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Thread: 2004 Republican Convention in NYC

  1. #76

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    It's a nice editorial, but all you really need is this one sentence.

    The city has not allowed events with hundreds of thousands of people on the Great Lawn since it was rebuilt in 1996, though it has given permits for ticketed events sponsored by large corporations.

  2. #77

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    Here's a humorous outtake on the way left-wingers openly hate Bush. It's also how we got this little picture from the NY Times:


    Billionaires for Bush: http://billionairesforbush.com/index.php

  3. #78

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    May 20, 2004

    Many State Republican Stars Are No-Shows at Convention

    By MARC SANTORA

    SYRACUSE, May 19 - Balloons dropped, music blared, and politicians talked tough about terrorism. There was praise for President Bush, scorn for the Democrats and the nomination of a candidate, Assemblyman Howard Mills, to challenge Senator Charles E. Schumer.

    But while the state Republican party's convention here on Tuesday and Wednesday may have had all the fanfare meant to motivate partisans, it was notably lacking in star power.

    Aside from Gov. George E. Pataki, who addressed the 175 delegates on Tuesday night, none of the state's leading Republicans showed up.

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spoke via a taped message and did not mention Mr. Mills, whose Assembly district includes parts of Orange and Rockland Counties.

    Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was in New York City testifying before the 9/11 commission, did not attend.

    President Bush, who also taped an address for the delegates, never mentioned the words New York, referring only to "your state," giving the distinct impression that the speech was not aimed at New York alone.

    Even the state's top Republican in the Legislature, Joseph L. Bruno, the Senate majority leader, could not make the trip from Albany because, an aide said, he had work to do.

    In comparison, the Democratic state party convention in New York City just a few days earlier featured almost all of the leading Democrats in the state and then some. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton was there, as was Mr. Schumer. Also there were Eliot Spitzer, the state attorney general; Speaker Gifford Miller of the New York City Council; City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. and State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi. Even Tom Daschle, the Senate minority leader, made the trip.

    With Republicans currently holding only one out of five statewide elected offices, the governor's office, there was private grumbling even among the ranks of the party faithful here over the thinness of the party's bench.

    New York Republicans have two bona fide stars widely regarded as having national ambitions: Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Pataki. But as neither man has decided his next political step, it is difficult for others in the party to guess what the landscape might look like in a couple of years.

    "Sometimes it is difficult to be a Republican in this state," said Tim Green, a Syracuse native and former National Football League star who was the first speaker to address the convention Tuesday night.

    Governor Pataki, in a brief interview before he spoke to the delegates, rejected the idea that the state party was somehow in trouble. And in his speech to the delegates, Mr. Pataki made a point of noting that the criticism of Howard Mills - that he is little-known and not well financed - had a familiar ring.

    "That's what they were saying about a guy named George Pataki," the governor said, referring to his victory over Mario M. Cuomo in 1994.

    But even Mr. Mills acknowledged that he has a tough fight ahead of him. Mr. Schumer has more than $20 million in the bank to finance his campaign, while Mr. Mills is just getting started raising money. Mr. Mills also failed to garner the support of the state's Conservative Party.

    "I am behind in the money chase, but I am ahead on ideas," Mr. Mills said after accepting the nomination.

    Mr. Mills already has television advertisements running in the state. As he has done repeatedly, Mr. Mills accused Mr. Schumer of wantonly killing trees by issuing frequent press releases, for no other purpose than "self-promotion."

    When Mr. Mills handed reporters outlines of his attack on sheets of paper, he was reminded of this. Mr. Mills replied that his use of paper would be more judicious than Mr. Schumer's.


    Charity Tied to DeLay Cancels New York Convention Events Citing Cost

    By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

    A charity associated with Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader, has canceled plans to stage a series of gala events around the Republican National Convention in New York this summer, saying the city is too expensive.

    Aides also suggested that Mr. DeLay, a lightning rod for criticism, was trying to lower his profile. "We are very cognizant of the fact that the convention is about re-electing George Bush and not being a distraction to that goal is a large priority of the majority leader," said Stuart Roy, Mr. DeLay's director of communications.

