Thursday, September 30, 2004

Currently making the rounds

Got this in email; can anyone point me to the source?

Bush Suffers Breakdown On TV, Wins Debate

Thu Sep 30th, 2004 at 04:59:07 GMT

AP-In a stunning display of raw emotion never before seen on national television, President George W. Bush appeared to suffer a psychological breakdown during last night's square-off with Democratic nominee John Kerry.

Political commentators were quick to agree that Bush won the debate.

Observers first suspected a change in Bush's emotional state when, following a blistering attack from Kerry, a large, apparently wet stain began to appear on the front of the President's pants.

Laying his head upon the podium, Bush began to speak in a soft, high-pitched voice. His microphone was able to pick up questions apparently aimed at his father, former President George H.W. Bush, rather than his opponent. "Daddy. Daddy. Daddy, why don't you love me? " Bush whimpered.

Cokie Roberts, in a post debate roundtable on ABC, stated that such actions "clearly presented a softer, sensitive side" of Bush, "that every man in America will identify with."

Moments later Bush appeared to regain his energy, bolting upright and loudly asking "What's a n***a got to do to get a drink around here?" He then began pounding on the podium while chanting "Jack and Coke, Jack and Coke, Jack and Coke" repeatedly.

MSNBC's Chris Matthews was quick to point out how the alcohol reference would resonate with "Joe Six-pack," while CNN's Wolf Blitzer heralded Bush's use of "the `N' word," as "an appeal to the hippity-hop generation."

As Bush crumpled to the floor, his rival, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, implored the audience to "give the President some air." Kerry also called out to the audience, asking "Is there a doctor in the house?" a clear violation of the debate rules.

FoxNews anchor Brit Hume lambasted Kerry for his "patronizing attitude," while ABC's Peter Jennings stated that he felt that "No American watching is going to want to vote for a candidate who doesn't know if a doctor actually is in the house, I'm sure aboot that."

On CBS, Dan Rather told his network's viewers that the debate was being carried via a pool arrangement of cameras, and that he could not verify that Bush actually was curled up in a fetal position.

Bush's debate performance was seen by most as dealing a harsh blow to Kerry's presidential aspirations.

"If a soiled heap of laundry on the floor isn't what we need in our war against those who would do us harm, I don't know who is," stated debate moderator Jim Lehrer.

More Perception=Reality from BushCo

As multiple attacks ravage Iraq (see story), the Bush Administration responds with an all-out, no-holds-barred campaign of... positive PR.

The Bush administration, battling negative perceptions (sic) of the Iraq war, is sending Iraqi Americans to deliver what the Pentagon calls "good news" about Iraq to U.S. military bases, and has curtailed distribution of reports showing increasing violence in that country.

The unusual public-relations effort by the Pentagon and the U.S. Agency for International Development comes as details have emerged showing the U.S. government and a representative of President Bush's reelection campaign had been heavily involved in drafting the speech given to Congress last week by interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. Combined, they indicate that the federal government is working assiduously to improve Americans' opinions about the Iraq conflict -- a key element of Bush's reelection message.

Please note: "the federal government is working assiduously to improve Americans' opinions about the Iraq conflict", without actually doing anything to improve the situation in Iraq itself.

By the way, please note where the Post chose to position this piece. Yup, page A20.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Don't forget

As major gift-giving season approaches, don't forget to shop early and often at one of my gift-shops, the Wonkery, for satiric political wear, and the Woo Woo Room for slightly-twisted New Age motifs.

Wouldn't you feel better if everyone was showing this bumpersticker?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Oh my

Alan Keyes has a gay daughter?

Upon return from a successful weeklong tour of speaking to sizable crowds throughout the Downstate region, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Alan Keyes chose not to answer questions concerning an internet media storm brewing over photos reported to have been found by bloggers featuring Keyes' nineteen-year-old daughter Maya with another young lady who identifies herself as Keyes' daughter's lover.

Full story at link.

I'm not a big fan of outing people who don't want to be out, but would like to just mention that should Maya turn out to be gay, my irony meter just pinned the needle.


Terror Probe Targets Aging Folk Rockers

Thanks to the Blah3 admin for the link and the laugh.

