Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Texas Tuesday with Richard Morrison & Breaking News

Interview with Morrison where he reports the campaign is going great - for the first time DeLay is having to campaign. Tom DeLay has been getting non-profit institutions to give him fake endorsements and has been flip-flopping on the issues - seems to be running scared. You can support Morrison here. (I have a sheet with phone calls to make for Morrison but with my moving I don't know when I can get to it.)

Other news - GOP politicos at it again - GOP official ignores court, orders Nader on the ballot.

Krugman - Kerry should attack Bush for putting America at risk by not acknowledging errors in war on terror.

Richard Reeves - We Are Worse Off:
Jeffrey Record, a professor of strategy at the Army War College, who summed up a good deal of the thinking in Washington now: "Are we better off in basic security than before we invaded Iraq? The answer is no. An unnecessary war has consumed American Army and other ground resources, to the point where we have nothing left in the cupboard for another contingency -- for instance, should the North Koreans decide that with the Americans completely absorbed in Iraq, now is the time to do something."

Evidence is mounting that Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Bill Burkett may have provided memos or copies he could have fished out of trash when Bush ordered them destroyed. He has become active in some political and veteran circles and knows CBS and USAToday reporters. Or he may have recreated the memos on a home pc.

Stronger evidence memos were recently produced.

CBS Offers New Experts to Support Guard Memos

The New York Times covers the issues fairly. Boston Globe retreating from support of CBS but... A Globe analysis of uncontested records in Bush's military file showed that he did not show up for required drills for extended periods of time and did not fulfill his commitment to the Guard, although he was honorably discharged.

Interesting but as expected you have hundreds of right-wing pseudo-experts screaming fake and that bobbled up to the conservative media with assured pronouncements that the memos were fake. The left blogosphere is willing to consider the issues as the documents don't show anything new and it is in the nature of liberals to examine claims. A problem would be if they were proved fake it would easily prevent the U.S. media from looking at the White House released files. This is a master Rove campaign, if you can't attack the conclusions attack the evidence.

I made a tour of right sites tonight/early morning - conservatives only listen to other conservatives to get their talking points. Not quite as bad but almost on the left side.

Reminds me of the debate leading up to the war. Liberals and Democrats split on the war - they are willing to listen to the other side and supposed experts. Too late most realized what they were being suckered into.

The angry right always goes for blood and latches on any argument and the GOP media campaign is superb. Disorganized Democrats, liberals, progressives, have to debate the issues to decide what the campaign is. They do not have a rapid response echo chamber. I would think Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public getting on with their busy lives seems more likely to listen to the pervasive loud voice of the GOP megaphone.

How that changes - Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public see benefits to the things the GOP is against, they have experience in their own lives, and slowly come to realize the GOP lies about everything, that the GOP politician have reasons for their policies for their own benefit but wrap them in flag and country and God and morality talk. That they will offer progressive rhetoric for programs that aren't progressive but benefit some interest group. They think that is the way the game is played. Power makes right, expediency trumps truth, special deals is just business, justice is for suckers.

I have generalized to 'the GOP' what I might more properly attribute to authoritarians or unlimited capitalists or 'the man' or the power structure in most communities.

Document on Drudge Report Reveals Bush Did Not Meet Obligations

A document that Matt Drudge has linked to to defend Bush against charges he lied about being in the Air Force may have backfired - showing instead Bush did not meet his military obligations in 1972, 1973 and 1974.

Bush had previously claimed he was in the Air Force as well as in the Air Force Reserve. The document that Drudge provides shows that while undergoing training he was technically on active duty. Drudge clearly doesn't know that active duty is NOT the same as being in the Air Force.

Worse than that further down in the document it lists Bush's required service requirements while in the Reserve (pdf).
h: Satisfactory participation during my menership in the Air National Guard will be attendence and satisfactory performance of assigned duties at 48 scheduled inactive duty training periods and 15 days field training (active duty for training) annually, unlessed excused therefrom by proper authority.

After April of 72 Bush never meet his annual training requirements according to documents the White House has released. U.S. News and World Report:
Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period. The U.S. News analysis also showed that during the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration.

See also The AWOL Project by Paul Lukasiak and Lechliter 32 page analysis (pdf).

USA TODAY: Dean Roome, a former fighter pilot who lived with Bush in the early 1970s, said that during the first part of Bush's pilot service, he was a model officer. But he described Bush's Air Guard career as erratic - the first three years solid, the last two troubled.

"You wonder if you know who George Bush is," Roome said. "I think he digressed after a while. In the first half, he was gung-ho. Where George failed was to fulfill his obligation as a pilot. It was an irrational time in his life."

Pressed for details during the 2002 interview, Roome declined to elaborate. In February this year, replying to an e-mail from USA TODAY, Roome wrote that he admires Bush and does not want to be seen as attacking him. "Only George W. Bush knows why he was unable to continue flying in the Guard," Roome wrote.

President Bush' former Harvard Business School prof says his ex-student supported the Vietnam War but wanted somebody else to fight it.

NY Daily News: NeYoshi Tsurumi said yesterday that Bush told him his father's connections got him into the Texas Air National Guard. "But what really disturbed me is that he said he was for the Vietnam War," said Tsurumi, who has also taught at Baruch College and the City University of New York. "I said, 'George, that's hypocrisy. You won't fight a war that you support but you expect other people to fight it for you.' He just smirked."

"He was very casual about it," the professor said. "I said, 'Lucky you, how did you manage it?' He said, 'My dad had a good friend who put me at the head of the waiting list.'"

Monday, September 13, 2004

The AP turns?

Two more Dem friendly articles

A fairly positive treatment of the man who should be president.

Gore Unleashes Fury on Democrats' Behalf
Speaking with a freedom and passion less frequently seen in his own political campaigns, Gore is happily making speeches, raking in money and generally raising hell for John Kerry and the Democratic Party these days. In his spare time, he's also teaching at three universities and raising money for himself through various business ventures.

In recent weeks and months, as an uncensored voice for the Democratic cause, Gore has skewered President Bush's team for moral cowardice, the "lowest sort of politics imaginable," aligning itself with "digital brownshirts" who intimidate the press, and political tactics as craven as those of Richard Nixon. Just to cite a few examples.

It's red meat for loyal Democrats, to whom Gore is the embodiment of what is at stake on Nov. 2.

"There's a lot of emotion that's wrapped up in the outcome of 2000, which I think he can use constructively in 2004," says Democratic consultant Michael Feldman, a former Gore adviser.

Just ask 76-year-old Jim McNeil, a retired steelworker who turned out to hear Gore speak at the United Steelworkers of America headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh last week.

"There stands the real president," said McNeil, who then made just the sought-after segue into support for Kerry on Election Day.

AP actually reviews Bush as Flip-Flopper-in-Chief and finds lots of evidence
Just as GOP efforts to question Kerry's military record in Vietnam helped revive nagging questions about Bush's service in the Air National Guard, the "flip flop" attacks on Kerry could boomerang against an incumbent running on his record and reputation as a straight talker. (It continues with a whole page of Bush flip-flops.

Head of TBN Covers Up His Gay Lawsuit

Televangelist Paul Crouch, founder of the world's largest Christian broadcasting network, has waged a fierce legal battle to prevent a former employee from publicizing allegations that he and Crouch had a sexual encounter eight years ago.

