The low expectations game has been played by Bush's handlers so well that I fully expect, if Kerry wipes the floor with Bush during the debate tonight, he will be excoriated by the Republicans and their Fox mouthpieces for "picking on the President".
Update: C-Span is doing split-screen, despite the "agreement." It's a treat to watch the other guy's face.
Just when you thought House Republicans couldn't get any more loony, they've now decided that deporting people to places where they may very well be tortured as an interrogation technique is a good thing. You think I'm kidding? Go read this and then get on the horn to your Congressperson, be he/she an R, a D, an I, an L, or a G.
The Republican leadership of Congress is attempting to legalize extraordinary rendition. "Extraordinary rendition" is the euphemism we use for sending terrorism suspects to countries that practice torture for interrogation. As one intelligence official described it in the Washington Post, "We don't kick the sh*t out of them. We send them to other countries so they can kick the sh*t out of them.”
This is outrageous. This is not what America has stood for for 200+ years. Call your Congressperson right now to object. If it's against our laws, we'll just send these (quite possibly innocent) people to someplace where it's not against the law?
Where the hell is their moral compass?
Update: The Washington Post spells this out in detail.
The provision, part of the massive bill introduced Friday by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), would apply to non-U.S. citizens who are suspected of having links to terrorist organizations but have not been tried on or convicted of any charges.
According to the article, Ashcroft's Justice Department "really wants and supports" the provision. Somehow that doesn't surprise me in the least.
I repeat. Where are their morals? This is the party of the religious right; how does this fit in with the teachings of Jesus?
T'ain't fair, McGee.
From Knight-Ridder's Washington Bureau:
"I have one position on Iraq," Kerry insisted this week during a rare news conference. "One position."
In fact, he's right, his image as a "flip-flopper" notwithstanding.
Kerry voted in October 2002 for the congressional resolution that authorized President Bush to go to war in Iraq. He now says that the invasion was not justified and has made the United States less secure.
These positions are not contradictory, but his attempts to explain the distinction between them are often complicated, and they have given President Bush an opening to caricature Kerry as a flip-flopper. However, beneath the torrent of campaign verbiage, Kerry's position on Iraq for the past two years has been consistent and defensible - just difficult to sell in a sound-bite world.
Kerry always called for a broad international coalition to confront Saddam Hussein, and going to war only as a last resort. Like most senators, he thought Bush needed the authority - it passed the Senate 77-23, and Kerry was one of 29 Democrats who supported it.
But once Bush got the authority, Kerry believes, he misused it.
So do I.
When arguing for the authorization Bush said he needed the leverage to get the UN to do something. He did not say he intended to go to war. We now know that the Administration's argument was a lie.
Within hours of the WTC and Pentagon attacks Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were arguing that Iraq was behind it and should be attacked. Very few if any members of Congress believed that, from what we can tell. But there was a consensus that the sanctions against Iraq weren't working any longer, and there were persistent outcries from humanitarian groups saying the only ones being hurt by those sanctions were Iraqi civilians. So Congress authorized the President to threaten war as a last resort, hoping the leverage provided would be sufficient; it might well have been.
The inspectors didn't leave because they felt their job had been completed; they were basically forced out by the Administration, which said it intended to use force and the safety of Hans Blix and his teams could not be guaranteed. President Bush, Vice-President Cheney and Secretary Rumsfeld all urgently wanted to go to war. They've cited multiple purposes for doing so, but the big three were these: 1) to eliminate Saddam's weapons of mass destruction (WMD); (2) to diminish the threat of international terrorism; and (3) to promote democracy in Iraq and surrounding areas.
We now know that there were no WMD. We know that Iraq had no cooperative ties to al-Qaeda. And we certainly know that our actions in Iraq have not promoted democracy anywhere else (including the United States; when a woman whose son was killed in Iraq is arrested for protesting at a Bush event, that's hardly a demonstration of democracy in action).
In Zola's phrase, J'accuse.
After seeing all this CBS furor, the column cited below may have even more relevance than it did last week when I ran across it.
Here's an essay from a journalism ethics professor, on why he thinks the nation's great papers are losing their nerve.
It's hard now even to write for publication without being uncomfortably aware of just how thoroughly what you say is going to be inspected for any trace of undesirable political tilt and denounced by a free-floating cadre of rightist warriors.