Bungling 'terror'

The LATimes editorial on the unamerican detentions and 'tribunals' is worth a read:

Saddam Hussein is getting fairer legal treatment than the U.S. citizens whom the Bush administration has deemed "enemy combatants." After all, he has a lawyer to represent him in his war-crimes trial — a whole legal team, in fact. Also, charges have been filed against him, and he has already faced a judge. That's more than alleged dirty-bomb plotter Jose Padilla can say.

Even some Bush administration officials now acknowledge that the strong-arm tactics they adopted three years ago to catch and prosecute terror suspects have backfired. Last week, conceding it had no case, the government simply released Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen, rather than obey the U.S. Supreme Court's order that he be allowed to challenge his long imprisonment. The government's case against a Syrian-born U.S. airman accused of spying collapsed last week as well, and even Pentagon officials now admit that the military tribunals that began last month are so flawed they tarnish U.S. credibility.

Read it all at link.

Cat speaks

Read the former Cat Stephen's commentary in today's LATimes: Something Bad Had Begun.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Stuff like this never happens to me.


A HOUSEWIFE has inherited a rare Shakespeare book from a long-lost cousin which could fetch millions at auction.

Mother-of-three Anne Humphries was bequeathed the rare collection of Shakespeare plays from a relative she did not know even existed.

The First Folio of Comedies, Histories & Tragedies is one of only six in private hands and experts describe it as the most important book in the English language.

Dated 1623 it is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays and only around 750 copies were made.

A "very conservative" estimate by auctioneers predict it will sell for up to £80,000.

But the last such copy, although in better condition, was sold for £4.1 million when it went under the hammer in 2001.

Story here. Thanks to the Bookslut for the link.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

What CBS isn't covering

If you're interesting in information CBS has decided is 'inappropriate' for public airing, I recommend you visit the Center for Cooperative Research online. They have a very extensive timeline detailing what is currently known about the provenance and peregrinations of the Documents Now Know as the Niger Forgeries. Scroll down to February 05,2003 (or click here for a cutout) for speculation on who the originator of the forgeries actually is.

It's sort of sad to have to merely hope that somewhere someone is investigating this story further. Josh? Sy? Please, guys... be journalists. Find out.

CBS joins Bush campaign...

... vows to air no negative stories before election.

This is simply unbelievable. One of the Big Three networks has decided that it would be 'inappropriate' to air a story that "questioned Bush administration rationales for going to war in Iraq." (see link.)

The CBS statement followed a report in the online edition of Newsweek that described the frustration of CBS News reporters and producers who said the network had concluded that it could not legitimately criticize the president because of the questions about the National Guard report.

According to the Newsweek report, the "60 Minutes" segment was to have detailed how the administration relied on false documents when it said Iraq had tried to buy a lightly processed form of uranium, known as yellowcake, from Niger. The administration later acknowledged that the information was incorrect and that the documents were most likely fake.

I think it's safe to call CBS 'the once-legitimate news source'. Here's hoping that someone else is looking into the source of the Niger forgeries, but if you believe Josh Marshall, it sure doesn't look like it.

Friday, September 24, 2004


Heh. Dorothy over at The Chaff blows the gaff on the TANG memo forger. Go look.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Separation of Powers?

The House passed legislation Thursday that would prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on whether the words "under God" should be stricken from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Story at link.

Next on the agenda - passing a law that would prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on any constitutional issues. This will leave them more time for duck hunting, I guess.

Fear of Flying?

Does LegitGov have the real story about Bush's grounding?

Janet Linke has been thinking about George W. Bush a lot lately. Thirty-two years ago, her late husband Jan Peter Linke served briefly in the Texas Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. Bush's service in the same squadron has gotten plenty of mention in an election year when what you did during the Vietnam War is suddenly a litmus test of character. But Linke claims she knows a part of the story that nobody has mentioned.

According to Linke, a Jacksonville resident and artist, Bush's flying career was permanently disabled by a crippling fear of flying.


Contrary to some news reports that suggest Killian admired Bush, Linke says the officer didn't have much use for the young Lieutenant. He mentioned that Bush appeared to have a drinking problem, she recalls, but he was most offended by another incapacity: his fear of flying. According to Linke, Killian said Bush was grounded in his fourth year of flying after he became incapable of flying or properly landing a plane.

"He was mucking up bad, Killian told us," Linke says. "He just became afraid to fly."