Crouch, 70, is the president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, based in Orange County, whose Christian programming reaches millions of viewers around the world via satellite, cable and broadcast stations.

el - Do conservatives try to keep homosexuality illegal cause they just can't resist it?

The alleged sexual encounter between Ford and Crouch occurred in the fall of 1996, according to Sandi Mahlow, a Tustin housewife who met Ford in a Fullerton church 10 years ago and became a close friend.

Mahlow, 50, who helped Ford write his manuscript, said he broke down in tears after returning from a weekend spent alone with Crouch at a TBN-owned cabin near Lake Arrowhead. Mahlow said Ford told her that he and Crouch had engaged in sexual acts.

"Lonnie had a lot of bad traits; one thing he isn't, and that's a liar," Mahlow said.

Despite TBN's efforts to keep Ford's charges secret, they surfaced in an unrelated 1998 lawsuit. A former bodyguard for TBN personality Benny Hinn testified in a deposition that during a European bus tour that year, Hinn had told a group of associates about "a sexual relationship that Paul Crouch had with his chauffeur."

The witness, Mario C. Licciardello, quoted Hinn as saying: "Paul's defense was that he was drunk."

Hinn and six others mentioned by Licciardello, who died in 2000, told The Times that Hinn never made such remarks. However, Rick Jones, a retired police officer and ordained minister who worked for Hinn, said he heard Hinn talk about Crouch's alleged homosexual relationship on that bus.

el - that really seems to say that Benny Hinn knew about this and is now lying to cover it up. Will wonders never cease, as is constantly shown fancy millionaire preachers who claim to be touched by God have their human vices.

White House released papers show four instances of Lt. Bush Disobeying Orders

The following is adapted from an email I sent Michael Dobbs of the Washington Post regarding this poorly researched article.

The information you have that Bush after April 1972 was a "minimally satisfactory participant" in the Air National Guard relies purely on two sources, one implicated in committing fraudulent paperwork for Lt. Bush, and ignores numerous accounts in other media.

One of your sources, retired Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr. had previously stated of Bush's service in this time period: ""It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable" in the Boston Globe.

At the New York Times Kristof referred to a 32-page analysis of Bush's records - "The record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligations he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard," writes Gerald Lechliter, a retired Army colonel who has made the most meticulous examination I've seen of Mr. Bush's records.

Salon.com in an article called "Dangerously close to desertion" uses Paul Lukasiak's research extensively. Paul examined the White House's data dump of records in February, something every U.S.news organization failed to do despite being urged, and discovered:
- the payroll records which show the dates attended and for what period they applied to show that the five missed weekends in 72 were never made up, contrary to your report.
- even the White House now admits that Bush did not perform actual duties in Boston, but he collected pay only given for actual attendance.
- nearly all supposed training and attendance after April of 72 was at times contrary to what reserve regulations permitted
- .Lukasiak arrived at the overwhelming conclusion that not only did Bush walk away from his final two years of military obligation, coming dangerously close to desertion, but that he attempted to cover up his absenteeism through fraud.

Even disregarding the controversial CBS memos, which research shows appear to be typed on an IBM Executive model D with proportional spacing and the optional superscript TH available at Ellington Field at the time, the White House February data dump included four direct orders which lt. Bush never obeyed:
- the order to take the physical
- three separate orders to report to various bases at times his records show he didn't report.

(The Washington Post separate story of the memo's being able to be produced using standard Microsoft Word is dead wrong. Superficially documents look identical because they use the same font but the original memos have some letters and numbers not level on the line as happens in typewriters, not computers with modern printers.)

Part of the reason to support the authenticity of the CBS memos is that they only confirm documents already released by the White House which the U.S. media had refused to investigate.

U.S. News and World Report has a more complete account of Bush's lack of service in this time period. "Some experts say they remain mystified as to how Bush obtained an honorable discharge."

Retired Col. Rufus G. Martin, who was Bush's personnel officer in Texas and who is a major source for your story, would have to be the person responsible for fraudulent documents showing that Bush completed his required time if other documents and witnesses stating that Bush "has not been seen at this location" are true.

Your article did get the F-102 story correct, Ellington continued to fly these until 1974, but even the AP recently had a story stating Bush spokespersons were lying, excuse me, factually incorrect, when they had given the F-102 not being available at Ellington as an excuse for Bush ceasing to be a pilot.

The preponderance of the evidence is that Bush was not a "minimally satisfactory participant" but that Bush failed to do this and he and others, including Col. Martin, covered this up. The payroll documents the White House released show clear evidence of fraud.

Given this evidence of fraud, Col. Burkett's whistle-blower lawsuit alleging retaliation for among other things refusing to participate in destroying Bush military documents should also be re-examined by the media.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Another Gay GOP Congressman Outed

Vowing to end the major newspapers "don't ask, don't tell" policy on conservative politicians private gay lives and public anti-gay bashing BlogActive and other internet sources outs Congressman David Dreier of California.

Dreier was one of the major supporters of Arnold Schwarzenegger's gubernatorial campaign. He has been a consistent supporter of anti-gay legislation while reportedly living with another man in Washington. In addition to BlogActive, Hustler magazine reveals plans for a major article on hypocrisy in public life with him as an example. When asked if he was gay on a radio interview Aug. 31st Dreier refused to answer. Dreier had become a major GOP public face on television being attractive and articulate and the chair of the powerful House rules committee. Dreier had a 92% approval rating from the Christian Coalition which is pursuing an anti-gay agenda. It is unknown what action Rep. Dreier will now take. The last prominent conservative anti-gay congressman outed by internet activist BlogActive less than a month ago suddenly resigned.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Not Likely Forgeries

Boston Globe: Authenticity backed on Bush documents

Microsoft Word doesn't produce identical documents, with graphic.

So how is Iraq doing?

US casualty rate higher than ever.

U.S. forces have pulled out of large sections of the country leaving it in rebel hands.

The newly trained Iraq Army has been plagued by large numbers of deserters every time it has been called upon to fight.

Oil pipelines bombed every week.

The pro-western Iraqi bloggers I read believe the best solution is for the U.S. to pull out now.
I called one of my friends at Najaf today, Dr. Haidar, and he was telling me how catastrophic the situation in the city is. He said that the number of CIVILIANS killed is 950, and another 1570 were injured which is more than 5 times the number of Iraqis killed and injured in Najaf during the 2003 war.

We’re waiting again for some sort of condemnation. I, personally, never had faith in the American selected proxy government currently pretending to be in power- but for some reason, I keep thinking that any day now- any moment- one of the Puppets, Allawi for example, will make an appearance on television and condemn all the killing. One of them will get in front of a camera and announce his resignation or at the very least, his utter disgust, at the bombing, the burning and the killing of hundreds of Iraqis and call for an end to it… it’s a foolish hope, I know.

The Marines have given up and disbanded the last Iraq militia we trained. They believe they were helping the insurgents.

el - as an experiment, I typed all the headlines and then went searching for links. I see Riverbend is getting too discouraged and miserable to post much.

In my reading today I came across this in the New York Times.
How Many Deaths Will It Take?
President Bush hasn't spoken candidly about Iraq. The troops who are fighting and dying deserve better.

September 11 - after three years

I think Bush deserves a lot of the blame for 9/11.

