Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Denny Hastert = LaRouche?

Denny Hastert's rant that George Soros' fortune came from "drug lords" reminds me of nothing more than Lyndon LaRouche's claims about the Queen.

The Republicans are lunatics. It's plain as day.

SHAME

The Repug filth will stoop as low as they need to to slag John Kerry. Example: shitting on the Purple Heart which so many of our veterans wear.

Delegates to the Republican National Convention found a new way to take a jab at Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's Vietnam service record: by sporting adhesive bandages with small purple hearts on them.

Morton Blackwell, a prominent Virginia delegate, has been handing out the heart-covered bandages to delegates, who've worn them on their chins, cheeks, the backs of their hands and other places.

Who votes for these bastards? If you think you're a "business and fiscal responsibility" Republican, you're living in a dream world. This is the true face of your party.

"I Don't Think You Can Win It"

Fred Clark over at Slacktivist takes the Chimp and the Repugs apart:

"I don't think you can win it," Mr. Bush replied. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

This is exactly the kind of nuanced, agonized, flip-floppery of which Bush and his surrogates are always accusing his opponents. (Tim Dunlop has some fun with this.) It also contrasts dramatically with the statements made later that very day by speakers at the Republican National Convention.

To illustrate that contrast, I've put together the following responsive reading, juxtaposing George W. Bush's wishy-washy pessimism with the image of the strong, decisive and determined leader portrayed by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in their primetime speeches last night:

GIULIANI: So long as George Bush is our president, is there any doubt [terrorists] will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism?

BUSH: "I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

McCAIN: My friends in the Democratic Party -- and I'm fortunate to call many of them my friends -- assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation.

BUSH: "I don't think you can win it."

GIULIANI: The president announced the Bush Doctrine, when he said, "Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."

BUSH: "I don't think you can win it."

McCAIN: But an absence of complacency should not provoke an absence of confidence.

BUSH: "I don't think you can win it."

There's more; check it out.

October Surprise

William Greider in The Nation joins the ranks of those who wait with baited breath for the October Surprise:

The intensity of this contest has put the Republic in fragile, possibly dangerous, circumstances. The Bush crowd is smart and skillful, and above all devious. They have demonstrated that to hold on to power, they will do anything. In the background chatter of Washington, a real worry is expressed that the White House might put the bombers aloft and strike somewhere in a supposed emergency--maybe take out Iran's nuclear program?--to change the subject big-time and to scare the bejeezus out of American voters just before the election.

Normally, I wouldn't take such talk seriously. But when I consider Bush's dilemma and all that's at stake, I begin to think these fears are not implausible. In a newly concocted crisis, would anxious Americans stampede to the President's side? Or would they see through the cynical charade and toss him out? I would bet on the latter, but I wouldn't bet the whole farm.

It's good to see the mainstream media begin to talk about what has so far been a subject mainly for bloggers. We need to prepare the American people for the October Surprise. If we do the job properly, it won't be a surprise, and Dubya et al will be out on their asses and looking at a treason trial (via).

Nuremburg in New York

Last night we saw John McCain dishonor himself - if I were to meet him, I would ask, Sir, where is your honor? Where is the courage you have written about? and, perhaps more pertinently, what was your price? and we saw Rudy Giuliani just make a fool of himself. And all we heard, over and over and over, was 9/11.

Bush has nothing to run on other than 9/11 - the worst intelligence failure since Pearl Harbor. And to run on 9/11, as he is doing, ignores the fact that until 9/11/01, the Bush administration was fat, dumb, and happy on the subject of terrorism, too busy watching their poll numbers sink to the basement and trying to figure out a way to attack Iraq to pay attention to something outgoing President Clinton had warned them was a deadly threat. Regardless, and knowing that the tame media will never confront them with this truth, over and over the image of the burning towers, the falling bodies, the terrified passengers on the airplanes were paraded. Bush has nothing to run on other than 3000 corpses and endless fear.

Other bloggers will parse the speeches. They were full of lies and calumny. All I can say for now is that America is being offered a choice - the most stark choice since 1964 and probably far more important than that one. We can vote for hope, or we can vote for endless war - a war Bush himself now admits can never be won (and certainly not by the ham-handed tactics he's been using), and a second war, a quiet war, the war of the rich against everyone else. We can vote for New York and America - or Nuremburg.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Bush is a Dim Bulb Indeed

Mike Allen and David Broder write about Dubya's "leadership style" - what there is of it - in the WP today. For all the Repug attempts to portray Kerry as a flipflopper who thinks issues over and over, what can they say about their own President, who evidently has the IQ of a lava lamp and is definitely not "curious" George?

But a close examination of Bush's operating style, based on interviews with former administration officials, Bush friends and outside experts, offers a more nuanced picture. In some cases, as in the decision to go to war with Iraq or to seek large tax cuts, Bush has indeed moved quickly to set his course and stick to it. In others, such as North Korea policy, he has let things languish and pushed problems to the future. He has also not hesitated to switch positions when necessary, such as when he first opposed, then backed, the creation of a Homeland Security Department.

Many of Bush's admirers describe him as a leader who asks tough, probing questions of advisers but also say he is a person who, once he picks a goal, never looks back. Even strong supporters sometimes worry that his curiosity and patience seem limited, while detractors see him as intellectually lazy and dependent on ideology and sloganeering instead of realism and clear thinking. Because he has a relatively small set of advisers, dissenting voices are effectively muffled.

In the long, sleepy years after the Civil War, this kind of "leadership" would not have made a difference, and Dubya could have joined a long list of remarkably unremarkable Presidents. But to have a man like this, a stubborn, stupid man, in the White House today invites national suicide.



Novak is a Hack

Not satisfied with outing CIA agent Valerie Plame, it turns out that Repug hitman Bob Novak is firmly connected to the Swift Boat Asswipes:

Among the stoutest defenders of "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry," the best-selling book arguing that Mr. Kerry lied about his record of service in Vietnam, is the columnist Robert Novak.

In his syndicated columns and on the CNN program "Crossfire," Mr. Novak has lauded the book and referred to veterans who criticize Mr. Kerry - most notably John E. O'Neill, the book's co-author - as "real patriots."

Unmentioned in Mr. Novak's columns and television appearances, however, is a personal connection he has to the book: his son, Alex Novak, is the director of marketing for its publisher, the conservative publishing house Regnery.

In a telephone interview, Robert Novak said he saw no need to disclose the link.

