Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Some remnant of a meaningful media still exists

Jimmy Breslin serves it up old school:

The Army Times, a civilian newspaper that is sold mainly on military bases and thus reaches the prime wartime audience, uses eight pages of its year-end review, out now, to run photos of all those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, except 35.

I usually don't refer to other publications, for I have enough trouble with my own. But this issue of the Army Times is so extraordinary and gives hope that it will provide some leadership in the news industry.

There were 506 killed by the time the newspaper closed last Friday. Since then, another seven have died. The newspaper has said this is the deadliest year for the U.S. military since 1972, when 640 were killed in Vietnam.

In introducing the pictures, under the headline "Faces of the Fallen," the Army Times said: "More than 500 service members died in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in 2003, a group that represents the full, rich face of American diversity.

"They grew up in big cities like Chicago and New York and small towns like Layton, Utah, and Cross Lanes, West Virginia. Ten were women, the youngest six 18-year-olds barely out of high school. The oldest, Army Sgt. Floyd G. Nightman Jr., was 55.
The chilling photos run at a time when the government tries to describe the war as a civic venture, and nearly all of the news industry doesn't know how to object. This probably is the worst failure to inform the public that we have seen. The Pekingese of the Press run clip-clop along the hall to the next government press conference.

"We started on the issue three or four weeks ago," Hodierne said. The paper has been running pictures of the dead every week.

"We had 75 percent of the photos. We had to make the best effort we could to go after the others. We went to families and hometown papers. The military doesn't give out so many photos of the dead. People here were upset by the gaps in the rows of photos."

One who was bothered was Anna Pozzie, who scanned the photos into a computer. It was slow, painful work. She became saddened by the pictures. The ages of the dead young men were wrenching.

Steve Zelfers, the photo editor, said, "You stare at the photos and see the cost of the war."
The complaint about the military holding back pictures is one part of the attempt to make you as unaware as possible that soldiers are dying in Iraq. They have this Bremer who stands in his jacket, shirt and tie and talks about the new Iraqi government that we have set up.
He doesn't seem to know about death.

He doesn't know that every time we try to put our democracy into one of these totalitarian countries, the scum comes to the top. They have been living elsewhere and rush back to lick American boots and get positions in the great new government.

The government folds and the imams take over.

And the dead are brought back here almost furtively. There are no ceremonies or pictures of caskets at Dover, Del., air base, where the dead are brought. "You don't want to upset the families," George Bush said. That the people might be slightly disturbed already by the death doesn't seem to register.

The wounded are flown into Washington at night. There are 5,000 of them and for a long time you never heard of soldiers who have no arms and legs. Then the singer Cher went into Walter Reed Hospital and came out and gave a report that was so compelling she should walk away with a Pulitzer Prize.

Finally, a couple of television stations and a newspaper here and there began to cover these things. There are miles to go.

Let Dean be Dean-- whatever that is

Dean's positions can be hard to keep up with. A few days ago he even found Jesus and promised to evoke his Holy name in the South, even though he has said Southerners should not base votes on God, guns and gays. As drastic as his position changes can be, he truly outdid himself on the timing of this flip-flop. As much as I dislike Holy Joe, his comment that Dean has a "rapid retraction team" was actually quite humorous-- and apt.

Dean: Bin Laden guilt best determined by jury

(CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean will not pronounce Osama bin Laden guilty before a trial, he said in an interview published Friday.

New Hampshire's Concord Monitor reported that Dean said he would not state his preference on a punishment for bin Laden before the al Qaeda leader was captured and put before a jury.

"I've resisted pronouncing a sentence before guilt is found," Dean said in the interview. "I will have this old-fashioned notion that even with people like Osama, who is very likely to be found guilty, we should do our best not to, in positions of executive power, not to prejudge jury trials."

Dean added he is certain most Americans agree with that sentiment.

Later, Dean released a statement clarifying, "I share the outrage of all Americans. Osama bin Laden has admitted that he is responsible for killing 3,000 Americans as well as scores of men, women and children around the world. This is the exactly the kind of case that the death penalty is meant for.

"When we capture Osama bin Laden, he will be brought to justice and treated in the same manner that President Bush is recommending for Saddam Hussein."

When you cite Bush as the standard are you being Bush-lite, or Bush-full strength?

If you don't hear from me for a while...

