Letters on the Debate

Friday October 08, 2004

Editors, Daily Planet: 

During the debate last night Senator Kerry displayed a far better grasp of foreign policy and security issues than did President Bush. Asked why he took us to war with Iraq, the president responded, “The enemy attacked us.” He still seems to confuse Al Qaeda with Hussein. When Kerry pointed out that Osama Bin Laden uses our invasion of Iraq to get recruits, Bush responded that “Osama Bin Laden doesn’t get to decide”. He totally missed the point that more Al Qaeda recruits means more American and Iraqi dead and wounded. He just doesn’t understand war. As Kerry stated, the president’s plan is “more of the same”.  

Nuclear proliferation was another area in which the John Kerry showed the president’s failed leadership. North Korea became a nuclear power on George W. Bush’s watch. Also, Kerry charged that Bush seems to value tax cuts for the wealthy more than containing Russia’s nuclear material from terrorists. Kerry promised to do the job in 4 years. Unbelievably, Bush responded with “How are we going to pay for all of these promises?”, proving Kerry’s point.  

During this debate on foreign policy, John Kerry showed that he is the candidate who understands the realities of war, nuclear proliferation and homeland security. He showed that under his leadership we would be safer, stronger and without the huge debt burden caused by Bush’s rush to war without our allies while cutting taxes for the super-wealthy.  

Patricia Francis-Lyon  


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Tonight I watched my first presidential debate. This is not to say that I had never seen a presidential debate before, but for the first time ever, on Nov. 2, I will be casting a vote for our next president. This debate was the first one I watched with the intent of studying the important issues of the election, listening to the words of Senator John Kerry and President George W. Bush, and being able to learn about the different platforms represented this year. After an hour and a half of this so-called “debate” I left my television screen feeling disappointed. How can you expect young people to vote? I am a great proponent of voting. I feel that we have fought long and hard to acquire the vote for everyone ˆ men and women of every color, race and ethnicity. We have come a long way and are lucky to live in a society where everyone has the opportunity to make their voice heard and has the right to express their opinion. People always complain about voter apathy, especially among young voters. But here I ask: How can you expect us to be motivated with the selection provided to us? Walking away from the presidential debates, I cannot help but feel that the presidential candidates are not engaged in a battle over policies, but rather a battle of rhetoric. Every few minutes Kerry referenced his service in Vietnam ˆ we got the point. Bush repeatedly stated that he thinks being president is “tough” ˆ it does not inspire much confidence. The key phrase of the question remains. What is each candidate planning to do?  

Essentially, Bush and Kerry are saying the same things. They spent the debate pointing fingers and blaming each other for mistakes in the past. Neither candidate presented a concrete plan for the future. I do not want to vote for a president who makes general statements with the goal of pleasing everyone so that he can garner votes. I want passion, direction, and conviction. If no candidate can be passionate about his ideals, how can we be expected to be passionate about either candidate? Perhaps I’m naïve. Perhaps I’m idealistic. But in the world we live in, with genocide being perpetrated under our nose in Sudan, with suicide bombers killing civilians in the Middle East, with terrorists slaughtering children in Russia, with high unemployment, low funding for education, nuclear proliferation and global warming, is it not my right and my duty to be passionate about the ways I want to change the world? 

In order to mobilize young voters, both Bush and Kerry will have to take a stand and proclaim their plans for America’s future. We are faced with the challenge of choosing a president capable of leading our nation in the right direction. I call it a challenge because I feel that the two candidates are all talk, with nothing to say. And so I challenge them. I challenge President Bush and Senator Kerry: Stop talking and start saying something! When you start saying something, when you actually let your voice be heard over the drowning noise of political slogans, then we will be inspired. Set the example and we too will allow our voices to be heard. 

Noga Firstenberg 

UC Berkeley, Senior 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Well, the presidential debate tonight was quite entertaining, but I think John Kerry definitely was the winner. He proved to be a strong debater, yet I wish he defended President Bush’s erroneous claims. For the first time, Kerry stated that the Iraq war was a “mistake”. He made a great analogy that the way Bush responded to the war would be like if when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, we would respond to attack Mexico. That is exactly what Bush did with attacking Iraq, and I’m glad that John Kerry highlighted it tonight. According to an ABC Poll, John Kerry led Bush by double digits in who the audience thought won the debate. Hopefully this will show up in the polls. If Americans were even to read the front page of a paper, or watch a newscast (besides Fox News), they would get smacked in the face of the failure of this war. Beheadings and large deaths have been on the cover almost daily now. While Bush’s argument relied on repeating over and over that John Kerry is inconsistent, or that if Kerry does not support the war (which he does), he does not support the troops. While Kerry may not be the best candidate, let us wait to criticize him after we get this current disaster out of the White House. Please be informed and vote for John Kerry on November 2. I would too if I could vote. 

