New comment system up

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Here's a Kerry guy who ran a Kerry blog who has thrown his support behind General Clark. Why? Among other things, he was particularly disheartened by Kerry's constant, and oftentimes unfair, sniping at Dean. Let's give Dan a warm welcome into the Clark family.



Each one of our local Congressional Districts' delegate slates: Reynolds (26), Quinn (27) and Slaughter (28) has collected enough petition signatures to qualify for inclusion on the March 2nd New York Presidential Primary ballot. This is a huge accomplishment. Everyone who participated should be proud of this feat. Think of the hurdles we faced: bad weather, apathetic and/or hostile voters, the Holiday season. Yet we did it. About 100 volunteers - from Geneseo to Buffalo - from Rochester to Niagara Falls - collected over 2,700 signatures from registered Democrats during the period from Thanksgiving through Christmas. The campaign didn't pay a cent to get those petitions signed. This was a 100% volunteer effort. We have a great group of volunteers and coordinators in our area. Thanks to Jeremy Toth, Terry Wegler, Robin Schimminger and Dave Swarts for their guidance during this effort. Thanks to all of you who hustled in the cold to get people to sign petitions for this campaign. Our group started with a meetup at Kahunaville on the second Monday in September. Seven people showed up. Now, the fun can begin. A caravan is being organized out of Cleveland. This caravan will pass through upstate NY and end up in New Hampshire over MLK weekend. If you have a free weekend, please consider joining the caravan. Despite what the media may lead you to believe, NH isn't a done deal for Dean. "Undecided" is in second place in New Hampshire in most recent polls. Clark and Kerry are battling it out for the #2 slot. Dean has been organizing for over a year. Clark has been in this race for 2 months. Please visit the official campaign website. Donate money to their $1,000,000 drive. Volunteer to help the New Hampshire effort from the comfort of your own home. Check out the innovative, lively and informative community blog. This campaign is just hitting its stride, folks. There's so much more to do and a lot of fun to be had, now that the hard part is over. Thanks again to all of you, and congratulations.


Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all. Thank you for all your support and assistance over the past few months. Let's make it a very Happy New Year.

Busy time

I haven't updated for a few days because it's simply been incredibly busy. We held a follow-up petition meeting yesterday. So far, the 28th (Slaughter) district has qualified. Congratulations to Terry Wegler and everyone who worked so hard to get those signatures (Assemblyman Schimminger got about 300 signatures on his own). The 27th is nearly there - about 150 signatures short. The 26th is a bit behind, so we have some work to do on that end. If anyone can help the 27th out, please e-mail Jeremy Toth at jtoth@net.bluemoon.net for more info. If anyone can help the 26th out, please e-mail Alan Bedenko at wny4clark@adelphia.net for more info.


Globe kudos for Clark

Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe columnist, opines that Clark is "finally making headway" "Clark drove the point home. Predicting that Bush would question the national-security credentials and resolution of the Democrats, he said: 'Let me tell you what happens if he tries to do that. I'll put my 34 years of defending the United States of America and the results that I and my teammates in the United States Armed Forces achieved against his three years of failed policies, any day.'" I find it better to slowly gather support in advance of primary season, rather than peaking 6 weeks ahead of primary season.

Stop Nader

Ralph Nader's Presidential Exploratory Committee has a website. Click on the link to fill out a questionnaire, and tell Nader exactly what you think about a possible 3rd party run on the Green Party ticket in 2004. Think Florida. For Ralph Nader to run for President in 2004 would be an unmitigated disaster. In 2000, Nader opined that there was essentially no difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. Nader cynically and selfishly thought that the country would be better off with a Bush presidency because it would predictably become such a fiasco of an administration that Nader's own views would contrast even more starkly and, theoretically, become even more attractive after 4 years of Bush. Well, the Bush years sure have been a catastrophe, but that fact merely underscores the cynicism and sheer idiocy of a Nader candidacy in 2004. Those who oppose Bush are certainly more united in their desire to expel Bush from the White House, but Nader sure isn't going to be the one to support. Indeed, Nader is seen more than ever as being nothing more than a spoiler who helped subject us to Bush/Cheney. Please. I beg of you. If Nader has any common sense, or sense of decency, he ought set aside his impossible aspirations to become President, and instead pledge his support, and that of the Green Party apparatus, to whomever the Democratic nominee might be so that there is a united centrist-progressive coalition to defeat Bush in 2004.


Psst .... wanna see a real leader?

While George Bush gets an MRI for his self-inflicted knee problems, other Presidential candidates are busy, oh, testifying before international war crimes tribunals 'n stuff. http://www.un.org/icty/transe54/transe54.htm Click on Dec. 15 & Dec. 16 transcripts. Interesting to see a politician take time out just weeks before a critical primary to perform selfless duty for his country.

It's not just the Democrats who are debating the future of the party

I know, I know. The American Spectator is about as "fair and balanced" as Pravda, ca. 1982. But I'm a firm believer that one has to know what the opposition is thinking in order to defeat it. I'm not talking about Howard Dean, (who, by the way, I think has peaked). Instead, I'm talking about the Republican Party ensconced in Washington. The Republican Party that has control of all three branches of government right now. Remember how the GOP used to stand for "good government" and "less taxing, less spending." Well, it doesn't anymore. Not even close. The GOP right now is more *ahem* liberal with its wallet as any Democratic administration or legislature ever dreamed. So, I turn to the pages of the ultra-right wing American Spectator. Run by R. Emmett Tyrrell. Published by Alfred Regnery. Of Vince Foster conspiracy theory fame. Of Anita Hill smearing fame. Of Troopergate fame. When September and October 2004 roll around, this should be the Democratic Nominee's MANTRA: "According to an analysis by the Heritage Foundation, 2003 marked "the first time since World War II that federal spending has topped $20,000 per household." Worse, "the 7.6 percent average annual growth over the past two years more than doubled the 3.4 percent average annual growth from 1993 to 2001." Think of that: The Clinton government was more frugal than Bush's. And this isn't just war on terror spending."


Milosevic Trial Helps Clark Try to Gain Notice

Milosevic Trial Helps Clark Try to Gain Notice: "General Clark has spent more than 100 hours with Mr. Milosevic over the last decade, negotiating with him and other Balkan leaders during the Dayton talks that brought peace to Bosnia in 1995, and then in the period before the NATO bombing campaign in 1999 to force the Yugoslav Army out of Kosovo. General Clark also said he had told the court that Mr. Milosevic had had advance knowledge, and command and leadership responsibility, for atrocities during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, including the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims from the town of Srebrenica in 1995. According to officials in The Hague, General Clark cited a conversation in Belgrade in August 1995 in which he asked Mr. Milosevic that if he had so much influence over the Bosnian Serbs, why he had allowed Gen. Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb military commander, to kill so many people at Srebrenica. 'Well, General Clark, I warned him not to do it, but he didn't listen to me,' General Clark reportedly quoted Mr. Milosevic as saying."


General Clark testifies in the Hague

General Clark testified against one of the most brutal, dangerous dictators Europe has seen in the last 100 years. (Slobodan Milosevic is in good company with the likes of Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini). Taking a cue from what happened in Nuremburg after World War II, the civilized world is trying war criminals from all sides in the Yugoslav civil war. Of course, Milosevic was the spark that started that war. I can't describe how proud I am that General Wesley Clark - the man whom I support for President - testified this week against this butcher Milosevic. Clark, ever mindful of his sense of duty, thought nothing of taking a week out from his incredibly busy campaign schedule - just over a month before the pivotal New Hampshire primary - to give his testimony. Clark's sense of service to mankind in this case trumps his own self-interest. That's what leadership is about. I don't know if testifying at the ICTY will earn Clark any votes, but it should.


Meeting Tuesday December 16th. TODAY

We will hold a meeting on December 16th (TODAY) at 7pm at: 3514 Delaware Avenue, Suite 204 Town of Tonawanda (That location is near the Brounshidle, but NOT the Brounshidle; it is just South from Sheridan Drive). Please bring all your completed petitions to this meeting. We will begin transmitting petitions to HQ in NYC this week, and it will give us an idea of whether we've qualified all the CDs.

Clark cruising to 2nd in NH

In a new Boston Globe poll of NH voters, Kerry's support is hemmorhaging. Clark and Dean are the only two candidates gaining any traction. We need Clark to pull a respectable 2nd in NH, and then on to South Carolina!


Quick & Easy way to reach your elected State officials

I don't know how many of you have visited this great website called www.clarks-army.com, but I urge you to do so. It's geared towards just the sort of grassroots effort in which we're engaged. I got this e-mail from Clarks' Army today: Grassrooters Phil & Laura (VA) have come up with the most AMAZING way to send  ONE email, requesting an ENDORSEMENT for General Clark, to a BUNCH of your State's Elected Dem's AUTOMATICALLY!    Talk about EASY!    Go to this link and scroll down the center of the page and look for your state:   http://www.clarkvalley.org/phpweb/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=10&MMN_position=27:27   Once you click on your state, go to the bottom to see who the letters are (and are not) sent to -- so you know who will get your email and who may still need an individual email.   There are sample letters and suggestions.  Also, Clark's Army has put together sample letters, as well, on the Clark's Army Link's Page:    www.clarks-army.com/lp.html   However, your letter should be personal and from your heart, so please use these letters as a guideline, only! It takes a moment to reach over 100 NYS Legislators. Please do one today!