Full story at link above.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Patron Saint of Better Times

If you too are wandering in the wilderness, look on Saint Clinton and be reminded of "better times (about 4 years ago) when you had enough money to eat at a nice restaurant, get your car washed or take a day off work."

Thanks to Marty on Bartcop for the link. (Now I'm wavering between a coffee mug and a blank book...)

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Naked came the Emperor

I honestly don't know what's come over Kevin Drum these days. Take note of this recent post in which he chastises Robert Scheer for being intemperate in his criticism of Bush. To wit:

He's a smart guy and a talented writer, but he's too self-indulgent to modulate his tone based on his audience. He's got valuable op-ed real estate at his disposal, and the purpose of valuable op-ed real estate is to persuade doubters, not drive them into the hands of your enemies by confirming their worst fears about your own side.

Let's see if I understand the point he's making... people with doubts about the current administration's record might actually vote for Bush because Robert Scheer calls him a "shallow adventurer, a phony lightweight who has bled the Treasury dry while incompetently squandering the lives of young Americans in a needless imperial campaign"? Ooooh, Robert Scheer is a mean man, so I'm going to vote for the guy who's still claiming Saddam and Osama were best buds? Is that what you're saying, Kevin?

I well remember the months immediately following 9/11, not only for the national trauma, but for what appeared to me to be a national Post Traumatic Shock Syndrome. Suddenly, all criticism of the Glorious Leader became taboo. I felt like I had wandered into the Mirror Universe; everyone else was acting like Bush was a great statesman and all I could see was the same vain, incurious, shallow little man that had been there all along. Only once he began to launch his imperial adventures guided by the NPAC roadmap did the print media begin to oh-so-timidly and cautiously inject a note of warning. The first time I heard someone actually criticize the administration, I felt like cheering - I am not alone! there are others who can also see.

How quickly the story turned, not to the lunacy of the adminstration's policy, but to tut-tutting about the 'Bush Bashers', which morphed into 'Bush Haters', which in turn morphed into 'why do you hate America?'

Now on the left we are afflicted with a growing number of pundits telling us to 'moderate' our criticisms, lest we offend the undecided. Honestly, if someone is -truly- undecided (and I doubt there's as many undecideds as polls claim), do you think they're going to vote for more war and eternal deficits because commentators on the left are pointing out what a miserable failure the adminstration's policies have been in languange that might... Hurt Their Feelings?

Please. The Emperor not only has no clothes, he's been buck naked all along.

So true...

From the Files of the Freeway Blogger:

"I only drink with liberals"

Promoting Democracy, one pint at a time. Heh.

Okay, who's in Northern Virginia?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Cave of the Lost Neanderthals!

No, I'm not talking about the basement where the Freepers hang out...

It's been a long day and I'm tired and going to bed. So here's some light reading; a story in today's WashPost about intrepid archaeologists. Teaser:

"Field research" projects often require scientists to endure discomfort and danger to get where they need to be, but not many can trump this summer's expedition to what may be the world's most inaccessible human fossil site, a cave in the foothills of Romania's Carpathian Mountains.

For the seven-member team, the hazards of reaching the site, accessible only by diving through frigid underwater passages, were worth it. Their finds may help answer some of the most hotly debated questions about early humans: Did they make love or war with Neanderthals? Were Neanderthals intellectually inferior to our human ancestors?

Am I the only one who wishes the newspapers covered more stories like this?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Niger Forgeries

Why is Josh Marshall the only person following this 'story'? You'd think it was at least as important as whether or not Bill Gates invented Times New Roman font...


The WashPost today has a lengthy piece on a National Guard unit who's going back to Iraq:

The 635 soldiers of a battalion of the South Carolina National Guard scheduled to depart Sunday for a year or more in Iraq have spent their off-duty hours under a disciplinary lockdown in their barracks for the past two weeks.

The trouble began Labor Day weekend, when 13 members of the 1st Battalion of the 178th Field Artillery Regiment went AWOL, mainly to see their families again before shipping out. Then there was an ugly confrontation between members of the battalion's Alpha and Charlie batteries -- the term artillery units use instead of "companies" -- that threatened to turn into a brawl involving three dozen soldiers, and required the base police to intervene.

