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I watched the debate's tonite and was even more impressed with John Kerry. He just looked more in charge and yet GW was more of the same, couldn't seem to get past the same old jargon. What do you think?? Glad to see the Gay Marriage question come up and also the Faith/Catholic issue. HUGS Chuck50 You didn't get HUGS from them but will from me. HUGS :p :P :p :P

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Ten minutes before the end of the second debate, I found myself thinking "this is a draw" -- much to my disappointment. Twenty minutes before the end of this one, I found myself thinking "I bet Kerry wins this one."


The early polls seem to bear that out: CNN has Kerry up 52% to 39%; other polls show narrower leads or a tie, but none show Bush up over Kerry. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the next day or two.



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I felt Bush won this one pretty easily. I think the one thing that keeps me on the fence and wanting to support Kerry but not able to was/is Kerry's approach to terrorism.


It is so easy to critisize Bush for actions he took and using 20/20 hindsight, but Bush put Kerry in a difficult position when he pointed out Kerry's insistence that he is prepared,willing and able to lead the free world in its fight against terrorism when he in fact he disagreed with practically the enitre world on the 1991 Iraq war. Kind of caught him like a deer in headlight.

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Guest ncm2169

< Bush gave his strongest performance of the three debates tonight, so I would consider it a draw


You're right, Lucky, we're totally out of sync on who does better, but at least we have the same goal. }(


I thought Kerry did just what he had to do to tonite: project a Presidential Stature. I also thought the split screen (on CNN) showed W's irritability once again.


All in all, not a homerun for Kerry, but enough to carry the day (night?).


All that said, what counts is how the spin plays out over the weekend, to influence the undecided voters. Then, there's the matter of RePiglican voter registration tampering in many states. There's LOTS of time for filthy political behavior between now and Nov 2.


When I was young, the 1968 Presidential election was a defining moment in my life. The election this year is far more important.

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It was either a draw or a narrow win for Kerry, in my opinion. Even though I'm a Bush-hater, I have to say he gave his best performance so far. Bush sounded a bit forced in the beginning, but he eased into the debate and he was more articulate than he has been in the past. Clearly he improved over the course of the three debates. Substantively I thought he was weaker than Kerry. Bush kept repeating mantras, he lied outright about saying he didn't care about Osama bin Laden (and CNN is now showing the clip when he said that) and he waffled on Roe v. Wade and gay marriage. (Ironically, that may hurt him with his base, who are obsessed with the two issues.)


While I thought debates 2 and 3 were fairly even, it's interesting that CNN-Gallup's instant polls of people who watched the debates showed Kerry the winner of all three debates. So Kerry can legitimately claim a 3-0 record in this year's debates. To be honest I'm surprised, but pleased. It looks like Kerry is also opening an over-all lead, even if it's a narrow one. For those of us who support Kerry, that's encouraging, but it also means we can't relax between now and Election Day. If the results of this election mean anything to you, you've got to volunteer, contribute and vote. With a massive turnout, there's a much greater probability of an unblemished Kerry victory. We've got to do everything we can to make that happen.

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>I think the one

>thing that keeps me on the fence and wanting to support Kerry

>but not able to was/is Kerry's approach to terrorism.


>It is so easy to critisize Bush for actions he took and using

>20/20 hindsight, but Bush put Kerry in a difficult position

>when he pointed out Kerry's insistence that he is

>prepared,willing and able to lead the free world in its fight

>against terrorism when he in fact he disagreed with

>practically the enitre world on the 1991 Iraq war. Kind of

>caught him like a deer in headlight.



Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the debate. However, I seem to hear many people here confuse war with any Arab leader with the war on terror. The 1991 war on Iraq was not at all about terrorism. Iraq invaded and reclaimed Kuwate. Kuwate used to be part of Iraq until the UN devided the nation in two. Sadaam, simply reclaimed what he felt was his. True enough his actions were wrong, but going after him the first and second time had nothing to do with terrorism. Until Bush went into Iraq post 9/11, Iraq had no involvement in Terrorist activities. Was he a dictator? Yes, but was he in any way shape or form responsible for 9/11 or terrorism? No.


As the kids today say... "Sadaam being a dictator sounds like a personal problem to me." In other words, that was a domestic issue for the Iraqi people to work out.


