Thursday, September 30, 2004

Anyone for a little Smack?

$287 Billion Spent on the war terror. $11.2 billion fighting the war on drugs. Instead of combining our efforts on both, Bush failed to act on an exceptional opportunity to strike a blow against both at the same time. Afghanistan, the country that let terrorists train to kill Americans, is also the largest producer of opium in the world. But, instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan by ridding it of terrorists and stabilizing the government, Bush turned his back on Afghanistan and the real war on terror and went after Saddam. Not only is the majority of Afghanistan back in the hands of the Taliban and militant warlords, but it also has had the largest crop of poppies in years because Afghanistan is now more lawless than it has been in a decade. If Bush had focused on ridding Afghanistan of the terrorists instead of abandoning the country, we would have been able to both protect our national borders from terrorists and from illegal drugs. Now we have new training grounds for terrorists and cheap heroin. Thanks Bush. Millions of dollars from the sale of this heroin on our streets will flow back into the hands of the people who want to harm us.

AP wire sept 24th, WASHINGTON - Afghans significantly increased their poppy crop in the past year, fueling a narcotics trade that endangers U.S.-led efforts to stabilize the country, officials said Thursday. A report expected in a few weeks from the CIA and United Nations is expected to show Afghans planted 100,000 hectares with the crop, up from 80,000 hectares last year, said assistant secretary of state Robert B. Charles, head of the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. "We know that profits from the production of illegal narcotics flow into the coffers of warlord militias, corrupt government officials and extremist forces," Rodman said in a written statement for the House International Relations Committee hearing on the Oct. 9 Afghan elections. Committee Chairman Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., criticized the administration for not moving faster against a drug trade that threatens efforts to build a stable Afghan government. "The drug lords are getting stronger faster than the Afghan authorities are being built up," he said.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Note to Bush - 3 is bigger than 2

Even though Bush's spending proposals total an increase of $3 trillion dollars, he still is harping on Kerry's platform that actually is a trillion dollars less expensive than Bush's. It will never stop amazing me how easy it is for Bush to stand in front of the American people and blatantly mislead them.

Sept. 27 th West Chester, OH - "To create jobs, to make sure people can find work here, we've got to be wise about how we spend your money and keep your taxes low. Taxes are an issue in this campaign. I'm running against a fellow who has proposed $2.2 trillion in new federal spending, so far. "

All I can say is I prefer Kerry's $2 trillion dollar proposals to Bush's $3 trillion. If the government is going to spend my tax dollars, I would rather the benefits go to me instead of pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and corporations that ship American jobs overseas. I am not sure why fiscally responsible republicans allow Bush to still call himself "republican."

al Queda Veterans for the Truth

Despite claims by Dennis Hastert, Dick Cheney, and Anne Coulter that al Queda wants John Kerry to with the election, the only word coming out of the Muslim world is the exact opposite. On March 17th, Reuters reported on a story coming out of the Egyptian Arabic language daily Al-Hayat, Purported al Qaeda letter call truce in Spain, that the terrorist who claimed responsibility for the Madrid bombing preferred Bush over Kerry. The terrorists believe that they could not find a "more foolish" leader than George Bush "who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom." The terrorists goes on to accuse Kerry as being more dangerous to the Muslim world because he is more "cunning" and able to trick the Muslims into believing that he is actually civilized. Its a good thing Osama can't set up his own 527 organization to attack Kerry.

And this assertion by Cheney that if we make the wrong choice we will get hit by terrorists. In 2000 we chose Bush/Cheney... we were hit by terrorists... I guess we made the wrong choice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Republicans Outsource Their Own Party

Not only did Bush's campaign first buy campaign apparel made in Burma, a country that Bush himself signed an embargo against due to its horrendous human rights violation, now it turns out that the RNC outsourced its computer programming to an overseas company. According to PC World, GOP Voter Vault shipped overseas, the RNC's Voter Vault (the Republican parties data base) was constructed by Compulink Systems of Maharashtra, India. Not only was the data base developed in India, the personal information of 168 million Americans was compromised when a Russian hacker broke into the computer system while it was being built. Its good to know that the Republicans care so much about good paying American jobs that they are willing to ship them overseas and all of our personal information with them..