The candidate so far

Interesting and in-depth overview of the candidate and his campaign so far. From the Christian Science Monitor.


You wanna see someone who's unelectable?

Remnants of Military Tradition Remain for Clark

Check out this nice piece in today's New York Times. "Needless to say, that has not appeared to have been a problem for General Clark. He was full of military metaphors in Harlem, where he accepted Mr. Rangel's endorsement. Asked by Gabe Pressman, the veteran New York television reporter, if he had 'not yet begun to fight' against Howard Dean, General Clark nearly spat back his answer. 'Yes, and I'll take one more naval hero's words. `Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,' ' said General Clark, who served in the Army, not the Navy. 'We're moving out.'"


"Grownups" in charge in DC

Just when you thought the Bush Administration couldn't do any worse comes this little tidbit of information via Calpundit. As you may recall, the Pentagon decided a few days ago to exclude evil Saddam apologists like France, Canada, Germany and Russia from obtaining any Iraq reconstruction contracts. This was alleged to be in the interests of US security. On the last page of the document, signed by DDS Wolfowitz, is a list of countries that are eligible to bid for Iraqi contracts. Evidently, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Uganda, Uzbekistan, and the Dominican Republic pose a lesser threat to US security than Canada, France and Germany. But wait. There's more. THE NEXT DAY, Bush called some of those very same countries - France, Germany and Russia, asking them to forgive Iraq's debts! This is either contemptably malicious or horrifically incompetent. You pick. Since when is which apparently pose a lesser threat to US security than Canada,


Clark made the most of the debate

Scot Lehigh, op-ed writer for the Boston Globe says that Clark was the one candidate who really made the most of last night's debate. "Still, frustrating as the forum was, presidential politics is about making the most of the moment. The candidate who came closest to that last night was General Wesley Clark. When he began his campaign, Clark was a decidedly uncertain trumpet, but in several answers last night he spoke with both conviction and seeming expertise about the United States and its role in the world."

Last night's debate

I think Clark did quite well --- with the 5 minutes or so of speaking he was apparently allotted. I really can't wait until the herd is thinned out a bit in this race. I don't know if anyone was counting, but it seemed to me as if other candidates - especially Dean - got a whole lot more time to ramble, and more follow-up questions, than anyone else. In any event, I thought Clark did a great job expressing his foreign policy bona fides. As Josh Marshall points out, this campaign may very well become a Dean-as-strong-on-domestic-issues vs. Clark-as-strong-on-foreign-policy battle. What was striking about last night's "debate" was the absolute idiocy of the questions asked. The first half-hour or so were devoted to an examination of Gore's Dean endorsement, and then to candidates' standing in the polls and the size of their warchests. I mean, COME ON. If you want to ask those questions, do it on Nightline, Ted. This is the LAST DEBATE BEFORE THE IOWA CAUCUSES AND NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY. Ask some bloody relevant questions about actual ISSUES. Don't waste my time with process and post-mortems. Atrios has a great post about the inanity of last night's questions.


Debate Tonight

Tonight at 7pm, WMUR sponsors a debate of all the Democratic Presidential hopefuls - live from the front lines in New Hampshire. It will be broadcast Nationwide on C-SPAN. Watch and root for the General.

Gore endorses Dean

I don't think this is a necessarily a big negative for Clark. I don't think this endorsement spells "guaranteed nomination" for Dean. I actually think this bodes pretty well for Clark, in the big picture. How? Over the last decade, the Democratic Party has become more centrist while the GOP has lurched to the far, radical right. Understandably, those further left in the Dem Party spectrum have become somewhat disillusioned with the party heirarchy. (see Ralph Nader 2000 -ed.) Although Kucinich thought he would be the one chosen by the left wing, they have instead flocked to Dean. Let's face it - Dean has run a great campaign. I just don't think he's the best candidate. So, the left wing of the Democratic Party has found this folksy, straight-talking Vermont Governor around whom to rally. Gore, who purposefully shunned his ties with Clinton during the 2000 election, has merely staked his claim in the left wing of the party via this endorsement. The more mainstream, center of the party is still up for grabs. After all, if Dean is at 42% in New Hampshire, that means that "someone else" is at 58%. The problem now is that there are eight "someones" dividing that 58%. That's where the good General comes in. The centrist and conservative wings of the Democratic Party have yet to rally around a candidate. Lieberman - as conservative a Democrat as they come - is slipping, and this Gore endorsement hurts him the worst. Kerry's campaign is in heavy self-destruct mode. Sharpton and Moseley-Braun are barely making the cut in recent polls. Kucinich still has the Greens and Socialists locked up. Gephardt's numbers are slipping despite his Union endorsements, and his campaign is on a collision course to nowhere. The only ones with any traction right now are Clark and Edwards, with Clark out ahead. If Clark polls a respectable 2nd in New Hampshire, the primary turns to South Carolina and Arizona in early February. Clark has a real shot against both Edwards and Dean in South Carolina. The goal right now of all of us involved in the Clark effort is to make sure our candidate becomes the sole alternative to Dean. I think Gore's endorsement of Dean might actually help that process along.

Meetup date stays the same

Please scroll down - our meetup date will remain the 1st Monday of every month. The next meetup is on January 5th at the Brounshidle.


Clark statistically tied for #2 in NH

It seems the momentum is picking up again. One poll in NH has Clark and Kerry in a statistical dead heat. This is big.


Meetup Dates

Last week, I blogged that our meetup days had changed. That information was incorrect, and has since been rectified. Please know that our regularly scheduled meetup day - the 1st Monday of every month - remains the same. Our next meetup will be January 5th at the Brounshidle. Sorry for the bad info.

Petitioning this week

We've got only a few more weeks to go, and I'm curious as to how people are doing, what sort of problems they're having. Any funny stories, etc.? Submit them to the yahoo group or to wny4clark@adelphia.net.

Maps of WNY Congressional Districts

Click here for a pdf map of the 26th Congressional District (REYNOLDS) Click here for a pdf map of the 27th Congressional District (QUINN) Click here for a pdf map of the 28th Congressional District (SLAUGHTER)


Zogby Poll

Zogby has a new New Hampshire poll that has good news for Clark (and Dean) supporters, and bad news for Kerry & Edwards folks. In October, Dean was at 40%, Kerry at 17%, Clark was tied for third with Edwards at 6%, Lieberan was at 3%, and 19% remained undecided. The latest December poll shows Dean's support grew to 42%, while Kerry dropped five points to 12%. In the meantime, Clark took sole possession of the number 3 spot at 9%. Lieberman's support increased from 3 to 7%, while Edwards' dropped from 6 to 4%. Gephardt's support dropped one point to 3%, while Kucinich reached the single digits again with 2%. Sharpton and Mosley Braun are out of the picture. If you look at the poll's progression since February 2003, Clark went from 1% to 9%. Kerry went from 26% (the lead) to 12%. Dean, astonishingly, went from 13% to 42%. What's really going to be interesting is the early February primaries. Clark is polling really well in South Carolina, and we all know what happened to John McCain in 2000 - he trounced Bush in New Hampshire, but was soundly defeated in the South. Of course, Clark will win South Carolina based on his message and background. He won't have to resort to the dirtiest of dirty tricks, as Bush did.


Who is Wesley Clark, anyway?

Courtesy of the good folks at the Clark Army, here is a nice overview of Clark's positions. Might be handy when questioned while petitioning. Click on: http://www.mindspring.com/~abedenko/WHOIS.pdf

The Bush Background Generator!

A little comic relief for you frozen-toed signature gatherers out there: The Bush Background Generator!


There's not just one meetup

The Democratic Party has its own meetup, and I urge people to join and, well, meet up. This link will let you sign up for the Democratic Party Meetup in your area. It doesn't cost anything, is a good place to have a Clark presence, and is set for Wednesday, December 17th at 7pm.

Meetup Cancelled

As any of you on the buffaloforclark Yahoo Group already know, we've decided to cancel this evening's meetup. Why? 1. We just met last week. 2. Everyone's time is better spent collecting some signatures tonight. Jeremy & Terry will be at the Brounshidle to greet anyone who shows up. Thanks to them for that. Also: If anyone needs petitions, the quickest way to get some is to go to the Brounshidle Hall at 3354 Delaware Avenue in Kenmore at 7pm sharp. Go to the downstairs bar and see Jeremy or Terry. They've got 'em. Also - I've gotten some e-mail via my meetup notebook about this. If anyone is reading this from anywhere in NYS and wants to volunteer to gather petitions and doesn't know whom to contact, send an e-mail to Elise Harris at petitions@nyforclark.com. Happy petitioning.