That prompted a barracks inspection that uncovered alcohol, resulting in the lockdown that kept soldiers in their rooms except for drills, barred even from stepping outside for a smoke, a restriction that continued with some exceptions until Sunday's scheduled deployment.


"I think before we deploy we should be allowed to go home and see our families for five days, because some of us might not come back," said Spec. Wendell McLeod, 40, a steelworker from Cheraw, S.C. "Morale is pretty low. . . . It's leading to fights and stuff. That's really all I got to say."

McCarty, the commander, disagrees with those assessments. Overall, he said, the unit's morale is not poor. "The soldiers all have their issues to deal with, and some have dealt with it better than others," he said in an interview in his temporary office.

"We'll tell you what your morale is, soldier."

Saturday, September 18, 2004

From the No-Shit-Sherlock Files

Juxtapose these two AP stories:

First (requires registration or viewing an ad) -

Louisiana voters decided Saturday whether to approve a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, one of up to 12 such measures on the ballot around the country this year.

It was expected to pass by an overwhelming margin, though court challenges are likely. The civil rights group Forum for Equality has promised legal action.

Then there's:

Many New Orleans voters were unable to cast ballots for hours Saturday on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage because voting machines had not been delivered to polling places, a state official said.

At least 59 precincts did not have voting machines when polls opened at 6 a.m. because officials with New Orleans' clerk of court's office failed to meet drivers who tried to deliver the machines earlier that morning, said Frances Sims, the state director of elections.

That's one way to ensure the outcome you want... And you don't even need Diebold machines.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Paranoia strikes deep

Into your life it will creep... it starts when you're always afraid... step outta line, the man come and take you awaaaay...

Campaign mail with a return address of the Republican National Committee warns West Virginia voters that the Bible will be prohibited and men will marry men if liberals win in November.

Wait a minute - I thought they were the book burners. See story at link (requires registration).

The Goes-Without-Saying award

The Navy's chief investigator concluded Friday that procedures were followed properly in the approval of Sen. John Kerry's Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals, according to an internal Navy memo.

See link.

I'm sure it was a disappointment to Judicial Watch's Klayman, who hoped to find a stray superscript.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

You know you'd miss us if we weren't here

China's finding out what I'd been telling them all along - you really need TWO genders to make up a society:

China is asking where all the girls have gone.

And the sobering answer is that this vast nation, now the world's fastest-growing economy, is confronting a self-perpetuated demographic disaster that some experts describe as "gendercide" -- the phenomenom caused by millions of families resorting to abortion and infanticide to make sure their one child was a boy.

The age-old bias for boys, combined with China's draconian one-child policy imposed since 1980, has produced what Gu Baochang, a leading Chinese expert on family planning, described as "the largest, the highest, and the longest" gender imbalance in the world.


From a relatively normal ratio of 108.5 boys to 100 girls in the early 80s, the male surplus progressively rose to 111 in 1990, 116 in 2000, and is now is close to 120 boys for each 100 girls at the present time, according to a Chinese think-tank report.

The shortage of women is creating a "huge societal issue,” warned U.N. resident coordinator Khalid Malik earlier this year.


The vast army of surplus males could pose a threat to China's stability, argued two Western scholars. Valerie M. Hudson and Andrea M. Den Boer, who recently wrote a book on the "Security Implications of Asia's Surplus Male Population," cited two rebellions in disproportionately male areas in Manchu Dynasty China.

Full article here.

I saw a study, ages ago (read: pre-internet) that did some demographic archeology (don't know if that's a real field or if I just made it up) and plotted some variable like 'percent of population that is male between 18-35' against a timeline. Interestingly, whenever the percentage reached some point, there was a big ol' war. Mother Nature's way of bleeding off excess testosterone and Restoring Balance, perhaps.

40 million surplus males. Hmmm... maybe we could recruit them to OUR army for our Imperial Wars?

Re-enlist or DIE!

One unit in Colorado has found an interesting way to deal with the retention problem:

Soldiers from a Fort Carson combat unit say they have been issued an ultimatum - re-enlist for three more years or be transferred to other units expected to deploy to Iraq.

Hundreds of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were presented with that message and a re-enlistment form in a series of assemblies last Thursday, said two soldiers who spoke on condition of anonymity.