Bush Breaks the Law and Limits Health Care Choices

President Bush claims that Kerry's health care plan will take choice out of the hands of patients. Well, not only is that complete lie, Bush is doing exactly what he claims his opponent will do. It does not surprise me that the king of hypocrisy would be cited by the GAO for breaking the law by keeping patients from getting the health care they are entitled to. Bush sided with the pharmaceutical companies, and now he is also siding with the insurance companies against the American people.

WASHINGTON AP Wire Sept 28th, 2004 - "The Bush administration violated the law by allowing private insurers to limit choices of some patients in a small trial program of managed health care under Medicare, congressional investigators said. Preferred provider organizations, which offer members a network of discounted health care providers, have enrolled 105,000 Medicare beneficiaries in 19 states. In some cases, insurers refused to pay claims for home health visits, nursing care, dental work, routine physicals and other services obtained from providers who were not part of the PPO network, the Government Accountability Office said."

The day before the GAO report, Bush lied in his stump speech:

Sept. 27th in West Chester, OH: "In a time of change we need to do something about our health care system. When it comes to health care, I want you to listen to this debate now, coming down the pike. When it comes to health care, we have a philosophical divide. (Laughter.) My opponent wants government to dictate to you. I want you to decide. I want you to be the decision-maker."
Looks like Bush doesn't want you to be the decision maker. He wants the insurance industry to be the decision maker. If you are not rich and you vote for Bush, you are only fooling yourself. He doesn't care about you, only about your vote.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Musharraf Says the World is Less Safe

Even our primary partner on the war against terror, Pakistan's President Musharraf, thinks Iraq is a mistake and is distracting from out true goals. CNN's Paula Zahn interviewed President Musharraf (excerpts below). Musharraf expressed his belief that the was in Iraq has made the world less safe and made the fight against terrorism more difficult:

President Musharraf
Aired September 24, 2004 - 20:00 ET

ZAHN: Is the world a safer place because of the war in Iraq?

MUSHARRAF: No. It's more dangerous. It's not safer, certainly not.

ZAHN: How so?

MUSHARRAF: Well, because it has aroused actions of the Muslims more. It's aroused certain sentiments of the Muslim world, and then the responses, the latest phenomena of explosives, more frequent for bombs and suicide bombings. This phenomenon is extremely dangerous.

ZAHN: Was it a mistake to have gone to war with Iraq?

MUSHARRAF: Well, I would say that it has ended up bringing more trouble to the world.

ZAHN: Do you think that the war in Iraq has undermined the overall war on terror?

MUSHARRAF: It has complicated it, certainly. I wouldn't say undermined. It has further complicated it. It has made the job more difficult.

Good going Bush. The one place we need to fight terrorism the most (Afghanistan/Pakistan) is now even harder to do it in.

Friday, September 24, 2004

The Great Uneducated Electorate

Many of my friends constantly question, "how can George Bush be re-elected? Are the American people that stupid?" My answer to that is "no," the American people are not "that stupid," but they are "that un-educated." I believe that Americans are intelligent and ingenious people, but, then the question is still how can Bush be re-elected? I think the answer lies in the demographic break down of the polls. The Washington Post poll (9/9/04) breaks down its results in several categories, one of them being education. For ever category, George Bush does best among persons with high school educations or less. John Kerry does best with individuals who have attained a college degree or better. For example, 52% of persons with a high school education or less would vote for Bush if the election were held today. Bush drops to 46% with college grads. Kerry garners 41% of the vote from high school or less, but rises to 49% with college grads. When it comes to who would do better with creating jobs, Bush once again does best with high school or less, 49%, but drops to 36% with college grads. Kerry only musters 41% from high school or less, but draws 49% when it comes to college grads. This shift from Bush to Kerry according to education is consistent throughout the survey. The less education you are, the more likely you are to support Bush.

Why is this? I don't agree with anyone who says that you need a college education to be "smart", but I do think the level of a persons education does say (generally) something about the quantity and quality of information they get and where they get it. I do have several theories, but nothing conclusive to offer.
First, people with high school education or less tend to read less and be less inquisitive regarding politics and foreign affairs. The more that people follow the news the less I find they support George Bush. There is no way a person can objectively follow the news (excluding FOX) and still find credibility in the Bush administration. Only an ideologue could still believe in Bush.

