Tag Archives: John Kerry

Bush Going Backward on Environment says John Kerry

John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry spoke passionately last night at Seattle’s Town Hall regarding “this moment in time”. Using their recently written book entitled “This Moment in Time” as a stepping off point, John Kerry and his wife spoke about their ongoing concerns regarding real threats to the future of “Mother Earth.”

John Kerry derided the Bush Administration for going backwards on dealing with environmental threats to our future and said that it was “intolerable.” Citing environmental concerns today as broader than global climate change with its impending threats, he said we are “facing tipping points on a series of issues” dealing with the environment.

Citing Bush’s “shameless attack” on the environment, he gave a series of examples. In 19 states you can’t take your kids fishing. Some 44 states have advisories against eating fish and in some 44 rivers and harbors you can’t fish or swim. Bush’s “Clean Skies” legislation actually allowed 5x as much pollution than if the law had been left intact. Our major fisheries are all over fished. The “polluter pays” cleanup legislation was abandoned by Bush. Roadless areas were opened to new roads and cutting. The list is numerous.

The incentive for the Kerry’s to write their book was to give people hope and to write about what individuals across the country have been doing despite the wanton assault by Bush. The book details stories of people fighting to protect our future. The book ends with a series of things individuals can do to help, noting it is important to act because the US contributes 25% of the global pollution contributing to Global Warming. And if we hope to get action on reducing China’s threat to build a new coal plant every week, we must be sincere in reducing our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

Citing that 928 peer reviewed scientific studies point to man’s impact on global warming and not one peer reviewed study speaks to the contrary, Kerry says the prudent thing to do is to apply the “Precautionary Principle.” If all these studies are wrong and we still acted on them, at the worst, we would have a cleaner world and be energy independent . But if we don’t act on them and they are right we will have “a catastrophe.”

Teresa Heinz Kerry described her work on what I consider one of the unacknowledged sleeper threats facing us. That is the cumulative impact of all the different chemicals that we have released into the living environment that have unforeseen impacts and consequences. Of some 80,000 different chemicals produced for the market, only 10,000 have been vetted by the FDA as to safety. And this speaks nothing to synergistic effects or impacts of random combinations of chemicals.

Sewage treatment does not remove minute quantities of most chemicals. For example, medicines people take eventually wind up in the water supply, in either the original form or altered form. Heinz Kerry noted for example the reported presence of chemotherapy waste in one study and the presence of Prozac in London in another, appearing in water. Birth control chemicals and other chemicals that affect reproductive behavior in humans also impact other living species. Yet there is little attention being paid to these chemicals accumulating in the environment and their long term impacts.

Heinz Kerry said that one of her life lessons is that if you don’t do certain things to protect yourself when you know there are potential consequences you will pay the price. From her childhood in Africa she learned it’s common sense not to go into the stream with piranhas when its feeding time. She said it is frequently blind arrogance and greed that contribute to needless suffering. Using the Precautionary Principle she said means we look at the facts and work to prevent or mitigate potential harm and disaster.

John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry may not be in the White House but they are living their principles and passions by acting on them. We are all fortunate to have such caring individuals continuing to do public service for the world by speaking out and writing books like “This Moment in Time: the New Pioneers on the Environmental Frontier.”

Teressa Heinz Kerry and Senator John Kerry – Tonight at Town Hall

The Kerry’s will be at Town Hall tonight in Seattle to discuss their new book,
This Moment on Earth: the New Pioneers on the Environmental Frontier”
The talk will start at 7:30 P.M., on Tuesday April 3, 2007,
at Seattle’s Town Hall
8th and Seneca
Tickets $5 at door
The Kerry’s were on KUOW this morning from 9 A.M. to 10 A.M.
Click on the Weekday program audio link to hear the program.

McGavick and Kerry Swiftboating and Lapdog Press and Election Day 2006

Senator Maria Cantwell and other Democrats need your vote and deserve your vote today. It’s time to have a Congress that deals with real issues not those of Republicans who have shown they will do anything for corporations and multi-millionaires and prefer to spend time critiquing one’s ability to tell a joke rather than discuss solutions to Bush’s Iraq quagmire.

The national Republican noise machine and the wimpy media that can’t think for itself caused most Democrats and others to cut and run from John Kerry after he supposibly messed up the telling of a joke.

In Washington State Republican Mike McGavick, Cantwell’s opponent, chimed in by joining the bandwagon of people willing to continue swiftboating tactics on Democrats. They speak of civility yet their actions speak otherwise.

