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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Friday, February 06, 2004


Pumpkinhead vs. the Smirking Chimp

posted by G at Friday, February 06, 2004 permalink View blog reactions
Hello, Dean Nation bloggers! I've been a stranger since I moved beyond my Dean Nation roots and headed up to Burlington to work on economic policy for Governor Dean. We've had a wild ride so far, and on the strength of our astounding fundraising of the last two days, our spirits as high as we head into the contests this weekend and then look to Wisconsin. Hit the bat and help take us there! Now is the time more than ever that Howard Dean needs your help.

As you may have heard, Bush is going on Meet the Press this weekend. One of my old professors, Brad Delong, is leading a blogosphere brainstorm on suggested questions for Tim Russert to pose to the man. Here are my first 10. Please contribute your own ideas.

1) Mr. President, your FY 2005 Budget document includes full-color photos of you that are indistinguishable from Bush-Cheney, Inc. campaign photos. What would be a fair price for you to pay the American people for turning the federal budget document of the United States into a campaign brochure?

2) Mr. President, you owe your presence in the White House to the fact that in 2000 your brother Jeb and your Florida campaign chair Katherine Harris illegally removed from the registration rolls 57,700 voters, the vast majority of whom were African-Americans. Can you name any greater election crime in the history of our country?

3) Mr. President, I have been told by a reliable source that Dick Cheney vets all economic briefings you receive. Cheney once told Paul O’Neill, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” However, your own chief economic advisor, Harvard professor Greg Mankiw, wrote in his Principles of Economics textbook that “government budget deficits reduce the economy's growth rate.” According to conventional estimates, using assumptions adopted by your own Council Economic Advisers, the debt you have created will raise interest rates and reduce annual national income by $3000 per family by 2012. When will you demand that Cheney resign?

4) Mr. President, your budget does not include any money to support our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan in FY 2005. Why won’t you support our troops with funds after FY 2005?

[Follow-up] The CBO has projected continuing costs for the war on terror at $30 billion per year over the next five years. This funding is not in your budget. Why do you want to cut off all funding for the war on terror at the end of FY 2004?

[Follow-up] If you intend to ask for more money later, why are you not putting that in your budget request now?

5) Mr. President, you promised, "I came to this office to solve problems and not pass them on to future presidents and future generations." How big is the national debt and how much has it grown since you took office?

[Follow-up] As a direct consequence of your tax policy, over six years an American family of four will take on $52,000 more in its share of the national debt. When did you change your mind and decide to pass on problems to future generations? Would Jesus mortgage the future of our children like this?

6) Mr. President, are you ashamed to be the first President since the Great Depression to have net job loss during your presidency?

7) Mr. President, unlike Presidents in previous economic downturns, you have failed to provide adequate fiscal relief to the states. You have also placed new financial burdens on the states, chiefly through unfunded mandates like No Child Left Behind. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “A conservative estimate suggests that federal policies are costing states and localities about $185 billion over the four-year course of the state fiscal crisis.” As a consequence, states and communities have been forced to raise taxes and cut services. This has been called the “Bush Tax.” Half a million children have been cutoff from access to health care. Wouldn’t you say that these children HAVE been left behind? Is cutting children off health care just stupid, heartless, right-wing policy, or is it an affront to God?

8) Is the resemblance between Dick Cheney and Dr. Evil mere coincidence?

9) On March 30, 11 days into the war, Donald Rumsfeld said in an ABC News interview when asked about weapons of mass destruction: "We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." Exactly when did you learn he was lying?

10) Last August, while our soldiers were being killed nearly every day in Iraq, you tried to cut their pay. Why do you hate America so much?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.