Second, FOX news attracts less educated viewers than CNN and the other media outlets and then misinforms them. According to a University of Maryland study by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) found that 48 percent of the public still "believe US troops found evidence of close pre-war links between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist group; 22 percent thought troops found weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq; and 25 percent believed that world public opinion favored Washington's going to war with Iraq. The average frequency of misperceptions among respondents who planned to vote for Bush was 45 percent, while among those who plan to vote for a hypothetical Democrat candidate, the frequency averaged only 17 percent. The study also asked "Has the US found clear evidence Saddam Hussein was working closely with al Qaeda?" 68 percent of Bush supporters replied affirmatively. By contrast, only a third of Democrat-backers said yes. CNN and NBC tied as the best-performing commercial broadcast audience for knowing what is really happening. According to Nielsen Media Research, even the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" attracks a more educated audiance than Bill O'Reilly. I have not met a single educated person who can still argue with a straight face that FOX is "fair and balanced."

It is sad because the demographic that supports Bush the most, suffers the most from his policies. If they knew the truth, if they were informed about the Bush policies, they would revolt against, not support the President. So, the key to a better government is educating the people. Whether you support Bush or Kerry, the most important thing is to be informed about the state of our country and the world. At least then you can have a real idea of who you are supporting and why.

Rise of the Idiotocrocy

Now Donald Rumsfeld is saying that the Iraqi elections might not be held in the entire country due to the insurgent movement, only selected parts of it:

As Reported by CNN Sept 24th - Rumsfeld said, "Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three-quarters or four-fifths of the country. But in some places you couldn't because the violence was too great. Well, so be it. Nothing's perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet," he said.

Not perfect? This is the most inept and incompetent administration I have ever seen! No, it is not better than not having an election at all. How can you have elections in a country that has multiple religious and ethnic factions and not include everyone in that election? The Sunni and Shiite populations already distrust one another. The Kurds distrust everyone. The risk of a civil war is immense. You cannot have a legitimate election in Iraq that excludes ANYONE without it causing more problems than it solves. No Iraqi that is excluded from voting will accept the results of the elections as legitimate, and it will only give more ammunition to the insurgents to rally disenfranchised Iraqis to their cause. Look at all the division caused by the 2000 election in the U.S. and the belief that thousands of Floridians were denied their right to vote. Now extend that to Iraq where the people see that the difference in who controls Iraq could be a difference between life and death. There is no way that an election that does not include all Iraqis could bring anything but more violence and blood shed. Rummy needs to go...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Wrong Direction

As reported by the AP wire Sept 23rd, "President Bush on Thursday shrugged off polls that suggest most Iraqis see Americans as occupiers not liberators. 'I saw a poll that said the right track-wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America,' he told reporters. Bush did not indicate what poll he was referring to, but White House aides cited a recent poll in Iraq conducted in late August that showed that more than 51 percent of Iraqis surveyed felt their country was headed in 'the right direction,' up slightly from a May/June poll. "

Is he serious? Did he mean it? And why would he be proud of that? If it were true, I would not be touting it as good news.

First of all, before the US invasion, Iraq was ruled by a brutal dictator and suffering from 11 years of UN sanctions. If there is only 51% of the population that thinks the country is doing better and heading in the right direction, that is a bad sign, not a good sign. That means one out of every two Iraqis believe the country was better off under the brutal dictator.

Second, it shows his failure of leadership in the US where only 44% (Washington Post 9/9/04) of the population believes the country is heading in the right direction. He has misled the American people, he has squandered our money, put us in debt and made us less safe... and he is proud?

Changing the Electoral College

As we all know, the electoral college system of electing our president is seriously flawed. First, it allows for a president to be elected without having the support of the majority of the American people (ie. 2000). Second, it disproportionately dilutes the votes of persons living in strongly Democratic or strongly Republican states (when is the last time you saw Bush seriously campaign in California or Kerry in Texas) and gives too much power to voters in swing states like Florida and Ohio.

