Saturday, September 11, 2004

Shocking New Photo



What Digby says:

This whole pushback by the right, from the blogosphere to the Wurlitzer to the Whitehouse, is absolutely masterful. And, it should give everyone pause if they think there is even a snowball's chance in hell that any member of the Bush administration will ever get justice for the crimes they have committed while in office. Clearly, the press and much of the public are so willing to be used that it is hopeless. This entire episode is nothing but a pathetic reminder of how easily they manipulate perceptions.

We'd better be content to congratulate ourselves for having integrity because it's clear that we do not get any public credit for it. Indeed, we are perceived as being just as bad as they are. If that's the case, does it even matter that we aren't?



President Bush (news - web sites) and first lady Laura Bush, right, take part in a moment of silence, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2004, on the South Lawn of the White House to mark the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Second left is former Solicitor General Ted Olson, with his granddaughters Jillian, left, and Kirstin Olson, right. Olson lost his wife Barbara in the plane that hit the Pentagon (news - web sites) on Sept. 11, 2001. Others are unidentified. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

(thanks to antidolt)

Rittenhouse Review

Blogging up a storm.

Monkey Mail

I'm not even sure what this is about, but I laughed anyway:

Good misquoting the Holy Scriptures. Rememeber what Jesus did for the Macabbies? How about kicking the money changers out of the temple?

Those two come to mind...

President George shall win, for we are kicking ass and taking names.

You guys are pissing on yourselfs by making false witness against your Brother (rather papers)

Keep up the good work, the whole world is seeing how much you are really idots.

Operation Ignore

They keep telling us to never forget. Fine.

Big Mo in MO

We're gonna take Missouri.

Regressive Utility Prices

The largest Texas electricity provider plans to charge people with low credit scores higher rates. As the Slacktivist points out, a big factor in your credit score is simply your income.



Morning Thread

blah blah blah.


Pick up Ms. McKay's CD when you can.

Good fun.

I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry
I also mirror this apology
this idealogy of sorry
in part of the liberal theology that's leading us to hari-kari
it's like a mythology, almost
like a malingering ghost
as we slowly decompose
writing in the grave of the polls
cryin' for Senator Wellstone and then proceeding to moan
at our own supposed sabotage of the elections at home


For those who missed it -- yes, I'm out.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Empty Your Wallets

The election is about 53 days away. To have full impact, money needs to be given soon. After that, you can go many months guilt free without donating a cent.

Just a reminder. And, no, don't give if you can't afford it.

Assault weapons ban to be lifted?

Another American nightmare.

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) said on Friday President Bush (news - web sites)'s failure to fight for a renewal of a ban on assault weapons would make it easier for groups like al Qaeda to get the lethal guns.

Campaigning in Missouri, where he trails Bush in opinion polls less than two months before the Nov. 2 election, Kerry said as a hunter and outdoorsman he would never try to change the Second Amendment to the Constitution giving Americans the right to bear arms.

Under a 10-year ban enacted in 1994, weapons such as AK-47s, TEC-9s, and Uzis were outlawed, as were high capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds. That law expires on Monday and Congress does not plan to extend it.

Dianne Feinstein last night on Newshour:

Now, let me tell you what I think is going to happen: There is a shipment of AK-47s that was picked up in Italy by customs that was on its way from a port in Romania of 8,000 AK-47s due to go into the port of New York into a gun store in Georgia. It was a $7 million shipment. You can multiply that tenfold. And you will see these weapons begin to spring up all over and the big clips which add the firepower and the ability to kill substantial numbers of people before you can get to the gunner to disarm him.

Does America really want these kinds of weapons coming into our unsecured ports?

Open Thread

TGIF edition.

Fun Bush Quotes

From an interview with National Guard Review, Winter 1998:

You know if you’re a person taking orders it is pretty easy to think back about whose orders your liked to follow and why.

Two critical lessons on leadership that I did learn, however, were that you never ask your people to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself.

I was ready to go to Vietnam if called. I was a skilled pilot. I could fly … I was too junior to get to go. But had they wanted me, I would have gone. Had they called our unit, I was totally prepared and would have gone.

I can remember walking up to my F-102 fighter and seeing the mechanics there. I was on the same team as them, and I relied on them to make sure that I wasn't jumping out of an airplane. There was a sense of shared responsibility in that case. The responsibility to get the airplane down. The responsibility to show up and do your job.

I do have some experience on border defense. After all, that was my unit’s mission.

Power can be very corruptive.

Well I kept a level head in a time that was pretty chaotic.


Novak just said CBS should reveal their source.

Little Green Silly People

One of the new words the right wingers have seized on is "kerning." They're obsessed that the "kerning" on the CBS memo is exactly the same as the "kerning" on an identical version typed into Word. The idea is that typewriters of the time which used proportional fonts still didn't have any kind of kerning mechanism. That might be somewhat interesting, except for the fact that by default kerning is not turned on in Microsoft Word, and not used in the Word Document made by Charles Johnson of LGF (I won't link, you can find it yourself. He'll likely just set up a redirect if I do. The basic info is here at Tech Shill Station.)is not created with the kerning turned on.

Word Doc is here.

To see the difference kerning makes - and it does make a small difference - highlight all of the text, go to format, font, character spacing, and click the kerning box.


BMM says it rather clearly:

The thing about this ghost prisoner business is that while it hasn't (as far as I know) generated any graphic and horrifying photographs, it is a clear-cut violation of the Geneva Conventions, which are still in effect, and still the law of the United States of America. The coverage says that "the CIA" asked the Army to hide the prisoners from the Red Cross; since whoever did this at the CIA is a criminal, we sort of need to know who that person is. Colonels Thomas Pappas and Steven Bolz of Army Military Intelligence who cooperated with the CIA's illegal request also need to go. Last but by no means least, where's the outrage been about the fact that Donald Rumsfeld has admitted to ordering at least one illegal "ghost prisoner" episode? And how credible is it that he ordered this once, but had nothing whatsoever to do with all the other times it happened? That'd be some coincidence.