Bush goes to Baghdad: Fantasy Edition

Hope everyone had good Turkey tidings. If you paid attention to the news at all this past week, (which I avoided), you may have noticed that a certain leader of the free world figuratively parachuted into Baghdad and was whisked away 2 1/2 hours later on Thanskgiving Day. You may know (but, given our shoddy news quality, probably didn't) that Bush didn't even bother to eat with the soldiers whom he graced with his presence on Thursday. Whether you think it was a crass political stunt or not, it's good that Bush actually went to Baghdad to face the men and women he's put in harm's way. Of course, Tony Blair did so months ago. And he publicized it. But I digress.... Here's a blast from the past that should wake us all up out of our tryptophan-induced sleepiness. Check out the bill of goods Bush was sold from neocon hawks around him. I can picture him telling aides on the flight back to Crawford that it just wasn't supposed to be like this. Doug, Don, Ahmed, Condoleeza and Rich all said he would be welcomed as a liberator.



It appears that the Brounshidle is booked on Monday December 1st and we CANNOT use it for our meetup. Please stay tuned here and on the buffaloforclark Yahoo Group for updates. I will also post to Meetup itself.

Happy Thanksgiving

We have a busy month ahead of us. I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.


Petitions arrived from NYC around midday. I have all the petitions for the 26th Congressional District in my possession. I have already put them in the mail & everyone should have theirs in Friday's mail. This was the most expedient way to distribute them. If you need petitions, please send an email via the Yahoo Group, or call Dave Swarts.

On terror, Dems should go after Bush from right

Very intriguing piece from Josh Marshall in "The Hill" "Democrats are reacting to the RNC ad with a mixture of outrage and poorly concealed fear. They shouldn’t be, because this is a line of attack that a strong, wily Democratic opponent could parry and turn to his advantage. This new line from the president also shows why — in a certain sense — an effective Democratic contender next year will want to — indeed, will have to —run to the president’s right on the all-important issue of terrorism." (Marshall also posts great stuff at www.talkingpointsmemo.com)


Petition Instructions courtesy of Erie County Democratic Party

Can be viewed by clicking this link: http://www.mindspring.com/~abedenko/ecpetition.pdf

Petitioning in NYS commences tomorrow - Nov 26th

If you haven't yet signed up to help gather petitions, please do so at the Buffalo for Clark webpage, or by sending an email to wny4clark@adelphia.net, or via a message to our Yahoo Group. As we discussed at last night's meeting, you are not restricted to collecting signatures in your own Congressional District; the law states that someone from Quinn's 27th Cong. Dist can collect signatures in Reynolds; 26th District, and vice-versa. Please help us during this most critical pre-primary activity. We need all the help we can get to brave the cold and get the signatures we need to ensure that Wesley Clark's name and delegate slate appear on the March 2004 primary ballot. Thanks.

Clark winning supporters in New Hampshire

Great article outlining Clark's effort in New Hampshire. "But at all of the forums, he won voters' hearts and minds. People who arrived undecided left an hour later as supporters. In some cases, they left wearing Clark stickers. 'He's very humanitarian, very compassionate and warm for a general,' said John McLain, an author from Keene, N.H. 'He would be a good leader for this country. He would be everything George Bush isn't.' Earle Rugg, manager of a technology company who heard Clark's speech to the business group, has been uninspired by the other Democrats. But he was impressed with the general. 'I was looking for somebody who can be a leader and he certainly can be that,' said Rugg, an independent who plans to vote in the Democratic primary. 'Far and away, Gen. Clark was the best.'"



7:00 pm. at the Brounshidle American Legion Hall in Kenmore. Hopefully, it will be the biggest local meeting so far. We expect all of our prospective delegates to be present. We hope to have petitions in hand & ready for distribution.

F.B.I. Scrutinizes Antiwar Rallies


Bush uses 9/11 for political gain

In its first propaganda salvo of the 2004 Presidential election season, the Republican Party is running an ad blasting Democrats for "attacking the president for attacking the terrorists." Understandably, Democrats (including General Clark) are urging the GOP to stop running this cheap piece of slander. (For the record, not one of the Dems, as far as I know, have criticized Bush's actions in Afghanistan, except to say that he didn't bother to stay and finish the job there before getting sidetracked by the Iraqi adventure). Correctly, General Clark accused the GOP of exploiting 9/11 for political gain - something Bush promised he wouldn't do. Just add it to the laundry list of Bush lies.

General Clark on the Hustings: Complexity and Contradiction

A must-read from today's New York Times: General Clark on the Hustings: Complexity and Contradiction "Always, he thought unconventionally. General Scales, his classmate, offered this: 'They say in the military that you bring to your boss three solutions: one that's too hot, one that's too cold and one that's just right. That's called the Goldilocks solution. You have an answer and you steer him to it. 'Wes doesn't recognize the Goldilocks solution. He'll say: `Well maybe we shouldn't eat any porridge. And why are there bears in here? And who is this Goldilocks character wandering around? And by the way, what is the whole purpose of fairy tales?' And this drives some people nuts.'"


Find your Congressional District

Click here to find out in which Congressional District a particular NY address is located. Petitioning begins this Wednesday. Don't forget Monday night's meeting/rally!



60 Minutes II transcripts

From last night. In two parts. PART ONE IS HERE. PART TWO IS HERE. PART THREE IS HERE. All reports say that it was his best interview yet. "Oh, this I believe in: accountability, responsibility, performance of duty, dedication. That’s what I have built my life around in the United States armed forces. I believe, you know, I love my family and I love my church. I love my faith, but my profession has been a profession of arms, and it's been a profession of duty..." "Well, I told the American Legion that I support just about anything that will strengthen respect for the flag. If that's the amendment that comes through and it's adopted by the states and reach (PH) all those provisions, I'm not going to oppose that amendment. "The flag is something very near and dear and personal to me. Dan, I served under that flag. I saluted that flag. I fought for that flag. And I've seen brave men buried under that flag. It stands for something. And it means something. And we should respect it. And that's what I believe about the flag." General Clark takes on tough issues like Iraq, General Hugh Shelton, the economy, President Bush, his Army career, and many others.


Clark on 60 Minutes II tonight

According to Drudge, it will be a glimpse of the General we haven't seen before.


Flyer for Nov 24th meeting now available

As we discussed at the November meetup, we will be holding what we hope will be a large-scale meeting/rally on Monday, November 24th to kick-off the Western New York campaign effort for General Clark. This will be taking place at the Brounshidle Hall in Kenmore. We hope everyone who is active & interested can attend, and hopefully bring some new faces. To that end, I have prepared a flyer and uploaded them to my webspace. It is in MS Word format and can be edited, and I have also posted a PDF version that will work on any computer with Adobe Acrobat or Apple Viewer. To access the word version, click here. To access the PDF version, click here. (You will need Adobe Acrobat to open, but it'll look really pretty). Please print many copies, distribute and post them all. Let's have a big turnout. And we don't charge $1,000 a plate, unlike SOME people.

Fox Appearance Transcript

The Clark Sphere has the transcript here.

Clark on fire.

Yesterday, Clark was interviewed by Fox News Channel's David Asman. In the interview, Clark called the President's escapade in Iraq a "sideshow" to the war on terror. He argued that Tommy Franks, should have paid more attention to prosecuting the war in Afghanistan and the search for Osama bin Laden when, instead, this administration made him plan for the invasion of Iraq. Indeed, Iraq became a distraction to the war on terror. Asman then insinuated that Clark was denigrating the troops' work in Iraq as a "sideshow." Clark appropriately and understandably lost it and went after Asman. It is brilliant, and I can't understand why the campaign doesn't highlight this on their website.


Shelton and Cohen: Lying now, or lying then?

Excerpt from a 2000 press briefing given byGeneral Hugh Shelton and Secretary of Defense William Cohen: "Q: This is General Clarke's [sic] last visit to Kosovo today. Any word on how he has performed his job? Sec Def.: He has done an extraordinary job. General Clarke is one of our most brilliant officers. He undertook a mission that is perhaps one the most complicated and complex and carried it out successfully. As I mentioned in my remarks, this air campaign was the most successful in the history of warfare. We had over 38,000 sorties that were flown. We had only two planes that were shot down and no pilots lost. That is a record that is unparalleled in the history of warfare. So, General Clarke and his entire staff and subordinates and all who participated deserve great credit. Q: Why is he leaving office, then? Sec Def.: He is leaving because we have General Ralston who will become the new SACEUR. We are now replacing many of our CINCs throughout the world. Q: It is not a reflection on his performance? Sec Def: No reflection at all. He has done an outstanding job as the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command, and he did an outstanding job here as EUCOM Commander and also as SACEUR. " You know, Shelton, Cohen, Franks and Schwartzkopf each owe Clark an apology.

Meet the Press Transcript

Is available here.

Duty. Honor.

Even while running for President, General Clark can make time for his country, and for the international good. "Retired Army general Wesley K. Clark agreed to take a brief hiatus from his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination to go to the Netherlands in mid-December and testify at the United Nations war crimes trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic."

Comprehensive Clark Profile

Excellent summary of Clark's career, courtesy of the Boston Globe. This article examines, in-depth, Clark's rise through the ranks, his relationship with Bill Clinton, and what may be spurring Shelton's nasty remarks. In a nutshell, Clark was trying to ensure that the Kosovo war could be won, and began planning ground war contingencies, despite the political opposition to a ground war.


