Tuesday, December 02, 2003


Gephardt Offers Bold Plan to Stem Terror and Bolster Domestic Security

Dick Gephardt today outlined a bold plan to better secure our homeland by both promoting a foreign policy of consensus and inclusiveness and building a domestic security plan based on prevention and preparation. In a speech entitled "Homeland Security We Can Count On," Gephardt highlighted his plan to create a Homeland Security Trust Fund to provide states and local communities with a dedicated source of funding to keep our families safe and secure.

"For me, a guiding principle of homeland security is that it should look both inward and outward. A foreign policy that drives away natural allies in the war against terrorism does our country no good. And short-changing domestic security puts our citizens here at home at undue risk," Gephardt told an audience of police officers at the Cedar Rapids Police Station. "Just as with most things in life, homeland security involves balance and common sense. Unfortunately, those are two qualities we rarely see in this White House."

"We deserve better than a president who commits Americans to such a war while abdicating defensive measures. What is national defense if we're not protecting Americans within our own country?"

"The presidency should be about setting high goals, and then following through on your commitments. Unfortunately, this president's resolve to pass irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthy far outweighs his commitment to homeland security. Tax cuts are no defense against weapons of mass destruction."

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has estimated that American cities have spent more than $2.6 billion on additional homeland security costs like police equipment and patrols, fire department upgrades, and emergency health care preparedness. And those cities are spending over $70 million every week that America is at a heightened security level under the code orange alert."

"America's front-line in the war on terror is not just Iraq or Afghanistan. It's not limited to rogue nations like Iran or North Korea. It's everywhere, including right here on the streets of our heartland. As president, I'm determined to give these police officers and the rest of our first responders every resource at our disposal to do a job that will never end. That's not asking for too much, and neither are these officers."

A Gephardt administration will take the following steps to better secure the homeland:

Create a Homeland Security Trust Fund so states and local communities have the resources they need to keep our families safe. Gephardt will dedicate $20 billion per year to the trust fund.

Establish a $10 billion First Responder Grant Program, similar to the COPS program in the 1993 Crime Bill, to provide money to localities to hire and train first responders, and provide necessary equipment and support services.

Create a unified terrorist 'watch-list' that provides a single database of suspected terrorists. Gephardt will make coordination between state, local, and federal law enforcement a priority, will hire enough border guards and deploy the technology to patrol every mile of both of our borders, and will coordinate the security of our ports.

Gephardt will pay for these proposals by forming a Corporate Subsidy Reform Commission, legislation he co-authored with Senator John McCain. Much like the independent base closing commission, the commission will weed out special interest provisions and pork from the federal tax code. The resulting revenue will be used to endow the Homeland Security Trust Fund.

Full text of the speech
Policy outline and Gephardt's record on Homeland Security
"Many will say that this struggle against terrorism is here to stay. The anger and hatred that would lead to suicide bombings and hijacked airliners is not easily extinguished, and I'm realistic about that. There is a messianic fever against America in many corners of the world, and we have to come to grips with why that is and what we can do about it."

"There are no easy answers. But there are obvious truths. We cannot live in peace by pushing people away. We cannot risk the innocent through hypocrisy and greed. And we cannot abdicate leadership at the time of greatest peril."

Tune In: Dick Gephardt on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
Be sure to tune in to NBC's "The Tonight Show" on Tuesday, December 2nd. Dick Gephardt will be Jay Leno's guest that night, along with other scheduled guests actress Naomi Watts and singer Phil Collins.

What: "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno"
When: Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 11:30 pm ET
Where: NBC

More Recent Campaign News

Who Can Beat George W. Bush? (Atlantic Monthly)
Dean or Gephardt? My hunch is that Dean's anti-war stance would get him a heavy vote in states the Democrats would carry anyway but would hurt him in swing states won by Clinton and lost by Gore—states like West Virginia, Arkansas, and Louisiana. There is not a state Dean would carry that Gephardt would lose, but Gephardt would be competitive in states Dean would lose. So is the answer to the question, "Who can beat George W. Bush?," Dick Gephardt? To end on a note of justified equivocation, perhaps.

Gephardt blasts Bush policies (Dubuque Telegraph Herald)
Buoyed by more than 100 Democratic faithful cheering him on, Richard Gephardt brought his presidential campaign to Dubuque Saturday night, lambasting President George Bush as an "arrogant cowboy." ... Gephardt called Bush's foreign policy "a miserable failure," and said as House minority leader he tried to convince Bush to get United Nation's support before moving U.S. troops into Iraq. "He's hard to help," Gephardt quipped. "If you'd been meeting with him every week after 9/11, you'd be running for president."

"Meet the Press" (NBC)
Host Tim Russert: Leon Panetta, Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, gave an interview to The Washington Times yesterday and said this, "There clearly are concerns about Dean's ability to appeal to the entire country, particularly on national security issues. ... There is concern about how does [Dean's antiwar campaign] play out a year from now? How can you compete with President Bush on"--the--"national security front?" There's--"some concern about whether Dean can rise to the occasion on this issue."

And, David Broder, the article goes on to talk about Dean's opposition to the Bush tax cuts, his support of imposing new regulations on businesses, new trade protection rules, and favoring civil unions for gay couples. How concerned are traditional Democrats that Howard Dean may not be the kind of candidate they want in a general election?

MR. BRODER: None have any fingernails left. There is a lot of concern, particularly among the elected officials. Dean is not a particularly collegial Democrat, so he doesn't have a lot of natural allies among the Democratic governors. He's a stranger to most of the members of Congress, though he's tried to begin to build some relationships there. All they know about him, basically, are the positions that he's taken and those positions make a good many Democrats very nervous.

Gephardt Named Winner of Latest Democratic Debate (CNN's "Inside Politics")
CNN's Judy Woodruff: Ron, who was the winner? Or was there a winner?

Ron Brownstein, Los Angeles Times: Well, actually, I think that Dick Gephardt and Howard Dean probably had the best debate partly because of the way that they performed, but mostly because I think they had the clearest strategy. Look, what Dick Gephardt is doing may not be glamorous, but it is disciplined and targeted.

What he's doing consistently is attacking Howard Dean on trade and on social spending issues. First entitlements, then beginning with yesterday's debate, his budget priorities in Vermont. Basically aiming his candidacy and these arguments at a blue collar and senior audience. Most of the people who have not been to college are less attracted to candidates, reform candidates like Dean to begin with.

Sunday, November 30, 2003

President Bush signed a huge new defense bill that includes millions of dollars for a small nuclear bomb designed to destroy deep, hardened underground bunkers.

Among the many items tucked away in the $401 billion defense authorization act was a $15 million three-year research project by the Energy and Defense departments to create the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator.

The legislation repeals a decade-old ban on research into low-yield nuclear weapons.

The controversial new weapon would consist of a hard-nosed rocket able to penetrate 20 feet into the earth with a small-scale nuclear bomb, modified from an existing nuke, that would go off on a delay - so that it would explode at the deepest point.

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