Bush vs. Jesus

From Mad Magazine:

(thanks to reader j)

Friday Cat Blogging

Georgia Senate Race Close?

Wow. That's a shocker.

More Forgeries

Wow! It appears that a lot of these documents (not all) from 1963 must be forgeries!


When President Kerry takes over, he's going to have to replace everyone in government that he's legally entitled to replace, including, if he's able, the secret service, whose mission now includes keeping the press from doing its job.

If our press doesn't stand up for themselves, and each other, then they're useless.

Medium John Strikes Back


Indicators measure the nation’s unemployment rate, consumer spending and other economic milestones, but Vice President Dick Cheney says it misses the hundreds of thousands who make money selling on eBay.

“That’s a source that didn’t even exist 10 years ago,” Cheney told an audience in Cincinnati on Thursday. “Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay.”

San Jose, Calif.-based eBay Inc. is an Internet auction site where anyone can sell just about anything, including clothing, cell phones, jewelry, memorabilia, trinkets and automobiles.

“If we only included bake sales and how much money kids make at lemonade stands, this economy would really be cooking,” Edwards said in a statement.


I'm not going to spend the day arguing about fonts and typewriters, because the whole thing is so goddamn stupid, but what kind of "experts" in this are are unable to do a google search in 5 seconds and discover that IBM had been marketing a basic typewriter with proportional spacing since the late 1940s 1941 (thanks Melic!).

And, here's the Selectric Composer.


Morning Thread


Thursday, September 09, 2004

Open Thread

Late Night Edition. "`'"

Forgery by Typewriter

I'd have a good laugh too if Dan Rather got punk'd, but the wingnuttery belief that the proportional fonts were Bill Gates's invention is hilarious.

But, in any case, CBS more than stands by their case.


Went to a fundraiser for Hoeffel tonight. Gore gave a good speech, and Mrs. Atrios got a nice picture with him. It's sad what should have been - I fear that 25 years from now there will be an explosion of "alternate history" fiction, with Bush v. Gore as the schism in the timeline...

Senator Corzine was also there, as was Ed Rendell.

Ebay Economy

From Big Time:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Indicators measure the nation's unemployment rate, consumer spending and other economic milestones, but Vice President Dick Cheney says it misses the hundreds of thousands who make money selling on eBay.

"That's a source that didn't even exist 10 years ago," Cheney told an audience in Ohio. "Four hundred thousand people make some money trading on eBay."

Headline You Won't See

"Staff Shakeup in Floundering Bush Campaign."


(thaks to reader d)


Not a new innovation.

He was speaking out of his asterisk a few weeks back.


Typerwiter History:

The IBM Electric typewriters were a series of electric typewriters that IBM manufactured, starting in the late 1940s. They used the conventional moving carriage and hammer mechanism. Each model came in both Standard and Executive versions; the Executive differed in having a multiple escapement mechanism and four widths for letters, producing a near typeset quality result.

One model of the series was introduced in the late 1940s:
IBM Model A Two models of the series were introduced in the 1950s:
IBM Model B
IBM Model C One model of the series was introduced in the early 1970s:
IBM Model D Modified Standard versions of the A, B, and C models were commonly used as "console typewriters" or terminals on many early computers (e.g., JOHNNIAC, IBM 1620, PDP-1). Following the introduction of the IBM Selectric typewriter in 1961, which was much easier to interface to a computer, these typewriters were rarely used anymore as "console typewriters" or terminals.


Stealing most of it, but go read the rest:

And let us recall the extended unpleasantness in Florida four years ago. Almost from the beginning, the Timmies and Chrissies and Jeffies and all the tiny Foxies were unanimous that somebody, somehow, should act to avoid the “constitutional crisis” that would occur if we all just followed, well, the Constitution, which has in it provisions that would have made for a messy couple of months but which, after all, would have stuck us with George W. Bush anyway, and would have avoided giving William Rehnquist one more opportunity to debase himself.

There was an unmistakable subtext throughout the coverage that the American people needed “closure” because they couldn’t be trusted to govern themselves, a belief quite obviously shared by five-ninths of the Supreme Court. It has its roots in the developed sense within the media and its audience that self-government consists mainly of the media’s ability to navigate from one disconnected episode to another -- which is why speakers at the Republican convention could cite both Richard Nixon and Reagan’s dubious finagling in Central America with impunity from the podium, secure in the knowledge that nobody would point out the obvious fact that Watergate and Iran-Contra were both way stations on the road leading to the bunker in which our government has stashed itself. The connective tissue of institutional memory has been allowed to wither to the point where both of those festivals of felonies seem as separate from one another as two sitcoms that premiered 16 seasons apart.

There is a tedious ongoing debate about why the political media behaves the way that it does, but there seems little doubt that modern rightist campaigning and the modern political media share views of their primary audience that are uniquely consonant with each other. Neither one takes the work of self-government seriously any more -- the rightists, because it would interfere with their plans to restore the shine to William McKinley, and the media, because the work of self-government makes terribly bad television. It’s to the rightists’ political advantage to have the children parked in front of the TV, and it’s to the economic advantage of the political media to provide the simple and flashy distractions.

In 2000, as the very notion of an elected president hung in the balance, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court pronounced that there was no constitutional right to vote for president, but what were we fed? A cheap B-movie thriller, starring Timmy and his Magic Marker and Jeffy and his magic anecdotes, and this was as good as it got. Basic institutions of government cracked at their foundations -- perhaps permanently -- and we got a dumb-show cliffhanger from a bunch of television stars, glistening with unctuous reassurance and utterly terrified to tell the truth to us about what was plainly happening under their noses. And it hasn’t gotten any better since then. We were lied into a war because it was easy for the liars to create a television drama and easier for television to broadcast it.