The question today is how many voters will see through all the smokescreens and deceptions and manipulations and voter suppression efforts and dirty campaigning and decide to just walk away from Republican candidates like McGavick.

Because that is what this election is about – choosing which party you trust that has your best interests at heart and is straight forward in addressing the tough issues America face today – like getting out of Iraq or catching Osama bin Laden.

Republicans like Senate candidate Mike McGavick were so desperate for an issue to give them traction that they hypocritically resorted to literary and drama criticism. Somehow they thought that attacking John Kerry’s joke telling ability was a campaign issue that voters would get excited about. The whole point was to take peoples minds off of Iraq.

Was Senator Kerry’s joke telling ability really a campaign issue?

Republicans nationally turned up the right wing noise machine. As usual the media which loves to have “controversy” did their bidding – even when the controversy was contrived and artificial. The lap dog media, loving car crashes and fires and any type of controversy, followed willing and became Republican attack dogs themselves by giving the huge attention they did to this Republican diversionary tactic.

They joined a very orchestrated crowd attack by the Republicans and it worked. Senator Kerry became persona non grata – again a slickly run campaign attack about a mangled joke became an issue that took everyone’s attention off of the Bush Administration’s failures in catching Osama bin Laden and the failure of the war in Iraq. Bush and Rove succeeded beyond their dreams.

The media once again was cleverly manipulated to do the Rove’s bidding. Bush mangles language all the time. He is socially inept and late night comedians are always supplied with lots of video clips and Bush speeches to laugh at. So why was the media so quick to do the Republicans bidding and get off covering real campaign issues?

If the issue was jokes, then was it a joke that 103 Americans were killed in Iraq last month? Or was it a joke that Republicans like Mike McGavick were still fumbling around trying to find something to talk about? What is the joke that the main justification for being in Iraq is being answered with the statement that we must support the troops?

In a recent ad McGavick attacked Cantwell for changing her position on Iraq from 3 years ago. Should she have kept her head buried in sand like Bush has done in Iraq?

McGavick’s solution. “Beat the Terrorists. Partition the country if we have to and get our troops home, in victory” Besides partition the country – isn’t that cut and run – beat the terrorists is supposibly what Bush has been doing the last 5 years. Stay the course.

As part of his plan to beat the terrorists, McGavick decided to use a botched joke is part of his plan to sell his lack of a plan on what to do in Iraq. Republicans are using political jutisui to turn the Democrats criticism of the Republicans back on them.

Bush’s campaign attack is now asking where is the Democratic plan to win? That’s just turning the question back on itself. That’s just trying to take attention off his failures. Where is Bush’s plan? Oh right its stay the course but we’re not calling it that.

And that’s all Mcgavick’s position is on Iraq also. “Beat the Terrorists ….bring the troops home, in victory” His partition the country is just what’s likely to happen on its own.

So it was informative that lobbyist and insurance man Mike McGavick joined the Bush Republican chorus on attacking Kerry. Same swiftboating by Republicans as before. I don’t find any mention on McGavick’s website of his having served in the military yet here he is “defending the troops” from “troop hater” foreign war veteran John Kerry.

What is wrong with the main stream media that it made what Kerry said an issue? What is wrong is that they joined the Republican strategy of making “waving the flag” and “supporting the troops.” the patriotic thing over waging a just war or facing the reality of the hornet’s nest Bush stirred up in Iraq.

Supporting the troops was only really a clever way for Bush and Rove to create another can’t lose issue – like supporting motherhood issues which are falsely packaged in can’t lose names like supporting ‘healthy forests’ or supporting ‘clear skies.’ That may be clever marketing by former corporate types scattered around the Bush Administration but pooh is still poop even if you call it something else.

How the hell are you really “supporting the troops” if you don’t face the reality that the troops are engaged in a quagmire of a civil war that a botched effort by Bush helped create. That’s where the outrage should be directed because even when Kerry stumbled over his Bush joke, he was still right.

The reality is that the military is a place that recruits people who haven’t gotten a good education. If they had a better choice, do you think they would give it up to go to Iraq to spend their days worrying about being blown apart everytime they leave their base?

What is wrong with saying that? It’s the emperor has no clothes. The media in joining the Republican attack on John Kerry showed that they are still unwilling to face the reality that they need to deal with the issues, not whether someone didn’t tell a joke the way they had written it out on a piece of paper.