Rio Bauce 


Editors, Daily Planet:  

I thought the first debate good. I spoke with Hawaii resident Ed Siedensticker by ‘phone from Tokyo before the debate; that National Book Prize winner had written a snippet for a Japanese-language newspaper noting that many Americans weren’t too fond of Bush’s foreign policy, either. Before going to Seoul yesterday I thought about the “back door draft” issue brought up by candidate John Kerry. My former submariner friend David Sangster was kept from being a “twenty year man” so the government could save a few dollars by not paying him retirement. I oppose reinstitution of the draft—it’s one thing to have a volunteer die in a conflict which could be only indirectly related to the national interest, and quite another for a conscript to die in the same situation. Rep. Neil Abercrombie has co-sponsored legislation to reinstate the draft. In 1808, Prussia instituted a system of forced conscription without distinction of class or right of exemption. Dissenters were put in mental colonies. Between 1825 and 1855, under Czar Nicholas, male Jews of the Ukraine and Lithuania, between the ages of 12 and 25, could be pressed into military service at any time and would remain under arms for a period of 25 years! Abercrombie is right to be concerned, but he is overreacting. Candidate Bush said in the debate that, if reelected, there would be no draft in the next four years. Abercrombie introduced legislation in 1991, the Reservists and Guardsmen’s Home Protection Act, that would have paid a differential up to a maximum of $40,000 to those drafted through the backdoor. The economy is picking up and over 1,000 military personnel have been killed in Iraq. Harvard University will host more employment recruiters on their campus before next June’s commencement—125—than at any time since the collapse of the dot.coms. I am pleased to learn that Harvard Law will now allow the military to recruit, too—something that has not happened in recent years because of the perceived discrimination against gays in the military. If Britney Spears made a movie a la Goldie Hawn, voluntary enlistment would jump. Allowing more twenty-year enlistments would ease reenlistment blues, too. I am wary of Bush’s promise not to reinstate the draft (”he kept us out of war”; “read my lips”). I hope to get my absentee ballot from Hawaii soon. 

Richard Thompson 

Visiting Professor, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Kerry won Thursday night’s foreign policy debate. America saw John Kerry as our next President Thursday evening. Kerry showed strength, conviction and steady command of the facts.  

Kerry left no doubt he can lead the fight to hunt and kill the terrorists. Kerry offered hope for a fresh start in Iraq so we can finish the job. 

Alex Kaplinsky 

Palo Alto 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I am writing to give my reactions to the Sept. 30 debate between Bush and Kerry. I feel strongly that Kerry showed his ability to lead this nation and be our next president. He clearly beat Bush throughout the debate and proved to have much stronger arguments. He also provided a vision of hope for the future in Iraq. Bush failed to point out that he has made mistakes and offer solutions to those mistakes. All in all, it seems very clear that John Kerry should be our next president. 

Aaron Calander 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Kerry raised some important questions in the debates that I hope undecided voters will think about. Why did we invade a country that had never attacked us and was not even close to the top of the list in terms of ability to produce nuclear weapons? If the president agreed that nuclear proliferation is the single greatest threat to our nation, why did we not have a workable plan for securing the supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as we invaded? When does “steadfast” become “stubborn” and then degenerate into simply “stupid?” We need a president who can think on his feet - a president who can not only set a goal but is sufficiently grounded in reality to develop a realistic plan for achieving it. 

Serena Clayton 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

Lately, I’ve become more and more concerned about the number of eligible voters who aren’t voting. In the 2000 presidential election, only 51 percent of the eligible voters voted! Why didn’t they vote? I tried to find out. There seems to be an unlimited number of reasons that people say they don’t vote. Most fall into two categories. The first relates to effort: inconvenient, not enough time, too complicated, etc. The second relates to futility: my vote won’t make any difference, I don’t like any of the candidates, all the politicians are the same, they never do what they promise, etc. The list is overwhelming, and the reasons are ones we can all relate to.  