Small wonder, then, that we are in the hands of people who do their jobs firm in the belief that we are children. The media encourages them to believe it, and they encourage us to act like it. Let us cheer the silly meat-puppet from California who couldn’t even make a decent movie, because it’s a hoot to see him up there slandering Hubert Humphrey. Let us believe that an entitled pack of think-tank gangsters is keeping us safe by playing mumblety-peg in the most volatile region of the world. Politics is something the grown-ups do in the parlor. Let’s all get tucked in and pretend that we didn’t see Daddy half-blotto at the dining room table, holding his head over a stack of bills that are dangerously overdue.

(via FA)

Bush Refused Direct Order

Wow. The AP says it straight out. Good for them.

Addressing questions that have lingered for years, newly unearthed memos state that George W. Bush failed to meet standards of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war, that he refused a direct order and that his superiors were in a state of turmoil over how to evaluate his performance after he was suspended from flying.

Truly shocking. Now, why would Bush refuse a direct order for a free doctor's appointment? Weird, that. I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere. I mean, why on Earth would Poppy Bush urge his son to do some community service? It's rather out of character. Why did W. go work for Project PULL?

Even More Lies

Wow. Dan Bartlett told CBS "So he went to school. The Guard knew, at federal, state, and local level, where he was, what he was doing, and if they wanted him in an active duty capacity, they knew exactly where to find him." But, apparently, the Guard didn't know where he was! They couldn't find him!
I'm just shocked.

Disobeying Direct Order

Wow, we have a Commander in Chief who, while in the service, disobeyed a direct order. That's a crime! Wow! Not only that, but his people are claiming he had the right to do that! And, they're basing this previously unknown "right to disobey direct orders if you want to" on a falsehood! This is incredible. What kind of example does this set for our men and women in the service? How can he possibly lead them?

Dan Bartlett explains:

There was no reason for President Bush to take a flight exam if he wasn't going to be flying.

I can think of one reason -- he was given a direct order by a superior officer and it's a crime to disobey it! But, that isn't enough for Chicken George or Dan!

Bartlett also says:

But the fact of the matter is, is that just because they weren't flying the F-102 anymore doesn't mean they were not flying a new, modern aircraft. The point was, is that it didn't make sense for the Texas Air National Guard to train President Bush in a new aircraft at the end, toward the end of his service, when he was being given permission to attend Harvard Business School.

But apparently they continued to fly the F-102 until 1975! Wow, is Dan Bartlett a big liar too? Well, I guess we'd already established that, but I'm still shocked. Really really shocked.

Bush Campaign People - Big Liars

I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise, given rather strained relationship their boss has with the truth, but I'm just shocked. Really shocked. It turns out that Kevin Kellems is a big liar. And, so is Ed Gillespie! Wow, we just won't ever be able to trust anything that ever comes out of their mouths again. It's just horrible. What will we tell the children?

Cheney - Unfit to Lead

Wow. It turns out Cheney himself proposed and boasted of cutting all the weapons systems he's criticizing Kerry for voting to cut. I'm just shocked, really. Just shocked.

More Cover Up

I'm not particularly surprised by the fact that the White House was withholding documents, but I am surprised that they seem to have let themselves be caught doing it. Kevin Drum says:

Apparently so. In fact, the White House has now released their own copies of two of the memos and doesn't dispute their authenticity. So if I had to guess, I'd say that these are copies taken from the microfilm archives of the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. How else would the White House have its own copies?

But that's just fluff. The real question now is: what other documents does the White House have? Obviously they've had these sitting around for a while, and just as obviously they've held them back even though they claimed in February that they had made available every known document related to Bush's National Guard record.

So what else are they hiding? And when are they going to approve AP's FOIA request to view all relevant microfilm records directly?

Kleiman says:

During the 2000 election season, the Bush campaign claimed that Bush had released all of his military records. That was false. Early this year, under pressure, the White House released another batch of records, claiming that it had now released all of Mr. Bush's military records. That, too, was false. Two days ago, under lawsuit from the AP, the White House released another batch of documents, claiming once again that all documents had now been released.
Yesterday, for reasons not publicly explained, the White House centralized authority over all responses to requests for Mr. Bush's military records. This seemed strange if all the records had already been released.

Tonight, after the 60 Minutes report, the White House released two of the documents 60 Minutes had just presented. Were they just copying CBS, or did they have those documents already? And what other documents do they have, or know about, that they're trying to prevent other parts of the government from releasing by centralizing authority to respond to FOIA requests?

Are the media going to wake up to the fact that they've been bullshitted about this for years? Are they going to care?

...Kevin Drum says the WH documents were just copies of what CBS had sent them.

Unimpeachable Source

Sharon's backing off, but someone else was there...

In her book "The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty," Kelley claims that the blond beauty told her: "[George W.] Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once, either."

Sharon, who was married to President Bush's brother Neil for 24 years and is the mother of model Lauren Bush, released a statement through her lawyer, David Berg:

"I categorically deny that I ever told Kitty Kelley that George W. Bush used cocaine at Camp David - or that I ever saw him use cocaine at Camp David. The one time I met in person with Kitty Kelley, she mentioned drug use at Camp David. I responded by saying something along the lines of, 'Who would say such a thing?'"

Earlier, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan told us: "We haven't seen the book, but based on reports, it's obvious that it's filled with garbage that has been discredited, disavowed and dismissed years ago."

But Sharon has one small problem: There was a third party at the lunch, an unimpeachable source who agreed to speak with us on condition of anonymity, who says Kelley's quotes are accurate.

"We met at the Chelsea Bistro on April 1, 2003," says our insider. "It was a very long lunch. Sharon was talking about affairs in the Bush family ... [that they are] very dysfunctional. She said they talk about family values, but they don't practice what they preach.

"Then Kitty raised the drug issue," our source continues. "Kitty, who can make a rock talk, said: 'I know about the drugs. I know that W did drugs at Camp David during his father's presidency.'

"Sharon agreed. She said, 'Absolutely. That's all true.'"

Poppy's People Attacked Service of Bentsen's Son

1988 Flashback, from LA Times

And spokesmen for Bentsen accused Republicans of a "dirty trick" after a senior adviser to Vice President George Bush accused Bentsen of helping his son get into the National Guard.