"They told us if we don't re-enlist, then we'd have to be reassigned. And where we're most needed is in units that are going back to Iraq in the next couple of months. So if you think you're getting out, you're not," he said.


But some soldiers presented with the re-enlistment message last week believe they've already done their duty and should not be penalized for choosing to leave. They deployed to Iraq for a year with the 3rd Brigade last April.

"I don't want to go back to Iraq," said the sergeant. "I went through a lot of things for the Army that weren't necessary and were risky. Iraq has changed a lot of people.''

Full story at link.

2 AM thoughts

I've heard people on the 'liberal' boards get crazy when Bush talks about the 'War on Terra', like he's such a hick. But .... what if he's speaking the literal truth? What if he's declared war on, you know, Terra??

Okay, I should get more sleep.

No Exit

From Salon (access requires registration or viewing a commercial):

Retired Gen. William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse -- he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He added: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving [Osama] bin Laden's ends."

Retired Gen. Joseph Hoare, the former Marine commandant and head of the U.S. Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

"I see no ray of light on the horizon at all," said Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College. "The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after World War II in Germany and Japan."

"I don't think that you can kill the insurgency," said W. Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute, the top expert on Iraq there. According to Terrill, the anti-U.S. insurgency, centered in the Sunni triangle, and holding several key cities and towns, including Fallujah, is expanding and becoming more capable as a direct consequence of U.S. policy. "We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are X number of insurgents and when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the U.S. presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."


Gen. Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration and senior military officers over Iraq is worse than any he has ever seen with any previous U.S. government, including during Vietnam. "I've never seen it so bad between the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military. There's a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic."

And he's running on his record on national security??

Things our press didn't cover

Among other things the press didn't tell us:

George W. Bush, President of the USA legally could not cross the border into Canada due to his DUI conviction until he was granted a special dispensation from the Canadian Government which allowed him to visit. Fortunately, the Candian Governement processed the documentation allowing Mr. Bush unlimited access to Canada until 2005.

See link.

So what are they gonna say when the cocaine-bust becomes public? 'We take it back'?

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

In cahoots, I tell ya

Donald Rumsfeld dons the tinfoil:

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says journalists have received tip-offs from terrorists of impending attacks in Iraq, singling out Al-Jazeera television as "Johnny-on-the-spot a little too often for my taste".

Rumsfeld gave no specifics or evidence to back up the accusation, which he made during a talk to troops at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the army's 101st Airborne Division.

His comments came just two days after a journalist, Mazen al-Tomaisi, who worked for Saudi television and the Arabic news channel Al Arabiya was killed when a US helicopter fired on a crowd that had gathered around a bomb-struck US armoured vehicle in Baghdad.

Referring to suicide attacks and roadside bombings, Mr Rumsfeld said "it is striking that from time to time at least there is a journalist, quote-unquote, standing around taking pictures of it."

More at link.

Kind of makes you wonder if the journalist was considered a legimate target, doesn't it?

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


So now Killian's secretary comes along and says the Documents in Question are not ones she typed for Killian. Unfortunately, before the Right could trumpet their righteousness, she confirmed their contents. Heh.

The former secretary for the Texas Air National Guard colonel who supposedly authored memos critical of President Bush’s Guard service said Tuesday that the documents are fake, but that they reflect real documents that once existed.

Marian Carr Knox, who worked from 1956 to 1979 at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, said she prided herself on meticulous typing, and the memos first disclosed by CBS News last week were not her work.

“These are not real,” she told The Dallas Morning News after examining copies of the disputed memos for the first time. “They’re not what I typed, and I would have typed them for him.”


Mrs. Knox said she did all of Lt. Col. Killian’s typing, including memos for a personal “cover his back” file he kept in a locked drawer of his desk.

She said she did not recall typing the memos reported by CBS News, though she said they accurately reflect the viewpoints of Lt. Col. Killian and documents that would have been in the personal file. Also, she could not say whether the CBS documents corresponded memo for memo with that file.

“The information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones,” she said.


She also said the memos may have been constructed from memory by someone who had seen Lt. Col. Killian’s private file but were not transcriptions because the language and terminology did not match what he would have used.