Rather then, let’s look at it from a different point of view: Why everyone should want to vote. Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. It’s what makes a “government by the people and for the people” possible! We invest a lot of effort and resources in fostering and encouraging democracy around the world. Why are so many here at home not participating in the democracy our ancestors fought so hard to institute and protect, and that we are fighting so hard to protect today? We should all want to vote, because we are so very fortunate that we can vote! 

Cliff Swartz 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

Watching the entire debate tonight, obviously, John Edwards performed much stronger and convinceful. He understood fully the issues facing to the country and has resolutions that are constructive and doable. 

Karl Huang 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

I’m thrilled that Edwards stunned Cheney into silence: regarding Halliburton, regarding his voting record, regarding gay was beautiful! No one was surprised that Bush could barely put a sentence together, but Cheney is intelligent. Even intelligence doesn’t help when the Bush/Cheney team has done so badly for America and American values. Yippee! America is waking up! 

Allyson Klein 

San Francisco 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

The vice presidential debate was extremely informative and displayed the candidates for what they truly are; a sincere, passionate and hopeful senator from North Carolina, and a hateful fear-mongering bully. Cheney spoke about his plans for the war, health care, social security, and education but has made no significant progress in these areas in the last four years. It is just as Edwards pointed out: a long record does not mean you have made smart decisions. It is time that the American people stand united and hold this administration accountable for the atrocities of the past four years both at home and abroad. Edwards’ performance tonight was one of hopeful promise for a better tomorrow. I am emphatically in favor the Kerry/Edwards ticket and will not be frightened nor bullied into voting for the current administration. 

Tamara Tal 

Chapel Hill 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

In my opinion, Kerry and Edwards will do better for 98 percent of individual Americans. Bush and Cheney will do better for the top tier of Americans, say the top two percent. Kerry and Edwards will deliver more strength, more clarity and more focus in the overall war on terror and specifically in Iraq, returning America to peace time faster than Bush and Cheney. The Bush administration will invest in the software and hardware of war. Millions and millions of more Americans will continue to suffer without health care under another Bush administration. Bush and Cheney are bad for Americans. 

Under a new Kerry administration, all Americans will have access to the same health care plan available now to U.S. Senators. Small business owners will enjoy greater relief for providing health care benefits to employees while Kerry and Edwards reduce the U.S. deficit by 50 percent AIDs will continue to annihilate Africans in Africa and African Americans in the U.S. at unacceptable rates. Kerry and Edwards will usher in billions more in research and treatment dollars during their upcoming administration. Kerry and Edwards will make Americans think about the moral implications of the genocide happening now in Sudan. Kerry and Edwards are better for Americans. 

With Bush, Halliburton will continue to earn millions in profits from trade with Iran, which is condoned via legislative loopholes and by the former CEO, Dick Cheney. Kerry and Edwards will put the interests of individual Americans in front of the interests of corporate conglomerates. Kerry and Edwards will fight to keep America strong, investing in creativity and innovation for the future while battling to brings jobs to Americans instead of incentivizing corporations to outsource to countries not far from Iraq. Under another Bush administration, the rights of individuals will be curtailed by Bush’s federal influence over states and individuals living in them. Bush and Cheney are bad for Americans. 

In my opinion, Bush and Cheney are taking America down a Darwinian path of survival of the fittest both domestically and globally. And they seem intent on proving that America belongs at the top of the global food chain while those with the most gold at home deserve even more tax relief than those with less. Where will this path lead us? Kerry and Bush will do more for Americans. Kerry and Edwards will do better for Americans. Cast your vote for Kerry and Edwards even if your normally vote republican . . . your life, your husband’s life, your wife’s life, your son’s life, your daughter’s life, your friend’s life . . . all of our lives may very well depend on it. 

Garth Bradley 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

Dick Cheney is totally out of touch with reality in Iraq and totally out of touch with the struggles of the middle class. This is nothing new to a man with a lifetime record of protecting the powerful and well connected. He came across as smug, arrogant, mean and defensive -- but his trademark distortions and scare tactics didn’t work. John Edwards refused to let him play the politics of fear and forced Dick Cheney to confront his administration’s record of failure. 

Naomi Quilala 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

While the vice president was much better tonight than the president at the prior debate, Cheney is totally out of touch with reality in Iraq. At one point he claimed that he did not connect Al Qaeda with Iraq - however, a year earlier on another TV program, he did just that. 

