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October 01, 2004


OT - did you catch Wes Clark on The Daily Show? I like Kerry but I wish I was voting for Clark. Hopefully he'll get to be Sec of Defense or State and maybe run again after Edwards...

Alas, no: I really wanted to, but I decided that I had to blog this claim, since I thought it might be overlooked because it didn't contain e.g. a statistic. I, too, would have loved to be voting for Clark, but oh well.

I don't remember the quote exactly but I'm certain I heard Bush say about Kerry's security agenda, "I don't know where you're going to find the money to pay for all that?"
Kerry replied something like, "We'll get to that in the next debate."

So Bush's attitude is, "I wake up every morning making the tough decisions a president makes. Money for pharmaceutical companies or homeland security? I made that decision."

Well, nobody ever will do everything possible to protect the US from further terrorist attacks. There are always diminishing returns and limited resources to worry about. The big questions are whether the Bush administration is doing enough (spending enough resources) and whether it's doing the right thing. It looks to me like we're spending plenty of resources, but not necessarily spending them in the right way. Specifically, Bush clearly believes that invading and occupying Iraq, and running an extended nation-building operation there, is an important part of preventing future terrorist attacks on us. Kerry clearly doesn't think so, though he was careful enough to say that now that we're there, we still have to do the nation-building thing. It seems to me that this is a pretty nice distinguisher between the candidates.


I don't remember the quote exactly but I'm certain I heard Bush say

transcript here

John -- that is, indeed, the question. But while Bush could have said that he has done everything that it's wise and prudent to do, he didn't.

About paying for it: whenever Bush says that, it amazes me. I mean, it almost makes you think he thinks that when Presidents make decisions that cost the government money, they have to pay for it somehow.

I was close. Bush said "That's for another debate."

Kerry:...And long before President Bush and I get a tax cut -- and that's who gets it -- long before we do, I'm going to invest in homeland security and I'm going to make sure we're not cutting COPS programs in America and we're fully staffed in our firehouses and that we protect the nuclear and chemical plants.

The president also unfortunately gave in to the chemical industry, which didn't want to do some of the things necessary to strengthen our chemical plant exposure.

And there's an enormous undone job to protect the loose nuclear materials in the world that are able to get to terrorists. That's a whole other subject, but I see we still have a little bit more time.

Let me just quickly say, at the current pace, the president will not secure the loose material in the Soviet Union -- former Soviet Union for 13 years. I'm going to do it in four years. And we're going to keep it out of the hands of terrorists.

LEHRER: Ninety-second response, Mr. President.

BUSH: I don't think we want to get to how he's going to pay for all these promises. It's like a huge tax gap. Anyway, that's for another debate.

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