His administration was repeatedly warned that terrorists, particularly al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, were the biggest national security issue he faced. They were repeatedly urged to move on them. They didn't believe it and wanted to build Star Wars instead.

He told the FBI and other agencies to back off the Saudis. The Bush family and the House of Saud have had a long and lucrative relationship now making them the two most powerful families in the world.

There is much documentation on this, here is some recent by Reporter Greg Palast.
On November 9, 2001, when you could still choke on the dust in the air near Ground Zero, BBC Television received a call in London from a top-level US intelligence agent. He was not happy. Shortly after George W. Bush took office, he told us reluctantly, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI, "were told to back off the Saudis."

We knew that. In the newsroom, we had a document already in hand, marked, "SECRET" across the top and "199-I" - meaning this was a national security matter.

The secret memo released agents to hunt down two members of the bin Laden family operating a "suspected terrorist organization" in the USA. It was dated September 13, 2001 -- two days too late for too many. What the memo indicates, corroborated by other sources, was that the agents had long wanted to question these characters ... but could not until after the attack. By that time, these bin Laden birds had flown their American nest.

After Bush was elected he appointed the head of the Texas Air National Guard to be head of Air National Guard. It has been said this may have been a reward for taking care of some embarrassing Bush records.

Air National Guard planes stationed on 5 minute standby alert in the 70's had been cut back to fewer on 15 minute alert by 2000. Under Bush's watch on 9/11 the Air National Guard was cut back further and did nothing, despite repeated attempts at communication, while four planes with passengers were used as bombs. No one was held responsible. This president has never held anyone responsible for anything on his watch. The only people that Cheney and others have fired have been those who have inconveniently told the truth.

Friday, September 10, 2004

CBS News Sticks by Story, Fires Back Harder

Dan Rather Tonight: There were attacks today on the CBS News "60 Minutes" report this week raising new questions about President Bush's Vietnam-era time in the Texas Air National Guard. The questions raised by our report include:

--Did a wealthy Texas oilman-friend of the Bush family use his influence with the speaker of the Texas House of Representatives .. to get George W. Bush a coveted slot in the National Guard .. keeping him out of the draft and any probable service IN Vietnam?

--Did Lieutenant Bush refuse a direct order from his commanding officer?

--Was Lieutenant. Bush suspended for failure to perform up to standards?

--Did Lieutenant Bush ever take a physical he was required and ordered to take? If not, why not?

--And did Lieutenant Bush, in fact, complete his commitment to the Guard?

These questions grew out of new witnesses and new evidence -- including documents written by Lieutenant Bush's squadron commander.

Today, on the internet and elsewhere, some people -- including many who are partisan political operatives -- concentrated not on the key questions the overall story raised but on the documents that were part of the support of the story.

They alleged the documents are FAKE.









Rather Tag: The "60 Minutes" report was based NOT solely on the recovered documents .. but on a preponderance of evidence .. including documents that were provided by un-impeachable sources .. and interviews with former officials of the Texas National Guard. If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it.

So far, there is none.
Transcript from Drudge.

el - The Right is going ape**** that Rather turned to James Moore, a writer and persistent critic of Bush, to close the segment. Bush's War For Reelection : Iraq, the White House, and the People

Moore also wrote: Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential

I think it takes a Texan like Dan Rather to get this story and stick by his guns.

AWOL Bush - Summary and Forgeries?

US News and World Report has a balanced summary of most of the present facts of Bush's service.

The White House copies of the CBS memos appear to be obvious [wrong see below] forgeries.
The content is correct and consistent with the known facts about Bush being a good officer who decided in 1972 he didn't need to be in the service anymore. However, some claim the materials appear computer generated which raises questions how anyone could have been fooled they were from that time period. See articles from the conservative American Spectator

Washington Post

ADDED - A closer examination of the demonstrations that the documents were forgeries seems to indicate the opposite.

The documents appear to be from Killian's p files which all officers were required to keep and were shipped free to new duty stations. As these are personal files, copies of personnel actions taken and Cover Your Ass memos for the record, there is no standard format.

They appear to be typed on an IBM Executive model D with the optional supercript TH, available for purchase at that time. IBM had the most common office typewriters at the time and a military organization would likely purchase the supercript keys. (The Executive was not the ball type of the also common Selectric II. Except for the smaller superscript th they could have been typed on a Selectric II, they could have been typed on a Selectric if someone changed the ball for the superscript.)

The superimposed gif's demonstrating that it is easy to duplicate the memos in Microsoft word actual demonstate the opposite. They demonstrate it is in the same Times Roman font, available in 72 and now, so superficially it looks identical. But the original memo has some letters not level, like on typewritten documents, and the superscript th is at a different height.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Paul Lukasiak finally gets credit he deserves

Salon: Dangerously Close To Desertion

On Feb. 13, as controversy swirled around President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, the White House released more than 400 pages of documents on the press corps, proving, it claimed, that Bush had served honorably and fulfilled his commitment. The sudden rush of records, often redundant, jumbled and out of chronological order, generally left reporters baffled. From Bush's point of view, the document dump was a political success, as the controversy cooled and the paper trail ran dry.

In retrospect, it's doubtful that even White House aides understood all the information embedded in the records, specifically the payroll documents. It's also unlikely they realized how damaging the information could be when read in the proper context. Seven months later, the document dump is coming back to haunt the White House, thanks to researcher Paul Lukasiak, who has spent that time closely examining the paperwork, and more important, analyzing U.S. Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of the 1960s and 1970s. As a result, Lukasiak arrived at the overwhelming conclusion that not only did Bush walk away from his final two years of military obligation, coming dangerously close to desertion, but that he attempted to cover up his absenteeism through swindle and fraud.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

New York Time's Kristof - Bush's lack of service

It's not fair to say Mr. Bush deserted. My sense is that he (like some others at the time) neglected his National Guard obligations, did the bare minimum to avoid serious trouble and was finally let off by commanders who considered him a headache but felt it wasn't worth the hassle to punish him.

"The record clearly and convincingly proves he did not fulfill the obligations he incurred when he enlisted in the Air National Guard," writes Gerald Lechliter, a retired Army colonel who has made the most meticulous examination I've seen of Mr. Bush's records (I've posted the full 32-page analysis here - pdf). Mr. Lechliter adds that Mr. Bush received unauthorized or fraudulent payments that breached National Guard rules, according to the documents that the White House itself released.

Does this disqualify Mr. Bush from being commander in chief? No. But it should disqualify the Bush campaign from sliming the military service of a rival who still carries shrapnel from Vietnam in his thigh.

el - Bush's conduct was below the bare mininum. He repeatedly disobeyed orders to show up, never made up or was punished for missed days, never took a physical after repeated orders.

Here's a link to the CBS 60 Minutes Ben Barnes interview with Dan Rather - transcript and supporting documents included

AWOL Bush Finally Exposed in US Media

As Lloyd Bridges might have said in Airplane 2004, "Looks like I picked the wrong time to give up blogging."

Boston Globe:
President Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

-- 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 reexamination of Bush's records by the Globe, along with interviews with military specialists who have reviewed regulations from that era, show that Bush's attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush's unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ''satisfactory" -- just four months after Bush's commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months

-- Lawrence J. Korb, an assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs in the Reagan administration, said after studying many of the documents that it is clear to him that Bush "gamed the system." And he agreed with Lloyd that Bush was not alone in doing so. "If I cheat on my income tax and don't get caught, I'm still cheating on my income tax," Korb said.