Clark saved people from certain genocide

Let's focus for a moment on Clark's signature issue: security. General Clark met in Portsmouth, NH yesterday with young Albanian-Americans from around the country. They came to thank him. Think about that. Young men and women came to thank this Presidential Candidate for saving their kin from certain genocide. How many other Presidential Candidates can say, "I helped prevent one of the worst post-WWII genocidal campaigns." While Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt bicker about Medicare cuts, Wesley Clark can take credit for taking on Slobodan Milosevic's decadelong campaign of territorial expansion and ethnic cleansing. The Yugoslav wars' culminated in Milosevic's effort in 1998-1999 to completely "Serbify" the mostly ethnic Albanian Serb region of Kosovo. Under the Communists, Kosovo had been granted partial autonomy, and began calling for independence as early as 1979. Coincidentally, Kosovo is the site of "Kosovo Polje", where the Serbs lost a decisive battle against the Ottoman Turks in 1389, leading to centuries of Ottoman rule over the Serbs. Kosovo Polje is the Serbian Alamo. In 1989, almost the entire Kosovo Serb minority (10% of the population) made a pilgrimage to the battlefield. One of the speakers at that rally was the new head of the Serb League of Communists - Slobodan Milosevic. In his speech, Milosevic, (couching his language in socialist pan-Yugoslav phrases), expressed his vision of a united, greater Serbia - one encompassing all areas with Serb populations. The next year - 1990 - Milosevic led an effort to abolish Kosovo's autonomy. Milosevic's actions set the stage for 10 years of genocidal bloodshed, that led to the collapse of Federal Yugoslavia, pariah status for Serbia and Montenegro, and ultimately sent Milosevic to the Hague for his war crimes. Milosevic's career effectively rose and fell on the Kosovo Polje. The people of Serbia ultimately defeated Milosevic on their own. Hundreds of thousands more Albanians would have been murdered or expelled from Kosovo without Wesley Clark's leadership.


Petitioning in New York State begins on Wednesday, November 26th - the day before Thanksgiving. The number of signatures needed varies from Congressional District to District, but the absolute maximum is 1,000 per district ... of registered democrats ... who haven't already signed another petition. And don't forget - upstate, it'll be winter regardless of what the calendar says. That means we need a lot of help. Please, please contact your local Clark organizing committee and volunteer to help collect signatures. Each local committee should have petition forms available for the asking. The only requirement is that you're a registered democrat, and that you are collecting signatures in your District ONLY. If you're a Notary Public or a Commissioner of Deeds, you can collect signatures across District lines. If you live in any of the 8 counties of Western New York, please contact us at wny4clark@adelphia.net. You can also sign up at buffalo.nyforclark.com. Thank you.

Clark leads nationwide poll

Thanks to Jeremy Toth for the tip. Clark leads the pack in a new MSNBC/WSJ poll.


On Veterans' Day

General Clark unveiled his plan to strengthen and enhance veterans' services and benefits: "'The ingratitude we show our veterans is appalling,' Clark said. 'As of earlier this year, more than 235,000 of our veterans are on waiting lists for VA care. Many wait six months or longer to see a doctor; some wait as long as two years.' "


New American Patriotism - Part 4: Iraq

Foreign policy and military affairs is really what sets Clark head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. General Clark gave a speech in South Carolina yesterday outlining his stategy for dealing with Iraq. The General acknowledges that the US cannot just pack up and leave now that the postwar is killing American soldiers on an almost daily basis. The General explains that we need a clear definition of success: that Iraq become strong enough to sustain itself without significant outside help, but that it does not become so strong that it again threatens its neighbors. This is a carbon copy of our postwar Germany & Japan strategies. Success can only be achieved if Iraq develops a representative form of government to become a model for the rest of the Middle East. If Iraq is permitted to become the next Al Qaeda training camp, then we have not succeeded. How do we succeed? 1. Incorporate more non-US troops; 2. Reconfigure the occupation force in Iraq; 3. Turn civilian control over to Iraqis; and 4. Rebuild our alliances. General Clark, who has first-hand experience as Supreme Allied Commander of NATO - Europe, believes that the Atlantic Charter need to be re-formulated - no member State would be able to veto the US, but the treaty would redefine common threats and require member States to promise to act together as a first choice - not a last one. Instead of going it alone, as Bush has seen fit to do, we can and must get our allies, who share our interests, to also share our challenges. We led the Cold War era not by compulsion, but by convincing our allies. General Clark proposes shifting occupation responsibility from the US to NATO, and to invite Arab nations to join, as well. The reconstruction should be internationalized, and an Iraqi Reconstruction Council should be formed. Finally, we need a greater mix of Special Forces to combat the growing threat to troops on the ground in Iraq, and tighter border controls to prevent infiltration by non-Iraqi jihadists. Iraq belongs to the Iraqis. We must facilitate their success by giving them a stake in their own destiny. "We must be a country that listens, and leads again," Clark said. "A country that is respected, not resented. Not for its military might or material wealth, but for its values and vision; for the greatness of its goals, and for the generosity of its spirit. Respected more than feared, by nations rich and poor, Christian, Jews, and Muslim. A country governed by people with ideals, not radical ideologies. A nation where citizens speak their minds, demand more of their leaders, and serve their country. It's what I call a New American Patriotism."


Petition Signatures

I spoke today with the NYS Board of Elections. For each Congressional District, we must collect the lesser of: 1/2% (.005) of the enrolled democrats in that CD, or 1,000 So, Whichever is smaller. You can see the enrollment figures here So: If you live in Reynolds' 26th Cong. District, you only need 676 signatures. If you're in Quinn's 27th Cong. District, you'll need to get 1,000 signatures Likewise, in Slaughter's 28th Cong. District, you'll also need 1,000 signatures

No comment necessary.


Meetup Pictures from last night

At meetup.com

Ruy Teixera: How Clark Could win the Nomination

He's the frontrunner and he's electable. More by following the link. It's a two-part piece.

Mark Shields & the "Dover Test"

Mark Shields writes that it's time to take (Wesley Clark nemesis) General Hugh Shelton's "Dover Test". General Shelton opined that military action "must be subjected to what I call the 'Dover test.' Is the American public prepared for the sight of our most precious resource coming home in flag-draped caskets into Dover Air Force Base in Delaware -- which is a point entry for our Armed Forces? This is an issue, I think, that should be raised early on. It should be discussed, and it should be decided by our political leadership before any operation begins." In the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration chose instead to duck Shelton's 'Dover test.' The scene so familiar to older Americans -- of the military honor guard in white gloves, respectfully accompanying from the aircraft to the waiting loved ones the remains of the fallen warrior in the coffin covered by Old Glory, often with a military band offering an appropriately solemn piece -- was simply banned. George W. Bush's war against Iraq could not flunk the Dover test because there would be no Dover test. "


Calpundit reviews several recent instances where the White House has essentially re-written or scrubbed transcripts to fit its political desires. Sickening.

Wesley Clark - Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia to which many people can contribute. It's quite a fascinating resource. The wikipedia entry for Wesley Clark is particularly concise and informative. Check it out.

Meetup last night

We had a very informative and productive meetup last night at the Brounshidle Hall in Kenmore. As we gear up for petitioning, which runs from 11/26/03 - 1/2/04, we hope to have the actual petitions in our hands earlier that week. We, therefore, plan to hold a large meetup/rally on the Monday or Tuesday before the 26th to distribute petitions, discuss the campaign's progress, introduce new people to the Clark movement and organize for petition gathering. Also - we agreed that all future meetups and organizational meetings will be held at the Brounshidle Hall, regardless of what meetup.com decrees. I do, however, urge everyone to continue participating in the meetup.com process, including voting, and vote for the Brounshidle. We hope soon to have contact information for New York State-wide coordinator Mark Benoit, and when we do, I'll post it here and on the new website, Buffalo/Niagara for Clark.


Be the first to see it.

Preview our new Buffalo/Niagara for Clark website (created with many thanks to Jared Jenkins of North Carolina for Clark). Click the picture to follow the link:


MEETUP TONIGHT! Please try to bring a friend or two. We have lots of news to discuss, as well as the upcoming petition process. We will meet at 7pm at the Brounshidle Am. Legion hall at 3354 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore. The Brounshidle is immediately adjacent to, and North of, Jim Doyle Ford. If you enter using the main entrance, please make your way downstairs via the stairwell to your left. You can also enter using a parking-lot level entrance on the North side of the building. There will probably be signs posted. Hope to see you there.

