led by notable veterans like Wesley Clark, Senator Max Cleland, Senator Bob Kerry and General Tony McPeak, there are over 500 veteran delegates attending this year’s convention and thousands more organizing behind John Kerry’s commitment to keep America’s commitment to those who wear our uniform.

Rev. David Alston will be a featured speaker. A former crewmate of Kerry’s, Alston will address the convention, relaying his experience serving with John Kerry.

In a special program appearance, workers from Canton, OH’s Timken Co will satellite into the convention hall, emphasizing the Kerry-Edwards commitment to create good paying jobs and build the economy of the future. Their appearance is part of a nightly effort to bring the faces of America into the convention hall.

Putting the plan front and center, Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro will introduce the Democratic Party’s Platform during the first day’s afternoon session.

Today Kerry and Edwards are on the campaign trail sharing their plan for America’s future at separate campaign events in Cape Canaveral, FL and Raleigh, NC. Both candidates are on day four of their journey to Boston along America’s Freedom Trail, a trail they are blazing from Kerry’s birthplace of Aurora, CO to America’s birthplace of Boston.

The Kerry-Edwards Plan for America’s Future

John Kerry and John Edwards are a new team for America – an experienced team with an optimistic plan to build an America that is stronger at home and respected abroad. Together, their plan for America’s future will strengthen the middle class by creating new and better jobs and keeping American jobs at home, make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans, make us independent from Mideast oil and restore America’s respect in the world.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

9/11 Commission: "We Are Not Safe"

The 9/11 commission released its final report and findings on what went wrong before September 11th last Thursday. The commission's report, which is being sold in the form of a book, is already the No. #1 bestseller on Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com.

The report calls for a sweeping overhaul of the nation's intelligence system- in part, suggesting that one person be put in charge of all intelligence operations- a move the Bush Administration has opposed. The New York Times reports:
"A critical theme that emerged throughout our inquiry was the difficulty of answering the question: Who is in charge?" said Lee H. Hamilton, the panel's vice chairman and a former Democratic House member from Indiana.

"Who oversees the massive integration and unity of effort necessary to keep America safe?" Mr. Hamilton asked. "Too often, the answer is no one."
Links:

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Costco fights the Beast From Bentonville

Costco and Wal*Mart have taken their battle into the political arena, with Costco donating heavily to Democratic causes and candidates, and Wal*Mart to President Bush and his GOP supply side cronies. It's no surprise that the two companies have taken different sides: Costco's labor-friendly policies are good for workers and good for the economy, while Wal*Mart treats its workers like crap and buys cheap manufactured goods from China.

Democrats know that you can't fix an economic recession with tax cuts for the biggest corporations and super-rich. President Bush's policies may benefit corporate titans at Wal*Mart, but they do absolutely nothing for the majority of Americans.

The theory of supply-side economics has already been proved to be nothing more than wishful thinking. You don't stimulate economic growth by giving millions, even billions, to the wealthiest people in America. It just makes no sense. You can't justify it. Why can't the majority of hardworking Americans get the tax cut? They're getting pennies compared to what the super-rich are getting.

Costco recognizes that GOP policies aren't a good solution to our economic problems. And Costco stands to benefit from a Democrat in the White House because it has already done the right thing. As Costco CEO Jim Sinegal best put it: "I'm not a social engineer. Paying good wages is simply good business."

We think so, too. Go Costco!

Seattle P-I story: Costco, Wal-Mart duel in political arena
Hel*Mart: Always Low Ethics...Always- and more!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Empire Rising

See David Horsey's newest installments (Parts III and IV)in his series "Empire Rising", a satirical look at contemporary US politics against the history of ancient Rome. The new installments are as funny as ever, and we urge you to check them out

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Edwards tapped to be running mate

A great candidate, energetic and enthusiastic. From John Kerry's official site:
I have chosen a man who understands and defends the values of America, a man who has shown courage and conviction as a champion for middle class Americans and those struggling to reach the middle class—a man who has shown guts, determination and political skill in his own race for the Presidency - a man whose life has prepared him for leadership and whose character brings him to exercise it. I am pleased to announce that the next Vice President of the United States will be John Edwards of North Carolina.

John Edwards speaks to the heart of America – hope and optimism. He is a lifelong champion for America’s families who has shown courage and conviction standing up for America’s values. In the Senate, he has a record of reaching across party lines and working to reform our intelligence services, combat bioterrorism, and keep our military strong. Together, we will campaign tirelessly across the country – fighting to build an America that is stronger at home and respected in the world.
The NY Times has a good story on this: Kerry Embraces Former Rival, Citing 'Courage and Conviction'