Bentsen's Son 'Furious'

Bentsen's son, Lloyd Bentsen III, said in an interview with The Times Monday that he was "absolutely furious" about the charge, which New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, co-chairman of Bush's campaign, made Sunday in a television interview.

What raised Dukakis' ire was a statement issued by Rep. Gerald B. H. Solomon (R-N. Y.), the senior Republican on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.


Dukakis was also critical of Sununu's charge that Bentsen had used his connections to assist his son in getting into the Texas National Guard. The charge, made on ABC's "This Week With David Brinkley," was "unfortunate and inaccurate," Dukakis said.

The younger Bentsen, now a venture capitalist in Houston, used stronger words, calling Sununu "a desperate man grasping for straws."

Bush Son in Same Unit

The younger Bentsen served in the 147th Fighter Group of the Texas National Guard along with George W. Bush, the vice president's son. Both men enlisted in the late spring of 1968. At the time, the senior Bush was a congressman and the senior Bentsen, who had served in Congress in the 1940s, was a private businessman, although one who remained politically well connected.

According to the younger Bentsen, he got into the Guard as a result of a chance meeting at a party with the then-commander of the 147th Fighter Group, Brig. Gen. Walter (Buck) Staudt. Bentsen had recently been graduated from Stanford University's business school and Staudt was looking for a financial officer for his unit.

W. worked as a strategist on this campaign.


I've gotten a lot of frothing email from rightwingers claiming I "misquoted" Cheney or "quoted him out of context" or whatever, including weird meditations on punctuation. But, basically what Jesse and his first commenter says.

Define X="John Kerry Gets Elected."
Define Y="We Get Hit By Massive Terrorist Attack."
Define Z="Kerry wimps out and does nothing about it."

Cheney defenders want to claim that Cheney said "If (X and Y) then Z." But, what he said was "If X then (Y and Z)." He may have meant the former, but what he said was the latter.

...ahh, now I see where the weird punctuation discussion was coming from. The Cheney gang altered their official transcript. Funny.

White House Cover Up

This is incredible. After 60 Minutes, the White House released more guard documents. How many times have they said everything had been released? Incredible.

Joe Hoeffel Thursday!

Al Gore will be in town this evening for a fundraiser for Hoeffel.

For some reason my name was left off of the list of special guests (joke), but I'll be there, as will fellow Philly blogger Jim Capozzola.

We're both helping to raise money, so give some through this link! Or this link! Either way, it'll all help send Snarlin' Arlen, voted the meanest Senator, back home where can drink Evian and play squash without having to spend all that time sucking up to Rick Santorum.



Mr. Cheney implies that John Kerry couldn't protect us from an attack like 9/11, blithely ignoring the fact that he and President Bush didn't protect us from the real 9/11. Think of what brass-knuckled Republicans could have made of a 9/11 tape of an uncertain Democratic president giving a shaky statement that looked like a hostage tape and flying randomly from air base to air base, as the veep ordered that planes be shot down.

Mr. Cheney warns against falling back "into the pre-9/11 mind-set,'' when, in fact, the Bush team's pre-9/11 mind-set was all about being stuck in the cold war and reviving "Star Wars" - which doesn't work and is useless against terrorist tactics. The Bush crowd played down terrorism because Bill Clinton and Sandy Berger had told their successors that Osama was a priority, and the Bushies scorned all things Clinton. The president shrugged off intelligence briefings with such headlines as "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States'' because there was brush to be cleared and unaffordable tax-cutting to be done.

Indeed. Heh.


Will they cave:

"A representative of the White House recently called Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News, to discourage that network from broadcasting interviews with Ms. Kelley about the book on its "Today'' program and on its MSNBC cable program "Hardball With Chris Matthews,'' a network executive said."

Plus ca change...

Ford campaign, 1976.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

The Facts Are Against Them

Facts having a liberal bias after all. They're freaking.

Kudos to Salon

For giving Paul Lukasiak the credit he deserves.

What a Moran

Josh Marshall catches Terry Moran recycling debunked nonsense.

Open Thread

Chat away.

Bush Spits on Vietnam Vets

From 1988:

CONNIE CHUNG: The problem, though, would be is if, indeed, made several phone calls or some people made phone calls on his behalf to get him into the National Guard. I mean, did that happen to you? Were you...
DUBYA (interrupting): No. I don't think so. But in those days, people were going into the service all different branches. And if you want to go into the National Guard, I guess sometimes people make calls. I don't see anything wrong with, a matter of fact I'm glad he served his country. And serving in the National Guard is serving in the military. They probably should have called the National Guard up in those days. Maybe we'd have done better in Vietnam.

...and, yes, though he was never called to Vietnam, as cmdicely reminds us, his unit was actived to defend our airspace against surprise atttack and he didn't bother to show.


So, CBS News just did the teaser for 60 Minutes. Personal memos from Lieutenant Colonel Killian showing that a) Bush disobeyed direct order to take his physical (which we knew, but Killian spelled it out) and b) Killian's higher ups were pressuring him to give Bush a favorable rating even after he was grounded.

...Bush campaign response: "facts we don't like are partisan politics."

And, then, CBS sunk back into the mud by declaring that "Kerry voted for the war." Is it really so hard to just say "Kerry voted for the force authorization bill," which contains two more words and happens to be, you know, correct.

Terry Mac

You go girl! (audio)

Reward Good Behavior.

(via First Draft)

The Kelley Revelations

The Poor Man has them all. They are indeed shocking.


This is about right:

And finally, New Rule: You can't run on a mistake. Franklin Roosevelt didn't run for re-election claiming Pearl Harbor was his finest hour. Abe Lincoln was a great president, but the high point of his second term wasn't theater security. 9/11 wasn't a triumph of the human spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation.

Now, don't get me wrong, Mr. President. I'm not blaming you for 9/11. We have blue-ribbon commissions to do that. And I'm not saying there was anything improper about your immediate response to the attacks. Someone had to stay in that classroom and protect those kids from Chechen rebels.