The war we authorized Bush to go into was the war against terrorism and Bin Laddin. There are several countries who are run by dictators and we aren't concerned with them. Why this one?


I would rather go with the candidate who knows which fights we want him to fight. The fight America should be in is with Bin Laddin and Bin Ladden's organization.

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It's unfortunate that Bush has that problem with flecks of white spit collecting on the side of his mouth. Same thing used to happen with Hitler.


The fact is, if you watched only the last 20 minutes of tonight's debate, Bush was the winner. He finally hit his stride. Maybe it was the expectation of it all ending soon. Meanwhile, Kerry started to look tired. Or maybe he was just thinking that a lot can happen in 20 days.

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In the case of Iraq it's not a situation of 20/20 hindsight. If you recall, there were U.N. inspectors in Iraq prior to the war. Even though Saddam was playing games with them, the inspectors were being pretty invasive, even searching Saddam's palaces. They found nothing. Granted, their work wasn't finished, but they had made enough progress that there was beginning to be considerable doubt about whether they would find anything, after all. Of course, that conflicted with Bush's predetermined world view and plan to revenge himself on Saddam, so he put a stop to the U.N. invasions, declared Saddam a threat to world stability and a sponsor of al-Qaeda (with no evidence to support that claim) and invaded.


The most recent report only confirmed what the U.N. inspectors were finding: there were no WMDs. If Bush hadn't been so immature and impetuous (not to mention vengeful) the U.N. could have continued its work and would obviously have reached the same conclusions as the Duerfer report. We would have saved hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives.


So no, this isn't a matter of hindsight. It's a matter of political spin by this administration of the type Joseph Goebbels excelled at: the big lie. Just keep repeating the lie over and over and over and eventually people will start to believe it. By now even Bush and Cheny have convinced themselves their lies are true. But the U.S. and the world need leadership that deals with reality, not illusion.

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Guest zipperzone

How can any American with an IQ of higher than 50, still be undecided at this point? It's a no-brainer folks. Bush is a complete wacko! Not to mention an outright liar.


And....... How many times was he asked a direct question which he made no attempt to answer?


Did anyone notice how red his face was for the first few minutes of the debate? I thought he was going to have a stroke.


I also looked for the square box between his shoulder blades - couldn't see it. Wonder where it was hidden tonight?


If you are gay - as I presume a large percentage of this board are, or to put it more bluntly - if you are a cocksucker,

HE HATES YOU - PLAIN AND SIMPLE, and four more years of him and his henchmen will make all of you want to leave your country.


One last thought - I thought the moderator tonight was very impressive - he did a 1st rate job/

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>One last thought - I thought the moderator tonight was very

>impressive - he did a 1st rate job/


I couldn't disagree more! Now, I listened, so if he's particularly handsome or something I missed it, but I was surprised several times by his incompetance.


The question where he asks Bush about a quote, but can't cite it properly, the time it sounded like he allowed Bush to trample the rules and take an extra turn to say something nasty, and a couple others. He seemed like the weakest and the least prepaired, 180 degrees from the first moderator (is that because the only journalists left on American TV are on PBS?).


As for the debate, I agree Bush sounded better then the first two, and wish Kerry had been stronger. How many times did Bush call him a liar, and even though Kerry was right he didn't quite call him on it?


Still, Kerry won the debates, and all it does is show exactly how deeply the "true believer's" heads are buried in the sand. Stay tuned for Rove's October surprise!

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The issue of terror is a major reason I hope Bush is not reelected. As is stated by another poster, Iraq had nothing to do with the "war on terror." In its most basic terms, Bush ignored Osama bin Laden and concentrated on Saddam Hussein.


If the question of Iraq is evaluated in a vacuum, there is no doubt Saddam Hussein was an awful dictator. However, when compared to other countries in the world, was he any worse than many other dictators? I am not trying to defend any dictator - I'm asking what made Saddam Hussein so different that he had to be deposed rather than many other dictators.


In the days following 9/11, even people in Iran expressed feelings of sympathy for people in the US. All the goodwill in the world that existed post 9/11 is gone. I'm personally convinced **ONE** important tool of fighting terrorism is to work with other countries, not become isolationist.


The Administration keeps talking about defeating the terrorists. However, there is an unstated assumption that there are a finite number of terrorists to defeat. By going into a country that posed no immediate threat to the US, this administration has created a fabulous terrorist recruiting tool. The people in Iraq have suffered until number of dead and injured as a result of the war. This only makes it easier for terrorists to recruit new members.