-- "It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable," said retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon's director of the Air National Guard.

The AP(!) flatly says the Bush campaign was lying.

Bush's 2000 campaign suggested the future president skipped his medical exam in part because the F-102A was nearly obsolete. Records show Bush's Texas unit flew the F-102A until 1974 and used the jets as part of an air defense drill during 1972.

Why, next they might even say Michael Moore was right, Bush was a deserter.

Will Peter Jennings now apologize to Michael Moore and Wesley Clark?

Political Strategy may have been first. This will be the topic in blogville and finally perhaps this time in the US media.

I wrote this last night but couldn't get Blogger to post it. Let me add an update and try again.

Sixty Minutes tonight covered how Bush avoided Vietnam and was never held responsible in the Texas Air National Guard for deciding he was going to walk away from his duties. It has been reported there was a big fight over at 60 minutes over the little bit they did put on.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Kerry - I will bring the troops home from Iraq

Couldn't let this site go on hiatus without the latest breaking news.

As dead US servicemen hit 1,000 Kerry's goal is to bring them all home.

Sunday my ex-wife and I saw Shrek 2 at the $1.50 movie theater. While there I passed out voter registration cards. Unbelievable, a Republican judge just fined someone for doing that. I was very shocked and saddened at the theater as a young girl about 20 said she didn't want to vote - issues were too complicated and she didn't know enough.

Candlelight vigil this Sunday to commemorate 1,000 US dead soldiers so far in Bush's war.

Florida voting officials ignored law and didn't allow voters without ID to vote.If you sign an affidavit swearing to your identity you can vote and if it is a close race those will be checked during a recount. The problem is not only did this occur the top GOP officials support efforts at disenfranchisement. This is part of Republicans continual efforts around the country to cut down on the number of voters.

Monday, September 06, 2004

London: Most likely Iraq future now a bloody violent breakup

Iraq will be lucky if it manages to avoid a breakup and civil war, says a new report from Britain's highly regarded Royal Institute of International Affairs. Moreover, Iraq could become the spark for a regionwide upheaval.

In a bleak assessment of where Iraq stands nearly 18 months after it was invaded, the institute's Middle East team focused on the internal forces dividing the country.

At best, the report suggests, the United States and its allies can hope for a "muddle through" scenario, holding the country together but falling short of their original goal: the creation of a full-fledged democracy friendly to the West.

To achieve even that, the United States will have to keep all of Iraq's factions "more or less on board" through a combination of clever diplomacy and military restraint, while avoiding any hint of interference in coming elections, the report said.

The "default" scenario, though, is the violent breakup of Iraq, the report said. "Under this scenario, Kurdish separatism and Shitte assertiveness work against a smooth transition to elections, while the Sunni Arab minority remains on the offensive," it said.

The breakup could occur regardless of whether "the U.S. cuts and runs" or whether "U.S. forces try to hold out and prop up the central authority," it said.

The institute is an independent research body chartered by the queen; its scholars frequently advise the government.

After close to a million and a half words and over 9500 posts this is the last report for awhile. I am moving and losing my internet service. I do not know when this will resume. Check out the archives and keep the faith until I get back.

AP - Bush's Missing Time, Missing Service Records

I said this will still be an issue - the AP(!) asking the questions

Documents that should have been written to explain gaps in President Bush's Texas Air National Guard service are missing from the military records released about his service in 1972 and 1973
, according to regulations and outside experts.

Air National Guard regulations at the time required commanders to write an investigative report for the Air Force when Bush missed his annual medical exam in 1972. The regulations also required commanders to confirm in writing that Bush received counseling after missing five months of drills.

No such records have been made public and the government told The Associated Press in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that it has released all records it can find.

The five kinds of missing files are:

--A report from the Texas Air National Guard to Bush's local draft board certifying that Bush remained in good standing. The government has released copies of those DD Form 44 documents for Bush for 1971 and earlier years but not for 1972 or 1973. Records from Bush's draft board in Houston do not show his draft status changed after he joined the guard in 1968. The AP obtained the draft board records Aug. 27 under the Freedom of Information Act.

--Records of a required investigation into why Bush lost flight status. When Bush skipped his 1972 physical, regulations required his Texas commanders to ``direct an investigation as to why the individual failed to accomplish the medical examination,'' according to the Air Force manual at the time. An investigative report was supposed to be forwarded ``with the command recommendation'' to Air Force officials ``for final determination.''

Bush's spokesmen have said he skipped the exam because he knew he would be doing desk duty in Alabama. But Bush was required to take the physical by the end of July 1972, more than a month before he won final approval to train in Alabama.

--A written acknowledgment from Bush that he had received the orders grounding him. His Texas commanders were ordered to have Bush sign such a document; but none has been released.

--Reports of formal counseling sessions Bush was required to have after missing more than three training sessions. Bush missed at least five months' worth of National Guard training in 1972. No documents have surfaced indicating Bush was counseled or had written authorization to skip that training or make it up later. Commanders did have broad discretion to allow guardsmen to make up for missed training sessions, said Weaver and Lawrence Korb, Pentagon personnel chief during the Reagan administration from 1981 to 1985.

"If you missed it, you could make it up," said Korb, who now works for the Center for American Progress, which supports Kerry.

--A signed statement from Bush acknowledging he could be called to active duty if he did not promptly transfer to another guard unit after leaving Texas. The statement was required as part of a Vietnam-era crackdown on no-show guardsmen. Bush was approved in September 1972 to train with the Alabama unit, more than four months after he left Texas.

Bush was approved to train in September, October and November 1972 with the Alabama Air National Guard's 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group. The only record tying Bush to that unit is a dental exam at the group's Montgomery base in January 1973. No records have been released giving Bush permission to train with the 187th after November 1972.

Military boards are getting interested.

So, should Bush be required to make up the time he never did?

The released pay record documents are coded to show when Bush performed training and for what required month it was being performed. He never made up five months of missed training. Can you say BUSH was AWOL?

Added - late word from Paul, the records guru:
unfortunately, the guy who wrote this piece is completely clueless. Only ONE of the "groups" of missing documents (the DD44s) should absolutely be in the files. Most of the others either did not have to exist, or were kept in the "Unit Personnel Record Group"---and most of what goes into that file is eventually tossed out. (the important papers go into the Master Personnel Record Group.).

Swift Boat Liar Ordered Men to Fire Upon Unarmed Fisherman

Swift Boat Veteran Bill Means speaks out

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. The officer who ordered this possible war crime - Captain Hoffman.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Why do Chechens hate Russians?

Slate has a history of Chechen and what led up to the hostage takings and terror campaigns.
Russia's terrorism problem is not international Islam. It's a war that Russia started and has continued. Because of terrorism, this war has spread to engulf the entire enormous country.
Wiping out countries doesn't stop terrorism - better find tactics that work.

Moderate California Republican Turns Against Bush

Big time Bush Supporter William Saletan has turned against his election. In his latest column he points out Bush's nomination speech promised what he would do if he was President.
For $2.4 trillion, guess what word—other than "a," "and," and "the"—occurs most frequently in the acceptance speech George W. Bush delivered tonight.