But by the looks of your convention, you'd think that the worst thing that ever happened to us was the best thing that ever happened to you. You just can't keep celebrating the deadliest attack ever as if it's your personal rendezvous with greatness. You don't see old men who were shot down during World War II jumping out of a plane every year. I mean, other than your dad.


So I say, if you absolutely must win an election on the backs of dead people, do it like they do in Chicago, and have them actually vote for you.

Really, the entire Bush campaign reminds me of a bit of Beavis and Butthead dialogue:

Butthead George: Hey Beavis, huh-huh-huh, remember that time I stood on that mass grave with the bullhorn?

Beavis Dick: heh-heh-heh, yah, that was cool.

Bush Lies About Military Service

It isn't the first time, of course. The media continues to mostly ignore the fact that he lied in his autobiography. But, we see that he at one time said:

Right. Well, I was going to Harvard Business School and worked it out with the military.

Except it didn't work out, unless working out means "not fulfilling my obligations and getting an honorable discharge anyway," which, I guess, is pretty much standard in the life of Chicken George.


According to Cliff May, 1000 soldiers died in Iraq because Clinton didn't invade Afghanistan.

I'll donate $100 to the RNC if anyone can locate Cliff May suggesting, at the time, that Clinton do anything of the kind.

...okay, May didn't quite say what I said. Here's the transcript:

KAMBER: Well, again, you know, I'm not one that really wants to sit here and certainly not gloat. It's a sad day for America. I don't care who is president to have lost one life, ten lives, 100 lives and now 1,000 lives. It's a very sad day.

Seven thousand plus injured and more importantly no end in sight for this. You know hopefully these young men and women haven't died in vain but at this point we don't know. There is no plan to get out of Iraq, to stabilize the country in the way that was promised to us.

And it's a very sad day for America.

HEMMER: Answers, Cliff?

MAY: Yes, it's terrible but we've never fought a war in which there wasn't loss of life. If we'd gone into Afghanistan in the 1990s we probably would have lost this many lives but we would have prevented 9/11 and we would have killed al Qaeda long before it became the menace it has become. If you believe that this is a real war fighting and that the war on terrorism and the totalitarian ideologies behind terrorism is being fought in Iraq as much as anywhere else then you understand we have to do this and we'll be there for the duration.

If you don't think so, if you think that Iraq has nothing to do with it and I disagree with that and I think Senator Kerry disagrees with that view, then obviously you are very skeptical of what we're doing in Iraq. But what are you saying that it's 1,000 lives and if we get to 2,000 lives we're going to surrender, we're going to give up, we're going to abandon the Iraqis?

A war is a terrible thing but we're at war.

So, he's arguing that if Clinton had invaded Afghanistan then the cost/benefit (1000 soldiers + $X < 3000 lives + $X on 9/11) would have justified it.

But, my offer on May stands. $100 to the RNC if anyone can find May saying Clinton should invade Afghanistan during his presidency. I'll even do $25 if anyone can find May discussing al Qaeda or bin Laden as a genuine threat during that time. You'd think that one would be easy.

What was May doing in the 90s? Arguing that we should invade... yep, you guessed it... Iraq!

Chicken George and the Media

So, Bush is scared to face questions by regular folks because some of them may come from "partisan" people. What does this tell us?

First, it reaffirms what we know - that his audiences and their questions are pre-screened.

Second, it reaffirms that Chicken George is indeed a chicken, frightened of the people he's supposed to govern.

And, finally, it tells us that Chicken George is scared the people will ask him tougher questions than the press corps will.

Serious Scrutiny

It's nice to hear the networks will subject the Kelley book to "serious scrutiny." One would hope that would be standard practice. But, of course, it isn't standard practice -- it's the Bush administration special.

Bush Fell Short On Duty At Guard

Finally the Globe comes out and says what we all know:

In February, when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush's military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

But Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice during his Guard service -- first when he joined in May 1968, and again before he transferred out of his unit in mid-1973 to attend Harvard Business School -- Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty.

He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show. The 1973 document has been overlooked in news media accounts. The 1968 document has received scant notice.

On July 30, 1973, shortly before he moved from Houston to Cambridge, Bush signed a document that declared, ''It is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months. . . " Under Guard regulations, Bush had 60 days to locate a new unit.

But Bush never signed up with a Boston-area unit. In 1999, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett told the Washington Post that Bush finished his six-year commitment at a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit after he left Houston. Not so, Bartlett now concedes. ''I must have misspoke," Bartlett, who is now the White House communications director, said in a recent interview.

Well, now that we've, you know, determined Bartlett is a goddamn liar we can place all of his statements in the "to be verified" column.

...John Byrne of the Raw Story writes in:

Chalk another one up for the bloggers.

Finally the mainstream media gives weight to what RAW STORY reported Aug 1, that President George W. Bush failed to adequately perform his service to the National Guard and was effectively absent without leave. The Globe story, which quotes Reagan Asst. Defense secretary at length, was RAW STORY’s primary source in their original Aug. 1 story. I actually personally called the story into the Globe the first week of August, and the following week, the Globe reporter who wrote their new ‘exclusive’ stopped returning my calls.

Sadly, neither RAW STORY nor, more importantly, Paul Lukasiak, the Philadelphia researcher who invested five months of his life doing the research on which the Globe story is based, are not mentioned. But everyone who’s been paying attention to the story knows who reported it first. Just thought you might throw in a link to our original story if/when you post the Globe link.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Born Again and Again

As the Karen Hughes approved story goes, Bush found Jesus in 1986, was born again, and thus everything before that is irrelevant. It's rather similiar to 9/11. You know, "being born again changed everything." "9/11 changed everything." Both provide a way for Bush to not actually take responsibility for anything he did before those moments.

If the Kelley/Sharon Bush allegations are true, then Bush was snorting coke in Camp David after he supposedly turned his life around with the help of religion. And, just because Sharon Bush is a wee bit pissed off that her former husband, the president's brother, got herpes from whores in Asia, is no reason to discount what she says...