Cheney came across as smug, arrogant, mean and defensive. In the horrible event that the vice president has to take over the office of president, I pray that Cheney is not that person. 

Laura Owen 

Foster City 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Tonight’s debate further highlighted the Bush administration’s isolation from reality. 

Cheney’s snarling performance illustrated the “smallness” of a small but vocal minority in this country. This minority (1) pontificates about military valor and sacrifice as long as others do the dying, (2) excoriates government except when it offers them a job or a no bid contract for their company, and (3) dismisses evidence of their mistakes by repeating lies previously found out. 

In times of peace and prosperity we can ignore these cranks. Hence it didn’t matter that the sitting Senator from Wyoming voted against Head Start and Meals on Wheels for seniors. We can make him a caricature and laugh about it. 

But now that same sitting senator is running the White House and the laughter has stopped. Our troops are dying without proper equipment or allies, our children are plunging into poverty and our country is fracturing due to cultural wars started by an administration that has nothing of substance to offer America. 

John Edwards not only articulated America’s actual problems tonight, he offered real solutions. It’s time to send the cranks home and put the real grownups in charge. 

Catherine Daly 

El Cerrito 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

In tonight’s debate, Dick Cheney lied. He lied when he said he never said there was a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda, and we expect your news organizations to make this clear to the American people. He said there was a connection when he was on Meet the Press and during many campaign stops and speeches. He lied about Kerry votes on taxes, voting Medicare premiums, and malpractice reform. 

John Edwards won this debate hands down. He was forthright, strong, clear, and above all, honest. One cannot win a debate based on evasions and lies, and that’s what we saw from Dick Cheney tonight. He is an embarrassment to our nation. 

Now that Bush and Cheney have divided America and made a mess of Iraq, we need the kind of resolute, honest leadership that only John Kerry and John Edwards can offer. It’s time for the all-liar ticket (Bush/Cheney) to be voted out of office. 

Rose MacDowell 

San Francisco 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

The Democrats are two for two. Tonight, in Cleveland, John Edwards showed real strength and conviction -- he was in command of the facts and in control of the debate and a powerful advocate for John Kerry. The American people saw John Edwards as somebody who is ready, if necessary, to be president of the United States. 

Dick Cheney is totally out of touch with reality in Iraq and totally out of touch with the struggles of the middle class. This is nothing new to a man with a lifetime record of protecting the powerful and well connected. He came across as smug, arrogant, mean and defensive -- but his trademark distortions and scare tactics didn’t work. John Edwards refused to let him play the politics of fear and forced Dick Cheney to confront his administration’s record of failure. 

Americans are tired of growls and scowls from our leaders, and John Edwards and John Kerry offer America hope and optimism. 

I’m voting for John Kerry and John Edwards! 

Joan Borame 

El Cerrito 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

When I was a boy, my parents watched Channel 7 News, an ABC affiliate in Detroit, every evening at 6 o’clock. Through the years, the Eyewitness News Team felt almost like members of our family. The ABC nightly news followed the local edition. As I grew up, and started my own family, ABC remained a constant fixture in my home. But this evening, after watching the Vice Presidential Debates, my lifelong devotion to ABC has come to an end. 

This election year has highlighted, more than ever before, the persuasive impact the media has over public opinion. I specifically avoid FOX network because of their shameless and obvious political slant. I’ve remained loyal to ABC because I believed they had more integrity than the other networks. But when ABC aired the results of a “scientific” Poll that declared the Vice President the winner of the debate, when they knew the participants of that poll were significantly weighted with Republican voters, my faith in the impartiality of ABC has been destroyed forever. Shame on you ABC. 

T.J. Parsell 

Sag Harbor 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

The vice presidential debate on Tuesday presented a vivid contrast between the negative, fearful, divisive style of the Bush/Cheney administration vs. the buoyant, caring, practical and hopeful style of the Kerry/Edwards team. 

Vice President Cheney’s main argument seemed to be “watch out, there might be a nuclear attack in our cities so we have to keep President Bush in office so that he can continue waging war to keep us safe.” Whenever Senator Edwards mentioned that America troops are bearing 90 percent of the casualties and 90 percent of the costs, VP Cheney retorted that many Iraqis are also dying. The Iraqis could well ask the question are they better off with a Bush administration or under the sadistic dictator Saddam Hussein, who at least kept the sewers working, the hospitals open and the lights on. 