The word is "will." It appears 76 times. This was a speech all about what Bush will do, and what will happen, if he becomes president.

Except he already is president. He already ran this campaign. He promised great things. They haven't happened. So, he's trying to go back in time. He wants you to see in him the potential you saw four years ago. He can't show you the things he promised, so he asks you to envision them. He asks you to be "optimistic." He asks you to have faith.

Sen. Graham: Bush Blocked Revealing Saudi Government Ties to Hijackers

Moore and Democrat Activist's Right

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.

Democratic Activists Preparing For Nasty Fight

If it is a tabloid war they want the Bush campaign is going to get it.

A book is coming out by a popular author detailing Bush troubles with drugs, alcohol, women, and unwanted pregnancies.

It is common knowledge around Washington that Bush has started drinking again and he and Cheney have had past drinking problems.

The AWOL charge will not go away and is coming out again in a big way.

Kerry wanted to respond immediately to the Swift Boat Lies but was persuaded it was a lie and everyone knew it. Because he didn't respond it was allowed to grow and has cast doubts on his believability. Never again. Kerry is assembling his come from behind team and activists who have also gotten tired of the do-nothing Democratic leadership will come out swinging independently.

A taste of this can be found in Kleiman's pick up of Susan Estrich's goes nuclear.
Activist Democrats are angry. As one who lived through an August like this, 16 years ago - replete with rumors that were lies, which the Bush campaign claimed they had nothing to do with and later admitted they had planted - I'm angry, too. I've been to this movie. Lies move numbers.

Remember the one about Dukakis suffering from depression after he lost the governorship? We lost six points over that lie, planted by George W.'s close friend and colleague in the 1988 campaign, Lee Atwater. Or how about the one about Kitty Dukakis burning a flag at an anti-war demonstration, another out-and-out lie, which the Bush campaign denied having anything to do with, except that it turned out to have come from a United States senator via the Republican National Committee? Atwater later apologized to me for that, too, on his deathbed. Did I mention that Lee's wife is connected to the woman running the Swift Boat campaign?

What do you do, Democrats keep asking each other.

The answer is not pretty, but everyone knows what it is.

The trouble with Democrats, traditionally, is that we're not mean enough.
Too much is at stake to play by Dukakis' rules and lose again. That is the conclusion Democrats have reached. So watch out. Millions of dollars will be on the table. And there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

More Thoughts on Bush Speech and other news

Charles Aulds: My wife, who is a very spiritual person, has always warned me about lending my tacit agreement to wrong-doing. I never really understood what she meant until recently, I guess. What she was referring to are "situational ethics," that is, conformance to the behavior (and personality) of the groups I found myself in. I never considered myself "guilty" of doing that, but looking back, I realize I probably did it far more often, and for far longer, than I like to admit. It's the norm in the business/work world, you know, just going along, avoiding expressing convictions that are contrary to those of one's co-workers or (more important) one's superiors.

But complicity in evil is evil. When I laughed along with the crowd at some cruel and overtly racial joke told in the office break room (and that happens a lot, still, in rural Alabama), I didn't consider myself guilty of doing anything wrong. It was wrong, though, and so was I.

This week, I took a step away from years of "going along" simply because it just wasn't worth the effort or risk of setting myself up in opposition to the "group" opinion. I was asked yesterday morning ("baited" might more accurately describe what happened) into giving an opinion of President Bush's speech to the RNC convention the previous night. I put on the false smile (you know the one) and I launched into "well, he said a lot of things I agree with ..."

I couldn't continue. What I heard Thursday night was a repeat of the same lies we were told by this President 4 years ago ... the same "compassionate conservatism" crap I believed then, but couldn't believe again if I wanted to. The magnitude of the lying spirit that hovered over that convention should be apparent to all of us by now. And that's what I said ... that no sensible person of honor would believe these lies after what we've seen from this presidential administration in the past 4 years.

And that's how I feel, and that's what I said.

At this point in the election campaign, it is so very unlikely that you'll present any argument convincing enough to sway another person's vote (though you may encourage someone to register and vote!). I do feel, though, that we can all add our voices to those of the dissenters, the protestors, and the patriots who have exercised their rights to free speech and assembly. And we can add our voices to those that this society exploits and disenfranchises, how about the elderly (who have been terribly ill-served by this administration which wants to funnel Medicare and Social Security funds directly into the pockets of their rich corporate backers). "Society of ownership" my butt ... they want access to those monies to finance their wars of convenience for profit. We're being lied to (again) people.

You've heard it said before, I'm sure, don't argue with a fool because bystanders may not be able to tell the difference. But, likewise, don't give your tacit agreement to things you know are wrong. Simply, and quietly if you can restrain the impulse to yell, explain that you aren't going along with what you consider to be wrong.

Complicity in evil is evil.


American Progress points out some contradictions in his speech:

The FLIP-FLOP President

JOB TRAINING FLIP-FLOP: In a second term, Bush pledged to "double the number of people served by our principal job training program." That is a nice idea, but he has spent the last four years cutting funding for job training programs. His 2005 budget, for example, proposed to cut job training and vocational education by 10 percent - that's $656 million - from what Congress pledged to those programs in 2002.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE FLIP-FLOP: Bush also promised to increase funding for community colleges. But he was for cutting funding for community colleges before he was for increasing it. Last year, the Bush administration proposed cutting the largest direct aid initiative to community colleges, the Perkins program for technical and vocational training, from $1.3 billion to about $1 billion. Congress had to step in to save the funding.

THE PELL GRANT FLIP-FLOP: Another Bush reversal: his pledge to expand Pell Grants for low- and middle-income families. For three straight years, Bush has proposed freezing or cutting Pell grants. This, despite pledging in 2000 to raise Pell grants to a $5,100 limit. The maximum Pell grant is currently $4,050.

SOCIAL SECURITY REDUX: Last night, President Bush pledged to "strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account." What he didn't mention: establishing the privatization scheme could cost $1 trillion or more over the next decade, expanding already record federal deficits. Administrative costs could consume up to 40 percent of the funds placed in private accounts. And, since returns in the stock market vary, many retirees would do quite poorly. Bush may realize this is a bad idea. He proposed the exact same thing in his last acceptance speech, but during four years in office with a Republican Congress, nothing has been done. For more the hazards of Social Security privatization read this new American Progress column.

HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS REDUX: Bush also plans, if reelected, to "offer a tax credit to encourage small businesses and their employees to set up health savings accounts, and provide direct help for low-income Americans to purchase them." What he didn't mention: HSAs will likely drive up the annual deductibles paid by workers. And because of their adverse effects on employer-based coverage, HSAs could swell the ranks of the uninsured.

COMP-TIME/FLEX-TIME REDUX: In another nod to business interests, the president reiterated his proposal to "change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time and flex-time." But while the proposals have attractive sounding names, they actually open the door for employers to pressure workers to "accept time off instead of overtime pay." Even absent explicit pressure, employers would be free to "channel overtime work to those who were willing to take comp-time." Moreover, "employees would have to take their earned time off when it suits their employer rather than when it suited the employee." Bottom line: no one is against giving workers more flexibility to take vacations, but when an hourly worker exceeds 40 hours in a week, he or she should receive overtime.

