Tag Archives: bush

Bush veto

Yes, it’s a politically-themed post. Probably the only one before 2008, so don’t run away just yet.

The Bush veto of the bipartisan children’s health care plan a few weeks ago really made me angry, but it wasn’t until “Justin Miller responded”:http://twitter.com/incanus77/statuses/310113392 to “my tweet”:http://twitter.com/manton/statuses/310110182 that I started to think about why. Here’s the reason.

When Bush was elected in 2000, I expected this kind of stuff from him. Vetoing stem cell research? Killing children’s health care funding? Sure, par for the course for this Republican. But then 9-11 happened and everything changed. The war. Our president’s priorities changed.

Bush got a free ride from the media during the 2000 election, and again after 9-11. He would make the most incompetent and clumsy mistakes and yet be cut slack because, frankly, expectations are just so much lower for him than any other president in recent history.

At some point in 2004, opinion started to shift, led by folks like Howard Dean (who I’ve “written about before”:http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amanton.org+howard+dean). Eventually, after Bush won re-election, there would be enough anti-war momentum to matter. And that brings us up to now and this veto.

Everyone is focused on the war. Everyone understands the significance, the mistakes. Most of the country wants it over but we know that it’s complex, and the consequences for any given action will be felt for a decade. Compared to the lives lost in Iraq and the harm done to the stability of the Middle East, the rise of a new generation of terrorists — what does a health care bill matter? Is it worth fighting for?

Democrats in power by a slim majority probably think they have to choose their battles, have to give in on some issues so they can hold on to the important ones, like the war. But I say no. The only thing that works against this stubborn ass in the White House is to take the fight to him. Cut him off at every turn. Don’t give him a freakin’ inch. Call for an override vote again and again.

Every. Single. Day.

That’s how you win. You put people on the ground in every state — organizing, protesting, getting out the vote. You put letters in the hands of our representatives — email, blogs, editorial, flyers. You put a loud voice to what you feel and never, ever back down.

Midterm elections matter

I voted today. Here’s the scene for my precinct today. Not too crowded, but a steady flow of people.

Voting

Yesterday Traci and I called voters as part of “MoveOn.org’s Call for Change”:http://www.moveon.org/. I’m always nervous about calling complete strangers. I did this for the first time for Howard Dean’s campaign and it’s easy to get disillusioned with answering machines and hang-ups. But almost everyone we talked to was planning to vote today, and I think there’s definitely a sense that this election matters. Sometimes a simple reminder is the difference between voting or skipping it, so if you only reach a handful of people it can make the difference in a close race if thousands of other people are doing the same.

I’ll be up late tonight watching the returns. Polls close early in some places and may get crowded, so don’t wait any longer if you haven’t voted yet. For location info call 1-866-MY-VOTE-1.

Five years later

I couldn’t let the 5th anniversary of September 11th pass without saying something. On Friday the Senate intelligence committee released a report showing that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11. That isn’t news. What is news is the details: that Saddam actually distrusted Al Qaeda and tried to capture Zarqawi. The simple truth is that terrorist organizations are a threat to any government, even ones we have disagreements with.

If that doesn’t make you sick, here’s another one that I haven’t heard mentioned yet. Sometime next year the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq will surpass the civilian deaths on September 11th. (September 11th = 2973, Iraq as of today = 2661)

The level of incompetence in our President, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and their advisors reaches new heights. What can we do? Five years ago we were uneducated and scared, and even two years later we could easily be led by fear alone. Now, just stay angry. Change starts in November.

An Inconvenient Truth

I saw the Al Gore documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”:http://www.climatecrisis.net/ last month. It’s a very important movie, and I hope everyone has a chance to see it.

They handed out copies of Seed Magazine at SXSW this year. There were a few articles on global warming, including “this depressing quote from James Lovelock”:http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2006/05/doomsday_scenarios.php, the environmental scientist responsible for the Gaia hypothesis:

bq. “The prospects for the coming century are pretty grim: If these predictions are correct, it means that all of the efforts that have been made, like the Kyoto and Montreal agreements, are almost certainly a waste of time. They should have been done 50 or 100 years ago. It’s too late now to turn back the clock, so to speak.”

What are we supposed to do with that? If we are scared and powerless, nothing will change.

The Bush administration agenda too is based on fear. Fear led us to IRAQ, to no-warrant wiretapping. Instead, with An Inconvenient Truth you leave the movie theater inspired, with a new sense of urgency. This is beautifully woven together — personal highlights from Gore’s life with his talk with facts with videos.

And as a Mac user, it’s nice to see “Keynote played such an important part”:http://www.apple.com/hotnews/articles/2006/05/inconvenienttruth/ in the production of his talks (via “James Duncan Davidson”:http://www.duncandavidson.com/).

Also, this on YouTube: “A Terrifying Message from Al Gore”:http://youtube.com/watch?v=5BjrOi4vF24 (Futurama!)