Online Events today - Monday, Nov. 3rd

Monday, November 3 will be an exciting day on Clark04.com. Enjoy two great online events in one day, without leaving your house! And don't forget to attend your local Meetup Monday night! 1) WIRESIDE CHAT WITH GENERAL CLARK -- 5:00 pm ET / 2:00 pm PT on Monday. Do you have a burning question that you would like to ask the General? Now you can! General Clark will answer questions from his supporters online. You can participate by logging onto: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7703 As always, thank you for your support and commitment! 2) CONVERSATIONS WITH CLARK WEBCAST -- 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT on Monday General Clark will be speaking with students at Keene State College in New Hampshire. This town hall event will be webcast live from our website. If you're attending Meetups that night, don't worry -- the webcast will be archived and available on the Clark04 website for several days after the event. You can catch all the action at: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7700 Your support is vital to this campaign! To help propel the movement forward, check out some new tools on our website: TAKE ACTION CENTER Find out specific steps you can take to help elect Wes Clark at: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7697 DOWNLOADS Download flyers and posters to blanket your community with information about Wes Clark and his policy positions: http://action.clark04.com/ctt.asp?u=1694076&l=7702 And remember, every e-mail you send can be an advertisement for Wes Clark by adding the following text to your signature: Wesley Clark for President! www.clark04.com


Clark's Army

If you have a minute, take the Clark's Army Volunteer Survey.

Analysis of the Campaign

Josh Marshall, an admirer of Clark's, thinks the Clark campaign is losing its focus and doing well in spite of itself. Although he acknowledges that they've done yeoman's work in creating a campaign from whole cloth in just 6 weeks, he's concerned that "the operation is being run by an interlocking directorate of folks who can't be bothered to be more than absentee proprietors of the general's campaign." Later (scroll up from the linked article), Marshall adds a clarification, explaining that the flaws he sees in the campaign staff & structure are by no means fatal to the campaign, "But that doesn't change the fact that the campaign is not organized with a clear message or an evident strategy for winning the nomination. At least that's what I see from where I'm sitting. And this is coming from a real admirer of the candidate." We report, you decide, to coin a phrase.


Clark Calls on Bush to Help Unemployed Before Giving Big Tax Breaks to Business

General Wesley Clark for President - Official Campaign Web Site: "Clark Calls on Bush to Help Unemployed Before Giving Big Tax Breaks to Business 'Leadership is about doing what's right for American families, not giving corporate tax breaks to big businesses that ship jobs overseas. I am deeply disturbed the Bush administration would favor an irresponsible $60 billion corporate tax giveaway while more than 3 million Americans have lost their jobs. Millions more are without health care and the budget deficit continues to spiral out of control. As President, I would direct our resources towards our most urgent priorities - the economy, health care and our national defense - instead of rewarding corporations for sending American jobs overseas. America is suffering from a leadership deficit under George W. Bush. To get our country back on track, we need a leader that makes the right choices for America.' "

Meeting last night

A meeting was held last night at the Brounshidle American Legion hall on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore. It really is a much better venue than Spot or Kahunaville. We discussed delegate selection and petitioning issues, and, more significantly, it appears that the campaign will be opening a New York office and naming a New York Statewide coordinator this week. Better yet, there will be top-down selection of delegate slates and assistance with petitioning issues. Also, we're gaining support from farther afield, like Chautauqua, Niagara and Genesee Counties. For the November 3rd meetup, Jeremy Toth has suggested that everyone try to bring a new face to the meetup, to grow our ranks. New Clarkophile Camille suggested handing out Clark bars on Halloween. The Brounshidle is about two blocks south of Premier Liquors and directly adjacent to Jim Doyle Ford.


New American Patriotism: Health Care

General Clark is set to unveil his Health Care initiative in Portsmouth, NH today. this article outlines the plan. Clark intends to spend $695 billion over 10 years on a health plan that would cover all children, as well as uncovered adults. He would do this through grants and tax credits, and would pass a law requiring parents to cover their kids.


Organizational Meeting tomorrow

Tomorrow: Tuesday October 28th at 7pm we will hold an organizational meeting at the Brounshidle Am. Legion hall at 3354 Delaware Avenue, Kenmore. All are welcome.

Debate last night

The best line from last night's debate was spoken bythe Rev. Al Sharpton: "It's an insult to tell working American people it's an honor to serve and die for their country but it is a burden for the rich to pay their fair share of taxes."

Soldiers for Clark

Woo hoo. Here's a poll from Army Times, a poll that is admittedly unscientific. Nevertheless, Soldiers chose Wesley Clark over their commander in chief by a wide margin.


Don't forget these events!

Please RSVP via the Buffalo for Clark Yahoo! Group. Upcoming Events: 1. Delegate Selection Seminar: Saturday, October 25 from 12-2 Pratt Willard Community Center 422 Pratt Street, Buffalo 2. Organizational Meeting: Tuesday, October 28 at 7pm. Brounschidle Legion Post 205 / DiTomasso VFW 66 3354 Delaware Ave. Kenmore Please attend even if (especially if) you attended the October meetup at Spot. 3. November Meetup: November 3, 2003: Please vote for the Brounschidle Hall. 4. Election Night Rally: Tuesday, November 4, 2003 Ellicott Square Building 295 Main St. Buffalo 9:30 p.m. - 11:30 p.m. We'd like to have a presence there, holding signs, passing out info. materials, collecting volunteer info.


Republicans "Supporting" our Troops.

Patriots indeed. The following quotes are real. They are from real people, all of whom support the war in, and occupation of, Iraq. To the best of my knowledge, none of these people ever served in the military. At least one of them is among the most prominent of the neoconservative movement that got us into this mess in the first place. "I'm about to say something nearly impermissible in the present-day discourse on the war in Iraq. Here it is: The death toll among American soldiers remains startlingly and hearteningly low, not horribly and frighteningly high. John Podhoretz New York Post October 17, 2003 I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war. . . . What we hate is not casualties but losing. And if the war goes well and if the American public has the conviction that we're being well-led and that our people are fighting well and that we're winning, I don't think casualties are going to be the issue. Michael Ledeen AEI Breakfast March 27, 2003 I think the American people are going to have great tolerance for the war taking longer, and they are going to have great tolerance for more casualties. William Kristol AEI Breakfast March 27, 2003 Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many, what day it's gonna happen? It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that? Barbara Bush ABC Interview March 18, 2003

Salon.com: Front Page

Click over to Salon.com to read a good, front-page article about the General and his campaign so far. Go for the Salon Premium "Free Day Pass" by watching a short promo for Law & Order SVU.

Petitioning in New York State

Susan Renzo from Hudson Valley for Clark has circulated two very relevant and important documents that any dedicated New York Clark supporter/volunteer should read and absorb. Much of this information was touched upon at the Syracuse meeting on October 18th. New York needs to organize very quickly in order not only to select Clark in the Primary's beauty contest, but also to select a slate of Clark delegates in every Federal Congressional District in New York State. Follow the links (you'll probably need MS Word) to see the information on petitioning, and a further link for an organizational calendar that would be helpful to campaign & petitioning efforts throughout NYS. Detailed Petition information for New York State Calendar for Organizing New York State


Latest New Hampshire Poll Numbers

According to the Concord (NH) Monitor, Dean is at 31%, Kerry 19%, Clark 12%.

Upcoming events

1. Delegate Selection Seminar: Saturday, October 25 from 12-2 Pratt Willard Community Center 422 Pratt Street, Buffalo 2. Organizational Meeting: Tuesday, October 28 at 7pm. Brounschidle Legion Post 205 / DiTomasso VFW 66 3354 Delaware Ave. Kenmore

Please attend even if (especially if) you attended the October meetup at Spot. 3. November Meetup: Please vote for the Brounschidle Hall. It is very important that we begin organizing for the upcoming petition period.

Meetings and Meetups

Watch this space and don't forget to join the BuffaloforClark Yahoo! Group to obtain updates regarding the next series of organizing meetings.

The period to obtain petitions to get General Clark on the Ballot in all of New York's Congressional Districts begins on November 26th and runs through January 2, 2004. We only have about 6 weeks to get the signatures we need. This will be the most important task we face between now and the March primary. If we can't get Clark on the ballot, getting out the March vote will be somewhat moot.

Although meetup.com is a good tool, we cannot rely solely on that tool for organizing. We must meet more frequently in more conducive settings than Spot Coffee (good as their capp is).

I still plan on attending future meetups, as should everyon. I urge everyone please to vote for the Brounshidle hall at http://clark2004.meetup.com


Photos from Syracuse now uploaded

Thanks to everyone for a great rally in Syracuse on Saturday. I have posted some photos to ofoto.com. please follow or cut & paste this link into your browser: http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=6jiibud.16pkbgmt&x=1&y=qb3uh2 It looks like ofoto makes you join, but it doesn't cost anything to join, it's a great service, and it's locally owned (Rochester-based Kodak owns ofoto). Enjoy!


Syracuse Saturday

The Syracuse Meeting and Rally on Saturday was fantastic. It was a blast to meet dedicated Clark supporters from around the State. Great speakers, great info, and in keeping with Gen. Clark's "Day of Service", we raised almost $500 for Korean War Veterans.

Busy at work, so I'll post more later about this event, including pictures.


