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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-08-06 - 2:36 p.m.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Talk about déjà vu all over again…President Bush proclaims loudly and clearly “We’re turning a corner…the economy is strong. The administration didn’t seem to understand that just saying there are weapons of mass destruction didn’t make them appear. Nor does just saying the economy is strong, make it so. The stock market took a nosedive today on the news that the job growth in the month of July was far lower than anticipated by economists. It’s looking all red to me – the Dow falling down to 9,815, the Nasdaq taking a 2.46% loss today. In addition, news came out today predicting oil will probably be at $50 a barrel this winter when demand becomes high. Consumer confidence is high – so they say!

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President Bush said today “We were right to elevate the alert in New York, New Jersey and D.C., If something had happened and we hadn’t, we would have been criticized, too.” What he doesn’t seem to get is that it is not the elevated alert level that is troubling people, it is the deception that went along with it. I would have had absolutely no trouble with the alert had they said at the time, “This is information that was gathered prior to 9/11 by Al Queda. We know, however, they tend to plan well ahead, so we think it prudent to alert these cities that have been under surveillance for some time, so that they can protect themselves. We have no idea whether an attack is imminent, but thought it prudent to advise the citizens we have discovered this information from these latest arrests in Pakistan.” Honest, straightforward…truth. It seemed far more political to have the facts come out from a whistleblower two days later – at least in my eyes, which become more cynical as each day passes.

Bob Herbert hit the nail directly on the head in his Failure of Leadership column in the N. Y. Times today:

It's as if the government were following a script from the theater of the absurd. Instead of rallying our allies to a coordinated and relentless campaign against Al Qaeda after Sept. 11, we insulted the allies, gave them the back of our hand and arrogantly sent the bulk of our forces into the sand trap of Iraq.

Now we're in a fix.

The war in Iraq has intensified the hatred of America around the world and powerfully energized Al Qaeda-type insurgencies. At the same time, it has weakened our defenses by diverting the very resources we need - personnel, matériel and boatloads of cash - to meet the real terror threats.

President Bush's re-election mantra is that he's the leader who can keep America safe. But that message was stepped on by the urgent, if not frantic, disclosures this week by top administration officials that another Al Qaeda attack on the United States might be imminent.

In a fix? From where I sit - you bet we’re in a fix. In case, President Bush hasn’t heard, the cities and states have no ability to run a deficit like the national government does. I haven’t heard the President declaring New York, New Jersey and D.C. national disaster zones – areas that need special funding to protect the financial section, national monuments, the Pentagon and White House. The country should be asked to sacrifice, to chip in (tax), to help pay for this extra police protection. The cities should not have to foot the entire bill every time an alert is called.He has had a rare opportunity to ask the citizens of this country to come to the aid of their country, to make a sacrifice, to help out their communities, etc....but he's blown it, if you ask me.

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