This is how I would fix the electoral college system without scraping it altogether. The number of electoral votes each state gets is based on the number of Senators and Representatives it has. For example, Minnesota has 10 electoral votes. Two for it Senators and eight for its Representatives. Instead of a "winner take all" system used by most states, we would have one electoral vote assigned to each congressional district and two electoral votes assigned to the overall winner of each state. Using Minnesota as my example again, whoever wins 51% of the vote in each individual congressional district wins one electoral vote. Who ever wins 51% of the overall state vote gets two electoral votes. This way, each congressional district is important and political leanings in different regions of the same state would be fully expressed. Therefore, people in upstate New York would not have their vote canceled by the highly populated, and very liberal New York metro area. And, liberal cities like New Orleans would not be drowned out by the rest of the overall conservative Louisiana. This way, each region of a state (urban or rural) can have a voice independent of the other regions, all the while still giving a bonus for winning the overall vote of the state. This way everyone's voice is more fully heard and there is less chance a candidate could win the popular vote and loose the election.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Privitizing Social Security

I don't really think people grasp the idea of what privitizing social security will do to the program. Social security is meant to be there as a "safety net" to ensure a basic minimum for retired persons to live on. While the private market does have an overall higher rate of return, the stock market fluctuates and if you and if you retire in a down year, your social security payments could be cut in half. As many recent retirees have found out the hard way, a market downturn can have disastrous affects on the golden years. Retirees have a tough enough time getting a full paycheck, much less reducing it even further.

Not only is Bush playing with our future, according to a recent University of Chicago study, Bush's plan would provide a boon to the investment banks totaling $940 billion dollars over the next 7 decades. That is close to a trillion dollars going to his buddies on Wall Street. It should be no big surprise that Wall Street is one of Bush's biggest financial backers ($20.7 million to the Republicans this year alone - as reported by the Washington Post).

In addition to the windfall for the investment banks, Bush would still need to come up with the money to make up for the loss of contributions that pay for current retirees benefits. Without the contributions of today's workers, Social Security will run a $3.7 trillion dollar deficit over the next two generations. Either Bush will have to raise taxes or cut benefits. Even the current Republican house and Senate could not justify going even further into debt (well I really wouldn't be surprised if they did, but we can pray they have some sense).

Monday, September 20, 2004

So Now He Wants To Protect Us?

This is one of the latest TV ads put out by the Bush Campaign:

Voice Over: "President Bush and our leaders in Congress have a plan: Enhance border and port security. Increase homeland security measures. Reform and strengthen intelligence services. Renew the Patriot Act, giving law enforcement tools against terrorists. Create a national counterterrorism center. Transform our military. Give the military all it needs. Find terrorists where they train and hide"

Let me get this straight... We have to wait for Bush's 2nd term for him to finally protect our borders and reform the intelligence services? He has had 3 years in which to do this. Why is he only now getting around to it! First of all, he opposed both of the 9/11 commissions to begin with, he fought them tooth and nail all along the way, and now he wants a 2nd term to implement their suggestions. Why was he not pushing for a congressional review immediately? Why did he not want to know how and why we were attacked right away? A good leader would have been cracking skulls in order to get the answers as quickly as possible, not waiting until the next election. Why has it taken 3 years to finally start focusing on our nations borders and government reform? This should have been our priority as soon as we crushed the Taliban in Afghanistan. Instead, Bush drained our resources by fighting a needless war in Iraq. How can he claim that he is keeping us safer when he needs a 2nd term to accomplish what he should have accomplished in the 1st. It is time for a new direction.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

1st vs. 2nd Amendment

I constantly hear the NRA saying that the 2nd amendment is more important than the first amendment because the 2nd amendment protects the 1st amendment. I find this assertion absurdly flawed for two reasons.

First, if the 2nd amendment was necessary to protect the 1st amendment, the Washington Post headquarters would have an arsenal and every priest would be packing heat. Wolf Blitzer and Judy Woodruff would be expert marksmen.

The second reason why I find this reasoning so flawed is because of the obscene suppression of our 1st amendment rights we have seen during this election cycle. Where were the gun toting NRA members when Sue Niederer was arrested for protesting her sons death at a pro-Bush rally. Where was Charlton Hesston when Nichole and Jeff Rank were arrested for wearing anti-Bush T-shirts. What about Alexander Pincus who was arrested in New York when he wasn't even protesting. People all across this country have been arrested for peacefully protesting Bush and the NRA has never been there to back them up, never said a word.