Big Mo Is Ours

Onward to victory.

Minitrue Sullivan

Not to beat a dead horse which no one much cares about anyway, but I was a bit puzzled earlier when I was having some trouble hunting down a particular story with a mention of Sullivan's 5th column nonsense. A reader reminds me why -- Sullivan, as he tends to do, edited the article he had publishsed in the Times of London before posting it in his "best of" section on his website. On his site:
The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead - and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column.

Original quote:
The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead -and may well mount a fifth column.

The former at least has one little toe in the land of metaphor, the latter doesn't. Sullivan literally and explicitly suggested that the "decadent Left" and their soulmates, Muslims advocating theocracy, would join hand in hand.

Lies and The Lying Liars

Will Bunch discovers another Kerry attacker is full of it.

He also made some interesting claims about his resume. The one that caught the eye of Campaign Extra! was that he'd been an "investigative reporter" for New York Newsday. We worked at Newsday during all of the New York edition's 10-year run, and were in the NY newsroom for five of them. The name of Stephen Marks didn't ring any bells. It also didn't get any valid hits on a Nexis search of the Newsday data base.

Marks claims "he has also been a press secretary in GOP campaigns (including Jeb Bush's bid for governor in 1994)." But if he was a press spokesman, he must have been a very soft-spoken one, because again there were no Nexis hits for Marks and the Jeb Bush campaign. So then Campaign Extra! tracked down the man who really was Jeb Bush's 1994 press secretary, Florida political consultant Cory Tilley. Here's some of what he told us in an email:

"I have to admit -- it has been 10 years so I guess I could have met Mr. Marks --- but I honestly have no memory of him at all -- and as far as I know he did not work on Governor Bush's 1994 campaign. I was his Press Secretary -- and since we had an unusually small staff -- the only spokesperson." Tilley went on to say it's possible that Marks could have been a county-level spokesman, saying "I am searching for some explanation."

What a loser.

Pinning the Blame


fact, the commission gives a devastating picture of the chaos within the Bush administration on the morning of the attacks, when the President famously remained in the Florida classroom for some five to seven minutes (according to the report) after learning of the second attack on the World Trade Center. But this is just one of several examples that morning of questionable judgment on the part of the President, as well as of the officials traveling with him, including his chief of staff, Andrew Card, and his political mentor, Karl Rove. Bush told the commission that he attributed the first crash, which he learned of before he entered the school classroom, to "pilot error," but this seems strange, since it is unlikely that a pilot would accidentally stray into a very tall, prominent building in a highly controlled air space on a clear autumn day. Subtly but damningly, the report makes it clear that after Bush left the classroom, "the focus was on the President's statement to the nation"—his "message"—rather than on taking charge of the nation's response to the attacks.

The President didn't convene a meeting of his National Security Council until after all of the planes had crashed. And though the chain of command for military actions runs from the president to the secretary of defense, Bush didn't call Rumsfeld for nearly an hour after the second tower was hit, though more than a half-hour lapsed between the crash into the second tower in New York and the attack on the Pentagon. Morever, despite the established chain of command, Bush in that call didn't discuss with Rumsfeld the authorization to shoot down planes. Astonishingly, according to information the commission received between the writing of the staff reports and the final report, the secretary of defense, upon learning of the two attacks in New York, simply returned to the work he had already been doing in his Pentagon office.

The White House, I was told, pressed for two things about these hours to be included in the final report. First, it wanted the commission to publish Bush's statement, as it did, that he remained in the classroom because he "felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening"—though the fact that a calamity had taken place wasn't exactly a secret. Second, the White House wanted the report to include Libby's description of Cheney's very quick decision—"in about the time it takes a batter to decide to swing"—that United Flight 93, which was believed to be headed toward Washington, should be shot down. Some commissioners found this description hardly flattering, but at the Republicans' insistence it remained in the final report.

The White House was apparently so upset by the staff report's account of Cheney's deciding on his own to give the order to shoot down the planes that it overlooked the statement in another staff report, presented at the same time, that though there had been "contacts" between Iraq and al-Qaeda—involving al-Qaeda representatives seeking help from Iraq but not receiving it—"they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship."

Once it received prominent attention in the press, this clear contradiction of one of the administration's principal arguments for going to war— which had been repeated only two days earlier by Cheney—could not be left unchallenged by the White House. Bush said that the staff report validated his claims of "ties" between Saddam and al-Qaeda. In a television interview the day after the staff report was published, Cheney attacked the press for reporting accurately what the commission had said. (One commissioner, Jim Thompson, made similar comments on Bill O'Reilly's show.) In the final report, the commission said there had been no "collaborative operational relationship." One commissioner told me the word "operational" was added for clarity; another said that it was intended to underscore the fact that Bush's and Cheney's assertions were wrong. In announcing on August 2 his proposals for acting on the commission's recommendations, Bush, ignoring the language of the report, repeated his vague claim that Saddam Hussein "had terrorist ties."

Big Time

Dick says put us back into office or the terrorists will win:

It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.

I can't be the only one who remembers what happened the last time those two were put into office.



Texans for Truth

True patriots, each and every one.

(thanks to the Other Froomkin), who shouldn't be confused with Froomkin.

Lime Rickey

You would think that a media whore
Would know what went down before.
This is a fucking reprise
Of the British demise
In their own little Middle East war.

Who Cares What Andrew Sullivan Thinks?

One annoying habit of my liberal brethren in the blogosphere is to seize on any harsh denunciation of the Bush administration by Andrew Sullivan as a breath of fresh air, or something. Look, there are moderates and open minded Republicans whose opinions we can respect and whose opposition to the Bush administration is more than welcome, but Andrew Sullivan is not one of those people. Andrew Sullivan is one of those people who, as Charles Pierce has suggested, should simply be shunned by all decent people.

In the immediate aftermath of September 11th, Sullivan wrote this:

The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead - and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column.

This is something he's so proud of that he's included it in the "greatest hits" section of his blog.