"I don't think it's relevant," he said.

Of course he wouldn't think so. Just as he didn't think twice before outing Plame.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Chimpeach

Who won the war in Iraq? No one knows, but there's no question now that the US has lost and may as well get the hell out of Dodge.

Six months ago, Sheikh Jawad al-Khalasi was what most would consider an Iraqi Shiite moderate. Critical of the militant ideas of fellow Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, Mr. Khalasi preached a more cooperative approach toward the Americans and the interim Iraqi government.

Then, last Thursday, when Iraqi snipers opened fire on him and thousands of demonstrators converging on Najaf, hoping to end the siege there and protect the shrine, Khalasi changed his mind. Now he's a radical, a troubling sign that Mr. Sadr has grown stronger from a three-week-long standoff that the Iraqi government once hoped might reduce Sadr to irrelevance.

Sadr and his forces agreed on Friday to put down their weapons and withdraw from the Shrine of Imam Ali, one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites. But interviews in Baghdad suggest that Sadr is walking away from the standoff with a widening base and supporters who are more militant than before.

"This is the beginning of the end for the Americans," says Khalasi, speaking from his home in Baghdad's upper-class Shiite district of Kadhimiya. "What will happen now is that all the political parties will unite to kick the Americans out of Iraq. You have seen even the Sunni people starting to support Moqtada. All this will encourage people to be united."

The Najaf standoff was meant to be a turning point for the legitimacy of the new interim Iraqi government, showing its strength and will to defeat rebellious militias, not just in Najaf but around the country. But that turning point now looks like a wrong turn. While Khalasi's influence may be rather small - dwarfed by more powerful Shiite leaders like Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who brokered the Najaf truce - he appears to be a part of a growing disenchantment among Shiite clerics, and a weakening of Baghdad's ability to reach out to Iraq's largest religious group.

There is only one thing that might work to reverse this - bring Sadr and his forces to battle again and butcher them down to the last man, including Sadr himself. Do we have the will to do this? If not, we need to get out.

More on the Focus

Out of curiosity I went to the Ford UK site to see if Ford UK had screwed the Focus up as badly as Ford US have and found, not to my great surprise, that they have not. In fact, in the UK the Focus range is much more extensive, including Focus diesels, bi-fuel Foci that run on gas and LPG, a Focus mini-SUV, and a really extensive line of variously trimmed Foci.

Take a hike, Ford US, and bring the real Focus back from Europe!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Our Pals the Chinese

Some people keep believing that China is our friend. Funny.

A wholesaler is recalling about 14,000 bags of candy because some of them contain a Chinese-made toy that shows a plane flying into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
...
There is no mistake what the toy represents: at the bottom of each is the product number 9011.

"When we found out what happened, we recalled them immediately," said Padron, who said the offensive toys made in China do not reflect his company's view.

"I was offended by them. I am an American. Whoever made these are not on the same page as mine," he said.

And there's no question the Chinese filth did this intentionally:

The toys came in an assortment purchased sight unseen from L&M Import in Miami and included the 9-11 toys, whistles and other small playthings, Padron said. The invoice said the toy was a plastic swing set. A woman who answered the telephone Friday at L&M refused to give her name but said she didn't know anything about the toy.

Friends my ass.

Who's Smoking What at Ford?

I drive a 2002 Focus two door, a bright yellow one (easy to find in parking lots). It's a great car; handles well, has more than enough power, a good gearshift, and gets reasonable gas mileage.

We now have a 2005 Focus four door as a rental since my partner's pickup got stolen. What a piece of crap. The new styling is about as exciting as the Tempo, and the interior is cheap. The cheap seats are slippery, the new dashboard has all the charm of a 75 LTD, and the whole atmosphere of the car is cheap, cheap, cheap.

Sad. It was nice while it lasted, the Focus.

What an Idiot

Although many bloggers have argued that Rum Dum ought to resign, I argue it's a good thing he stay where he is for now. He and the other evil cretins surrounding Bush make a nice portrait for John Kerry to pose against:

...on Thursday, in an interview with a radio station in Phoenix, Mr. Rumsfeld, who was traveling outside Washington this week, said, "I have not seen anything thus far that says that the people abused were abused in the process of interrogating them or for interrogation purposes." A transcript of the interview was posted on the Pentagon's Web site on Friday. Mr. Rumsfeld repeated the assertion a few hours later at a news conference in Phoenix, adding that "all of the press, all of the television thus far that tried to link the abuse that took place to interrogation techniques in Iraq has not yet been demonstrated." After an aide slipped him a note during the news conference, however, Mr. Rumsfeld corrected himself, noting that an inquiry by three Army generals had, in fact, found "two or three" cases of abuse during interrogations or the interrogations process. In fact, however, the Army inquiry found that 13 of 44 instances of abuse involved interrogations or the interrogation process, an Army spokeswoman said. The report itself explicitly describes the extent to which each abuse involved interrogations.

Most convincing.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Hey, Everything's Great!

That is, if you're Dubya or a Repug. Anyone with half a brain realizes that the economy remains in the shitcan for everyone except the parasitic wealthy. This morning the Columbus Dispatch (no link possible) reported how bad things are here; people are barely scraping by. One small business owner commented that the only improvement in his standings have come from his wife's small raises from her job. A vet reported being paid with money from piggybanks. 24 percent of Columbus' children live in poverty. Yep, things are just ducky.

The ranks of the poor and those without health insurance grew in 2003 for the third straight year, the government reported on Thursday, in a sign of the lingering pain being caused by a long slump in the job markets.

Those trends, spelled out by the United States Census Bureau, signaled a clear shift in the way the 2001 recession and its aftermath have spread across the country. The economy's troubles, which first affected high-income families even more than the middle class and poor, have recently hurt families at the bottom and in the middle significantly more than those at the top.

Median household income rose at about the same rate as inflation last year after three years of relative declines, according to the report. But the disparity in incomes between the rich and poor grew after having fallen in 2002. Pay did not keep pace with inflation in the South, already the nation's poorest region, in cities, or among immigrants. And the wage gap between men and women widened for the first time in four years.

Poverty rose most sharply among single-parent families last year. Health-insurance coverage fell only for families with annual income of less than $75,000.

Dubya, of course, continues to smoke dope:

Mr. Bush, in Farmington, N.M., said: "Because we acted, our economy since last summer has grown at a rate as fast as any in nearly 20 years. Since last August, we've added about 1.5 million new jobs.''