Get directions to Syracuse rally from your address

[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Directions to 301 Hiawatha Blvd E
Syracuse, NY 13208-1146


On Saturday, October 18, you are invited to attend (and enjoy) the WESLEY CLARK FOR PRESIDENT NYS LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND RALLY. It will be held in Syracuse, and will be extremely beneficial for local campaign coordinators and volunteers, as well as for everyone who is interested in Wesley Clark. BRING EVERYONE YOU KNOW Send your reservations as soon as possible to and let us know: 1. how many will be attending the midday seminar 2. how many will be at the afternoon rally. A GREAT DAY FOR CLARK IN NEW YORK For local campaign leaders and volunteers, we are starting the day with a seminar, "How to Run a Local Clark Campaign in New York State" from 11 am to 1 pm. It will include experts speaking for 20-30 minutes each on issues such as delegate selection, petition drives, campaign finance do's-and-don'ts, and what to expect and when from Little Rock. AUCTION FOR KOREAN VETS At 2 pm, we are opening the halls to everyone and hoping that EVERYONE is just who will come -- for a rousing, rollicking, roof-raising rally for Wesley Clark, the man who can and will be the next president. To start the afternoon in the spirit of General Clark's commitment to community service, we are holding an auction to benefit disabled Korean War Veterans. The items in the auction have been donated by nationally famous celebrities, from Denzel Washington to Elizabeth Taylor. One of the items is a book to be inscribed personally to the winning bidder by President Bill Clinton! THE BIG RALLY At 2:30, we celebrate the candidacy of Wesley Clark by coming together to speak, listen and cheer. Expect some fantastic and famous speakers. Expect to shout and stomp. This is New York's and especially upstate New York's chance to shine. It will also launch a one-year-and-two-week effort to bring in this state for Clark! The rally will end at about 4 pm. Before, in between and after these events, there will be structured and some un-structured caucus time. In other words, it will be a day full of serious talk and lots of fun, too. We are planning the day carefully, so that most New Yorkers can travel to and from the Conference & Rally in one day. The location of the NYS CLARK LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND RALLY is the Birchmeyer Auction House, 301 Hiawatha Blvd. East, at the corner of Park Street. It is just around the corner from the Carousel Mall, and within walking distance of the Regional Transportation Center bus and train station. [ Yahoo! Maps ]
Map of 301 Hiawatha Blvd E
Syracuse, NY 13208-1146
For more information, see:www.geocities.com/NYSClarkLeadership For reservations - SusieQ2371@aol.com Questions - JFenster@dreamscape.com

Saturday: National Day of Service

General Clark announces that October 18th to be a National Day of Service. Many people are planning on, for instance, giving blood on Saturday.

For those of us in New York State, please attend the Saturday Clark rally and the auction benefitting Korean War Vets.

Here is the website for the New York State Clark Leadership Conference, which is organizing Saturday's rally.

Here is the Central New York for Clark website, which has all the information about the rally.


November 3, 2003 meetup

Voting is now active for the November 3, 2003 meetup. I have added the Brounshidle Hall again to the list, and urge everyone to vote for it so that we can avoid the problems we had at Spot this Monday.

Bush Revisionist History

imminent \Im"mi*nent\, a. [L. imminens, p. pr. of imminere to project; pref. im- in + minere (in comp.) to jut, project. See Eminent.] 1. Threatening to occur immediately; near at hand; impending; -- said especially of misfortune or peril. ``In danger imminent.'' --Spenser. 2. Full of danger; threatening; menacing; perilous. One of the more popular themes now making the rounds in not only the blogosphere, but also in mainstream media, is that Bush never said that Iraq posed an "imminent threat." Indeed, in his now-infamous 2003 State of the Union address, Bush argued that we must strike before Iraq becomes an imminent threat. Once the threat is imminent, he argued, it is too late to react.

Critics of the administration's handling of the Iraq crisis routinely include in their comments that Bush, at worst, lied about, and at best, exaggerated, the imminency of the threat that Iraq posed.

We, therefore, turn to a few pre-war quotations. At his February speech before the Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell remarked that "[t]he gravity of this moment is matched by the gravity of the threat that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction pose to the world. Let me now turn to those deadly weapons programs and describe why they are real and present dangers to the region and to the world."

In his State of the Union address, Bush stated that "America will not accept a serious and mounting threat to our country and our friends and our allies."

In October 2002, Bush stated that "the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are controlled by a murderous tyrant [Hussein] who has already used chemical weapons to kill thousands of people"

On his own campaign website, Bush (or his surrogate) argues that Iraq posed an "imminent threat."

Reports in the Guardian reveal that the administration was mindful not to specifically refer to Hussein's threat as "imminent", so euphamisms were used: "Writing to the chairman of the joint intelligence committee, John Scarlett, and to Tony Blair's chief spin doctor Alastair Campbell, Mr Powell cautioned against claiming there was any evidence that Saddam was an imminent threat. "'We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim we have evidence that he [Saddam Hussein] is an imminent threat,' Mr Powell wrote on September 17. "A week later, on September 24, the dossier was published - with a foreward describing Saddam Hussein as presenting a "serious and current threat". In November 2002, Rumsfeld pondered the meaning of "imminent". "Was the attack then an imminent threat two, three, or six months before? When did the attack on September 11th become an imminent threat, when was it sufficiently dangerous? Now transport yourself forward ... if Saddam Hussein were to take his weapons of mass destruction and transfer them, or use them himself, or transfer them to the al Qaeda, and some of the al Qaeda were to engage in an attack on the United States or on U.S. forces overseas with weapons of mass destruction, when is it such an immediate threat that you must do something?" Rumsfeld again: "Now, at what moment was the threat to -- for September 11th imminent? Was it imminent a week before, a month before, a year before, an hour before? Was it imminent before you could -- while you could still stop it, or was it imminent only after it started and you couldn't stop it, or you could stop one of the three planes instead of two or all three? These are very tough questions." Wolfowitz in 2002: Another question that I’m often asked, is “why act now, why not wait until the threat is imminent?” Again, it seems to me this question has a fairly simple answer. It was expressed very clearly by Senator Joseph Lieberman in the Rose Garden, the day the original Joint Resolution on the Use of Force was introduced. He said, “I have felt for more than a decade now that every additional day that Saddam Hussein is in power in Iraq is an additional day of danger for the Iraqi people, for his neighbors in the region, particularly for the people in the military of the United States, and indeed, for the people of the world.” Condoleeza Rice: The Iraqi regime's violation of every condition set forth by the U.N. Security Council for the 1991 cease-fire fully justifies -- legally and morally -- the enforcement of those conditions. It is also true that since 9/11, our nation is properly focused as never before on preventing attacks against us before they happen. ...some threats are so potentially catastrophic -- and can arrive with so little warning, by means that are untraceable -- that they cannot be contained. Extremists who seem to view suicide as a sacrament are unlikely to ever be deterred. And new technology requires new thinking about when a threat actually becomes "imminent." So as a matter of common sense, the United States must be prepared to take action, when necessary, before threats have fully materialized." Of course the administration argued that Hussein's threat was imminent, in that it was "at hand", "menacing", "perilous." Obviously the word "imminent" can be interpreted many ways. No war critic is arguing that the Bushies made it seem as if the threat was so great as to be unavoidable, but Bush and his crew repeatedly called the Hussein threat an imminent one, whether they used that actual adjective or other, similar ones.


What you and I are paying for in Iraq

According to this Congressman: 100 million for several new housing communities, complete with roads, schools and a medical clinic; $20 million for business classes, at a cost of $10,000 per Iraqi student; $900 million for imported kerosene and diesel, even though Iraq has huge oil reserves; $54 million to study the Iraqi postal system; $10 million for prison-building consultants; $2 million for garbage trucks; $200,000 each for Iraqis in a witness protection program; $100 million for hundreds of criminal investigators; and, $400 million for two prisons, at a cost of nearly $50,000 per bed!

How could Americans have benefitted from their $87 billion?