Senator Edwards also pointed out that there are Al Queda cells in 90 countries and yet we are not invading them. Iran and North Korea possess nuclear capability or weapons, and we are not attacking them. I believe that there needs to be a more fine-grained strategy to combating fundamentalism and terror than trying to force people to embrace democracy at the barrel of a gun and using 1950’s tactics to suppress dissenting views and debate here at home, as well as in Iraq. John Kerry and John Edwards are the team to lead us forward to a better future. 

Marianna Grossman Keller 

Palo Alto 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

It was clear to me that the Republican candidates can no longer sustain their calm behind all the lies that they have been telling us. There is a huge gap between what Bush and Cheney are saying and what is happening in reality in the world. 

This last debate only reaffirms that. 

Edwards had a though contender tonight but even against all Cheney’s arrogance, Edward proved that he’s better fit to lead this country. 

Celso Alberti 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

Edwards clearly won the debate. 

Jason Bauer 

San Francisco 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I watched the vice presidential debate and I was inspired by what Senator John Edwards from North Carolina said. I think that Senator Edwards was smart because he thought of what Vice President Dick Cheney might say and planned to diffuse Cheney’s attacks. 

President Bush got a lot of suburban moms to vote for him in the 2000 election because he presented his speeches in a way that they could relate to. John Edwards’ answers in the debate appeal to all sorts of people from kids to grandparents. 

They talked about the war in Iraq. John Edwards talked about jobs, health care, education and taxes that penalize companies for outsourcing jobs. Senator Edwards said that gays should have the right to be in relationships but that the federal government shouldn’t interfere. 

I think that Gwen Ifill did a great job of being a moderator and was equally positive to the debaters She also asked excellent questions. 

I think that both men should have shown more respect by calling her “Ms. Ifill” instead of “Gwen.” I was astonished that Dick Cheney, in his closing two minutes did not thank Senator Edwards after Senator Edwards had thanked him. Cheney was also very attacking when he said that Senator Edwards didn’t come to some meetings when Cheney said “F--- Y-” to another senator on the Senate floor. 

Sophie Keller, age 11 

Palo Alto 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

I strongly believe that all public servants must be held to the highest standards. Senator Edwards impressed me greatly tonight with his strong tone on the Iraq mess and his passion about our domestic problems that have gotten much worse under this administration. I was equally upset with Mr. Cheney for his continued dishonesty and outright lying to all Americans. Republican or Democrat, we deserve the truth from this administration, something which Cheney and Bush refuse to do, even as Rumsfeld came clean yesterday. The current administration has mystery arithmetic techniques, everyone else, including the U.S. government knows we have spent close to $200 Billion dollars in Iraq and we spend over $250 Million more every single day! Yet Cheney kept knocking that number down by subtracting from the 200 billion what others may have spent. This does not change what the U.S.A. has already spent! He did the same thing with the number of voters he claims have signed up in Afghanistan. 

Senator Edwards showed all Americans how they will fix the terrible mess our country is now in due to the corporate control the Bush Administration has so freely given. From health care, pollution, job losses, to massive tax giveaways, another four years of the looting of our country by the New Century’s Robber Barrons and America will be bankrupt and a toxic waste dump. Never in American history has more money been spent in such a short time, even during WWII! Bush claimed he was a fiscal conservative, he sure fooled everyone. Giving tax cuts at a time of war is unheard of in most of American history, yet Cheney said “it was their due,”most of the tax cuts go to the top one percent of Americans and almost none of the tax cuts are on earned income. They are unearned income like dividends, estate taxes, etc. This money does not trickle down and create jobs. Here is the proof, the richest companies that now pay little or no tax, or even better that pay nothing and get billions in tax payer subsidies (40 percent more companies pay nothing under Bush) these companies have done less investing in equipment and hiring than the companies that got nothing from Bush. The job losses are continuing, the numbers Bush gives are only who is actually on unemployment right now, not who has run out of benefits or who has given up looking for a job, or who has taken a minimum wage job when they were making double or triple that before. That is not progress, that is a downward spiral. All Bush knows is crony handouts that will wipe America out. These people care nothing for America, or Americans, they care for their money and their ultra rich friends like the Grinch. 