If that's apparent to me as a mere columnist, I can only imagine the current mind-set of supervising editors: If we give prominence to this story of carnage in Iraq, will we be accused of anti-administration bias? And -- here it gets interesting -- will we therefore owe our readers an offsetting story, perhaps an inspirational tale of Marines teaching young Iraqis how to play softball?
The underlying problem is that news then becomes a negotiation -- not a negotiation among discordant pictures of reality, as it always is, but an abject negotiation with a loud and bullying sliver of the audience. News of great significance becomes not an honest attempt to reflect genuinely contradictory realities, but a daily bargaining session with an increasingly factionalized public, a corrupted process in which elements of the news reports become offerings -- payments really -- in a kind of intellectual extortion.
Unfortunately, neither he nor I have any way of infusing newspaper editors with courage. Perhaps they should go see The Wizard of Oz again? (From Romanesko).
This becomes even more pertinent when we learn that CBS is now so cowed that it is spiking a story which would shed light on the Niger yellowcake document forgeries.
It's amazing how a simple line drawing can depict an entire election.
I fault this president for not knowing what death is. He does not suffer the death of our 21-year-olds who wanted to be what they could be. On the eve of D-Day in 1944 General Eisenhower prayed to God for the lives of the young soldiers he knew were going to die. He knew what death was. Even in a justifiable war, a war not of choice but of necessity, a war of survival, the cost was almost more than Eisenhower could bear.
But this president does not know what death is. He hasn't the mind for it. You see him joking with the press, peering under the table for the weapons of mass destruction he can't seem to find, you see him at rallies strutting up to the stage in shirt sleeves to the roar of the carefully screened crowd, smiling and waving, triumphal, a he-man.
He does not mourn. He doesn't understand why he should mourn. He is satisfied during the course of a speech written for him to look solemn for a moment and speak of the brave young Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
But you study him, you look into his eyes and know he dissembles an emotion which he does not feel in the depths of his being because he has no capacity for it. He does not feel a personal responsibility for the 1,000 dead young men and women who wanted to be what they could be.
They come to his desk not as youngsters with mothers and fathers or wives and children who will suffer to the end of their days a terribly torn fabric of familial relationships and the inconsolable remembrance of aborted life . . . they come to his desk as a political liability, which is why the press is not permitted to photograph the arrival of their coffins from Iraq.
How then can he mourn? To mourn is to express regret and he regrets nothing. He does not regret that his reason for going to war was, as he knew, unsubstantiated by the facts. He does not regret that his bungled plan for the war's aftermath has made of his mission-accomplished a disaster. He does not regret that, rather than controlling terrorism, his war in Iraq has licensed it. So he never mourns for the dead and crippled youngsters who have fought this war of his choice.
Doctorow cites just one of the many reasons why the President has lost what little respect I once had for him.
If allowing churches to engage in partisan political activity is such a good idea, then it deserves an open debate. Instead, its backers "...hope to do this by inserting a provision into a bill that is already before a House-Senate conference committee - thus avoiding public debate or votes in either body."
There's a great fear that if it were subject to serious public debate it would be embarrassing to them, and there's a good chance it would lose.
Other apparently non-taxable entities with considerable clout are corporations, and their tax payments have fallen dramatically since GWB took office. What a surprise, huh?
Tomorrow I'll discuss the hazards of installing a new refrigerator and a new dishwasher in the same day, but I'm doing a short television show review first. I almost never watch much but news and sports, but this review in our local paper intrigued me, so I sat down and watched Lost tonight.
I liked it. There's lots of room for character development, the premise is not particularly outlandish (other than the creepy critter you never see, and hey, on a deserted island who knows what evolution left behind, right?), and it's filmed on Oahu. What's not to like? Most of the cast has relocated here to live, too, and the producers are thinking big. The review cited above says they've got four or five seasons already planned out, which is either hubris or hope triumphing over experience. We'll see how it goes.
Woo-hoo! New refrigerator and dishwasher to be delivered Wednesday. Oh, joy. Clean out the old, find coolers to store frozen food while hooking up the new, reload. Then pull the old dishwasher, roll the new one in, hope I get the plumbing hooked up correctly, and try it.
Ah well, buying "used/damaged" from the Outlet store saved 50%, and I'll be damned if I can see a single scratch on the units we're getting.
Hey, look! Someone with a responsible position in the media gets it!