Shocking numbers from msnbc/newsweek: 1. HOMELAND SECURITY For $87 billion you could … More than double the Department of Homeland Security’s 2004 budget or Spend 22 times what Congress appropriated to cities and states in aide to first responders this year or Spend almost 15 times what President Bush has proposed for bioterrorism preparedness funding nationwide — “911 does not ring at the statehouse; it rings at city hall,” said James Garner, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in a Sept. 17 statement. “Cities are the first to respond in a crisis, but last in line for funds.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EDUCATION For $87 billion you could … Hire more than 2 million new teachers or Spend an additional $1,824 on each child in American public schools or Spend seven times more than the President’s proposal for Title 1 education programs in fiscal year 2004. —“The so-called ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ is underfunded by eight billion dollars,” says Kathleen Lyons of the National Education Association, a teacher’s union. “This administration has misplaced priorities about funding.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- HEALTH CARE For $87 billion you could … Triple the 2004 budget for the National Institutes of Health or Spend 58 times the proposed federal funding for community health centers in 2004 or Spend $7,909 on each American child without health insurance. —“In the congressional budget resolution … there is $50 billion in expanded health coverage for the uninsured,” says Ron Pollack of the nonprofit health-care advocacy group Families USA. “It does not appear that that money is going to get spent … This issue is being ignored by the White House and the Congress.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- POLICE/FIRE SAFETY For $87 billion you could … Hire more than 2 million new police officers nationwide or Hire more than 2 million new firefighters —“Two thirds of the fire departments in this nation are understaffed,” says George Burke of the International Association of Firefighters. “Because of cuts in federal spending to the states we are facing the worst crisis since the Great Depression.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AFGHANISTAN For $87 billion you could … Spend 87 times what has so far been promised in American aid to rebuild Afghanistan or Spend $5.4 million on each of the 16,000 Afghan women who die in childbirth each year or Spend $26.9 million for each square mile of the Kunar region where many believe Osama bin Laden is hiding out. —“We’ve only barely begun the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Less than 1 percent of what is needed has actually been done,” says Peter Bell, CEO of CARE, the international humanitarian group. “In the end it’s a matter of priorities. I suspect Iraq will be given a higher priority.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IMMIGRATION For $87 billion you could … Spend 233 times the current budget for border security or Spend $16.4 million on each mile of shared border with Canada and Mexico or Spend $26,363 on every immigrant who arrived in the United States between 2000 and 2002 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- THE ENVIRONMENT For $87 billion you could … Increase the EPA’s budget more than tenfold. or Spend 58 times more than what the president has proposed for research on hydrogen-powered cars —With $87 billion “we could clean up once and for all America’s worst toxic waste sites and dirtiest power plants and help protect hundreds of communities from wildfires,” says Eric Antebi of the Sierra Club. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- AIDS For $87 billion you could … Spend 27 times more on AIDS research than the federal government spent in fiscal year 2000 or Spend $226,029 on each individual AIDS patient in the United States. or Fulfill the president’s promise of $3 billion in funding for AIDS in Africa this year and have enough left over to make a similar commitment for 28 years to come. —“Full funding of the president’s initiative [on AIDS funding for Africa] would’ve been $3 billion this year. We’re a billion dollars short,” says CARE CEO Peter Bell. “The $87 billion [for Iraq] just skates the issue.”

"New American Patriotism"

Clark is traveling the country this week, introducing his "New American Patriotism" initiative.

In a speech today at Hunter College in New York, Clark will give the first of four speeches outlining his initiative. Today's speech will focus on "service", and Clark will announce that he intends to create a Civilian Reserve, which will focus on rekindling the spirit of volunteerism that poured out of Americans following the September 11th attacks.

"A New American Patriotism calls on leadership that will make the right choices for all of our people; it calls for an administration that unites our country and works with the world community, and it calls all Americans to action in order to make the commitments and sacrifices to meet these historic challenges."

The Civilian Reserve would permit ordinary citizens to register to contribute their talents and labor, creating a "safety net of skilled Americans who are willing to help in times of trouble", without any new bureaucracy being needed.

The next three speeches will focus on the economy, health care, and national security.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration has given the American people a recession, a jobless "recovery", a tax cut that mostly benefits the wealthiest 1% of Americans, a tax cut that, in turn, cuts funding to the States, thus causing States to raise taxes or cut vital services, a war that the administration chose to fight, based either on faulty intelligence or intelligence that the administration knowingly fabricated or "sexed up", a resulting guerilla war in which American servicemen are dying at a rate of 1-2 per day, a war that we easily won, but are now left to "peacekeep" on our own, because our administration was too cocky, headstrong and paranoid to obtain international manpower and financial assistance.

Just think. We're being asked to spend $87 billion of what Bush snarkily called the "people's money" in 2000, to ensure that Iraqis can, among other things, get healthcare. Meanwhile, back here in the US, more people are uninsured now than they were in 2002. (43.5 million Americans are uninsured, up 5.3% from last year, and the highest number in 10 years). Why is Bush sending the people's money to the Iraqi people? Why did Bush take over and occupy a middle-eastern country with huge oil reserves, and yet gas prices are still at record-high levels?

Is there anyone out there who doesn't realize that we desperately need a change in 2004?

How about a President who focuses on service (i.e., working for something greater than one's own self-interest), the economy, health care, and national security? How about Wesley Clark?

Yahoo! Group now up & running

As we discussed at last night's meetup, Jeremy set up our own Yahoo Group called buffaloforclark. The URL is http://groups.yahoo.com/group/buffaloforclark.

This group will act as an old-fashioned listserv: an email to the group from one person will be sent to all the members. It's a great tool to get the word out fast, and anyone who joins can participate.


Meetup Recap

We had a great meetup at Spot Coffee at 765 Elmwood in Buffalo. Although Spot wasn't the best environment for a spirited political discussion, it seemed as if everyone had a good time. It was a nice turnout - 12 people attended.

It's hard to explain just how significant this is, given that these 12 people - almost none of whom knew each other previously - went out on a Monday night to show their support for, and volunteer to help, a Presidential candidate who's only been in the race for about 3 weeks.

I want to thank everyone who attended and gave suggestions and attention. I want to thank everyone who stayed after the meetup to fill out postcards to send to local political leaders. I want to thank Dave Swarts, who gave a great presentation explaining the New York State Democratic Party delegate selection / petition procedure.

We will have just 6 weeks - from November 26 - January 2 - to collect 1,500 signatures of registered Democratic voters from each of the congressional districts that make up Western New York. Each of these districts reaches well outside the immediate Buffalo-Niagara region. (Louise Slaughter's district reaches out to Rochester. Jack Quinn's district reaches down to Chautauqua Co.) We will definitely have our work cut out for us.

In addition, I hope everyone can make it to the Syracuse rally, and don't forget to call Little Rock and ask them to send General Clark out to address the rally, and the issues surrounding the departure from Syracuse of hundreds of manufacturing jobs, which will be going to Singapore.

Finally, don't forget to check out the meetup website, where I'll post the pictures from the meetup. Cheers.

Edit: check out the comments. Here is where to go if you're interested in the Rochester, NY for Clark group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RochesterForClark

Here's a picture of our group.

Meetup -- Calling all Clark in 2004 Supporters in Buffalo, NY

Tonight is the meetup.

We're set for 7pm at Spot Coffee at 765 Elmwood Avenue. I have confirmed with the store. It looks like we'll have about 30 people attending. If anyone has a laptop, please go to the www.clark04.com website & download the video message from General Clark, and bring your laptop to the meetup tonight.

Clark in Statistical Dead Heat with GWB

According to a new poll reported in the New York Post: "Clark was the only Democratic candidate in a tie with Bush, the poll found, although four other Democrats trailed Bush by 9 percent or less. Not only did Clark fare the best against Bush, he was the No. 1 choice among Democrats outright, the poll found.

"But Clark is clearly a real contender for the White House - and proof of that came in last week's Arizona debate, when the other Democratic candidates ganged up on him. "

The GOP brand of "fiscal conservatism"

This new data, reported in the Washington Post should make your skin crawl: "Federal tax receipts relative to the overall economy have reached their lowest level since Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, while government spending has climbed to the highest point since Bill Clinton declared the era of big government over, according to new figures released by the Congressional Budget Office. " Translation: The Feds are taking in less money than at any point since the 50s. Yet, they are spending more than any other time in history. Well, since the Republicans control the Executive Branch, the House and the Senate, they can't rightly blame this on the Democratic Party, can they?


The CB & the CC make nice.

In local news, the Control Board has, apparently, pledged sufficient fealty to the Common Council to make even Jim Pitts happy. "The meeting today convinced me that Mr. Baker, the control board and the staff are concerned about service delivery and will work with us to make sure that services are provided to the residents of the City of Buffalo," said Council President James W. Pitts. "



***URGENT*** You MUST be a registered democrat in order to vote for Clark in the March 2004 NYS primary.

The DEADLINE TO CHOOSE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AFFILIATION for the 3/04 primary in New York State is TODAY. If you are a Clark supporter and wish to vote for him in next March's primary, today is the day to ensure that you are a registered Democrat. I urge anyone who is unregistered, or is registered as a member of any party other than the Democratic Party, and any unaffiliated voters to go to their local County Clerk's or County Board of Elections office today and change their affiliation IN PERSON. If you try to do it by any other means, it may be too late. Go to http://www.elections.state.ny.us/voting/voting.htm for more information

Clark tops CNN/USA Today Poll

Here is the explanation why Clark took so many hits in yesterday's debate. He tops all the other candidates among Democrats nationwide by a very comfortable margin.

The Debate

I watched most of the debate last night, while switching between the Sox/Yankees game and Survivor. (I taped it and watched most of it at 9pm). Clark and Dean took the most hits last night, which, in my mind, merely underscores the fact that Washingtonians Lieberman and Kerry see them as the biggest threat right now.

I think Clark did a fantastic job parrying jabs that Lieberman, Edwards and Dean threw his way. He's calm, informed, and well-prepared. I'm always struck by just how articulate he is.

Lieberman, on the other hand, seemed shrill and it was obvious that he loves to hear his own voice. Hey, Joe: even a runaway train comes to a stop.

The best line of the night, however,belongs to Sen. John Kerry, who quipped: that one way to get cheaper prescription drugs is "you can hire Rush Limbaugh's housekeeper"


Texas GOP Platform

Please surf on over to Calpundit and check out the Texas Republican Party Platform. It's enough to make your hair stand on end.