Which, note, does not even keep up with the addition of new people - immigrants, high school and college graduates, etc. - to the job market.

The choice is so clear this November that I remain astonished and dismayed that the polls still show the race neck and neck.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Navy to Swift Boat Liars: Shut the Hell Up

Newly discovered Navy documents tell the story: the Swift Boat Stupids are a bunch of cowardly liars, inspired to slag John Kerry, a fellow vet, by Repug dough:

The weekly report cites the incident twice, referring to its code name of Sea Lords 358. The first reference says the boats “encountered an enemy initiated firefight with water mines and automatic weapons fire.” The second reference also mentions “an enemy initiated firefight ... with water mines and automatic weapons.”

Thurlow, the commander of another swift boat who won a Bronze Star for helping the crew of PCF-3, insists there was no enemy gunfire during the incident. The citation and recommendation for Thurlow’s Bronze Star, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, also mention enemy fire, however.

Thurlow’s medal recommendation, for example, says he helped the PCF-3 crew “under constant enemy small arms fire.” That recommendation is signed by George Elliott, another member of the anti-Kerry group. It lists as the only witness for the incident Robert Eugene Lambert, an enlisted man who was not on Kerry’s boat who also won the Bronze Star that day.

Thurlow stood by his claim that there was no gunfire that day and said his Bronze Star documents were wrong.

Just more proof that if a Repug tells you anything, it's probably a lie, and check your wallet, too.

Throwing Money Away

Many years ago, the US Air Force got rid of its traditional green fatigue uniforms and replaced them with the same camouflage BDUs worn by the Army. The Marine Corps did likewise, turning in its uniforms for woodland camo. This was done to save money. But why, now, save money? The Marines have a new camouflage uniform, so the Air Force has stepped up and is designing its own.

Now the Air Force has already had a uniform fiasco. Several years ago the Air Farce tried to adopt a new blue uniform that looked about as stylish as something worn by the pilots of FlyByNite Airlines. That flopped. But the Air Farce did not learn....

Here it is folks, the latest and not so greatest news on the Air Force’s ridiculous new BDU design: Despite the high percentage of negative responses received in response to the proposed Tiger Stripe pattern currently being tested by the Air Force Uniform Board, the service continues to proceed with its plans to adopt a new utility uniform sometime this fall.

The service’s senior personnel officer, Lt. Gen. Roger Brady, Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, told Air Force Times on Aug. 9 that Air Force members seemed to like the striped pattern, but not the colors and so, eventually, we might see stripes of a different color.

Gen. Brady’s comments are disingenuous at best and border on complete dishonesty at worst. Responses to Air Force surveys, as well as my own articles on the re-designed BDU here at DefenseWatch, indicate that there is widespread opposition to the new uniform pattern among enlisted members and officers.

While many applaud the ease of care features found in the new material, there is almost universal derision regarding the uniform’s colors (blue, green and gray) as well as the camouflage pattern itself. Most Air Force members who have written to DefenseWatch have lambasted their service’s proposed re-design as a move away from the joint operations policies that resulted in the adoption of the current BDU pattern in the early 1980s.


I'll try to find a picture link later.

Cheney Stays Consistent

Say what you will about our bunker-dwelling Vice President, at least on the subject of gay marriage he's been and remains laudably consistent:

In a political season marked by Republican efforts to outlaw gay marriage, Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday offered a defense of the rights of gay Americans, declaring that "freedom means freedom for everyone" to enter "into any kind of relationship they want to."
...
In unusually personal remarks on the issue, delivered at a campaign forum in Davenport, Iowa, the vice president referred to his daughter, Mary, who is a lesbian, saying that he and his wife "have a gay daughter, so it's an issue our family is very familiar with." He added, according to a transcript of his remarks, provided by the White House, "We have two daughters, and we have enormous pride in both of them."

Unfortunately, at the same time the Vice President was displaying tolerance, the committee of Repugs drafting the party's platform was ranting and raving and playing to the snake-handling base the Repugs have foolishly saddled themselves with by selling out to the fundies:

He spoke on the same day that a draft version of the Republican platform was distributed to convention delegates that declared, "We strongly support President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage." The draft platform added, "Attempts to redefine marriage in a single city or state could have serious consequences throughout the country, and anything less than a constitutional amendment, passed by Congress and ratified by the states, is vulnerable to being overturned by activist judges."

People twenty years from now - maybe less - are going to look back at this lunacy and shrug in disbelief, the way we now shrug in disbelief that there were laws preventing people of different races from marrying. Probably it will be too late for my partner and me.


Probable Terrorism

With the state of Russian civil aviation - it's always been a horror show - one can't be sure yet, but the loss of two airliners flying out of the same airport at about the same time today was probably a terrorist act of some kind.

And there's a lesson here for us, too. The terrorists likely were Chechen rebels. The Russians have been fighting the Chechens for years. They've reduced most of Chechnya to a state that resembles Stalingrad after the siege. The Chechens keep on fighting and keep on committing terrorist outrages of this sort.

Now think of Iraq a couple years down the road...

UPDATE: The photos I'm seeing online suggest the airplanes fell in pieces from altitude - very suggestive of a bomb attack. There's an ongoing discussion thread at Airliners.net here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

What Worries Me

The thing that worries me most about the upcoming RepugCon in New York is that the crowds of demonstrators are undoubtedly going to be infiltrated by Repug brown shirts encouraging violence. If you go, for God's sake don't be pushed into doing anything illegal. Protest, but protest peacefully.

Amazing What the Press Lets Him Get Away With

Headline on MSNBC.com this morning: "Bush Calls for Halt to Swift Boat Veteran's Ads."

Too bad that Bush did no such thing.

What President Caligula did do was blast all ads by so-called 527 groups, without ever mentioning the Swift Boat Stupids by name. It's kind of like the way he treats Osama bin Forgotten.

And the so-called Liberal Media lets him get away with it.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Swift Boat Madness Continues

How typical of the new NPR to assign Juan Williams and Cokie Roberts to cover the swift boat stupids this morning. Eventually someone - Bob Edwards now that he's free - will have to write the story of how NPR was finally coopted and taken over by the right wing. For now, all we can do is be aware of it. Meanwhile, Bob Dole is advising Kerry to lie:

But at the same time, Bob Dole, the Republican presidential candidate in 1996 and a World War II veteran, called on Mr. Kerry to apologize to Vietnam veterans in a television interview on CNN. He appeared to get behind some of the accusations raised by the group, when its most serious contentions have been undermined by official records and conflicting accounts.