    The decision came two months after the state attorney general's office, which oversees charities, raised concerns that aspects of the group's solicitation failed to comply with New York law. A March letter from the attorney general's office to the group, Celebrations for Children Inc., said its brochure for the charity events did not include a clear description of the organization's program and did not say if the three organizers - Mr. DeLay's daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro, and two of his longtime political aides - would be paid.

    Aides to Mr. DeLay, who is not an officer of the charity, said it had since provided state officials with all the information they requested.

    Mr. DeLay's connection to the charity had also been criticized by watchdog groups that asserted that he was using the charity as a way to get around strict new campaign finance laws that prohibit federal officials from raising large corporate donations known as soft money. At the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in 2000, for example, Mr. DeLay helped raise soft money to pay for perks like private cars and drivers for all Republican members of Congress.

    The recently created charity was asking for donations of up to $500,000 to help pay for social events at the convention, like a dinner cruise and a golf tournament, at which Mr. DeLay would have been the attraction. The remaining money would have gone to charities for troubled children, the charity said.

    "This is a setback from what he wanted to do," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a Washington group that helped push through the recent overhaul of the campaign finance laws and pushed to stop Mr. DeLay's plans for the New York convention. "He wanted his role to be host of a weeklong set of parties and entertainment, and he can't do that now."

    The state attorney general's office said the charity had met all state requirements to begin raising money but one - it had not yet provided proof of tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. Aides to Mr. DeLay said the I.R.S. had not yet granted that status, and as a result, New York officials said the charity could not yet operate in New York.

    The I.R.S. does not comment on pending cases.

    City officials questioned the charity's rationale for pulling out of New York.

    "Expense is no excuse because there is no evidence,'' said Christyne L. Nicholas, president of NYC & Company, the convention and visitors' bureau. "The only evidence we have is because charities from all over the country and all over the world come to New York to host events."

    Mr. DeLay has also abandoned plans to dock a luxury cruise ship on the West Side of Manhattan to serve as a hotel and entertainment center for Republican officials and their guests. Republicans had feared it would make them look elitist.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  4. #79

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    New York Times
    May 21, 2004

    Wall Street to Toast Its G.O.P. Overseers During Convention

    By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

    Despite the talk about protesters overwhelming the Republican National Convention in New York City this summer, one sector of the city is rolling out the red carpet: Wall Street and its investment banks. They are showering the conventioneers with money for parties and other events to make the Republicans feel right at home.

    Some of the main parties will be for Republican members of Congress who oversee the financial services industry. There will be brunches, dinners, dancing and late-night concerts for the conventioneers throughout the city.

    One of the most celebrated guests will be Representative Michael G. Oxley of Ohio, chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, which oversees Wall Street, banks and the insurance industry. Mr. Oxley will be toasted at a dinner party in the Rainbow Room, at a loft with sweeping views of the Hudson River and at a financial services round- table brunch, according to people who work in the financial industry, who say their firms plan to contribute to the three events.

    But the partying does not stop there.

    J. P. Morgan Chase & Company is planning a reception to honor convention delegates from the roughly 20 states where it does most of its business; Goldman Sachs has discussed sponsoring a party to honor Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of western New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee; Credit Suisse First Boston plans a reception to honor Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who serves on the Banking Committee.

    Though the corporation-financed parties are legal, and commonplace at political conventions, they take on added significance this year because of new laws that prohibit corporations from giving large donations known as soft money to national political parties and also forbid federal officials to raise such contributions, government watchdog groups said.

    "There is no other loophole for corporate soft money," said Steven Weissman, associate director for policy with the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan group in Washington. "This is normal politics. They want to maintain a relationship which emphasizes access in order to achieve more influence."

    There are two ways Wall Street plans to roll out the welcome wagon. Firms will sponsor their own events, or they will contribute to events sponsored by other organizations. Companies in other industries are also staging events; The New York Times, for instance, is helping sponsor a night out for the delegates at Broadway shows.