TAX CUT REDUX: As expected, the president renewed his calls to make his tax cuts for the wealthy permanent. But making the tax cuts permanent would be of great benefit to only very high-income households. Estimates based on data from the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center show that if the tax cuts are made permanent, the top 1 percent of households will gain an average of $58,200 a year (in 2004 dollars) when the tax cuts are fully in effect, reflecting a 7.3 percent change in their after-tax income. By contrast, people in the middle of the income spectrum would secure just a 2.5 percent increase in their after-tax income, with average tax cuts of $655 - a little more than one-ninetieth of what those in the top 1 percent would receive. Moreover, making the tax cuts permanent would swell the deficit and could destabilize the world economy. It would cost $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years, forcing Americans to give up important domestic programs or add to the $374 billion annual deficit. A report by the IMF said the U.S. deficit has already gotten so out of control, it could threaten the stability of the world economy.

El - You might remember he criticized Kerry in the same speech for proposals that Bush says will cost a disputed $2 trillion dollars. Just this one Bush tax proposal alone is an over $2 trillion dollar hit on young people.

George Lakoff describes the dishonest framing used by Zell Miller and Dick Cheney at the convention. The "speeches by Miller and Cheney are filled with classic examples of framing by willful distortion."

Clif points out this article: Soldiers are being asked to vote by sending faxes and emails to a GOP-controlled company which promises to forward the open ballots to the correct locations but refuses to allow observers or even describe the secret process. This is also against the law, non-secret ballots, in many states.

Wrapping it up with Madame Butterfly, for her own recount suddenly thousands of extra votes appeared, contrary to the first line of the state law she would not allow observers at the recount, then she concedes defeat but gets to stay and count Bush's ballots in November.

Finally, I will mention this article that touches on the philosophical undergirding of the neo-Straussians in charge. "The necessary great lies," the secret division of the world into the wise, the leaders and the vulgar masses, the rhetoric of Good vs. Evil, the deification of past great leaders, the disdain for democracy and the rule of law in favor of strong leaders bent on restoring past virtues, the importance of resoluteness for the "right" truth, the belief that "justice is helping friends and hurting enemies," the dislike of multi-culturalism and "girlie men," the belief that you oppose tyrannical regimes by becoming the noble tyranny of the "right," all these and more come from the followers of Strauss.

Friday, September 03, 2004

The GOP Convention thoughts

I watched Bush and the introduction speeches.

This was a good speech for Bush. There are no outrageous lies except for ones that have been said many times in this convention. There is more a glossing over and spinning the facts. This seemed like an ignore my record and see what I will do for you speech. Tax simplification when they have doubled the tax code and have the most amazing shuffling in and out of tax laws for the next few years! Still likely to appeal to middle America with the proposals and the big "this is war framing" macho patriotism with violins and distortions about Kerry.

Afterwards, why did PBS have one moderate analyst, two Republicans who stayed on message, and a center-right analyst? Charlie Rose also wasn't balanced - two conservatives. My local PBS InnerVIEWS ignored the convention and had Mayor White talking about being mayor - softballs, softballs, softballs, Ernie Manouse always passes up opportunities for tough questions everytime I have watched. Almost as bad as the PBS Texas Monthly interview shows. Wow, InnerVIEWS had another interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. An odd disapproving interviewer actual made some attacks that Amy let pass - example "as a peace at any price person..." Amy was great but could have used a hair brush. Amy was pushing her book 'Exception To The Rulers - Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media that Love Them' and commenting on the huge growth of Democracy Now this past year. Amazing stories.

The AP(!) agrees that is distorted and glossed over the facts.

John Kerry agrees with me and calls the convention bitter and insulting. "Every time they open their mouths they can't tell the truth," Kerry said at a rally. "It's time for us to have a president of the United States who can look you in the eye and when he does, you know you're being told the truth."

Ezra at Pandagon: "Senator Kerry opposed Medicare reform (Lie) and health savings accounts (because he wants a larger health care plan). After supporting my education reforms, he now wants to dilute them (If diluting means giving more money too, sure). He opposed reducing the marriage penalty(Except his plan calls for its elimination), opposed doubling the child credit (His plan gives the expanded credit to more families), and opposed lowering income taxes for all who pay them (rich people)."

Zell Miller finds the GOP not welcoming either. The judgement was he did not play well to the TV audience, too hateful and extreme in attacks and appearance, and he was disinvited from the Bush family box. Some GOP members distanced themselves from his remarks which got thunderous applause from the floor contrasting with the weak response to a flat Cheney speech.

More Bush in Alabama Stories Out

Nothing new for internet researchers except it is published in a newspaper, a British newspaper. This is a repeat of the Salon article that requires watching an advertisement or subscription.


Before Karl Rove, Lee Atwater or even James Baker, the Bush family's political guru was a gregarious newspaper owner and campaign consultant from Midland, Texas, named Jimmy Allison. In the spring of 1972, George HW Bush phoned his friend and asked a favour: Could Allison find a place on the Senate campaign he was managing in Alabama for his troublesome eldest son, the 25-year-old George W Bush?

"The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family, and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston and under Jimmy's wing," Allison's widow, Linda, told me. "And Jimmy said, 'Sure.' He was so loyal."

According to what Allison says her late husband told her, the younger Bush had become a political liability for his father, who was then the United States ambassador to the United Nations, and the family wanted him out of Texas. "I think they wanted someone they trusted to keep an eye on him," Linda Allison said.

Allison's recollections of the young George Bush in Alabama in 1972 are relevant as a contrast to the medals for valour and bravery that Kerry won in Vietnam in the same era. An apparent front group for the Bush campaign, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, has attacked Kerry in television ads as a liar and traitor to veterans for later opposing a war that cost 58,000 American lives.

After Bush graduated from Yale in 1968, his slot in the Texas Air National Guard allowed him to avoid active duty service in Vietnam. The former speaker of the Texas state House, Democrat Ben Barnes, now admits he pulled strings to get Bush his coveted guard slot, and says he's "ashamed" of the deed.

Yet, after receiving unusual permission to transfer to the Alabama Guard from Texas, Bush has produced no evidence he showed up for service for anything other than a dental exam. Later, Bush would trade on his father's connections to enter the oil business, and when his ventures failed, trade on more connections to find investors to bail him out.

Allison's account corroborates a Washington Post investigation in February that found no credible witnesses to the service in the Alabama National Guard that Bush maintains he performed, despite a lack of documentary evidence. Asked if she'd ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: "Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way." Allison also confirmed previously published accounts that Bush often showed up in the Blount campaign offices around noon, boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before. (Bush has admitted that he was a heavy drinker in those years, but he has refused to say whether he also used drugs).

[After Blounts loss] leaving the election-night "celebration," Allison remembers encountering George W Bush in the parking lot, urinating on a car, and hearing later about how he'd yelled obscenities at police officers that night. Bush left a house he'd rented in Montgomery trashed - the furniture broken, walls damaged and a chandelier destroyed, the Birmingham News reported in February. "He was just a rich kid who had no respect for other people's possessions," Mary Smith, a member of the family who rented the house, told the newspaper, adding that a bill sent to Bush for repairs was never paid. And a month later, in December, during a visit to his parents' home in Washington, Bush drunkenly challenged his father to go "mano a mano," as has often been reported.