"He's got himself into this wicket now where he can't extricate himself because not every one of these people can be Republican liars,'' said Mr. Dole, whose right arm was left limp by a war injury. "There's got to be some truth to the charges," he said.

Mr. Dole also sought to put the focus as much on Mr. Kerry's antiwar activities as on his war record, noting testimony Mr. Kerry gave to a Congressional committee in 1971.

"I mean, one day he's saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons,'' Mr. Dole said. "The next day he's standing there, 'I want to be president because I'm a Vietnam veteran.' ''

The nasty fact is, we were doing all of those things and more, and Dole knows it, and all of those men are liars, and Dole knows that as well.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Swift Boat Vet Fights Back

A fellow veteran who served on swift boats at the same time as John Kerry has come forward to blast as lies the claims of the Rove-inspired, Bush-approved Swift Boat Stupids:

A Vietnam veteran who served with Senator John Kerry on a Swift boat mission broke a 35-year silence this weekend to support Mr. Kerry's version of events from one of their operations together and to chastise veterans critical of the senator as having "splashed doubt on all of us."
...
In his article Mr. Rood disputed a claim the Swift boat group made in its book, "Unfit for Command," that Mr. Kerry had received his Silver Star for chasing down a lone Vietcong teenager "in a loincloth" who may or may not have been armed on Feb. 28, 1969.

Mr. Rood was the skipper of one of three boats involved in the mission with Mr. Kerry, conducting a sweep for the enemy through a tributary of the Bay Hap River. "I have no idea how old the gunner Kerry chased that day was," Mr. Rood wrote, but "he was a grown man, dressed in the kind of garb the VC usually wore." He also wrote that Mr. Kerry had devised a plan to face into enemy fire, a breach of typical procedure.

He added, referring to John O'Neill, a co-author of "Unfit for Command" and a leader of the Swift boat group: "The man Kerry chased was not the 'lone' attacker at that site, as O'Neill suggests. There were others who fled. There was also firing from the tree line well behind the spider holes and at one point, from the opposite riverbank as well."

Mr. Rood also noted that Roy F. Hoffmann, a retired rear admiral who was the Swift boat group's commander, lauded the operation at the time in glowing terms. Mr. Hoffmann is, with Mr. O'Neill, one of the main engineers of the anti-Kerry group's effort.

The fact that President Caligula has not disowned these liars and their tales is rather telling, is it not?

Meanwhile, for those who doubt that Rove and Bush are behind this little effort, Maureen Dowd points out:

It's easy for the Bushes to stay gallant. They delegate the gutter.

There are always third-party political assassins, ostensibly independent, to do the dynasty wet work.

W.'s old pal and running partner, Lee Atwater, set up the Bush modus operandi: Lay in the weeds while craftily planting plausibly deniable surrogates to slice up your rival.

The New Yorker editor David Remnick, writing in Esquire in 1986, limned the 1980 Congressional race in South Carolina's Second District "between Atwater's man, Republican Floyd Spence, and a Faulknerian figure named Tom Turnipseed At one press briefing, Atwater planted a reporter who rose and said, 'We understand Turnipseed has had psychotic treatment.' Atwater played it cool and refused to comment, but later told the reporters off the record, 'In college I understand he got hooked up to jumper cables.' "

Karl Rove is Atwater's protégé on jumper cable politics.

The weird thing is, given how transparently the Bushes play the game of staying above the fray even as their creepy-crawly surrogates do dishonorable and undignified things, their rivals always seem caught off guard when the third parties show up to rip their throats out.

The phlegmatic Michael Dukakis never knew what hit him with Mr. Atwater's Frankenstein monster Willie Horton coming at him in a third party scare ad and G.O.P. smear leaflets and letters.

John McCain should have known what was coming in South Carolina, but he acted stunned and hurt when he was hit with the Atwater/Rove mud treatment by shadowy Bush supporters.

Just as the Bush campaign dragged out fringe veteran surrogates in South Carolina to slime the former P.O.W. for being antiveteran, now the stomach-turning Swift boat attackers are sliming a war hero as a war criminal.

SOP for a bunch of yellow cowards who refused to serve. Meanwhile, the Bushies have shown a sacrificial lamb the door, while Karl Rove stays behind to plot more crap of this kind:

The Bush campaign said Kenneth Cordier, who appears in a new advertisement to be aired by the anti-Kerry group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, will no longer serve in his voluntary position on Bush's veterans steering committee. A Bush spokesman said Cordier had not previously informed the campaign that he had been involved with the group, but the Kerry campaign said the matter provides evidence supporting its complaint to the Federal Election Commission alleging illegal cooperation between the campaign and the independent group.

"Col. Cordier did not inform the campaign of his involvement in the advertisement being run by a 527 organization," Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt wrote in a statement, referring to the technical name for independent groups such as the Swift boat organization. Schmidt said Cordier "will no longer participate as a volunteer for Bush-Cheney '04."

And if you believe that Cordier "had not previously informed the campaign that he had been involved with the group," I have some lovely swamp front property for you to look at.

All in all, George W. Bush is such a weak president and such a pathetic lay figure that he can't win an election on his own merits, because he genuinely doesn't have any. All he can do is stand in the background and smirk while Karl Rove shits on a war hero. That should tell you all you need to know about George W. Bush and his fitness for office.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Swift Boat Stupids Cont.

The latest tack taken by the Karl Rove-controlled Swift Boat Stupids is that John Kerry lied about atrocities in Vietnam. Oh, did he? Sorry to say, American troops committed every one of the atrocities he mentioned in his testimony before Congress, and then some. Take, for example, the Toledo Blade's Pulitzer-winning, and still largely ignored, expose on Tiger Force:

Women and children were intentionally blown up in underground bunkers. Elderly farmers were shot as they toiled in the fields. Prisoners were tortured and executed - their ears and scalps severed for souvenirs. One soldier kicked out the teeth of executed civilians for their gold fillings.