Sullivan was literally concerned that the "decadent Left" was plotting treason against the country, desiring to aid and abet terrorists. And, with this began the mission by armchair warriors everywhere to do what they imagined was their duty - to hunt down and destroy anyone who was insufficiently enthusiastic about whatever the latest Bush administration policy was. This warblogger mission was, in their eyes, a noble mission. At least as noble as, say, enlisting. Thus began the process of the marginalization of anyone who would seriously question the course of this "war on terror." Disagreement with the Bush administration became disagreement with "America." People who were "anti Bush" became "anti America" and "pro terrorist."

You reap what you sow. If the patriotically correct police had been a bit more concerned with the actual battle against terrorism, instead of whatever Susan Sontag wrote that week, they may have noticed that the administration was diverting money and resources away from Afghanistan and towards Iraq. They may have noticed that the desire to go to war in Iraq - something the warbloggers such as Sullivan who, having been disappointed by the premature ejaculation of the conflict in Afghanistan eagerly joined - would ensure that their first pet war would be a disaster both for us and for the people of Afghanistan.

Then we got to pet war two. Sullivan and ilk called us appeasers. Compared us to Chamberlain. Said we were "objectively pro-Saddam." The 101st Fighting Keyboarders had their second mission - to take us to war in Iraq. Let's remember the climate they helped foster. Remember the shit-storm which erupted when Natalie Maines said the following:

So you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.

If their fans hate them for that, fine. But this attitude was mainstreamed by the media, as if such a statement was truly outside the bounds of polite discourse. This culminated in the ridiculuous Diane Sawyer interview. Oddly, Maines actually hadn't said a damn thing about Iraq, but in that climate Iraq was everything.

Once again, if we hadn't been living in that climate, nursed by Sullivan and propagated by our mainstream media, we may have had more people asking tough questions about Afghanistan. Asking tough questions about the reasons for war. Asking tough questions about the disastrous handling of post-Saddam Iraq.

None of these things concerned Sullivan. His mission was to tar dissenters as treasonous supporters of dictators.

So, who the fuck cares what Andrew Sullivan thinks about anything?

...In response to Matthew, it isn't all people who have come around that I object to (although, I'm admittedly a bit harsh on them at times if they're still up to the same old crap), it's McCarthyite posers I object to.

There's a difference between waging and winning arguments on their merits, and trying to monopolize the discourse. Even as Andy criticizes Bush, he's still doing it in such a way which implies that only He and His Kind have have the right to criticize Bush and only they are doing it "honestly," or "appropriately," or whatever. It's just a more subtle version of O'Reilly's "I'm a non-partisan independent and you should just SHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUPSHUTUP."

998 999


History repeats.

White House Child Sex Ring

Of all the stories thrown down the memory hole from the era of Poppy, this one was always the weirdest. Who could imagine this headline in the Washington Times?

Here are links to all the stories. Just weird.

Come See the President

President Gore, that is. Gore's doing a fundraiser for Hoeffel.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Late Night

Chat away.

Could it Be?

Count this as unconfirmed, but it sure is a funny possibility...

(oops, please click link again. Previous one, while funny, was not the point of the post...)

The Secret is Out

Michael "It's too damn hard to include the accents" Berube is actually Roger Simon!


Pay a visit if you haven't recently.

Tomorrow's going to be a big day.


This is classic (windows media video).

Bad George

Coke at Camp David? Shocking.

GEORGE W Bush snorted cocaine at Camp David, a new book claims.

His wife Laura also allegedly tried cannabis in her youth.

Author Kitty Kelley says in her biography The Family: The Real Story of the Bush Dynasty, that the US President first used coke at university in the mid-1960s.

She quotes his former sister-in-law Sharon Bush who claims: "Bush did coke at Camp David when his father was President, and not just once either."

Other acquaintances allege that as a 26-year-old National Guard, Bush "liked to sneak out back for a joint or into the bathroom for a line of cocaine".

Right under Poppy's nose, too. Here's what he had to say about the whole thing:

I yearn for a greater tolerance, an easy-goingness about each other’s attitudes and way of life. There are few clear areas in which we as a society must rise up united and express our intolerance. The most obvious now is drugs. And when that first cocaine was smuggled in on a ship, it may as well have been a deadly bacteria, so much has it hurt the body, the soul of our country. And there is much to be done and to be said, but take my word for it: This scourge will stop.
Source: Inaugural Address Jan 20, 1989

Better Poll News

52-45 "likely" voter, 49-48 registered. Both within MOE.

Open thread.

Kerry Slams 'Wrong War in the Wrong Place'.



Say hello to the Shrill Blog, keeping tabs on all things shrill. I have to say I'd managed to miss this quote by Tommy Franks, about Douglas Feith:

I have to deal with the fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth almost every day.

Now that's shrill!

Failing Upwards

Sully Watch gives us the latest on Ruth Shalit.

Is there no end to the rewards for failure and misconduct by the good-schooled and well-connected, however minor?


oy oy oy


Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Hate Machine

RNC delegate kicks protester when she was on the ground.

Saddam On Trial

Hey, it's soon. I wonder if the press will give this more or less attention than, say, the Milosevic trial.

The Bush Abortion

Tbogg reminds me of this story, which I'd forgotten. Or, specfically, I'd forgotten that CNN had actually scrubbed its own transcript of the offending passage.

Compare and contrast with the press treatment of the swift boat liars.

Swift Boat Slaughterer of Innocents


Now the right had seized upon the Vietnam War, too -- specifically the role, in uniform and out, of Sen. John Kerry. And to Means, it seemed just as wrong.

Means, a 55-year-old investigator for several Bakersfield law firms, was particularly annoyed by the words of one retired admiral. Roy F. "Latch" Hoffman, one of the co-founders of the pro-George W. Bush group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, had publicly criticized Kerry, a former Swift boat commander, for having brought back stories about alleged war crimes by U.S. forces -- often carried out, Kerry said in 1971, "with the full awareness of officers at all levels."