Around the same time, for the 1972 Christmas holiday, the Allisons met up with the Bushes on vacation in Hobe Sound, Fla. Tension was still evident between Bush and his parents. Linda was a passenger in a car driven by Barbara Bush as they headed to lunch at the local beach club. Bush, who was 26 years old, got on a bicycle and rode in front of the car in a slow, serpentine manner, forcing his mother to crawl along. "He rode so slowly that he kept having to put his foot down to get his balance, and he kept in a weaving pattern so we couldn't get past," Allison recalled. "He was obviously furious with his mother about something, and she was furious at him, too."

About George W Bush's disputed sojourn in Alabama, she asks simply: "Can we all be lying?"

But the American media is ignoring Bush's record according to this case study.

Two Candidates, Two Military Records, Two Standards; Media Covers Allegations about Kerry's Service, Ignores Bush's Record

Baseless allegations that Kerry has lied about his military record have gotten heavy media coverage in recent months -- but lies we know that Bush has told about his own military record have gone virtually unreported by the media.

For example, Bush lied during his 1978 congressional campaign, falsely claiming he had served in the Air Force. The Associated Press reported on July 14, 1999:

Another example of a clear-cut Bush lie about his military record that has gone almost completely unnoticed by the media this year is a false claim he made in his autobiography about how long he flew jets for the Guard.

CASE STUDY on the media's double standard: Wesley Clark got negative coverage for remarks made at his campaign event; Bush has escaped similar scrutiny.

In January, during the Democratic primaries, filmmaker Michael Moore, appearing at a rally for then-presidential candidate Ret. General Wesley Clark, called Bush a "deserter," referring to Bush's apparent failure to report for duty in Alabama. A firestorm quickly developed, and Clark was widely condemned in the media for not challenging Moore's comment.

At a Bush campaign event in Beaverton, Oregon, two Bush supporters attacked John Kerry's military record -- one even suggesting Kerry received his Purple Hearts for "self- inflicted scratches" -- in questions to Bush. Bush did not denounce the comments, or disagree in any way. Instead, he thanked the supporters for their comments.
Surely, then, the media has taken Bush to task the way they took Clark to task? And perhaps even more harshly, since there is no evidence that John Kerry's military record is anything less than exemplary, while there is considerable evidence that Bush didn't show up for duty when he was supposed to?

Well, not quite: The media has ignored the Bush event and ignored Bush's tacit endorsement of the attacks on Kerry's military record made in his presence (which, by the way, recalled the 2000 Republican primaries, when, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Bush stood on a stage and listened as a supporter accused McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi, of turning his back on veterans").

A LexisNexis search shows only six mentions of the Beaverton incidents: two Washington Post articles, two Washingtonpost.com articles, a column by Gene Lyons in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and a Scripps Howard article. The Bush event is perfectly analogous to the Clark/Moore event (except that Moore had considerably more evidence to support his position than did the questioners at the Bush event) -- and yet the news media, which covered the Clark/Moore event so thoroughly, has ignored the Bush event.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

"If more people watched the convention and saw that speech the election would be over"

Kevin Drum has a round-up of reaction to Zell Miller's hate speech.

For the first time CNN immediately noted the falsehoods in Zell Miller's speech.

Dana Milbank gets to deconstruct Miller and Cheney's "be afraid" speechs as reaching back over thirty years to twist Kerry's votes and positions. Washington Post editors bury it on page 25.

When you can't run on your record you use lies, smears, fear and hate.

As Zell Miller tore into John Kerry look what Miller still had on his website, a speech introducing John Kerry:
My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders – and a good friend...

John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment.

Casting the First Stone

Progress Report: It was the penultimate day of the Republican National Convention and vitriol was spreading like a sunrise.

On a night when the theme was supposed to be "Land of Opportunity" – focusing on the party's domestic record and second term agenda – Vice President Dick Cheney set the tone. In a 2,800-word speech, Cheney devoted just 50 words of his speech to health care, 92 to the economy and 102 to education. There was no mention of energy policy, trade or the environment. Even Iraq, undoubtedly the focus of Cheney's term in office, merited just 34 words. Number of words Cheney devoted to personally attacking and distorting the record of John Kerry: 671.

THE SENSITIVE HYPOCRISY: Cheney mocked John Kerry for promising to "fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror." He accused Kerry of believing "Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side." But President Bush has used the exact same term in the exact same way. On 3/4/01, Bush said, "because America is powerful, we must be sensitive about expressing our power and influence." Just last April, Cheney himself said, "We recognize that the presence of U.S. forces can in some cases present a burden on the local community. We're not insensitive to that. We work almost on a continual basis with the local officials to remove points of friction and reduce the extent to which problems arise in terms of those relationships."

They also continue lying about the Bush Recession.

GOP Blames Clinton.
Fact denied: Bush has worst recovery in 72 years.
They admitted then it was a Bush recession, now try to push it back to Clinton.
They've been caught revising, killing, and hiding economic data.

Attacks at GOP Convention

Trading Swipes in Texas delegation in race to be governor
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison took a rare swipe at Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, saying he was "trigger happy" for lambasting her for telling a reporter the state had failed to do enough to provide health insurance for more children.

Hutchison said in a television news talk show interview Sunday that Texas has left hundreds of millions in federal funds in Washington that could have been used to provide health insurance for children in families too poor to buy private coverage and too well off to get Medicaid.

Hutchison's comments in the interview with Weslaco's Valley Newsline led Perry's office to accuse the senator of attacking President Bush's record while he was governor.

Former Republican Finds Convention Ugly and Un-American

Long time Republican Charles Aulds, who has left the GOP because of Bush's and his former party's actions under Bush, finds the GOP Convention hypocritical and distasteful. In an email he writes:
For all the flag-waving hoopla, I think the RNC convention has had ugly overtones from the very beginning ... they've definitely chosen the low road in this election season. Unfortunately, "ugly" seems to be working. No Democrat could get away with questioning the courage and honor of a decorated combat veteran who earned both Bronze and Silver stars for bravery under fire. It would be perceived as crass and patently "un-American." You know it; "they" know it too.

Meanwhile grassroots Democrats are urging Senate Democrats to expell Zell Miller from their caucus. Strong Bush supporter Andrew Sullivan, who has turned against the President in recent months over gay rights, called Zell Miller's speech "not merely crude, it added whole universes to the word crude... Remember who this man is: once a proud supporter of racial segregation, a man who lambasted LBJ for selling his soul to the negroes. His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric." Atrios lets the pictures speak for themselves, with his posting of large photos of Zell Miller and Dick Cheney faces as they gave their hate-filled speeches.

John Nichols asks: Why didn't Cheney just say re-elect me as president?

Dan Rather says Tom DeLay is hitting up donors at the convention for millions of dollars and getting the checks to run unregulated attack ads. You know, with those 527's which Bush officially denounces.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

More Publicity for Texas GOP Platform

Houston Chronicle:

Declarations that the United States is a "Christian nation," that "American English" should be the country's official language and that the U.S. Department of Education should be abolished wouldn't play well with large numbers of American voters.

You won't find those provisions in the platform, or statement of principles, that was crafted by the White House and formally adopted Monday by the Republican National Convention. But they are standard fare in the platform of the Texas Republican Party.

Delegates in New York called for increased funding of grants, low-interest loans and tax breaks for working families to "ensure that college is affordable and accessible for America's low- and middle-income families."