If I were the NRA, I would be changing my mantra. It is the 1st amendment that has allowed them to pour millions of dollars into campaigns under the auspice of "freedom of speech." with out the 1st amendment, the NRA would not have nearly the clout it does nor the ability to change the outcome of elections or get assault weapons put back on our streets. The NRA does not care about our freedoms other then when it appies to their right to buy elections. It is, in fact, the 1st amendment that protects the 2nd amendment. Not vice-versa.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The Simply Screwy Consumption Tax

The Bush "Consumption Tax" is the next great con trying to be pulled on the American people. All that it is is a national sales tax. That means, if you spend the majority of you income on food, clothing, furniture, electronics, etc. Your taxes will go up. If you have a lot of stocks that you buy and sell, your taxes go down. This means 98% of Americans will pay higher taxes (the middle and lower classes) while the top 2% will get a tax break. The only way this benefits you is if you pay more in capital gains and dividen income off of you investments than you would pay in sales taxes. This tax break on investment does not affect 401k and IRAs because they are already tax deferred accounts, so the consumption tax does not help. So, Yippee, I will not pay any tax on the $2.12 a month in interest I get off of my savings account. But I will now pay much more every time I buy something from the store. This is a regressive tax that only punishes the poor and middle class. Once again, I say, if you are middle or lower class and you are voting for Bush it is only because you have not really thought it through.

Tricky Dick's True Leadership

RENO, Nev. Sept. 16, 2004

Dick Cheney - "The American people also know that true leadership requires the ability to make a decision," Cheney said. "True leadership is sticking with the decision in the face of political press and true leadership is standing for your principles regardless of your audience or your most recent political adviser."Cheney is completely right. He is a perfect example of his definition of "true leadership". Cheney got Halliburton no bid contracts in Iraq. When it was discovered that he had helped get these contracts awarded, he stuck to his guns. When the press reported that Halliburton was fleecing the American people, he stood behind his former company. When Congress called for major overhauls and audits of the contracts, Cheney helped block the investigation and then delay the fines levied against Halliburton. Cheney made a decision to benefit his former company (which still pays him $500,000 per year), and he stuck to that decision when any respectable American (i.e. flip-floppers) would have pulled their support.

Hats off to you Mr. Cheney for your "true leadership." True leadership would be donating that half a million a year to buy body armor to our troops fighting and dieing for us in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Great Estate Tax Con

The republicans ran their campaign partly on the estate tax 4 years ago. This was one of the greatest cons I have ever seen pulled on the middle class (and the democrats were as much to blame for not educating the public).

First of all, the estate tax was ONLY paid by the rich. Unless you had an estate of over 1.3 million dollars (combination of husband and wife), you never paid a dime in estate tax. The first 1.3 million dollars were totally exempt. Very few Americans die with an estate larger than that. If, on the off chance you did, you did not have to worry about your spouse because the entire estate (100 %) passed to your spouse tax free. Only after the spouse's death were any taxes levied (and only amounts over the 1.3 million).

The second argument used by the republicans to con us was that you are paying taxes on the same money twice (double taxation). This is patently untrue. The majority of any estate over 1.3 million is in stocks, bonds, etc. If you buy a stock for $10 today and sell it next week for $30, you pay tax on the $20 gain (capital gains tax). With the former estate tax in place, if you buy a stock today for $10, and when you die, it is worth $30, you heirs pay tax on the $20 gain. This seems fair since it ensures that the tax is paid just as if you had sold it. But now, if you buy a stock for $10 today and hold on to it, and when you die, it is worth $30, it passes to you your heirs tax free. Therefore, tax is altogether avoided. For example - if Bill Gates were to sell his shares of Microsoft today, he would pay a tax of around 2 Billion dollars. But if he dies and there is no estate tax, that stock passes to his heirs and no tax is ever paid (even if it is sold by his heirs the day after they put him in the ground). Since the estate tax was only for estates over 1.3 million dollars, it is ONLY the rich who benefit from the end of the estate tax. They never have to pay taxes and can just live off of the dividends.

The third con pulled by the republicans was that getting rid of the estate tax protected family farms and family business from having to pay "huge" taxes or lose the farm/business. This was also a lie. There was a provision in the tax code excluding family farms and closely held family businesses from the estate tax. There is not one documented family farm ever being lost due to the estate tax.