September 19, 2004) -- On his Friday night chat show on HBO, comedian Bill Maher cracked a joke about President Bush remaining relentlessly upbeat about our war effort in Iraq despite a week of seemingly serious setbacks. Bush, according to Maher, sounds more like "Baghdad Bob" every day.
...A leading GOP senator, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, said, "the worst thing we can do is hold ourselves hostage to some grand illusion that we're winning. Right now, we are not winning. Things are getting worse."
And yet President Bush suggested all week that Iraq was firmly on the path to stability and democracy. On Friday he told a newspaper, "The Iraqis are defying the dire predictions of a lot of people by moving toward democracy....I'm pleased with the progress."
If the editor of Editor and Publisher understands that, can the rest of the media be far behind? I kid, I kid...we know better by now, right? The President could be walking up and down Pennsylvania Avenue naked and most of the media would be distracted by the new sentries on top of the White House and whether their uniforms had been approved for procurement.
If you really want to read some thoughts about journalism today, go here and read the text of a Bill Moyers speech given a week or so ago to the Society of Professional Journalists. It's a call to arms and a valedictory at the same time. Writing about his view of the Republican convention from his office, he says:
From where I sit I could see snipers on the roof. Helicopters overhead. Barricades at every street corner. Lines of police stretching down the avenues. Unmarked vans. Flatbed trucks. Looking out his own window, the writer Nick Turse (9/8/04 column) saw what I saw and more. Special Forces brandishing automatic rifles. Rolls of orange plastic netting. Dragnets. Preemptive arrests of peaceful protesters. Cages for detainees. And he caught sight of what he calls "the ultimate blending of corporatism and the police state – the Fuji blimp – now emblazoned with a second logo: NYPD." A spy-in-the sky, outfitted "with the latest in video-surveillance equipment, loaned free of charge to the police all week long." Nick Turse saw these things and sees in them, as do I, "The Rise of the Homeland Security State."
Will we be cowed by it? Will we investigate and expose its excesses? Will we ask hard questions of the people who run it? The answers are not clear. As deplorable as was the betrayal of their craft by Jason Blair, Stephen Glass and Jim Kelly, the greater offense was the seduction of mainstream media into helping the government dupe the public to support a war to disarm a dictator who was already disarmed [see the current issue of Foreign Affairs].
Read the rest and shed a tear for independent media. Then cross your fingers that it suddenly sees the light.
Unless you're a home improvement junkie, wandering the aisles of a Sears Outlet Center looking for refrigerators and dishwashers is not the way Sundays should be spent.
Hmm. Cheaper than I thought.
On the average, you can expect to invest about $6,500 (C-172SP) for your private pilot certificate. If you were to calculate your costs based only on the minimum hours you will need, that cost is about $5,500. The actual cost depends on how much time you can commit to your training and on whether you can take advantage of discounts and training packages.
One of these days.
This qualifies as the weirdest spam I've gotten in years.
I need to reach out to you and get some excellent advice from you on how to handle this dangerous situation that I find myself in.
The attorneys here in Rushlimbaughville, Cape Girardeau, Mo, have frittered my time away, or outright refused to represent me in this open and shut case which has the potential to be a six or seven figure law suit. I must get someone to represent me this week, or I'm going to have to file myself.
I would sincerely appreciate any information you can share with me that would help me get over this hurdle.
The rest below is what I sent out nationwide in search of an attorney. so far I have one in St. Louis who said he would file at the end of the month, and he has yet to send me any papers stating that he is going to represent me. So I'm not to comfortable with him either.
I'm seeking an attorney/attorneys who is/are licensed in the state of MISSOURI to take on a simple auto accident/personal injury case where the woman who ran the red light and broadsided me going around 50 miles per hour has already admitted guilt. If I can make the connection between the car accident and the crippling, mental, and physical diseases, illness that came about right after the accident and has been a part of my life every since, the case may be worth quite a bit more.
I need to know where I go to file this type of case for whatever the attorney deems is a fair amount of damages for what I have suffered. and continue to suffer.
Which is the correct court for this type of lawsuit? Where do I get the paperwork that has to be filled out and submitted? Can I do this to avoid going over the stature of limitations without having an attorney on board?
I have a landmark auto accident case where some very unusual things happened.
He goes on to provide ostensible links to photographs of the cars and closes with this:
I came down with Diabetes just days after the accident along with other mental and physical conditions resulting from the impact of the accident. I have an annual VA physicals from four weeks earlier showing me healthy and having a Glucose level of only 134.
