Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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New York Times Endorses John Kerry For President

This is the text of an editorial in the New York Times.

New York Times editorial, October 17, 2004.

NYTSenator John Kerry goes toward the election with a base that is built more on opposition to George W. Bush than loyalty to his own candidacy. But over the last year we have come to know Mr. Kerry as more than just an alternative to the status quo. We like what we’ve seen. He has qualities that could be the basis for a great chief executive, not just a modest improvement on the incumbent.

We have been impressed with Mr. Kerry’s wide knowledge and clear thinking – something that became more apparent once he was reined in by that two-minute debate light. He is blessedly willing to re-evaluate decisions when conditions change. And while Mr. Kerry’s service in Vietnam was first over-promoted and then over-pilloried, his entire life has been devoted to public service, from the war to a series of elected offices. He strikes us, above all, as a man with a strong moral core. [Read more…]


Historic Firsts As United States 107th Congress Convenes

Hillary ClintonThe 107th United States Congress convened today following last November’s elections. In a series of ceremonies, a number of intriguing and historical situations have now unfolded.

With Hillary Clinton’s swearing in as the junior senator from New York, this is the first time an incumbent First Lady has also served as an elected representative. President Bill Clinton attended the swearing-in ceremony in the Senate chamber.

As Vice-President, Al Gore also serves as President of the Senate. He has a casting vote in the event of a tie. There are now 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans in the Senate. Gore’s casting vote means that the Democrats will hold a majority for 17 days until George W. Bush is sworn in as President on January 20. On this day, the new Vice-President, Dick Cheney, will assume Gore’s role in the Senate, swinging the balance of power back to the Republicans. [Read more…]


Bush Completes Cabinet Selections; Emphasis On Diversity

Spencer AbrahamPresident-elect George W. Bush has announced three more Cabinet nominees, including a Democrat, completing the task of choosing his administration’s key figures prior to his inauguration on January 20.

Bush has chosen the current Secretary of Commerce, Norman Y. Mineta, to be Secretary of Transportation. Mineta has held his current job for only six months. He was appointed after Bush’s opponent, Vice-President Al Gore, chose the then Commerce Secretary, Bill Daley, as his campaign chairman.

Mineta was offered the job of Transportation Secretary by Bill Clinton in 1992, but declined it because he was then a member of the House of Representatives and in line for a committee chairmanship. He served 20 years in the House. [Read more…]


Bush Cabinet Taking On Conservative Hue

United States President-elect, George W. Bush, is close to finalising his choice of Cabinet nominees for his new administration which will take office on January 20. With only a couple of major positions yet to be announced, it has become apparent that the 43rd President has chosen a conservative cast of colleagues for the next four years.

Bush-CheneyPresident-elect George W Bush and Vice-President-elect Dick Cheney

All Cabinet nominees have to be approved by the Senate, in a process that will begin in the coming week. The relevant Senate committees will conduct public hearings at which the nominees will be interrogated. A full vote of the Senate follows a recommendation from a committee.

At this stage, those most likely to face a grilling and possible rejection in the confirmation process are:

  • nominee for Attorney-General, Senator John Ashcroft, who lost his Missouri Senate seat last month to a dead man, Mel Carnahan. In the past Ashcroft has sought to outlaw abortion, even for victims of rape or incest. He has spearheaded opposition to judicial appointments of liberals and blacks.
  • nominee for Interior Secretary, Gale Norton, the former Colorado Attorney-General, who has a long history of favouring limited regulation of land use.

These two candidates represent the most right-wing of the incoming president’s choices. [Read more…]


Clinton Impeachment: Statement By Senator John Ashcroft

The following is a statement from the Senate’s closed deliberations on the Articles of Impeachment against President Clinton, excerpts of which senators were allowed to publish in the Congressional Record for Friday, February 12, 1999.

Senator John Ashcroft was a Republican senator from Missouri. He served from 1995 until 2001.

Statement by Senator John Ashcroft (Republican – Missouri)

When the impeachment trial began on January 7th, I took an oath to render `impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.’ This oath distinguishes impeachment from all my other responsibilities in the Senate. Although the Constitution requires Senators to take an oath of office and gives the Senate numerous powers and responsibilities, only the obligation to try impeachments demands the swearing of a special, separate oath. While many commentators have sought to mark this trial as a political event, the oath leaves room only for impartial justice. I interpret this oath as requiring that I decide this case based on the evidence in the record, the arguments of the parties, and the applicable law–and on no other basis. [Read more…]