And the atrocities didn't end with Tiger Force. Remember My Lai? Probably there were dozens of My Lais - villages laid waste, the inhabitants butchered. It's difficult to believe that American soldiers can commit such atrocities, but the fact is, some do. And did in World War II, where SOP was to shoot German prisoners when it was "inconvenient" to hold them or when they were Waffen-SS. And did in Korea, where again civilians were murdered. To run around like the Swift Boat Stupids and claim that Kerry lied about atrocities in Vietnam is just stupid, but it will work, simply because most Americans won't believe their sons, their husbands, their fathers, committed these acts - which a few of them, a very few, did.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Swift Boat Stupids

The New York Times appears to be doing a good job so far looking into the Swift Boat Stupids, who are slagging their own Vietnam honors in order to blast John Kerry. Check out this useful graphic here, for example. No surprise that behind the Stupids lurks the ugly figure of Karl Rove:

Records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of Mr. Rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for Mr. Bush's father's presidential library. A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. And the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking Michael S. Dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and Mr. Bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election.

What a surprise to see Rove behind this. And how pathetic to see this group of fools being used in ways that make them look, well, like fools:

Several of those now declaring Mr. Kerry "unfit" had lavished praise on him, some as recently as last year.

In an unpublished interview in March 2003 with Mr. Kerry's authorized biographer, Douglas Brinkley, provided by Mr. Brinkley to The New York Times, Roy F. Hoffmann, a retired rear admiral and a leader of the group, allowed that he had disagreed with Mr. Kerry's antiwar positions but said, "I am not going to say anything negative about him." He added, "He's a good man."


In a profile of the candidate that ran in The Boston Globe in June 2003, Mr. Hoffmann approvingly recalled the actions that led to Mr. Kerry's Silver Star: "It took guts, and I admire that."


George Elliott, one of the Vietnam veterans in the group, flew from his home in Delaware to Boston in 1996 to stand up for Mr. Kerry during a tough re-election fight, declaring at a news conference that the action that won Mr. Kerry a Silver Star was "an act of courage." At that same event, Adrian L. Lonsdale, another Vietnam veteran now speaking out against Mr. Kerry, supported him with a statement about the "bravado and courage of the young officers that ran the Swift boats."

"Senator Kerry was no exception," Mr. Lonsdale told the reporters and cameras assembled at the Charlestown Navy Yard. "He was among the finest of those Swift boat drivers."

Those comments echoed the official record. In an evaluation of Mr. Kerry in 1969, Mr. Elliott, who was one of his commanders, ranked him as "not exceeded" in 11 categories, including moral courage, judgment and decisiveness, and "one of the top few" - the second-highest distinction - in the remaining five. In written comments, he called Mr. Kerry "unsurpassed," "beyond reproach" and "the acknowledged leader in his peer group."


But once Repug money starts flowing into pockets, memories change. And once-honorable veterans dishonor themselves, shilling for a man who used his father's influence to stay as far away from Vietnam as possible and who, when drug tests became part of the Air Force's flight physicals, just didn't bother to show up.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Swift Boat Stupid a Liar

Military records prove that Larry Thurlow's claims that John Kerry was awarded medals he did not deserve are lies - based on Thurlow's own Vietnam-era reports. If Kerry was indeed awarded medals he didn't earn (which I doubt), Thurlow helped.

In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.

But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."
...
Last month, Thurlow swore in an affidavit that Kerry was "not under fire" when he fished Lt. James Rassmann out of the water. He described Kerry's Bronze Star citation, which says that all units involved came under "small arms and automatic weapons fire," as "totally fabricated."

"I never heard a shot," Thurlow said in his affidavit, which was released by Swift Boats Veterans for Truth. The group claims the backing of more than 250 Vietnam veterans, including a majority of Kerry's fellow boat commanders.

A document recommending Thurlow for the Bronze Star noted that all his actions "took place under constant enemy small arms fire which LTJG THURLOW completely ignored in providing immediate assistance" to the disabled boat and its crew. The citation states that all other units in the flotilla also came under fire.

Thurlow is a liar. So are the rest of the Swift Boat Stupids. They are willing to lie to keep a liar who was AWOL from the National Guard in office. Honor? None.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

It's an Ugly Campaign

Here in Columbus, an attorney who ought to know better dispatched his 12 year daughter from his car to remove a Kerry yard sign "because it was in the right-of-way and that's illegal." Uh, right, sure. The fact that the sign had been stolen twice before is suggestive. This kind of thuggery - and worse - is happening all over as the brownshirts of the right built up to the fall campaign, when we are liable to see genuine blood in the streets. David Neiwert reports on a case that came to his attention:

There's always a certain amount of petty vandalism and things like sign theft in any election, usually on both sides. But this year, things seem to have ratcheted up another notch, nudging closer to real violence -- and it all seems to be coming from the right-wing side.The most recent incident to come to my attention happened a week and a half ago right in my own neighborhood:

A Renton woman is facing hundreds of dollars in car repairs because someone didn't like her politics.

A vandal struck Joni Job's car while she shopped this weekend at a Fremont grocery store.

It seems someone didn't like her Kerry-Edwards bumper sticker.

The vandal left his own political message on the side of her car. "Bush in 2004'" was scrawled in red paint.

Her car also has a new dent in the wheel well and a Confederate flag slapped on the back.

"That was the real bone chiller, that was the real bone chiller," said Job. "I just thought what, are we at civil war? This is crazy people ... stop."

Somewhat more typically, someone has also been marking up yard signs in Dallas. But another commenter at this blog made an even more interesting observation:

The other day someone at work made a comment about my sticker, they asked me if it was my car who had the Kerry sticker and told me to be careful because someone might vandalize my car. I thought it was strange but didn't think anything of it. The following day someone else saw me driving into work and they said it was career suicide.

As I say, a certain amount of this is probably normal in any election. But this year seems to have brought out the really fascistic tendencies of the right, especially at the level of the general populace. There's a reason for that, I think, and I'll be discussing it in detail soon.

Now where I work, if you don't have a Kerry sticker, you're a little weird. Ditto in my neighborhood. And so far no one has attacked Egbert, my yellow Focus, with his "Defend America/Defeat Bush" and Kerry stickers. But it's getting ugly. And in the meantime, the nitwits at Fox, as David says, keep "tut-tutting" about Bush hatred. Hm.

Being Smart About Radical Islam

Polly Toynbee, recently "honored" by the website of the "Islamic Human Rights Commission" as the winner of the "Most Islamophobic media personality" award, is actually pretty liberal, judging from her columns in the Guardian. Today she makes the useful point that liberals must not allow themselves to be castrated by political correctness in dealing with radical Islam:

Fear of offending the religious is gathering ground on all sides. It is getting harder to argue against the hijab and the Koran's edict that a woman's place is one step behind. It is beginning to be racist for teachers or social workers to object to autocratic patriarchy and submission of women within many Muslim communities. Islamic ideas that find the very notion of democracy incompatible with faith are beginning to be taken seriously by those who should defend liberal democracy.