    But the financial sector is among the most active. Some of the top Wall Street firms have agreed to contribute money to a party honoring Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Banking Committee, and the rest of the Alabama delegation, said people who work in the industry and are involved in making convention plans.

    Like many large American corporations, financial powerhouses tend to hedge their bets, giving to both Republicans and Democrats. Some of the Wall Street firms, like J. P. Morgan Chase, have similar plans for the Democratic National Convention in Boston. A study shows that the financial industry is one of the biggest political contributors, outspent only by lawyers and the real estate industry, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington.

    But some of New York's top financiers have a record of giving large contributions to Republican causes.

    Henry M. Paulson Jr., chief executive and chairman of Goldman Sachs, is a finance co-chairman of the New York City Host Committee and has called around to his colleagues asking them to contribute to the convention's operating budget. As a co-chairman, he personally agreed to help raise $5 million to help pay for the convention, according to the host committee.

    Employees of Morgan Stanley and their immediate family members gave more to the Bush campaign than the employees and family members from any other company, contributing $518,225 since the president began raising money in May 2003, said Steven Weiss, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics.

    "These are among the most generous donors in American business and among the most influential," Mr. Weiss said. "They are heavily regulated by the government and are seeking to minimize government involvement in their business. So they reach out to both parties and attract major attention from party leaders."

    Representatives of the Wall Street firms almost universally declined to comment by name, though most confirmed their involvement in the convention-related activities.

    Adam Levine, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs said, "The Republican National Convention will be a great opportunity to showcase the city of New York and the resiliency of its people. Goldman Sachs is a proud sponsor of that event."

    The convention will be held from Aug. 30 through Sept. 2, but organizers say they have already been planning their parties.

    "There are so many parties going on you have to pick and choose the location and date rather early to try to lessen the competition," said Richard Hunt, a spokesman for the Securities Industry Association, a 600-member trade group. "Competition will be great every hour of every day."

    Mr. Hunt said his organization, along with the Bond Market Association, another trade group, has planned a reception on Sept. 1 to honor Mr. Oxley and the other members of the Committee on Financial Services. He said they have booked "Penthouse 15," a large loft on the West Side of Manhattan, for a Wednesday night reception.

    It will be a busy week for Mr. Oxley.

    His press secretary, Tim Johnson, did not return five calls for comment. A receptionist in Mr. Oxley's office said that Mr. Johnson was the only one allowed to speak to reporters.

    On the first day of the convention, Mr. Oxley and other members of the Financial Services Committee are to be "honored guests" at the Rainbow Room, said Pamela Sederholm, a Washington-area public relations consultant who said she is helping organize the party. An investment industry organizer said that the invitations called for sponsors to contribute $25,000 to $100,000 for the program, which will include dancing to midnight to big band music.

    On Wall Street, the event is considered a must-attend party, according to several people who work there.

    Unlike parties being organized by investment firms, this event is being thrown by a organization called the American Council for Excellence and Opportunity, of which Mr. Oxley is an honorary chairman, Ms. Sederholm said. She said the group will use the donations to pay for the event and then give what is left over to charities, a model similar to what Representative Tom DeLay, the house majority leader from Texas, abandoned this week after it received much criticism.

    Not every event is intended for lawmakers involved with financial industry oversight. J. P. Morgan Chase, for example, has scheduled a luncheon to honor the women in Congress.

    But the events tied to lawmakers with oversight of the financial services industry have drawn the most concern among government watchdog groups. Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a group that fought for the new campaign finance laws, said: "Members of Congress are throwing huge parties for themselves and having corporations or other interests pay for the event. The fundamental problem here is the interest gets to do a huge financial favor for a powerful member of Congress who they often have critical issues pending before."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    GOP Convention Organizers Announce Plans To Construct Bridge To Garden

    MAY 21ST, 2004 - NY1.com

    With just 100 days to go before the Republican National Convention takes over Madison Square Garden, party officials are in town to outline their plans.
    Organizers toured the Farley Post Office across the street from the Garden Friday which will be used as a media site.
    They also announced the construction of a bridge that will connect the building to the Garden. Construction is set to begin June 7.

