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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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2004-10-30 - 11:50 a.m.

Walter Cronkite Called This A.M.

...and Arnold called me yesterday. I'm beginning to feel really important. (I hung up on Arnold!) Actually Arnold was calling to urge me to vote against one of our Propositions. I think he already knew I wouldn't be voting for his Presidential candidate. How perceptive!

After reading

Letting Down the Troops

by Bob Herbert, I perused the comments that had been posted. Among them I saw this comment from a veteran:

“Thank you Bob Herbert! I spent 24 years in the USAF and live near Ft Lewis and McChord AFB. I've spoken with many young soldiers and airmen and I always get the same answer, "I don't know what this war is about." My heart goes out to them and to their families. Most of them are in the military simply because they need a job, yet most are also happy to serve when the country is clearly threatened, such as in Afghanistan.

I was in Vietnam from 1965 until 1966 flying with the 19th Air Commados. Even then I knew it was a bogus war that was kicked into "high gear" by LBJ, another Texan who got us into that civil war by drumming up a false attack on one of our ships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Still, I kept my mouth shut, did my job and never again voted for a Democrat until the Republican party changed and started spending like a drunken sailor. I finally voted for a Democrat during Clinton's 2nd term because I couldn't stand the hypocracy of the so-called Christian ultra right Republicans. Except for the sleeze factor, Bill Clinton governed like a true moderate, fiscally responsive Republican. I expect Kerry will do the same.

I admire him for his actions during the Vietnam conflict, but most of all, I truly respect him for resigning his commision and going public against that awful war. I also strongly suspect if Kerry cannot get help from the rest of the world, he'll simply write of Iraq as an unrepairable situation and pull out of it. After all, it's the ultra right wing's doing and no amount of lies will alter that fact.”

Charles Munn

Another column I read that day…which seems like old news now since the latest distracting Osama bin Laden video (for which I'm betting GW and Karl Rove are grateful), but still worth a read:

It's Not Just Al Qaqaa

It's remarkable that the right-wingers who dominate cable news and talk radio are still complaining about a liberal stranglehold over the media. But, that absurdity aside, they're missing a crucial point: Al Qaqaa is hardly the only tale of incompetence and mendacity to break to the surface in the last few days. Here's a quick look at some of the others:

Letting Osama get away
Just before the story about Al Qaqaa broke, the Bush-Cheney campaign was frantically trying to debunk John Kerry's statement that Mr. Bush let Osama bin Laden get away when he was cornered at Tora Bora. That getaway, Mr. Kerry asserts, was possible because the administration "outsourced" the job of closing off escape routes to local Afghan warlords.

In response, Gen. Tommy Franks claimed that we don't know that Osama was at Tora Bora, and, anyway, we didn't outsource the work of catching him. Dick Cheney called Mr. Kerry's claims "absolute garbage." But multiple reports from 2001 and early 2002 confirm Mr. Kerry's version. As Peter Bergen, a terrorism expert, writes, Mr. Kerry's charge is "an accurate reflection of the historical record."

Letting Zarqawi get away
On Monday The Wall Street Journal confirmed an earlier report that in 2002 the military drew up plans for a strike on the base of the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in an area of Iraq not under Saddam's control. But civilian officials vetoed the attack - probably because they thought it might undermine political support for the war against Saddam. So Mr. Zarqawi, like Osama, was given the chance to kill another day.

The situation in Iraq Dick Cheney is telling supporters that Iraq is a "remarkable success story." But the news from Iraq just keeps getting worse. After 49 Iraqi National Guard recruits were killed, execution style, even Ayad Allawi, the Iraqi prime minister - who usually acts as a de facto spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign - accused coalition forces of "gross negligence." It's now clear that the insurgency is much larger than U.S. officials initially acknowledged, and that Iraqi security forces have been heavily infiltrated.

$70 billion more
Earlier this week The Washington Post reported that administration officials were planning to seek an additional $70 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan after the election.

They Knew

A truly disgusting last ditch promotional political piece from George Bush is outlined on TheyKnew’s

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Bring a picture ID to the polls. Many states have new identification requirements this year, so play it safe by bringing your drivers license or other official ID if at all possible.

Go to the correct polling place. Many polling places have changed since the last election, and in some states, your provisional ballot will not be counted if you go to the wrong polling place. So check your polling place ahead of time by calling your local election office or reviewing your sample ballot.

Call 1-866-OUR VOTE if you experience or witness a voting emergency. Lawyers will be standing by to provide free, immediate, on-the-spot assistance. Be assertive - don't allow intimidation.

Lines may be long, so take a book! Remember, you have the right to vote if you are in line before the polls close -- no matter how long it takes. There has never been a more important time to make sure that you vote and that your vote is counted.

You can check out election results at
Washington Post Election Survival Page

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