The media became Republican lapdogs when they did the bidding of a bunch of right wing fanatics desperate to justify an unnecessary war looking for scapegoats on the other side when they joined the once again swiftboating of Kerry. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Our country is being run by a bunch of nuts who have been able to use the absurd logic that we are supporting our troops by keeping our mouth shut about whether we should even be there. Its not a joke that the mainstream media types spent so much time over a joke made by a past candidate rather than dealing with the real issues involved.

Hopefully today the American voters will show the Republicans you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. I think Democrats are going to win big today. They are tired of Republican lies and deception. It’s time to deal with real issues, not joketelling.

Is This the Year of the Donkey for Washington State?

Anger at Bush May Hurt GOP at Polls reads a headline yesterday in the Washington Post. This was what Democrats thought would put Kerry into the White House two years ago. Will it work this year in Washington State?

The most recent Washington Post – ABC poll shows a 47% “strong disapproval” by voters of Bush’s job performance. Only 20% “strongly approve”. In comparison President Clinton’s highest “strong disapproval” rating was 37%.

Since Bush is not on the ballot, the best way for voters to show their anger at Bush is to vote his Republican Congressional cronies who have unflinchingly supported his policies out of office. By contrast in the 2002 midterm congressional elections, Bush had 42% of the voters “strongly approving” of him versus only 20% “strongly disapproving”. Democrats lost seats which was historically unusual.

The key is strength of passion- what motivates people to make that extra effort to vote.

Yet the issue for Congressional races turns more often on local candidates and issues. There have been very few seats turned over by incumbents over time. In fact the historical average has been that 98% of incumbents get reelected.

As Mark Mellman in The Hill suggests, this inertia to change can be affected by several things, including the past vote for Presidents.

The year 1994 was a big one for Republicans in Congress. Yet of the 34 seats the Democrats lost, the Republican Presidential candidate in the previous two elections had won 30. Likewise in the big change in 1982, 2/3 of the Republican incumbents who lost were in districts the Democratic Presidential candidate had won previously.

Mellman says that in this election cycle only 18 incumbent Republicans are in districts that Kerry won. By the way, one of these is the eighth Congressional District, where Darcy Burner, a Democrat is taking on first term incumbent Republican Dave Reickert.

While open seats can also be a factor, in years of major change it may not be as significant a factor. In 1992, only 37% of the seats the Democrats lost were open seats.

So certainly a lot rides on whether voters are rearing for a change. Unknowns that can change things quickly include changes in Iraq, like Bush withdrawing troops.

In addition factors in Washington state include emotional hotbutton issues like certain initiatives. The referendum to overturn the ban on gay discrimination and developer Initiative 933 to limit most zoning and growth management and Eyman’s Initiative 917 to cut transportation funding are all issues that pull out conservatives and Republicans.

Adam Nagourney writes in last Sunday’s New York Times that this is part of the Republican strategy. Entitled, “Looking to win in November, with a 2-year old Playbook” he notes that Carl Rove’s game plan in 2004 was to woo the religious right and other conservatives by appealing to their emotions. They did this successfully by a series of state initiatives to ban gay marriage coordinated with efforts to turn out church goers.

This year it may be tougher but Washington’s developer’s initiative 933 is not alone. Conservatives are also gathering signatures on similar initiatives on so called private property rights in California, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and Oregon (again) according to the NY Times.

And another issue is also rising – immigration. Democrats meanwhile are slow in using initiatives to increase turnout of their base. This year Washington state has one measure – Initiative 937 – the Energy Security Initiative to increase use of renewable energy that is collecting signatures to get on the ballot. Meanwhile with Eyman’s so called $30 tabs initiative 917, which reduces transportation funds; the developer initiative 933 – to end zoning as we know it; and the referendum to repeal the anti discrimination legislation passed by the Legislature, Democrats are having to wage three defensive efforts.

I think Democrats need to get more active and work to help set the agenda by running their own initiatives in the future, particularly in 2008 to help draw out the progressive base. They need to quit crying about the conservatives putting initiatives on the ballot and put their own on. Voters are not going to repeal the initiative process in Washington state. Put the conservatives on the defense.

Meanwhile Senator Cantwell, who has been running into criticism from some progressive activists need to engage them more. Because to win she needs to turn out motivated voters and right now there are too many being unreasonably purist in their criticism. But they are family, family she needs to win and that requires special efforts. And they need her to win if we want to stop the Bush Cheney railroading of America into just one giant corporation where we only have two classes, the superrich and the rest of us.