This Administration fought the creation of a Department of Homeland Security and the 9/11 Commission. This administration is fighting many of the important 9/11 Commission recommendations. Even with the Department of Homeland Security, the borders of the US are not safe or guarded.


Every report that has been issued has stated there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, Saddam, at most, had a fantasy of creating WMD at some undefined future time, and, the guy was delusional. However, the Administration representatives have found tiny passages in each report to support their position, ignoring the major message of each report.


In addition to being a threat to the safety of people in the US, this Administration constantly lies about the state of the situation in Iraq and what's happening on a global basis. During the campaign, and during the debates, Bush can't do anything except take Kerry's comments out of context and twist them with talking points. To be fair, Kerry has slightly twisted **SOME** of Bush's statements. However, Kerry has stated his position on many issues and has developed plans for the future.


I do think this election was best summed up by the closing statements in the VP debate. Cheney's position is - "Live in fear - constant fear - the bad guys are going to get us - we in the Administration know what's best and will not tolerate any questions or criticisms of our actions" vrs Edwards - "This country has a long history of using the ability of its people to build a better future. We need to build a better, brighter future for our citizens. That's what John Kerry and John Edwards will do."


Personally, I feel more confident of a brighter future - which includes taking actions to make this country more secure - with Kerry as president.

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Freedom on the march


I don't know what is meant by the question "Who won?". Unless you have not been following the campaign at all, you already know which candidate takes positions you agree with on the issues that are important to you. For example, I thought Bush's answer to the gay question was at least as good as Kerry's, if not better: "I don't know whether being gay is a choice, but I know we can make a choice to treat all people with dignity," or words to that effect. His answer sounded great, but it doesn't change the fact that he favors a Constitutional amendment that will forever bar states from approving same-sex marriage, while Kerry would leave it up to the states to decide. Which position is closer to yours?


On the issue of Iraq, I fail to see what has been accomplished by either the Gulf War or the current war. In 1991 we kicked Iraq out of Kuwait. So? Is Kuwait a democracy now? Does it treat its people with equal dignity regardless of sex, sexual orientation or religion? No. We fought that war because we wanted a friendly dictatorship to control Kuwait's oil rather than one that seemed unfriendly. Big deal.


Bush tells us "Freedom is on the march." He tells us we must make sacrifices to bring democracy to Iraq and that in the past we have been wrong to side with dictators in the Mideast in the name of "stability." So why has he appointed as leader of Iraq a former Baathist who was quite happy to work with Saddam until the two had a falling out? In the southern part of Iraq local leaders are creating an Islamic state in which Muslim religious law is imposed on everyone and women are denied equal rights. Is this what we fought for?


And why is Bush quietly cozying up to dictators who run countries in West Africa that just happen to have large oil reserves? Is democracy only for Caucasians? He seems to be repeating in Africa the very same mistake he now condemns in the Mideast.

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I mailed in my absentee ballot for Kerry/Edwards today. However not one question ever came up about our American borders with Mexico and Canada. Bush has done nothing along with Clinton or Bush, Sr. to take control. Some news reports say Russians and Arabs cross over along with the Mexicans. What on Earth are they up to? President Fox of Mexico can cry all he likes, we have to take control on the Rio Grande. This can no longer be a free for all.

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I am getting TRULY tired of the crap about the Mexican border. The fact is, NONE of the 9/11 terrorists entered the U.S. illegally. They all came in, brazen as you please, on legitimate visas issued by American embassies in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. The terrorist who was caught crossing a land border was doing it from CANADA, not Mexico, and he wasn't crossing illegally at some spot without an official crossing point. He took the ferry from Vancouver Island to Port Townsend, where the Customs officials caught him when he began acting suspiciously.