Seemed to him, Means said, his own Swift boat crew had come close to committing a war crime themselves one day. A senior officer, hitching a ride up the coast aboard their Swift boat, had ordered the crew to fire on a small group of unarmed Vietnamese fishermen working their nets in unrestricted waters, Means said. The boat's commanding officer had refused to comply.

Was that the way the boat's commander remembered the incident too, all these years later? Means had to know.

So he got on the Internet and hunted down Thomas W.L. "Tad" McCall, the retired Navy captain who'd commanded Means' boat, PCF 88, as a newly minted ensign. Means called him.

Not only did McCall remember the day in question, and that confrontation off the coast of South Vietnam, he remembered the name of the officer who had given the command to shoot: "Latch" Hoffman himself, then a Navy captain in charge of the entire Swift boat task force in Vietnam.

The next morning Means told me the whole story. Then I called McCall myself.

McCall, now 60, remembers March 14, 1969, because it was his 25th birthday. He'd only been running a Swift boat for a few weeks, having arrived in Vietnam in January 1969, the same month as Means.

(thanks to reader k)


In 2000, the Bush campaign made a big deal about answering-without-answering questions about Bush's past cocaine usage by having him say that he could have passed the WH background check during his father's administration. This would have meant, according to his assertion about what that background check entailed, that he hadn't done cocaine since 1978, though he strangely stated that it meant that he hadn't done anything bad since 1974. All these inconsistencies served to deflect the press from the real issue, while they were chasing around trying to parse what the hell was being claimed. See Bushwatch for full details.

From what I understand, what we'll be hearing soon is not only would Bush not have passed the WH background check at the time -- he also wouldn't have been in compliance with federal drug laws at the time.

As they say, developing...

Open Thread

Hurricane Ivan edition.

More Marshall Plan

The thing about the Marshall Plan was that it wasn't just about throwing money into reconstruction. Though it was that, too (little known fact: Britain was the recipient of the most Marshall Plan dollars). But, its success involved serious people thinking hard about how to take the existing European societies, taking into account the various stakeholders and the conflicts between them, and figuring out how to fashion a transition to the modern mixed economies they still possess today. It didn't involve a bunch of Heritage/AEI flunkies cruising in and trying to declare by fiat some sort of flat tax privatized parody of a libertarian paradise.

Lies and the Lying Liars


Painting himself as the noble agent for "the transformational power of liberty" abroad, he said "there have always been doubters" when America uses its "strength" to "advance freedom": "In 1946, 18 months after the fall of Berlin to Allied forces, a journalist in The New York Times wrote this: 'Germany is a land in an acute stage of economic, political and moral crisis. European capitals are frightened. In every military headquarters, one meets alarmed officials doing their utmost to deal with the consequences of the occupation policy that they admit has failed.' End quote. Maybe that same person's still around, writing editorials."

She isn't. Anne O'Hare McCormick, who died in 1954, was The Times's pioneering foreign affairs correspondent who covered the real Axis of Evil, interviewing Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and Patton. She was hardly a left-wing radical or defeatist. In 1937, she became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, and she was the first woman to be a member of The Times's editorial board.

The president distorted the columnist's dispatch. (download a PDF of the original column)The "moral crisis" and failure she described were in the British and French sectors. She reported that the Americans were doing better because of their policy to "encourage initiative and develop self-government." She wanted the U.S. to commit more troops and stay the course - not cut and run.

Mr. Bush Swift-boated her.

Kudos to her for picking up on this. The truth is, in 1946 Germany was in crisis. And, there was a discussion about what to be done. And a proposal. What was the proposal called? Oh, yes, the Marshall Plan, which Marshall propsed in June of 1947 and which began being implemented in 1948. Now, it would be wonderful to say that this is an example of how things could be turned around in Iraq, but the Marshall Plan "only" cost us about $100 billion dollars, in current terms. How much have we already spent in Iraq? How much of those reconstruction dollars are being siphoned off into contractors pockets and diverted to "security" costs?

Iraq is a disaster now, as Germany was then, with the added bonus that fighting is still going on and people are still being blown up. And, clapping louder isn't going to fix it, and nor will disparaging those who rightly point that out.


I wish he could have one too:

WASHINGTON - Two of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had a support network in the United States that included agents of the Saudi government, and the Bush administration and FBI blocked a congressional investigation into that relationship, Sen. Bob Graham wrote in a book to be released Tuesday.

The discovery of the financial backing of the two hijackers ''would draw a direct line between the terrorists and the government of Saudi Arabia, and trigger an attempted coverup by the Bush administration,'' the Florida Democrat wrote.

And in Graham's book, Intelligence Matters, obtained by The Herald Saturday, he makes clear that some details of that financial support from Saudi Arabia were in the 27 pages of the congressional inquiry's final report that were blocked from release by the administration, despite the pleas of leaders of both parties on the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Graham also revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks told him on Feb. 19, 2002, just four months after the invasion of Afghanistan, that many important resources -- including the Predator drone aircraft crucial to the search for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda leaders -- were being shifted to prepare for a war against Iraq.

Graham recalled this conversation at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa with Franks, then head of Central Command, who was ``looking troubled'':

``Senator, we are not engaged in a war in Afghanistan.''

''Excuse me?'' I asked.

''Military and intelligence personnel are being redeployed to prepare for an action in Iraq,'' he continued.

The Ice Beneath Them

1100 wounded in Iraq in August. One doesn't know what wounded means, exactly, but we know that it's frequently quite bad. Amputations. Blinding. Brain Damage.

It isn't just that which should concern us. The thing I can't comprehend is what those returning home must think. While the chickenhawks would have us believe that the thing upsetting the troops the most is the existence of protesters (could be true, I have no idea), I can't imagine that there isn't at least one more thing of concern - the fact that this war seems to have faded from consciousness.

I can't imagine much about being a combat soldier, but one thing I think I for some reason (maybe incorrectly) feel like I have a glimpse of understanding about is what it must feel like to come home from the Biggest Event of Your Life, an event which you thought was The Most Important Thing To Your Country, and find that it barely even registered in the news.

odd, that.