Story at link. (requires registration)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Zell Out

The Zell-out has an op-ed in the WSJ... of course he chooses a vehicle that requires a paid registration to defend himself from charges of lunacy; wouldn't want to rub shoulders with the riff-raff. Anyway, Slate's Todays Papers describes:

In a Journal op-ed, Sen. Zell Miller says he wasn't "an angry nut" at the Republican convention; he was just terribly, terribly misunderstood. He explains what he really meant: "As I have said time and again, 9/11 changed everything. Everything, that is, except the national Democrats' shameful, manic obsession with bringing down a commander in chief."

Wow, 9/11 apparently did change everything, since it appears (if you believe Zell) that we're no longer a democracy. I guess it was too beautiful a dream to last.

Sound familiar?

Go here to check out ten signs of a dangerous cult: link.

Includes these warnings:

Any legitimately questionable group or relationship need not exhibit every trait to be considered destructive; in fact, according to cult exit counselor Bruce Laughton, "the presence of only one or two of these traits indicates a genuine need for real concern."


These ten traits are all designed to accomplish one central cult goal: indoctrination into the group's belief system with a simultaneous shutdown of independent thought. The nature and precise details of that belief system will differ sharply from group to cause to philosophy to study group, but the human dynamics involved are always the same. When you find a group of warm, friendly people who have all the answers, whose group claims to speak for God or possess "true enlightenment" exclusively and encourages you to stop thinking for yourself, you have found a destructive cult - no matter what the label, exterior reputation or collection of testimonies would say otherwise.

I see six of the ten in the current administration... Just saying...

Thanks to Moonwatcher on Bartcop for the link.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


A huge explosion in North Korea and we hear about it three days later? We apparently not only don't have a government in any meaningful sense of the word, we don't have any journalists anywhere. Too busy looking for proportional fonts with superscripts, I guess. I mean, this has to have made enough of a boom to be heard in Japan...

superscripts not withstanding...

The guy was AWOL. This from USNews&WorldReport:

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. White House officials did not respond to the analysis last week but emphasized that Bush had "served honorably."

Some experts say they remain mystified as to how Bush obtained an honorable discharge. Lawrence Korb, a former top Defense Department official in the Reagan administration, says the military records clearly show that Bush "had not fulfilled his obligation" and "should have been called to active duty."

The Houston Chronicle examines the Bush flight-logs, which shows that after soloing in fighters for several years, Bush went back to co-piloted trainers and in his last flights, had trouble landing:

The logs indicate Bush did half of his final 21 flights in a training jet or simulator, and on four occasions he sat in the co-pilot's position after more than a year of commanding a single-seat F-102A fighter by himself.

The logs also show the future president was heavily focused at the end of his pilot time on flying by instruments - a skill he mastered during his initial training three years earlier with near-perfect scores of 97 and 98.


The logs also show that Bush, who throughout his career usually landed his jet with a single pass, required two passes to land the F-102A fighter simulator March 12 and a regular fighter jet April 10, 1972. His last flight as an Air National Guard pilot came six days later .

Lots of reasons OTHER than drug-use or alcohol-pickled reflexes why a guy might be having trouble with things that were easy for him earlier; a close call that shook his nerve, for instance. Still, in light of Bush's increasing difficulty with the English language (it's been pointed out that in his debates against Anne Richards he was almost articulate), some sort of degenerative impairment has to be considered.

James Fallows's description of John Kerry's debating skills ("When George Meets John," July/August Atlantic) was interesting, but what was most remarkable was Fallows's documentation of President Bush's mostly overlooked changes over the past decade-specifically, "the striking decline in his sentence-by-sentence speaking skills." Fallows points to "speculations that there must be some organic basis for the President's peculiar mode of speech-a learning disability, a reading problem, dyslexia or some other disorder," but correctly oncludes, "The main problem with these theories is that through his forties Bush was perfectly articulate."

Read the rest here; the comments are well worth a slog-thru as well.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Thanks for clearing that up, Don

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, responding to allegations that he fostered a climate that led to the prisoner-abuse scandal, said yesterday that the military's mistreatment of detainees was not as bad as what terrorists have done. "Does it rank up there with chopping someone's head off on television?" he asked. "It doesn't."

Story at link.

Oh, wait... I see what you're saying. So if someone murders my brother in, say, Virginia, I can go beat the snot out of a total stranger in, say, Oregon. That makes sense... at least as much sense as attacking Iraq to pay back bin Laden...