Of course most Muslims are not extremists. They speak of the peacefulness of their faith - as most religious people do. But they still too rarely speak out against terror when they should be combating their own extremists and being seen to do it. Moderate groups protest often against arrests of Muslim terror suspects, while the Muslim Council of Britain has sent out just one tepid call to mosques to cooperate with the police. Moderates excuse, rather than refute, the many ferocious verses calling for the blood of infidels in their holy book, verses that justify terror. Both the Koran and the Bible ought to be banned under the new law, since both are full of God's incitements to smite unbelievers.

It is bizarre how the left has espoused the extreme Islamist cause: as "my enemy's enemy", Muslims are the best America-haters around. The hard left relishes terrorism: a fondness for explosions and the smell of martyrs' blood excites their revolutionary zeal, without sharing a jot of religious belief.

More alarming is the softening of the brain of liberals and progressives. They increasingly find it easier to go with the flow that wants to mollify Muslim sentiment, for fear of joining the anti-immigration thugs who want to drive them from the land.

The liberal dilemma over Islam is not unlike the prevarications of some over communism in the cold war. To attack the atrocities of the reds put you in bed with the anti-socialist Thatcher/Reagan red-baiters. What would George Orwell write about Islam now? He would probably ignore what others said about the company he kept, shrug off those claiming him for their own ends and plough his own furrow, speaking out against both the danger of religious fanaticism and the Muslim-hating racists - the polite ones in Times immigration panic articles or those with steel-toed boots on the streets of northern towns.

Which is exactly right.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

What's Bush Smoking?

Dubya's much-touted military realignment, announced to much fanfare at the VFW convention yesterday, makes, no surprise here, absolutely no sense at all except possibly from a cost-savings viewpoint. As a military redeployment, it promises to be a disaster. Pulling troops out of Korea in particular is insane. The NYT:

It is certain to strain crucial alliances, increase overall costs and dangerously weaken deterrence on the Korean peninsula at the worst possible moment. Meanwhile, it will do nothing to address the military's most pressing current need: relieving the chronic strain on ground forces that has resulted from failing to anticipate the long, and largely unilateral, American occupation of Iraq.

Retired General Wesley Clark, former NATO commander:

"Withdrawing forces from Europe will further undermine already strained relations with long-time NATO allies, will be interpreted as the distancing of the U.S. from NATO and will set back U.S. efforts to encourage greater NATO participation in Iraq."

Blogger and military reservist Phil Carter:

...this new basing paradigm reflects a basic pessimism about our allies' willingness to support our military endeavors in the future. Since we're unsure of support from Germany, we must instead base our troops in places where there is such a power imbalance (e.g. Poland and Romania) that there will be no risk whatsoever of interference with U.S. policy.

We'll see if this survives the Bush Administration.

Irony

Driving back to work yesterday after lunch, I was behind a truck towing a horse trailer. On the back of the horse trailer was one of those oval "W 04" stickers. And above the sticker?

Yep, the biggest horses' ass I have ever seen. If I'd only had a camera....

Monday, August 16, 2004

American Basketball: Not a Team Sport

Well, the dream team got its jewelry and tattoos kicked by Puerto Rico yesterday at the Olympics. Good. Shaun Powell at Newsday agrees:

Quite honestly, Puerto Rico 92, U.S. 73 is the best thing that could've happened to the slop that passes for "modern day" basketball.

You see, the problem was for a long time now, our guys have won games on physical skills. They were celebrated for being quicker and more athletic than the players of yesterday. And there was no reason for them to change. Why would they? The sneaker companies and sports networks have encouraged and even promoted them. The NBA teams paid big money for "specialists" who couldn't out-dribble an infant.

And they never had problems beating countries who took their playbook and style straight from "Hoosiers."

That's why Puerto Rico's victory yesterday could do more for the United States than Puerto Rican basketball. Maybe somewhere down at the cages on West 4th in the Village, or up at Rucker Park, or dozens of other asphalt courts, an eight-year-old took notice.

Maybe that eight-year-old went to his room, took down his Stephon Marbury poster and replaced it with a Carlos Arroyo poster. At least you can only hope.

"This game was for kids to watch and see how basketball is supposed to be played," said Allen Iverson, the Prince of Generation-X ball, of all people. "They think the game out. They just play together."

It's a team sport. Not a bunch of show-offs who happen to be on the court together. If the US team figures this out, they can still win. If not - there's always 2008.

Intimidation: A Glorious Florida Tradition

Jeb Bush is still busy making sure the vote in Florida gets stolen for his stupid brother. In spite of revelations of a voter-purge list of ex-felons that was almost entirely comprised of blacks (no hispanic felons in Florida!), the beat goes on, in a particularly vicious and egregious way, according to Bob Herbert:

State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.

The officers, from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which reports to Gov. Jeb Bush, say they are investigating allegations of voter fraud that came up during the Orlando mayoral election in March.
...
The state police officers, armed and in plain clothes, have questioned dozens of voters in their homes. Some of those questioned have been volunteers in get-out-the-vote campaigns.

I asked Mr. Morales in a telephone conversation to tell me what criminal activity had taken place.

"I can't talk about that," he said.

I asked if all the people interrogated were black.

"Well, mainly it was a black neighborhood we were looking at - yes,'' he said.

He also said, "Most of them were elderly."

When I asked why, he said, "That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview."

So Jeb is sending his jackbooted thugs into the homes of elderly blacks - blacks who remember the bad old days - to intimidate them. Nothing changes in the South; it's still a bloody cesspool of racism.

Bush Can't Handle the Truth

The Columbus Dispatch (no link possible) reported this morning that when John Kerry comes to Ohio, anyone is welcome at his campaign events. When President Caligula arrives, only the faithful are permitted in his presence. Why? Because Bush's handlers won't let him face the truth that at least 50% of Americans hate him. The NYT reports on the same phenomenon today:

Bush campaign officials tell reporters at every "Ask President Bush'' forum that the questions are not planted and that the sessions are spontaneous. Senator John Kerry's campaign officials say the events are too ridiculous to be believed.

Whatever the case, Bush campaign officials readily say that they carefully screen the crowds by distributing tickets through campaign volunteers. "Our supporters hand them out to other supporters and people who may be undecided,'' said Scott Stanzel, a campaign spokesman.