    Officials say their goal is to have the convention run as smoothly as possible.
    "I think it's going to be a great event which New Yorkers can be proud of and I know that everybody involved is doing the maximum they can to minimize any disruptions," said organizer Bill Harris.
    "There is not an official plan now nor has there ever been official talk of ever closing Penn Station during this convention," said Kevin Sheekey of the New York City Host Committee. "You'll have presumably some minor road disturbances around. But, you know like the mayor said, the message is unfortunately, you'll have to come to work."

    The Farley building will continue to be used as a Post Office, but on a smaller scale.

    After the convention, it will be transformed into a new train station.
    http://www.ny1.com/ny/TopStories/Sub...entintid=40039

  6. #81

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    I guess they're really afraid of NYC cabs.

    After the convention, it will be transformed into a new train station.
    Do they mean right after the convention? :P

    I have changed my mind, and am now looking forward to the convention. With Bush's reelection hardly a lock, the RNC is going to have to be careful not to commit a political blunder.

    It would be nice if NYC was the nail in Bush's political coffin.

  7. #82
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    Turner will be in charge of building GOP bridge

    May 21, 2004

    Organizers for the Republican National Convention, which will be held in the city this summer, chose Turner Construction to be in charge of building a bridge connecting Madison Square Garden and the Farley Post Office building.

    Turner agreed to oversee the $1 million project on a pro bono basis. Construction of the temporary bridge will start on June 7 and will be completed by July 16. The GOP convention, being held at Madison Square Garden, will start on Aug. 30, and journalists covering the event will use the post office as their main media station during the event.

    The bridge will be used to carry heavy cable and give journalists easy access to the convention, said the host committee. The structure will span 140 feet, from the second floor of the Garden’s north end, across Eighth Avenue, to three entrance points on the north face of the post office.

    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

  8. #83

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    May 22, 2004

    The G.O.P. to Strut and Fret, but on What Kind of Stage?

    By MICHAEL SLACKMAN

    The raspy-voiced pop singer Rod Stewart gyrated his hips on one; the rock-and-roll band Yes hammered out tunes on one; and now, it appears, President George W. Bush will address the nation on one.

    That is, a round stage in the center of Madison Square Garden.

    Convention organizers are keeping mum about the configuration of the stage - and about most other details of the Republican National Convention - hoping to add a bit of drama to the otherwise predictable renomination of the president. But there are clues that have prompted at least one convention organizer to refer to the plans for a round stage as "the secret that everybody knows."

    The prime clue is the floor. Convention officials have confirmed that they plan to raise it by nine feet - a plan that will allow speakers to approach from underneath rather than from behind as on a traditional stage.

    But the convention organizers refuse to discuss the point, even though their own staff members have said that the floor would be raised if plans called for the use of the round stage.

    The convention's chief executive officer, William D. Harris, and other officials held a news conference yesterday to mark the 100-day countdown. "We've been here about a year," he said. "Our planning process is about through."

    So what has been accomplished? He said that 1,000 light bulbs had been changed in the post office building that will serve as the press center. He said that 500 gallons of paint had been used to refresh the inside of that future press center, and that plans called for 5,000 yards of carpeting. He also announced plans to move ahead with a previously disclosed plan to build a bridge connecting the press center and the Garden.

    But when officials were asked what streets would be closed to traffic during the convention, the reply was that it's too soon to say. When they were asked if events would be held in other boroughs, the reply was that it's too soon to say. And when they were questioned about the configuration of the stage, the reply was, again, it's too soon to say.

    "We have two tentative podium plans - one traditional side podium and one theater-in-the-round - and we haven't made any decisions on which ones will be used or on which nights," said Mark Pfeifl, the convention's director of communications.

    One official involved in the preparations said that the working plan was to have a traditional stage set up for the first three days and the dramatic theater-in-the-round on the fourth night for President Bush.

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been a bit more forthcoming, saying yesterday that the city would not be issuing permits for most street fairs and block parties the weekend before the convention begins.