Thanks to DeLay and Lott, the rich can stay rich forever and the middle class continue to be stuck flipping the bill.I would also like to point out that schools, police, firefighters, roads, and every publicly financed project still will have to be paid for somehow. So, instead of taxing the dead (who really can't spend the money) we now shift the burden onto the living. Thanks guys! I would have preferred to defer paying my taxes as long as possible.My advice is to reinstate the estate tax and use the proceeds to pay for college scholarships (we can increase the exemption from 1.3 million for inflation). If you expect to die with a larger estate than that... spend it while you are alive! Take a vacation! Live a little! The grand kids will survive without a 5 million dollar trust fund. But with a republican legislature and republican president, I don't foresee any change. Aren't you glad the children of the rich will never have to work in their lives. It just warms my heart.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Bush Memos

Today, all I hear about from the media is about Dan Rather and not about the substance of the matter. "Should Dan Rather step down?" "Has Dan Rather last all of his credibility?" Has the media already forgotten about being taken by the Swift Boat Vets or are they just that hypocritical? At least the substance of the memo has been confirmed. There are actual ones out there somewhere. Lets ask about "where are they?" instead of "should we fire Dan?" Every other journalists should be envious of Dan Rather because at least he has the balls big enough not to be afraid of going after this White House.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

President Christ

I am not sure where this notion came from that Republicans represent a values of Jesus Christ. I consider myself Christian and to the best of my ability, I follow the ideals of Christ's teachings. Because of this, I feel compassion for the poor, not disdain. Because of this, I feel greed is sin, not a attribute to be admired. Because of this, I believe I have an obligation to help my fellow man, not kick him while he is down. Moses may have been a Conservative, but Jesus was the original Bleeding Heart Liberal. Bush asks "what would Jesus do?" Well, would Jesus lie to us. Would Jesus be OK defiling God's pristine earth for clear cutting trees and oil drilling? Would Jesus cut taxes for the rich while creating the largest population of children living in poverty in American history? Would Jesus award John a no-bid contract so he could make a quick buck on baptisms? Would Jesus create a plan that ensured all Americans have access to basic health care, or would he favor insurance companies? Would Jesus make sure the elderly had affordable prescription drugs or would he make sure the pharmaceutical companies made wall street estimates? Would Jesus favor big business that pollute the air and water or would he favor the children with asthma and leukemia? And most of all, what would Jesus bomb?

Tricky Dick's Russian Roulette

Either Dick Cheney is completely clueless regarding the conflict that Russian is embroiled in with Chechnya or he is just so shameless as to blatantly mislead the American people. I am guessing the latter since the conflict in Chechnya has been going on for the past 10 years (actually the past 250 years) and has nothing to do with Iraq. It is not really all that surprising that Cheney would try to connect the terrorist attacks on Russian school children to the Iraq war since he tried to do the same thing with al Queda and Iraq even though the 9/11 commission has completely dismissed that charge....

OTTUMWA, Iowa, Sept. 13, Cheney: "Russia of course did not support us in Iraq, they did not get involved in sending troops there. They got hit anyway. I think we're back now reassessing what the motives may be of the people who are launching these attacks." Speaking of European countries, Cheney said, "I think some have hoped that if they kept their heads down and stayed out of the line of fire they wouldn't get hit. I think what happened in Russia demonstrates pretty conclusive that everybody is a target." - as reported by Lisa Rein reporter for the Washington Post

Dick Cheney has no shame! He uses the deaths on 9/11 for political gain and now he is using the deaths of inoccent children for political gain.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Un-safer with AKs on the street

Thanks to the Republican Legislature and George Bush, we are about to become less safe again. The Senate is about to allow the Assault Weapon ban to expire and George Bush isn't saying a word. Bush is courting the NRA and by allowing the ban to expire, he wins their votes. The only problem is... Bush promised to keep us safe! Now he is breaking that promise also. Generally, I would be opposed to assault weapons on a normal day. They are horrible for hunting, they are horrible for self defense, and they look horrible hanging over a fireplace. But, even as Bush promises to keep us safer, he is allowing al Queada to waltz right into Wal-Mart and buy an automatic weapon. Terrorists don't have to sneak them into the country... They just need to buy kits to modify non-automatic weapons into automatic weapons. They just go into Wal-Mart, buy an automatic weapon, walk across the street to the elementry school and start spraying the audience. There you go!... killing masses of persons without having to buy bomb making materials... Keeping us safer or just another broken promise?