The Democrats are not perfect, but never in history has any administration been so dishonest and so arrogant to the people that they are supposed to serve. Considering that my health insurance for my wife and I just went up $2,400 a year and I am on disability, we have to sell our house, oh yeah, our property tax doubled in the last three years, just to cover the grossly under funded No child.... Our company could not get a $50,000 SBA even after 11 years in business with growing profits every year and a house to back up the loan, yet Bush gives billions away to companies that don’t even need it. We had to let 21 people go after an electrical fire and an Insurance company that stalled 8 months on paying our claims. America is in big, big trouble, and close to half of you have your blinders on. You worry about medals that are 30 years old, but don’t care about lies last week or beheadings yesterday. You worry about long sentences but not about prisoners being tortured or held for two years without a lawyer or a phone call. You worry about how someone dresses but not about the biggest deficit in history and the biggest job loss since the great depression. America has become addicted to the fear mongering and has let the terrorist attack put them under total control of leaders with no morals, no care for human life (we don’t do body counts) and no respect for the world community, which we can never escape unless we go to Mars like Bush wants to. Well I am staying here on Earth and I will elect John Kerry and John Edwards and president and vice president of the U.S.A., if you want Bush and Cheney then move with them to Mars. 

Cary Brief 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Edwards clearly won this debate. Cheney looked exhausted and tired and unable to answer some very damning charges. 

Mike Lewis 

San Francisco 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Edwards was obviously superior, despite the lies and misrepresentations of Dick Cheney 

Thomas Werth 

San Jose 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

It becomes clearer and clearer as we get closer to the election that Cheney and bush and this administration have used any excuse for their agenda in this game of Risk that they are playing. We must put an end to this very dangerous game they are playing at human expense. 

Get out the vote to turn this around. 

Frayda Garfinkle 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

After the vice presidential debate I got the felling that Cheney, like the president, was defensive and evasive with the answers. 

Mr. Edwards did a great job, he’s ready to lead us fixing this mess in Iraq and here at home. 

With all the vice presidents, Mr. Cheney, political experience, it was a shame he wasted three answers to the senator’s responses, for him not to even take advantage of the time, he choice to avoid the opportunity to share with the American people his thoughts. That was disrespectful to the American people and was not a polished politician like he claims to be. 

Carlos and Sharon Soto-Aguilar 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

Despite Dick Cheney’s dubious debate claims, Sen. John Edwards (D- N.C.) missed just seven votes out of 1,307 in his first four years in office, During his first five years in the Senate, Edwards voted 1,551 times out of 1,626 roll-call votes, or 95.4 percent. Compared to George Bush’s combined vacation days and campaigning on the road days, John Edwards has been available and on the job. 

In his first eight months in office before 9/11, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, 42 percent of the time. President Bush has spent all or part of 166 days during his presidency at his Crawford, Texas, ranch or en route. Add the time spent at or en route to the presidential retreat of Camp David and at the Bush family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, and Bush has taken 250 days off as of August 2003. That’s 27 percent of his presidency spent on vacation. - Yahoo News 

And that’s before you add to that his increased vacation days and! on the road campaigning this year. 

As of December 1999, President Bill Clinton had spent only 152 days on holiday during his two terms. Jimmy Carter took 79 days off. 

As far as never meeting John Edwards, besides somehow missing Edwards 95 percent of the time when he voted 1,551 times in five years, John Edwards escorted Elizabeth Dole when she was sworn in as North Carolina’s other senator on Jan. 8, 2003, by Vice President Dick Cheney. 

“As per Senate tradition, Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., escorted her.” “Dole took the Senate oath administered by Vice President Dick Cheney, the Senate president.” “Her husband, former Senate majority leader and GOP presidential candidate Bob Dole, also was by her side.” - 1/8/03 Gannet News Service 

As well as Cheney’s own words on Feb. 1, 2001, while sitting next to John Edwards: “Thank you. Thank you very much. Congressman Watts, Senator Edwards, friends from across America and distinguished visitors to our country from all over the world, Lynne and I are honored to be with you all this morning.” He also shared the “Meet the Press” set with John Edwards before. 

I’m also glad that Cheney urged people to where He and Bush are held to the truth. 

“Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted “for the war” and “to commit the troops, to send them to war.” He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry’s proposals.” - 10/6/04 

“Edwards was talking about Cheney’s responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right.” 