I also found a case ruling from British Columbia where a fellow had a tree fall on his leg and he came down with Diabetes shortly afterwards. Hopefully, these and other evidence I have accumulated will support what I believe to be the cause of my injuries.
Now is that strange or what?
In other literary news, unless you read Solonor you won't have seen this list of fictional American Presidents. I know of a few that were left off that list. It mentions Harley Hudson, President in Allen Drury's Pulitzer-Prize winning novel Advise and Consent, but Drury wrote five more books in the series, and Hudson, as I recall, was assassinated and replaced by the Speaker of the House in either book three or book four. The fifth book suggested what might happen should one candidate win the election following book four, and the sixth suggested the same if the other did.
What other fictional Presidents are missing?
Numbers. I remember numbers.
Why do I remember this stuff? Anyone else keep this trivia in their heads?
How wrong were the neocons? Let us count the ways:
First, that the Iraqi army would instantly collapse as soon as U.S. forces crossed their border in a "cakewalk."
Second, that Ahmed Chalabi, now charged by our own puppet Iraqi government with money laundering and counterfeiting, would quickly emerge as the popular natural leader of Iraq once President Saddam Hussein was toppled.
Third, that because no serious anti-American guerrilla operations could ever get established Iraq, only a small number of U.S. troops would have to remain after the fall of Saddam.
Fourth, that strong links between Saddam and al-Qaida would be found following our occupation.
Fifth, that overwhelming evidence of weapons of mass destruction would quickly be uncovered by U.S. troops.
Sixth, that the U.S. occupation of Iraq would discredit and weaken al-Qaida throughout the Arab and wider Muslim world.
Seventh, that Iraq would quickly develop a stable democracy after the fall of Saddam.
There are fourteen more. Go read them. Then ask yourself why the Administration which believed this drivel deserves another four years in office.
Want to know the genesis of the Swift Boat Liars? Read this.
Founders of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say the president's campaign never called the shots.
But since its founding in April, the group has taken on a range of Republican-affiliated paid consultants, including Ginsberg's law firm, a network of GOP political and media strategists, and TV-ad producers.
The group today claims to have raised $6.7 million from 53,000 people. Much of that comes from small contributors giving $100 or less, the group says.
"A grass-roots effort," spokesman Mike Russell calls it.
But a report the group filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission showed that big money from Texas Republicans continues to fuel a major part of the anti-Kerry effort. The report showed that T. Boone Pickens, a Dallas oilman and corporate-takeover specialist, gave $500,000, and that another Dallas oilman, Albert Huddleston, gave $100,000.
Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was registered with the IRS on April 23. Its early expenditures included money for a Dallas-area private investigator, Tom Rupprath. Hoffmann said Rupprath's job was to find vets and collect their stories so that a single account could be presented to the public.
"If everyone was saying something different it could be confusing. We wanted one version of the truth," Hoffmann said.
With money in hand, the group was able to bring on advisers led by Chris LaCivita, a political strategist and an expert in TV ads. LaCivita had worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 2002. Last year, he became the executive director of PFA (Progress for America), a Republican-affiliated tax-exempt organization founded by Tony Feather, the political director of Bush's campaign in 2000.
LaCivita, who O'Neill said draws a $10,000-a-month retainer, declined an interview with Knight Ridder.
That's enlightening. The fee for attempted destruction of a political campaign and career is $120K a year. And isn't that coordination ("we wanted one version of the truth") slick.
The Republican party has no honor or integrity left, at least in its management. And those at the lower levels who nod and wink haven't much to be proud of either.
(Link found over at the former CalPundit).
For two-plus years I've been using Ipswitch's WS_FTP95LE program without a hitch, and suddenly it doesn't work. It's long since been labeled a legacy program and unsupported, but that never mattered much, as it always worked. Now, however, no matter what I've tried, it tries to connect to a 0.0.0.0 address and fails (understandably). I've tried using the correct IP address, using ftp.domain.com, closing/re-opening, etc., and nothing works.
There are other freebies out there (notably Core FTP), so I'm not without options, but I sure am puzzled by the sudden failure of a program which has worked for a long long time. Anyone ever run into this?
Now the documents have been independently authenticated by experts consulted by the Boston Globe.