In case you missed it, Rumsfeld's and the Pentagon's role in the rebuilding of Iraq has been coopted by Condoleeza Rice, the NSC and a new "Iraqi Stabilization Council", which Dowd dryly refers to as the "Fat Chance Club." Apparently, Rice insists that Rumsfeld was consulted before this fundamental shift in responsibility was undertaken, but Rumsfeld has publicly denied having been informed ahead of time, and has publicly bristled at the whole notion of the Pentagon being taken out of the Nation building loop. Leave it to the New York Times' Maureen Dowd to cut right through the treacle and focus on the complete chaos now gripping the White House. Dowd also has a great line about General Clark and Treasongate: "It doesn't help to have a former-NATO-commander-turned-presidential-contender running around telling the country that the Bush dream team is a bunch of dunces. Or a former-diplomat-turned-angry-husband-of-an-outed-spy running around telling the country that the Bush dream team is a bunch of backstabbing lawbreakers who are dead wrong on Iraq." Just six months ago, Bush reelection seemed inevitable, and he seemed politically invincible. Now, it seems like Bush and his team can't do anything right. Now, deep down, didn't we know that all along?


***URGENT*** You MUST be a registered democrat in order to vote for Clark in the March 2004 NYS primary. The DEADLINE TO CHOOSE DEMOCRATIC PARTY AFFILIATION for the 3/04 primary is TOMORROW: OCTOBER 10th. If you are a Clark supporter and wish to vote for him in next March's primary, tomorrow is the day to ensure that you are a registered Democrat. I urge anyone who is unregistered, or is registered as a member of any party other than the Democratic Party, and any unaffiliated voters to go to their local County Clerk's or County Board of Elections office today or tomorrow and change their affiliation IN PERSON. If you try to do it by any other means, it may be too late. Go to http://www.elections.state.ny.us/voting/voting.htm for more information

New York State Clark Leadership Conference

The NYS Clark Leadership Conference has a website up, and they are gearing up for a big statewide rally in Syracuse on October 18th. Here is the link to their new site. AUCTION FOR KOREAN VETS At 2 pm, we are opening the halls to everyone and hoping that EVERYONE is just who will come -- for a rousing, rollicking, roof- raising rally for Wesley Clark, the man who can and will be the next president. To start the afternoon in the spirit of General Clark’s commitment to community service, we are holding an auction to benefit disabled Korean War Veterans. The items in the auction have been donated by nationally famous celebrities, from Denzel Washington to Elizabeth Taylor. One of the items is a book to be inscribed personally to the winning bidder by President Bill Clinton! THE BIG RALLY At 2:30, we celebrate the candidacy of Wesley Clark by coming together to speak, listen and cheer. Expect some fantastic and famous speakers. Expect to shout and stomp. This is New York's and especially upstate New York's chance to shine. It will also launch a one-year-and-two-week effort to bring in this state for Wesley! The rally will end at about 4 pm. Before, in between and after these events, there will be structured and some un-structured caucus time. In other words, it will be a day full of serious talk and lots of fun, too. We are planning the day carefully, so that most New Yorkers can travel to and from the Conference & Rally in one day. The location of the NYS CLARK LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE AND RALLY is the Birchmeyer Auction House, 301 Hiawatha Blvd. East, at the corner of Park Street. It is just around the corner from the Carousel Mall, and within walking distance of the Regional Transportation Center bus and train station.


A Message from General Clark

Dear Friends: It's been an exciting three weeks. What began with a small group of citizens concerned about the direction of the country has now become a political force to be reckoned with. We all should be proud of how far we've come. In the last three weeks, we have: - Criss-crossed the country, from Florida to California, New Hampshire to Iowa. - Raised $3.5 million dollars. - Opened the national headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas, where we will remain centered throughout the 2004 campaign. - Laid out an aggressive plan to put Americans back to work. You've probably heard that Donnie Fowler, who helped us launch this ambitious campaign, has decided to move on. We appreciate how much he did to meld your grassroots movement with the mechanics of building a winning presidential bid. He is among the few who truly grasp how the Internet has changed campaigning. We thank him for his work and applaud his vision, and look forward to working together in the future. We are now moving into the next phase of our campaign under the leadership of Eli Segal, who served as founding CEO of AmeriCorps, the national service initiative launched in 1993, and has a distinguished record of campaign successes. On Monday, October 13, we're inviting early supporters and new ones to come together in cities across the country in a large MeetUp. Please see www.clark04.com to find your local chapter. I'll be appearing via Webcast to give you the first word on our upcoming campaign plans and events. Thank you again for the energy and commitment you're bringing to the campaign. Sincerely, Wes Clark

Inside the Clark Campaign

Interesting post regarding the major players running the Clark campaign.

Buy Gear!

http://www.cafeshops.com/wny4clark. Don't forget to check out some WNY for Clark gear!

RSVP for meetup!

Spot Coffee on Elmwood is the big winner in the meetup vote. As I posted before (incessantly, some may say), I don't think Spot is very accommodating for 70-ish people, but I suppose flexibility is in order. Please go RSVP - let's have a big turnout and show the National campaign that Western New York is Clark Country.

The Clark Sphere gives us props.

Thanks to theclarksphere.com for the link & props.

Clark Campaign Mgr resigns

Donnie Fowler resigned as Clark 04 campaign manager yesterday, but the campaign insists that this is not necessarily a negative development, per se. I'm sure many campaigns go through conflict and growing pains, and since I know little about it, I have equally little to comment about. There is an open thread regarding this issue not up via the Wesley Clark 04 Blog. Here's a direct link to the comments section.

Clark '04 Campaign Store

Finally, the campaign has a store online. Please visit to get your buttons, signs, bumper stickers, etc. Payment is through paypal, so you might want to create an account before visiting the store. The store is located at www.big-impressions.biz/clark/index.html.


President Ramble

Does President Bush come with subtitles? "This is a town where a lot of people leak, and I've constantly expressed my displeasure with leaks, particularly of classified information. I hope we can get this investigation done in a thorough way, as quickly as possible." Did he really say "a lot of people leak"? He's also saying that he is "displeased" by felonious disclosure of classified, sensitive, national security information. He hopes that the Justice Department's "investigation" goes quickly; i.e., he hopes they get it over with fast. "You tell me: how many sources have you had that's leaked information, that you've exposed or had been exposed? Probably none...I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. I don't have any idea. I'd like to. I want to know the truth." edit: NOW I get it. It's that screwy "English syntax" again. What Bush fails to realize is that we don't have to rely on Novak to reveal his source: the source is a senior official in his own administration. Presumably, if Bush really cared about this leak, heads would have been rolling already, seeing as how the leak was reported in July 2003. Furthermore, law professor/blogger Eugene Volokh has already documented here exactly how Novak could be compelled to reveal his source, or go to jail. In his second pronouncement, Bush basically says that we'll never know who gave Valerie Plame's name and identity to Bob Novak. Mwua ha ha ha ha ha ha. "This is a large administration and there's a lot of senior officials." Ignoring for a moment Bush's minimal grammatical grasp, he's basically saying that the White House staff is gosh-darn big, and boy howdy it's going to be hard to *gulp* question all of them. I honestly don't know why this guy gets any credit whatsoever for being Mr. Homeland Security. "I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers," While ignoring the law concerning non-disclosure of confidential news sources, Bush's remark begs the question: why are we depending on Bob Novak to withhold/reveal his source? Why can't the White House get to the bottom of this. After all, it's know about it since July 14, 2003. That's three months, to you and me. Adding a note of optimism, Bush said, "But we'll find out." Bush says: "I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is...but we'll find out." Don't forget, kids: This is the leader of the free world talking. Ugh, I have a headache from all this "accountability" and from the "grownups" being back in charge. (Update: I finally figured out what Bush meant about "how many sources have you had that's leaked information...", and react accordingly. )


Business Week takes a look at General Clark's economic plan and it's a positive piece. Here are the bulletpoints to Clarkonomics: PARTIALLY ROLL BACK BUSH'S TAX CUTS. Clark would only cut the tax breaks for families making $200,000/year and up, generating $50 billion in 2004-2005, and $900 billion through 2013. Clark would use that money to strengthen homeland security, pay for a health-care initiative (to be announced later), and to reduce the now-runaway deficit. ECONOMIC STIMULUS $100 billion over the first two years, including: $40 billion to strengthen homeland security and domestic infrastructure; $40 billion to assist states with education and health care costs, which have been skyrocketing; and $20 billion in tax breaks and incentives to encourage companies to purchase new equipment, hire workers, and keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. ATTACK THE DEFICIT. Clark would use about $500 billion for deficit reduction. FREE AND FAIR TRADE While Clark supports NAFTA and the WTO, he would insist that new agreements satisfy international environmental and labor standards, and he opposes fixed exchange rates in countries such as China -- a policy that would boost U.S. exporters. The kicker is that the Democratic party is now the party of fiscal conservatism. The GOP enjoys voodoo economics - tax cuts & spending increases.

And Then There Were Nine.

Senator Graham dropped out of the presidential hunt last night, announcing same on the Larry King show. Best wishes to him and his supporters.