They're caling it font-gate, sigh

Blah3 has the best summary I've seen so far:

We've got (at least) two documents that are not in dispute as forgeries containing the same text effects that the 'experts' are saying were 'nearly impossible' to have been used in 1972, and a typeface that the 'experts' (seem to) say wasn't even available until the Great God Bill Gates invented it - available nearly 20 years before it showed up in the 'forged' documents.

And to further shred the 'experts' case, Atrios has found JFK assassination documents from 1963 that contain the same text effects that the 'experts' are disputing.

What I want to know is, where are the news-organizations finding these 'experts' who claim that a superscript or curly quotes were difficult to do in '72?

The saddest part is the widow and son making their pitiful little claims.

Gary Killian, who served in the Guard with his father and retired as a captain in 1991, said he doubted his father would have written an unsigned memo which said there was pressure to "sugar coat" Bush's performance review.

"It just wouldn't happen," he said. "No officer in his right mind would write a memo like that."

I don't know what the Guard was like when Gary was serving, but you damned-betcha someone commanding the 'Champagne Unit' where influence was currency kept a CYA file; no one in his right mind would not take this simple step to protect himself. The widow's claim that her husband 'wasn't a paper person' is just pathetic.

One thing I don't see CBS claiming is that Killian typed these memos himself; in fact, they quite deliberately don't say where the memos were stored or how they were created. But I can tell you with metaphysical certainty that Killian did not type them himself.

Keep in mind that this is in 1972. The author in question is a Lt. Colonel - an alpha male of his pack. There's simply no way he would sit down at a typewriter - he might catch Girlie Cooties or something. No, he would mumble a few words into a tape-recorder or scrawl a few words on a yellow legal pad and then leave it off for 'the girl' to type up. And she, being efficient, would have typed it up with carbon and dropped the carbon copy in her 'reading file'; the file where you kept things chronologically, to be referred to if necessary as questions arose or if the original went astray.

Which leads me to some idle speculation. What happened to the 'reading file'? Is CBS not showing the original of this document because it is clearly a carbon and they don't want to burn their source? Who was Killian's secretary in '72? And where is she now?

Yard Sale Economy

Wow, can't they just duct-tape Dick's mouth shut?

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

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

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

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards responded that Cheney's comments show how ``out of touch'' he and President Bush are with the economy.

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

Story here: link

As an eBay powerseller (no brag, just fact), I think I'm qualified to say: Edwards is a lot closer to the mark than Cheney is. It's not a career, it's a yardsale.

Thursday, September 09, 2004


Interesting factoid I found in the dead-tree edition Newsweek (haven't looked for it online yet, so no link.)

If, as has been biographed so frequently, Bush quit drinking on his 40th birthday, that puts his sober years at eighteen... less years sober than Kerry has spent as a Senator. Meaningful stat? Your call.

Sharon Bush Denial is debunked

If you're going to deny you said something, don't leave witnesses. From the New York Daily via Atrios.

Beating the Dead Man

Read the transcript Josh Marshall has posted of WH Spokesman Bartlett trying to spin the recent CBS release of the Killian memos. Count how many times he points out that Killian is No More, has Joined His Fathers, Has Migrated to the Other Side, is Pulse-challenged, etc. I keep expecting Eric Idle to shrill, "oh no - he's just resting!

Seriously, the subtext is obvious. Bartlett is saying if he were living, he'd be receiving the Smear DeLuxe, but it would probably backfire to smear a dead guy so we'll just berate him for being dead.


Have a heaping helping of our hospitality

Well, there's one:

A longtime captive at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be sent home to his native country after a military tribunal there determined that he is not an enemy combatant, Navy Secretary Gordon R. England announced yesterday.

The decision ends nearly three years of incarceration for the man, who was picked up on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

... Pentagon officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the detainee, who is not an Afghan national, was captured in January 2002 and held in a detention facility in Afghanistan for a few months before he was transferred to Cuba, where he has been incarcerated ever since.

The ACLU is left to utter the should-be-obvious "The government's assertion that it is entitled to lock people up indefinitely without any access to the courts violates our most basic notions of fundamental fairness."

One hopes that the unnamed former guest at least received valuable partings gifts - the bus ticket, twenty bucks and a cheap suit.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

"What the VP meant to say was...