Texas Republicans, however, are on record asking the state Legislature to "end all state funding of higher-education grants and scholarships."

The state GOP platform not only "affirms that the United States of America is a Christian nation," it also opposes any governmental efforts to remove displays of the Ten Commandments from public property.

Although Bush has tried to improve the GOP's appeal to Hispanics and occasionally speaks Spanish on the campaign trail, Texas Republicans want "immediate adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States." They also discourage the publication of governmental documents in other languages.

In advocating the abolition of the Department of Education, Texas Republicans said the federal government "has no constitutional jurisdiction over education." The national Republican platform, on the other hand, commends Bush for winning congressional passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, calling it "a promise kept to parents, students, teachers and every American."

Speaking Out - various examples


Yesterday I spoke for the second time at the Pasadena City Council meeting.
For some reason I was much more nervous. Probably because last time I ran out of time and this time I brought my stopwatch and was reading while watching the stopwatch. I was also naming names on those who directly benefit from the road project I oppose when most people do not benefit. I had been exploring why when over 90% of Pasadena citizens do not want this project the elected officials support it eight to one. Afterwards there were no comments on my speech and I realized they didn't believe me when I ran down who benefits from the road project. Particularly they didn't believe that 1st Baptist Church owned the property where 2nd Baptist Church stands, documented in 16 years of Harris County tax records, and that they will have the largest property value increase.

A Republican Speaks Out
Bush’s “talk nice about Kerry’s service record” is the latest strategic ploy by the President’s political advisor, Karl Rove.

The swift boat vet surrogates, led by a longtime GOP operative and financed by two Bush friends, have done their job by attacking Kerry’s record with lies, distortions and ever-changing stories. Now the President can appear to be above all that by saying nice things about Kerry.

But by attempting to equate his laughable record in the Texas Air Guard with real military service, Bush insults every American who fought for his or her country.

The most pathetic irony comes when you realize that the man who used Guard service to avoid fighting in a war later became the President who now sends more Guard and Reserve units, per capita, to fight and die in a far-off land than any administration in history.

Yes, my dear, George W. Bush’s statements on the Today Show over the weekend shows us, without a doubt, what kind of man he is: A pathetic, lying coward surrounded by pathetic hangers-on and cheered on by pathetic, partisan morons.

Enjoy your convention this week honey. I’m going fishing.

(Reporter and columnist Bill McTavish is a registered Republican and a veteran who served three deployments in Vietnam)

Krugman finds analysts speaking out about the Bush disaster in Iraq
Serious security analysts have begun to admit that the goal of a democratic, pro-American Iraq has receded out of reach. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies - no peacenik - writes that "there is little prospect for peace and stability in Iraq before late 2005, if then."

Mr. Cordesman (smart guy - el) still thinks (or thought a few weeks ago) that the odds of success in Iraq are "at least even," but by success he means the creation of a government that "is almost certain to be more inclusive of Ba'ath, hard-line religious, and divisive ethnic/sectarian movements than the West would like." And just in case, he urges the U.S. to prepare "a contingency plan for failure."

Fred Kaplan of Slate is even more pessimistic. "This is a terribly grim thing to say," he wrote recently, "but there might be no solution to the problem of Iraq" - no way to produce "a stable, secure, let alone democratic regime. And there's no way we can just pull out without plunging the country, the region, and possibly beyond into still deeper disaster." Deeper disaster? Yes: people who worried about Ramadi are now worrying about Pakistan.

NPR now helping those Leading the Charge to War with Iran

Speaking Out about coming out

After Illinois Republican Senate candidate Alan Keyes said that Vice President Cheney's lesbian daughter is "by definition" a "selfish hedonist," the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party reaffirmed the party's support for him.

More Republicans speak out to urge a change in direction of party

[Mainstream Republicans] ran a full-page ad in the New York Times on Monday, the first day of the Republican National Convention in New York City. The message opened: "As Republican former Governors, Senators and public officials, we urge our party to renew its allegiance to the proven, common sense values which unite America." Among the values outlined in the ad are fiscal responsibility, safety for all Americans, health as a priority, protection for the environment, partnership with international allies and respect for the Constitution.

The ad specifically called for Republicans to clear the way for embryonic stem cell research, return to Teddy Roosevelt-era protections of air, water and public lands, and take steps to further secure chemical and nuclear plants and shipping containers from terrorist threats.

Spreaking out from the grave

President Reagan said, "Whatever else history may say about me when I'm gone, I hope it will record that I appealed to your best hopes, not your worst fears."

Arianna Huffington always speaks out
Here then, for your voting-booth convenience, is a quick overview of President Bush's "great record":

Since he took office, 1.2 million people in America have lost their jobs, bringing the total to 8.2 million.

The number of Americans living below the poverty line has increased by 4.3 million to 35.9 million -- 12.9 million of them children.

The number of Americans with no health insurance has increased by 5.8 million -- with 1.4 million losing their insurance in 2003. The total now stands at 45 million.

Forty percent of the 3.5 million people who were homeless at some point last year were families with children, as were 40 percent of those seeking emergency food assistance.

Median household income has fallen more than $1,500 in inflation-adjusted terms in the last three years, and the wages of most workers are now falling behind inflation.

Average tuition for college has risen by 34 percent, while 37 percent of fourth graders read at a level considered "below basic." One third of the president's $1.7 trillion in tax cuts benefits only the top 1 percent of wealthiest Americans.

President Bush also failed to fulfill his pledge to get Osama Bin Laden "dead or alive," traded the moral high ground for preemptive war and the horrors of Abu Ghraib, never attended a funeral or memorial service for any of the 975 soldiers killed in Iraq, pulled out of the Kyoto agreement on global warming, gutted the Clean Air Act, initiated the rollback of more than 200 environmental regulations, backed a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriages, and refused to follow through on his promise to extend the assault weapons ban.

So let's get one thing straight: Anyone who is lauding George Bush at the Republican Convention -- and, yes, that includes you Rudy, Arnold, Governor George and Mayor Mike -- is endorsing his disastrous and wholly immoderate record. Thus, by definition, all these Bush strokers have surrendered their moderate credentials -- no matter how warm and fuzzy their positions on social issues. The president's record betrays both courage and compassion, and no amount of lofty rhetoric will change that.

Molly Ivins Always Speaks Out

Death toll mounts, economic numbers get worse, Ashcroft won't let you read the law, and 'God is in the White House'

Speaking Out for Statistical Forecasts

A projection based on the polls from each state shows Kerry winning with at least 298 electoral votes and carrying Oklahoma and Arkansas but not Nevada, West Virginia, or Ohio.

Madame Butterfly loses election

Palm Beach County election supervisor Theresa LePore loses but gets an AP article that make her out a martyr to those mean Democrats. She is not an "Independent" as stated but her election was supported financially and with speakers and aid from the GOP.

That AP story belongs in the Weekly World News like this article on Bush's planned no book presidential library.
"President Bush is proud of the fact that he doesn't read and makes decisions 'from his gut,' " the insider says. "He doesn't keep books in the White House, so he thinks it would be hypocritical to fill up his library with them."

The President is also considering a "Wall of Bushisms' -- those malapropisms he's prone to make, such as "They misunderestimated me" and "I want to make the pie higher for all Americans."