Friday, October 01, 2004

Debate reflux

Okay, it's morning and we've all had a chance to digest what we heard last night. I'd like to deal with some of the more, shall we say, fanciful, things we heard.

The first is rather funny.

The question was, how would Kerry improve Homland Security. One of the, fanciful, things he said was

That's why they had to close down the subway in New York when the Republican Convention was there. We hadn't done the work that ought to be done.

Um, no, the subway never closed and as a matter of fact, during the RNC's convention, crime in the subway went up.
Subway crime soared in the outer boroughs during the Republican convention when scores of transit police were shifted to Manhattan, police statistics show.

Underground felonies in the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn increased by 37% during the week ending Sept. 5, compared with the same week last year.

At the same time, crime in heavily patrolled Manhattan trains and stations went down by almost the same amount - 35%.

In the same question Senator Kerry also said.
First of all, what kind of mixed message does it send when you have $500 million going over to Iraq to put police officers in the streets of Iraq, and the president is cutting the COPS program in America?

Well, actually Senator, you're wrong.
President Bush's FY 2005 budget request allocates $500 million for Assistance to Firefighter Grants – a 400 percent increase over funding levels when he came into office. Indeed, President Bush has already awarded over $1.1 billion in firefighter grants in the last three years, providing 900 percent more firefighter grant funds than Clinton budgets did. (President's FY 2005 Budget Appendix, pg. 471; United States Fire Administration, Assistance to Firefighters Grant Awards FY 2001, at

Also, for the FY 2005 Bush has allocates $3.561 billion to first responders. That can be found on page 163 of the Presidents budget for 2005. Oh that's an increase of 680% over President Clintons last FY budget for them which was $456 million.

On the Iran issue, Kerry said something that I think blew eveyones mind.
I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel, test them, see whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together. The president did nothing.

This man wants to be President? He would have put nuclear fuel in the hands of religious fanatics? Okay.

Another rather funny thing Kerry said was
Well, let me just say quickly that I've had an extraordinary experience of watching up close and personal that transition in Russia, because I was there right after the transformation. And I was probably one of the first senators, along with Senator Bob Smith of New Hampshire, a former senator, go down into the KGB underneath Treblinka Square and see reams of files with names in them.

The only thing wrong with that statement is the Treblinka Square was a Nazi Extermination Camp. That's kind of a bad misstep.

That's just a few things I found. I still say the debates were a draw and that if you were undecided before you probably still are. Hopefully the next debate will offer us some better material.