    "The people have to understand, we only have so many resources," he said in explanation of the street fair cancellations. "We only have so many police, and we're going to keep it safe, and so sometimes we're going to have to say we just don't have the police to do more things."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  9. #84
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Arts festival to run against Republicans

    by Miriam Kreinin Souccar, May 23, 2004

    A group of New York City arts organizations is planning a citywide festival from Aug. 29 through Sept. 2 during the Republican Convention.

    The Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues & Ideas will feature more than 100 new programs related to politics and current events at more than 30 venues around the city.

    The organizers, who include Boo Froebel, a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Christopher Wangro, an events producer, say the festival will be nonpartisan.

    The arts institutions are funding their own programs.

    Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

  10. #85

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    May 24, 2004

    Permit or Not, Protesters Prepare for Republicans in New York

    By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD

    He relishes the idea, and it is just an idea, he says, of linking arms on streets around Madison Square Garden to block delegates and bring the Republican convention to a halt. Getting arrested for civil disobedience, if it comes to that, does not faze him.

    "I am not going to have a work schedule for two weeks after, just in case,'' says Jim Straub, 23, who is a part-time dishwasher and bookstore clerk and full-time radical in Richmond, Va.

    For Jen Lawhorne, 24, who also plans to attend the convention from Richmond: "This is going to be one of the finer moments of the American left. The sheer numbers excite me.''

    They are a band of like-minded activists, many in their 20's, leading a charge to direct protesters from Richmond to New York for the convention, Aug. 30 to Sept. 2.

    Linked by indignation over the war and economic and social issues, protesters from Chicago, Santa Barbara, Calif., Cleveland and scores of other places across the country are developing their plans to descend on New York City for the convention.

    The protesters are not deterred by the barriers they face. New York City has yet to issue any protest permits. Housing is in short supply and prohibitively expensive. And just the logistics of getting to vehicle-unfriendly New York can be daunting. But convention protesters like the group in Richmond are pressing forward with plans, and developing ways around the hurdles.

    An organizer on the West Coast is suggesting using airline discounts to New York. Another is arranging backpacking trips to raise money for airfare, while some groups in Los Angeles and San Francisco have discussed a car caravan. And in Richmond, organizers plan to pass the hat at parties and hold other fund-raisers for the $1,000 or so needed to charter a bus.

    The fact that the New York police have not issued permits for any of the 15 groups that have applied for marches and rallies near the Garden matters little, especially to the more rebellious sorts.

    The RNC Not Welcome Collective, an affiliation of radicals in New York, is encouraging prospective demonstrators to focus on other sites besides the Garden, like parties and other gatherings of delegates.

    "If we are diffused throughout the city, we will have a much better advantage,'' read a recent handout at a strategy meeting. "After all, the real target is not Madison Square Garden, the stage of the spectacle, but the various events where deals are made - where the lobbyists wine, dine, and bribe Bush & Co.''

    "If we are truly everywhere in this very big city,'' it goes on, "the police cannot be concentrated in one area, their communications will be hampered by their hierarchical processes, their steps will be slowed by their pounds of body armor and fatigue from forced overtime.''

    Whether for organized demonstrations or not, people eager to protest the convention are strategizing.

    A "consulta'' was held recently in Chicago among various groups to discuss plans to take at least 1,000 people to New York, said José Martín, an organizer in Chicago.

    M. J. Musler, an antiwar activist in Cleveland, said groups across Ohio hoped to muster 15,000 people in New York, "little church ladies to the more radical end of the spectrum.'' Most, she said, plan to go for at least Aug. 29, when United for Peace and Justice has applied for a permit for an antiwar demonstration past the Garden for 250,000 people or more.

    West Coast demonstrators may find it more difficult to get to New York, but they seem undeterred, with groups sprouting in Santa Barbara, the San Francisco Bay area, Los Angeles, Fresno and other places promising to bring carloads.

    Tanya Mayo, an organizer with a national group called Not In Our Name who is in Oakland, Calif., said she had even advised prospective demonstrators who want to fly to take advantage of a Continental Airlines discount on air travel to New York during the convention period.