The result is often a love-in with heavily Christian crowds. Mr. Bush relaxes, shows off his humor and appears more human than in his sometimes tongue-tied and tense encounters with the press. He clearly relishes the sessions: As of this coming Wednesday in Wisconsin, Mr. Bush will have had 12 such campaign forums, which is one less than the number of solo news conferences he has had in three and a half years in the White House.

Ridiculous. What Bush would do if faced with genuine opposition would be highly interesting and instructive, which is why it will not be allowed to happen.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

An Embarrassing Olympics Display

No, not the opening ceremonies, which, to the pride of all Greece, went off without a hitch, but the dumbass commentary of Bob Costas and Katie Couric. Couric admittedly is not real bright, but Costas should be smart enough to refrain from the kind of stupid comments we were forced to listen to last night. Why in the hell do the networks think we even need commentary? Instead of being able to watch and enjoy, we're forced to listen to two overpaid nitwits snigger about little countries that send five athletes for our overpaid, steroid-boosted jerks to kick around the venues and make comments about Athena being the "patron saint" of Athens. Get ready for a bit over two weeks of the same.


Under the Radar, Bush Trashes America

More evidence that Dubya's recent comment about doing harm to America was a genuine Freudian slip comes every day as, while Americans are distracted by fake terror alerts, reality shows, cheap junk food and alcohol, and all the other dubious joys of life, he continues to bend the rules to favor wealthy parasites and corporations over the rest of us:

Allies and critics of the Bush administration agree that the Sept. 11 attacks, the war in Afghanistan and the war in Iraq have preoccupied the public, overshadowing an important element of the president's agenda: new regulatory initiatives. Health rules, environmental regulations, energy initiatives, worker-safety standards and product-safety disclosure policies have been modified in ways that often please business and industry leaders while dismaying interest groups representing consumers, workers, drivers, medical patients, the elderly and many others.

And most of it was done through regulation, not law - lowering the profile of the actions. The administration can write or revise regulations largely on its own, while Congress must pass laws. For that reason, most modern-day presidents have pursued much of their agendas through regulation. But administration officials acknowledge that Mr. Bush has been particularly aggressive in using this strategy.

"There's been more federal regulations, more regulatory notices, than previous administrations," said Trent Duffy, a White House spokesman, though he attributed much of that to the new rules dealing with domestic security.

Scott McClellan, the chief White House spokesman, said of the changes, "The president's common-sense policies reflect the values of America, whether it is cracking down on corporate wrongdoing or eliminating burdensome regulations to create jobs."

"Common-sense" my ass. Unlike Nero, Bush does not fiddle while America burns, he fiddles with the rules and burns America:

In May 2003, the Bush administration dropped a proposed rule that would have required hospitals to install facilities to protect workers against tuberculosis. Hospitals and other industry groups had lobbied against the change, saying that it would be costly and that existing regulations would accomplish many of the same aims.

But workers unions and public health officials argued that the number of tuberculosis cases had risen in 20 states and that the same precautions that were to have been put into place for tuberculosis would also have been effective against SARS.

Send the Chimp back to Crawford. A vote for Bush is abject treason. And may cost you your life.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The People We Once Fought Are Here

Protecting Amerika from the horror of role-playing game books:

This morning, they're doing bag searches again to get on the ferry. And the guy doing the searches pulls me aside and says, "Sir, I feel that I need to confiscate this book."

I pause and say, in that tone of voice that most people would recognize as meaning, "have you lost your grip completely, chuckles?": "You need to confiscate... a book."

"Yes. I feel it's inappropriate for the other people on the ferry to be exposed to it."

Now, I had the book IN MY BAG. It was not open. And while the Maiden of the Mirthless Smile is displayed as improbably proportioned, well, this is not, as far as I know, illegal to have. I mean, there was a guy carrying a copy of Maxim, and some of the women in THAT are improbably proportion. (All right, I admit: they're not wielding a huge sword and dressed in a bustier studded with human finger bones. But really.)

My response: "Well, let me call the ACLU and have them come down here, and see what they think about your attempt to confiscate a book that was not in the plain sight of others due to your feeling it's not appropriate." And I pull out my cell and start scrolling down the list - ACLU-NJ is at the top, actually, before 'Amanda' and 'ardaniel' since it sorts alphabetically.

He gets all pissy at me and says, "Don't you understand this is for your safety?"

"Confiscating someone's gun or bomb is for my safety. Perhaps confiscating someone's pocketknife or nailfile may be for my safety. What's so damn dangerous about my book?"

"It's INAPPROPRIATE!"

"That's NOT YOUR DECISION! I could be carrying a copy of Hustler in here, and it's STILL not your decision! You're looking for bombs and knifes and guns and things that hurt people, and a book that is IN MY BAG is not going to leap out of its own damn accord and HIT SOMEONE!"

The rest of the people waiting for the ferry are watching our exchange. He realizes that they're all looking at him, and that I'm winning this one in their eyes.

He lets me go on the boat.

I'm pretty sure he made notes about me, and I'll probably get more hassling later, and if I run into him again he'll probably be more of an asshole.

But I don't care. I won this one. I'll win the next one if I have to fight it.

Today I print out the Fourth Amendment and keep a copy of it in my bag.

A-flipping-mazing. What next? (via the ever-vigilent Avedon Carol)

Whew!

David Neiwert takes Michelle "It was OK to stick the Nisei in concentration camps so let's do the same to the Muslims!" Malkin apart here. Long and detailed.

Laughable

Yesterday, C+ Augustus, as Jo Fish calls him, claimed that his plan for the war was "working." Now he claims, equally laughably, that things in Amerika are much better with him as President. Oh, yeah, things are just ducky, Dubya.

"The world's safer. ... Libya's no longer a threat. Pakistan is an ally in the war on terror," Bush said in an exclusive interview on CNN's "Larry King Live."

"There are 50 million people that once lived in tyranny now living in societies which are heading toward democracies," he said.

Bush also promoted improvements at home.

"The economy is growing. We've overcome a recession and corporate scandals, a stock market decline and an attack," he said. "And yet we've recovered and our economy is getting better. The education system is getting better because of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Medicare law has been strengthened so seniors will have prescription drug coverage starting in 2006."

Sitting there on Larry King's program, looking like a chimp with his beloved Livia by his side, C+ Augustus only showed again, and again, and again, that there is a village in Texas missing its idiot.