Heh. Howard Kurtz has the best translation for Cheney's Kerry-will-cause-terrorists-to-strike faux pas: "Nice little country you have here. Be a shame if anything happened to it."


Hey, he blew off Boston too! From today's Globe:

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

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

By the way, when did 'mispoke' become a euphemism for 'lied until I got caught'?


Josh is now saying that Sixty Minutes has fairly irrefutable proof that aWol was... awol. Of course, those who have partaken of the koolaid will blow this off too. What do you suppose it's going to take?

Monday, September 06, 2004

The Freeway Blogger strikes!

More, much more at The Freeway Blogger

Letting Bush be Bush

In remarks at Poplar Bluff Missouri today, The Candidate said: "Too many good docs are getting out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country. "

Sounds like some kind of pinko-hippy free-love stuff to me. Honestly, doesn't anyone vet his 'remarks' before he makes them? Or did Karen write this for him? And if so, what does that say about HER psyche?

Sunday, September 05, 2004

The Truth Hurts

Wow. Now we find out that Hoffman, one of the co-founders of the pro-George W. Bush group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, when serving on those same rivers in Vietnam, ordered another swiftboat commander to open fire on unarmed Vietnamese fisherman. The commander, apparently knowing he needn't follow an unlawful order, refused. See story here (requires registration - use dailykos, dailykos for ID/password)

No wonder these guys were so stung by Kerry's '71 testimony. The Truth Hurts.

Thanks to Atrios for the link.

Buy Kitty's Book

While we're waiting for it, we can speculate: what did she dig up? Did she get someone to talk about the girlfriend's abortion? How about the baby the Bushes were going to adopt that they returned when Laura got pregnant? What happened to that baby anyway? You suppose she found people to tell her where George really was when he was blatantly NOT in the Guard?


They finally admit it.

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.

For example, 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 AP talked to experts unaffiliated with either campaign who have reviewed Bush's files for missing documents. They said it was not unusual for guard commanders to ignore deficiencies by junior officers such as Bush. But they said missing a physical exam, which caused him to be grounded, was not common.


Records of Bush's service have significant gaps, starting in 1972. Bush has said he left Texas that year to work on the unsuccessful Senate campaign in Alabama of family friend Winton Blount.

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.

More, much more at link. I hate to sound like a cockeyed optimist, but it sure looks like the AP is practicing journalism again...

spot the Secret Service

Kind of a funny picture:

Lots of rally pics here.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Join the MOB

Because Mother Knows Best, heh. Link

Friday, September 03, 2004


From the Boston Globe:

''It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child," Card said. ''I know as a parent I would sacrifice all for my children."

My flabber is gasted... Bush thinks other people are childish?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Angry God strikes Karl Rove blind?

Speakers at this week's Republican convention make their remarks at a wooden podium that some Jewish groups find offensive because its decorative panels appear to form the shape of a Christian cross.

A cross is even more visible in a waist-high gavel stand adjacent to the podium, leading some to question whether the party is trying to send a subtle message to its base among conservative Christians.


President Bush's chief political strategist, Karl Rove, told CNN he did not think the podium's decorative woodwork looked like a cross. "My God, where do they come up with this stuff?" he said. "Does it look to you like it's a cross? I don't think so."

More at link

So who's right? You make the call.

Wow. Great speech

How did Zell play overseas? Let's go to London:

Zell Miller backs Bush, and books himself a place in hell

If there is a hell, and most likely Zell Miller believes in such a thing, then Democratic Senator Zell Miller is going to burn in it. Spin hotly on a giant griddle. For something close to eternity.

Oh yes, siree. He is going to burn in hell.

If hell exists; which one can only hope that it does, because if God exists then he's no kind of God unless he creates a hell for Democrat Senator Zell Miller to burn in. In fact, even if the universe exists without a God, as many would contend, then it may still be within the inarticulate power of this vast mass of galaxies, nebulae and planets to create - within itself - a dark and steaming corner of itself where Mr. Zell Miller can dwell, for eternity, in unspeakable pain. We can call it hell or we can call it Georgia. Just so long as Senator Zell Miller suffers in it.

So - yes - Senator Zell Miller is a very bad person. Let's examine why.

Yes, let's do.