Philip D. Bouffard, a forensic document examiner in Ohio who has analyzed typewritten samples for 30 years, had expressed suspicions about the documents in an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, one in a wave of similar media reports. But Bouffard told the Globe yesterday that after further study, he now believes the documents could have been prepared on an IBM Selectric Composer typewriter available at the time.
Those who doubt the documents say those typographical elements would not have been commonly available at the time of Bush's service. But such characters were common features on electric typewriters of that era, the Globe determined through interviews with specialists and examination of documents from the period. In fact, one such raised ''th," used to describe a Guard unit, the 187th, appears in a document in Bush's official record that the White House made public earlier this year.
Can the discussion now revert to the fact that Mr. Bush disobeyed a direct order and has lied about his service ever since? And that he's lied (misled, obfuscated, pick your verb) about his reasons for invading Iraq? And that if he's re-elected he and his Administration will continue to lie and do even more harm to this country than he already has?
What else do you see that's wrong with the U.S. military's system of accounting for casualties?
No one's really bothered to ask whether U.S. soldiers have died after they are evacuated. No one's ever asked that question, or at least, no one's ever gotten a straight answer for that question.
I talked to another reporter who covers the Marines earlier today, and he said that the Marines just won't talk about it. They just will not answer the question. "No comment" is all they'll say. When asked why they're not releasing medical evacuation numbers, they say "because we're not."
Yeah, I wonder. How many soldiers have died on the way from the battlefield to the field hospital, or on the plane to Germany for further treatment, or even on the way to Walter Reed in Maryland? Not every soldier is as relatively lucky as B.D.
We know Mr. Bush won't go see funerals and we know there's a policy that won't allow the press to take pictures of coffins arriving at Dover AFB, so this should come as no surprise, I suppose, but still...
(Global Security link found at Body and Soul)
With all this folderol about typography, proportional spacing, and the rest, why has none of the media thought to ask that tiny little company which manufactured typewriters at the time (that would be IBM) whether their machines could create the documents in question? Going further, why couldn't some enterprising reporter try to track down the account executive who was responsible for the territory which included the Texas National Guard offices to see what he (in those days, almost certainly a he) remembers about sales to the TANG? And why couldn't said enterprising reporter also try to track down copies of sale/lease agreements between IBM and the TANG? That might go a long way toward determining just what typewriters Col. Killian had access to, and might put to rest the claims that the documents were done in MS-Word.
Of course, the main issue here is whether Bush did in fact complete his service in the manner he was expected to by the TANG, and the White House has not (repeat not) denied the essential fact: that the stories present a roughly accurate picture of the events as described, whether the documents are authentic or not.
We've lost over 1,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen in Iraq. There have been somewhere above 10,000 Iraqis killed there as well.
And these idiots are arguing about the timing of IBM typewriter production runs in 1972?
Documents obtained by the CBS News program "60 Minutes" shed new light on one of the most controversial episodes in Bush's military service, when he abruptly stopped flying and moved from Texas to Alabama to work on a political campaign. The documents include a memo from Bush's squadron commander, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, ordering Bush "to be suspended from flight status for failure to perform" to U.S. Air Force and National Guard standards and failure to take his annual physical "as ordered."
In my experience (see below), when you disobey direct orders, you suffer some pretty severe consequences, such as a court-martial, administrative hearing, or some such. You usually don't get an honorable discharge. So why did President Bush?
Well now. In April 1972 I enlisted into the US Navy Reserves. I fulfilled a two-year commitment to active duty by going to boot camp and Class "A" Radioman school in San Diego; then in November of that year I was sent to Japan to work at the Navy Telecomm Station there. I completed my two-year obligation in May of 1974 (I think they didn't count my two weeks leave between school and the move to Japan), then I went off active duty. I went back to Tucson (where I'd joined up) and went to meetings once a month for three months, then spent two weeks on what was called Active Duty for Training that summer. I then took a job on Kwajalein and was excused from the balance of my active reserve service due to the lack of a Reserve facility in the Marshall Islands (the fact that I was working for a DOD contractor may have helped with that, too). Had I returned from Kwajalein before my six-year obligation was up, I'd have been required to start attending meetings again. Since I stayed out there until after the obligation expired, I didn't have to do so.
Why was it so difficult for George W. Bush to do the same things I did? And why were the skids greased so he didn't have to? Inquiring minds want to know.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday warned Americans about voting for Democratic Sen. John Kerry, saying that if the nation makes the wrong choice on Election Day it faces the threat of another terrorist attack.
Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards issued a statement, saying, "Dick Cheney's scare tactics crossed the line today, showing once again that he and George Bush will do anything and say anything to save their jobs. Protecting America from vicious terrorists is not a Democratic or Republican issue and Dick Cheney and George Bush should know that."
But Dick! Will the Department of Homeland Security disappear if you're not re-elected? Can it not run without your steady hand on Tom Ridge's shoulder?
There's absolutely nothing Bush/Cheney won't say to retain their power, is there? Scum.
Abe Lincoln was an eminently quotable guy:
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if Labor had not first existed. Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
Despite it coming from the first Republican President, I don't expect George Bush or his minions to agree.
Tuesday was my Mom's birthday, so I went shopping for some CDs for her. I saw this while I was picking up Volume 2 of Rod Stewart's assault on the American Songbook and Diana Krall's The Look of Love. Yes, yes, Rod Stewart; my mom doesn't much like his voice, but she likes the songs. The Krall album is one of the older ones and thus was not polluted by Elvis Costello's vision of what she should be singing.
I could get to like this classical stuff; if I try hard enough while listening, La Mer really does conjure up the ocean.
This advice was meant for New Yorkers, but I'm sure it holds equally well for future city-dwellers whose home town hosts the Republican convention:
Remember to bring lots of umbrellas an sunscreen because your Republican is not used to the harsh light of open nature. He has been raised in dark squalid caves filled with toxic poisons where he hunts bats an small elves for sustenance. Do not take your Republican to a museum! He comes from a "Red State" where all art is banned an has been replaced by very large engines eternally pumpin greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for no reason whatsoever. Exposure to the culture shock of an art installation or even a sidewalk painter could cause him to choke on the industrial waste that flows through his body in place of blood.
A day after President Bush heralded his efforts to help the elderly cope with increased medical expenses, federal officials announced the largest premium increase in dollars in the Medicare program's history, raising the monthly expense by $11.60 to $78.20.
The rise has nothing to do with a program that will start in 2006 to offer prescription drugs, for which beneficiaries must pay a separate premium.
And Mr. Bush's plan to solve this problem? Privatize Social Security so people will have less money to pay for this, and tort reform, of course!
With the transparent, calculating cynicism that marked his two terms in office, Bill Clinton chose to burglarize the majesty of President Bush's Churchillian convention address by conveniently entering the hospital for heart surgery.
I await the pundits' confirmation of this dastardly deed.
Update: Surgery scheduled for next week.
Here's a roundup of reactions to Zell Miller's speech last night at the Republican convention. If the fervor with which the crowd in that hall applauded his vitriol is any indicator, then the Republican party has been taken over by people willing to believe lies, perpetuate hate, and brook no opposition. If Kerry is elected, the right-wing smear machine will make the Clinton years look like hackysack.
I honestly fear for the future of this country. I don't understand those people, and I fear they will never understand me.
This may be the best short-form explanation of why single-payer health care is a good idea that I've yet seen. Turn on your speakers, because it's got a narrative. (Link found over at Ross's place. Ross used to be "The Bloviator" but is now blogging at Public Health Press).
Lest we forget the real face of the Republican social agenda and are blinded by the smiling faces of the moderates who appeared during prime-time last night, here's some of what was said at a private, invitation-only meeting for the evangelical crowd earlier in the day.
At a closed, invitation-only Bush campaign rally for Christian conservatives yesterday, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas called for a broad social conservative agenda notably different from the televised presentations at the Republican convention, including adopting requirements that pregnant women considering abortions be offered anesthetics for their fetuses and loosening requirements on the separation of church and state.
But it was Mr. Brownback who laid out more specific policy goals. On the subject of opposition to abortion, Mr. Brownback argued that many women who choose abortion were unaware of what he said was the pain the procedure caused a fetus. His call for women contemplating abortions to be offered anesthetics for the fetus referred to a bill, "The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act," that he has discussed introducing in Congress. "We are going to keep moving this agenda forward," he vowed.
Mr. Brownback argued the importance to the culture of appointing more conservative judges, asserting that courts have conducted "a 40-year assault on the Constitution." Courts, he argued, had wrongly overstretched "separation of church and state" to mean "removal of church from state."
Paging Roy Moore and the 10 Commandments; we'll meet you in that back alley.