Krugman's on the Job

While the NYT expresses surprise that the tax cuts have favored parasites, the reliable Paul Krugman is on the case, as he has been:

The Bush tax cuts have, of course, heavily favored the very, very well off. But they have also, more specifically, favored unearned income over earned income - or, if you prefer, investment returns over wages. Last year Daniel Altman pointed out in The New York Times that Mr. Bush's proposals, if fully adopted, "could eliminate almost all taxes on investment income and wealth for almost all Americans." Mr. Bush hasn't yet gotten all he wants, but he has taken a large step toward a system in which only labor income is taxed.

It should be the other way around. Income that is worked for should be taxed at a lower rate. Income that is parasitical should be taxed at a higher rate. Work should be encouraged. Parasitism, other than venture capital and construction, should not be.

Four years ago, Mr. Bush got a free pass from the press on his Social Security "plan," either because reporters didn't understand the arithmetic, or because they assumed that after the election he would come up with a plan that actually added up. Will the same thing happen again? Let's hope not.

As Mr. Bush has said: "Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - can't get fooled again."

Well, Duh!

Hey, guess what! Bush's tax cuts favor the wealthy! No kidding, and it took the New York Times how long to figure this out?

The new estimates confirm what independent tax analysts have long said: that Mr. Bush's tax cuts have been heavily skewed to the very wealthiest taxpayers. Those are also the people, however, who pay a disproportionate share of federal income taxes.

Can you believe that last line? As if we should feel sorry for wealthy parasites paying their damned taxes. I'm all for going back to the days of that notable socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower - when the top rate was 90%.

Living a Lie Catches Up

Those of us who are gay or lesbian know that the gay bars of America every night are full of married men - men who want to live a "normal" life with wife, kids, etc, and who then slink around on the sly satisfying their sexual desires. It generally catches up in some unpleasant way - the wife gets an STD, the kids find out accidentally, or someone blackmails hubby. Well, it caught up with New Jersey governor James McGreevey in the last of the aforementioned ways, when an ex-lover threatened to blackmail him, leaving this married, Catholic politician staring at the ruins of his life, a life destroyed by living a lie.

Aides to the governor, a Democrat, said the affair was with a former aide, Golan Cipel, who was hired by the governor in 2002 as an adviser to the state Office of Homeland Security. He resigned eight months later as a special adviser to the governor, at a salary of $110,000. The aides said Mr. Cipel had threatened to file a lawsuit accusing the governor of sexual harassment.

A federal law enforcement official said Mr. McGreevey's office had called the F.B.I. in New Jersey on Thursday and complained that Mr. Cipel had requested $5 million to quash the suit, which assistants to the governor saw as extortion.

There is no shame in being gay. There is shame, and disgrace, and disaster to innocents, in living a lie. Shame, Mr. McGreevey.

"Ridiculous Hearsay"

The White House claims that an interview Michael Moore did with Porter Goss - now nominated to become CIA chief - in which Goss claims he's not qualified for the post is "ridiculous hearsay." Well, it's hearsay right out of the horses' mouth:

"I couldn't get a job with CIA today. I am not qualified," Mr Goss told Moore's production company in March.
...
The interview did not make it into the final edit of the film, which criticises President George W Bush's policy on Iraq.

But following Mr Goss's nomination by the president, Moore has released the transcript and video excerpt on his website.

"I don't have the language skills. I, you know, my language skills were romance languages and stuff. We're looking for Arabists today. I don't have the cultural background probably," Mr Goss says on the video.

"And I certainly don't have the technical skills, as my children remind me every day: 'Dad, you got to get better on your computer.'

"So, the things that you need to have, I don't have."

Not to mention his full-time slagging of John Kerry, who is liable to be his boss come next January. Time to go back to Florida, Mr. Goss, or what's left of it.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Swift Boat Stupid Slagged First President Bush's War Record Too

Ted Sampley, one of the cretins behind the Swift Boat Stupids, has previously shat on the war records of other certified heroes. Example: Senator John McCain who, while Dubya was drinking and partying, was rotting in the Hanoi Hilton:

Sampley calls McCain the Manchurian Candidate, maintaining that the Vietnamese brainwashed McCain, then sent him home to do their bidding--which, to Sampley's way of thinking, explains why McCain was instrumental in the nation's normalization of relations with Vietnam. [Phoenix New Times (Arizona); 3/25/99]

Example: President George H.W. Bush, this time in Sampley's own words:

Former President George Bush, who bailed out of a crippled Navy Avenger bomber 53 years ago, jumped again in March of this year. His World War II jump is historic. It made Bush the only president to ever bail out of an airplane and the only president whose crew mates were sent careening into the ocean because their pilot had abandoned the aircraft.

What Sampley was doing while men like Bush Sr. and McCain were fighting for their country is not known to me. Maybe he was drinking and partying like Junior. (via)

A Once-Great Paper

The Washington Post, the paper that largely brought down Richard Nixon, permitted itself to be threatened and bullied into not honestly reporting the build-up to President Dim's Operation Iraqi "Freedom." Cowardice ruled the day at the Post:

Woodward, for his part, said it was risky for journalists to write anything that might look silly if weapons were ultimately found in Iraq. Alluding to the finding of the Sept. 11 commission of a "groupthink" among intelligence officials, Woodward said of the weapons coverage: "I think I was part of the groupthink."

Given The Post's reputation for helping topple the Nixon administration, some of those involved in the prewar coverage felt compelled to say the paper's shortcomings did not reflect any reticence about taking on the Bush White House. Priest noted, however, that skeptical stories usually triggered hate mail "questioning your patriotism and suggesting that you somehow be delivered into the hands of the terrorists."
...
Liz Spayd, the assistant managing editor for national news, says The Post's overall record was strong.

"I believe we pushed as hard or harder than anyone to question the administration's assertions on all kinds of subjects related to the war. . . . Do I wish we would have had more and pushed harder and deeper into questions of whether they possessed weapons of mass destruction? Absolutely," she said. "Do I feel we owe our readers an apology? I don't think so."

No, dear, your reporting stank. It may as well have been written by the Bushies. You don't just owe your readers an apology, you owe the entire country, and especially the families of our dead troops one.

The article tries to be a mea culpa. It's really just a stinking pile of crap.

Crawford, Texas, Your Idiot is Missing

President Caligula announced yesterday, amusingly, that “I know what I’m doing when it comes to winning this war.” Really? Is that a fact. And it's going so bloody well, too.