The kind of immigration that comes across our southern border is by far made up of economic immigrants who are fleeing ruined countries where they have no hope of making a living or supporting their families. These aren't terrorists, they're people who are just hoping for a better life for themselves. We could stop most of the illegal entries by liberalizing our immigration laws and making it possible for people to apply for work permits in their own countries, without being put through the kind of hateful third degree the U.S. subjects people to. That fact is, there are jobs for these people to fill. If there aren't any jobs, they won't apply. That actually happens now with the illegal immigrants. The flow dries up during bad economic times in the U.S., because with the magic of modern communications it only takes a phone call or an e-mail to friends and relatives back home to say "there's no work here." Of course, the opposite happens when the economy picks up. But instead of forcing people to risk their lives swimming across rivers and trekking across blazing deserts to get jobs washing dishes in restaurants or mopping floors and changing beds in nursing homes, we could create a more humane and practical way to match up such people with prospective jobs. That would cut the illegal border crossings way back, give us a chance to actually screen the people who are trying to come to the U.S., and give the Border Patrol a better chance of stopping really dangerous people who may try to cross the border illegally because they can't get a work permit.

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>However not one question ever came up about our American

>borders with Mexico and Canada.


Which debate were you watching?


Mr. Schieffer Let's go to a new question. Mr. President, I got more e-mail this week on this question than any other question, and it is about immigration. I'm told that at least 8,000 people cross our borders illegally every day. Some people believe this is a security issue, as you know; some believe it's an economic issue; some see it as a human rights issue. How do you see it, and what do we need to do about it?


Mr. Bush I see it as a serious problem. I see it as a security issue. I see it as an economic issue, and I see it as a human rights issue.


We're increasing the border security of the United States. We've got 1,000 more Border Patrol agents on the Southern border. We're using new equipment, we're using unmanned vehicles to spot people coming across. And we'll continue to do so over the next four years. It's a subject I'm very familiar with. After all, I was a border governor for a while.


Many people are coming to this country for economic reasons. They're coming here to work. If you can make 50 cents in the heart of Mexico, for example, or make $5 here in America, $5.15, you're going to come here if you're worth your salt, if you want to put food on the table for your families. And that's what's happening.


And so in order to take pressure off the border, in order to make the borders more secure, I believe there ought to be a temporary worker card that allows a willing worker and a willing employer to mate up, so long as there's not an American willing to do the job, to join up in order to be able to fulfill the employer's needs.


That has the benefit of making sure our employers aren't breaking the law as they try to fill their workforce needs. It makes sure that the people coming across the border are humanly treated, that they're not kept in the shadows of our society, that they're able to go back and forth to see their families. See, the card will have a period of time attached to it.


It also means it takes pressure off the border. If somebody is coming here to work with a card, it means they're not going to have to sneak across the border. It means our Border Patrol will be more likely to be able to focus on doing their job.


Now, it's very important for our citizens to also know that I don't believe we ought to have amnesty. I don't think we ought to reward illegal behavior. There are plenty of people standing in line to become a citizen, and we ought not to crowd these people ahead of them in line. If they want to become a citizen, they can stand in line, too. And here's where my opponent and I differ. In September 2003, he supported amnesty for illegal aliens.


Mr. Schieffer Time's up. Senator?


Mr. Kerry ... with respect to immigration reform, the president broke his promise on immigration reform. He said he would reform it. Four years later he's now promising you another plan. Here's what I'll do. Number one, the borders are more leaking today than they were before 9/11. The fact is we haven't done what we need to do to toughen up our borders. And I will. Secondly, we need a guest-worker program. But if it's all we have it's not going to solve the problem. The second thing we need is to crack down on illegal hiring. It's against the law in the United States to hire people illegally. And we ought to be enforcing that law properly. And thirdly, we need an earned legalization program for people who've been here for a long time, stayed out of trouble, got a job, paid their taxes and their kids are American. We've got to start moving them towards full citizenship out of the shadows.


Mr. Schieffer You want to respond, Mr. President?


Mr. Bush Well, to say that the borders are not as protected as they were prior to Sept. 11 shows he doesn't know the borders. They're much better protected today than they were when I was the governor of Texas. We've got much more manpower and much more equipment there. It's just he just doesn't understand how the borders work evidently to say that. That is an outrageous claim. And we'll continue to protect our borders. We'll continue to increase manpower and equipment.


Mr. Schieffer Senator?


Mr. Kerry Four-thousand people a day coming across the border. The fact is that we now have people from the Middle East allegedly coming across the border. And we're not doing what we ought to do in terms of the technology. We have iris identification technology. We have thumbprint, fingerprint technology today. We can know who the people are, that they're really the people they say they are when they cross the border. We can speed it up. There are huge delays. The fact is our borders are not as secure as they ought to be. And I'll make them secure.

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