“The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Aug. 3 that Halliburton will pay $7.5 million to settle a matter that dates back to 1998, when Cheney was CEO.” - 10/6/04 

“Cheney made a puffed-up claim that “900,000 small businesses will be hit” should Kerry and Edwards raise taxes on individuals making more than $200,000 a year, as they promise to do. As we’ve explained before, 900,000 is an inflated figure that results from counting every high-income individual who reports even $1 of business income as a “small business owner.” Even Cheney and his wife Lynne would qualify as a “small business owner” under that definition because Mrs. Cheney reports income as a “consultant” from fees she collects as a corporate board member, even though she had no employees and the business income is only 3.5 percent of the total income reported on their 2003 tax returns.” - 10/6/04 

Jim Boales 

San Jose 


Editors, Daily Planet: 

Five days after President George Bush gloated that John Kerry “forgot Poland,” Dick Cheney and John Edwards met for the first and only vice-presidential debate of 2004. 

That same day, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski discussed reducing Polish forces in Iraq beginning next January, with a complete pullout by the end of 2005. 

Meanwhile, as Cheney continued to insist, in Tuesday’s debate, on the existence, preceding the war, of a clear and present Iraqi threat to our national security, chief U.S. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer prepared a final report, presented Wednesday to the Senate Armed Services Committee, concluding that Iraq did not have rumored stockpiles of banned weapons, and that Hussein “did not vigorously pursue” WMD programs after the inspectors left. 

Even as Cheney defended his claims of disputed connections between al-Qaeda and Hussein on Tuesday, news of a new CIA report revealed “no conclusive evidence” of such a connection. 

While the debates this fall were supposed to be between George Bush and John Kerry, and between Dick Cheney and John Edwards, they’re increasingly turning into debates between George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the reality we see reported in the news every day. 

Christopher Roy 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

The polls have found widely ranging after-debate results. CBS found that undecided voters put challenger Senator John Edwards ahead of Vice President Dick Cheney by a wide margin (41 percent to 28 percent). ABC declared Mr. Cheney the winner by a 42 percent to 35 percent margin. In both polls, the remaining people believed that the two men were tied. 

The vice president would have done far worse in the debate if he had been required to stick to the facts. Continuing a pattern of misleading statements, dishonesty and deception, which has characterized the Bush administration from the outset, continued through Tuesday’s debate. The vice president faced the American people, looked into the camera and said that he had never claimed a connection between Iraq and the attacks on American soil on September 11, 2001. Even knowing that he had given interviews on Sunday morning television shows saying exactly that and knowing that the tapes would be replayed after the debate, the vice president told the American people he never said what he had said over and over again. 

The vice president did not respond to the charge that Halliburton has received special treatment by being awarded no-bid contracts, which they still have even after they were fined for acts of over-billing and fraud. His comment that it would take more than a few minutes to explain his position was not reassuring. Yes, he has a lot of explaining to do, but that’s not a good thing. 

When Mr. Cheney was on the campaign trail, outside the Cincinnati venue, he questioned the patriotism of John Kerry. Inside the hall of Case Western Reserve University, he told the American people that it is one thing to talk tough in the context of a campaign but it is quite another thing to stand up and fight when necessary. When Mr. Cheney was a young man he took five draft deferments. They were legal then, and maybe he wasn’t a coward, but he was no war hero, and when his country called he did not stand up and fight for it. It is one thing to be ready to die for your country, and it is quite another to send young men to their death when the vice president was not willing to make the same sacrifice. 

James G. Lion, Jr. 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Edwards proved himself able to be “a heartbeat away” from the presidential seat in last night’s vice presidential debate. 

Cheney blatantly lied to the American people on public television last night when he said he never insinuated that there were connections between Iraq and 9/11. He must think the American people are stupid! Cheney’s voting record is a microcosm of the Bush administration’s policies... Cheney voted against Meals on Wheels...(a self serving administration) Who could have voted against the Martin Luther King holiday other than a bigot...which Bush seems to have surrounded himself with. I’m ready to vote Kerry and Edwards into the oval office, as leaders of this country, to clean up the mess Bush & Cheney have gotten us into. I’m holding Bush & Cheney personally responsible for the American deaths during the Iraq war. I highly suggest we imprison both of them for war crimes and manslaughter of Americans. They have done nothing but spread hate around this country ..and divided this country from the rest of the world. 

Renee Durante 



Editors, Daily Planet: 

John Edwards soundly beat Dick Cheney in Cleveland last night. 

John Edwards refused to let Cheney play the politics of fear and forced him to confront his administration’s record of failure. 

The American people saw John Edwards as somebody who is ready, if necessary, to be president of the United States 

Subhash Patadia 

San Jose