    "It's a beautiful location for mobilizing people,'' she said of New York. "Three international airports, big bus terminals."

    While established antiwar groups and labor unions are actively organizing, many grass-roots organizers, young, self-described radicals like Mr. Straub and his Richmond companions, are playing a role , too.

    Nicholas DeGraff, a 23-year-old antiwar activist in Fresno, helped coordinate a group called Rancor (a play on the initials for the Republican National Convention), that is raising money through guided backpacking trips and other events to send at least a couple of dozen demonstrators to New York.

    "A lot of people going are professionals, social workers, people who have the ability to save up and pay for a ticket and a place to stay,'' Mr. DeGraff said last week. "We are having fund-raisers for people who can't afford to fly out, like students and individuals whose voices are not heard.''

    Mr. DeGraff himself does not have a place to stay yet, counting on the beneficence of churches or other organizations that may offer housing. But he said that would not hold him back and that he planned to take part in acts of civil disobedience, if it comes to that.

    "Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. taught that civil disobedience is your duty if that's what it takes,'' Mr. DeGraff said. "The thinking is: Are we going to have to shut down your convention before you listen to average people?''

    Organizers are discussing with several churches in New York the possibility of housing demonstrators, and people across the country are calling in favors with friends who live in the city. An anticonvention Web site includes a bulletin board for housing and transportation assistance.

    Many activists are deciding to skip the Democratic convention in Boston July 26-29 - and other events like the Group of 8 summit meeting of presidents and prime ministers in Savannah, Ga., June 8-10 - to reserve resources for the Republicans. While many object to Senator John F. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic nominee whose support of the Iraq war is anathema to the left, "he is the lesser of two evils,'' said June Grossholtz, a retired college professor organizing convention protesters in western Massachusetts.

    The will may not be a problem but the means can be, especially in places like Richmond, which does not have a deep history of leftist mobilization.

    "I am less concerned about getting people interested than where we are going to get the money for the buses,'' Mr. Straub said, adding that they rent for $1,000 per bus.

    Muna Hijazi, another organizer, retorted, "People always find a way to pay for them.''

    The organizers plan to pass the hat at parties and meetings. They will pass out leaflets at a planned July 3 antiwar demonstration in Richmond, and they are collaborating with organizers in Washington for at least the Aug. 29 demonstration.

    The uncertainty over what permitted marches will materialize has caused some confusion and delays in planning.

    "What are we going to, if there have been no permits issued?'' one woman asked at a meeting in Richmond the other night to plan the July 3 march, which Mr. Straub and his companions see as a way to fire people up for a descent on New York.

    "You don't need a permit to go to New York and express free speech,'' replied Emily Harry, an anticonvention organizer.

    This Richmond group began organizing eight months ago, after regular Sunday gatherings in a city park of the local chapter of an antipoverty group, Food not Bombs. Not all are agitated 20-somethings; Connie Moss, 45, who has a son in the Air Force stationed in Europe, said she wanted to show that not all military families support the war.

    "The reason I am going to New York is I want the numbers there,'' she said.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  11. #86

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    It's amazing how many left-wingers in this country want George W Bush's head on a platter a la John the Baptist :roll: .

  12. #87

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    It's not just left wingers -- It's the mainstream. There are very few true "left-wingers" in the U.S. Think of the 2-3% of voters that chose Nader in 2000. One of the biggest successes of the conservative backlash of recent decades has been to re-define the moderate center of political thought as "left-wing."

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    I saw some "Billionaires for Bush" protesting outside the AMNH today, coinciding with the world premiere of "The Day After Tomorrow." They had a big crew that spray-snowed the grand staircase and facade of the main entrance.

  14. #89

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    By left-wingers I mean loyal Democrats of virtually every stripe except the pro-life crowd. There are a million antiwar and other activist groups who want Bush out of office, and I'm expecting the D.P. convention in Boston in July to contain lots of these activists, as well as lots of direct anti-Dubya rhetoric. Generally I'm staying neutral politically, but the seething hatred of Bush I'm seeing amongst Democrats and their supports is nothing short of, well, interesting.

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