I expect a knock on the door, or perhaps a knocked-down door, any minute now. A search of sales records will reveal to the FBI that I am one of the more consistent readers of almanacs. And I am not a farmer. Admittedly, I have long referred to this handy source to remind myself of voting patterns as I plotted the possible take-over of the government from the Republicans. At least it is warm in Guantanomo.

FBI urges police to watch for people carrying almanacs

WASHINGTON -- The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.

In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

How were you taught to treat the servants?-- And where did your live-in nurse stay?

Momma Dean recently registered as a Democrat, presumably so she can vote for Howie. She has an interesting defense of her son's upbringing not being that of a blueblood-- at least by her standards. Perspective is everything, I suppose.

The Park Avenue building where Howard Dean grew up has a neurologist's office on the ground floor and a church just behind. His mother, Andree Maitland Dean, is eager to emphasize that the family's three-bedroom apartment there is not luxurious.

"Look around," Mrs. Dean said in a recent interview, gesturing at the quarters where her boys grew up. "Howard didn't have the least bit of a glamorous upbringing."

Explaining that every time she had a baby, the dining room would serve as a bedroom for the newborn and his nurse, she concluded, "I don't think we could even keep up with the Bushes."
Mrs. Dean sees her son's unpretentiousness as something he learned at home, pointing out that her own parents taught her to treat people in an egalitarian way.

"When I was growing up," she said, "we didn't even treat the servants like servants."

Years later, he remembers, his parents were immediately accepting of his decision to marry Judith Steinberg, even though it was highly unusual for someone from his family background to marry a Jew.

In fact, his mother said, she and his father discussed Ms. Steinberg's heritage, but decided they really liked her and felt she would have a calming effect on their determined but sometimes scattered son.

"We decided, well, he was never going to belong to the Maidstone Club, anyway."

To the Governor's credit, sounds like they concluded he was a lost cause, so-to-speak.

Solid, but impulsive

From Med School:

"Howard is a very solid resident, a good teacher, intellectual in his approach, who performed well in his third year," said the doctor who evaluated him in 1981. "His major problem continues to be one of impulsiveness."

Some things do not appear to have changed.

Dean threatens to take ball and go home

Well, actually he would ask the ball to stay in the game, but the ball might not listen.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Howard Dean said Sunday that the hundreds of thousands of people drawn to politics by his campaign may stay home if he doesn't win the Democratic presidential nomination, dooming the Democratic Party in the fall campaign against President Bush.

``If I don't win the nomination, where do you think those million and a half people, half a million on the Internet, where do you think they're going to go?'' he said during a meeting with reporters. ``I don't know where they're going to go. They're certainly not going to vote for a conventional Washington politician.''

Well, gee, Howie, if they hate Bush as much as you claim to, and they have a brain, I assume most of the them will vote for the Dem nominee. But if you're right, the Dem party and everyone else who sees the importance of prying Dubya's grip off of the White House needs to plan to do it without them. I would rather go after disenchanted Libertarians, Republicans and Independents than voters linked to a particular personality.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Bush ain't afeared of no brain wastin' disease

As Clark supporter, and fellow Rhodes Scholar, Kris Kristofferson once said, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

Bush Still Eating Beef Despite Scare, Aide Says

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush, the former governor of the nation's top cattle state, has no plans to stop eating beef despite growing worry about mad cow disease, a White House spokesman said on Friday.

"He's continued to eat beef," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with the president to his ranch. The U.S. food supply is safe and public risk from the discovery of the disease is low, McClellan added.

The president had had beef "in the last couple of days," McClellan said.

Economic stakes in the U.S. mad cow scare rose as Venezuela and Egypt joined some two dozen nations that have halted imports of U.S. beef. Food company stocks and cattle prices tumbled as investors worried that U.S. consumers could begin to eat less beef.

The U.S. Agriculture Department quarantined a second herd of cattle in Washington state as the $27 billion U.S. cattle industry came to grips with its first case of the deadly, brain-wasting disease, first found in the United States in a dairy cow in rural Washington state.

Bush says, "Until they find it in a state I can find on a map, I ain't worrying about it."

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to go to fantasy baseball camp?

Anyone who follows politics has heard the phrase, "This smacks of desparation." Well, this is what it actually looks like. An impressive senator is starting to look pathetic.

Kerry Takes a Mortgage of $6 Million on His House

WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 — Senator John Kerry has borrowed $6.4 million against his house in Boston in an effort to finance his campaign in the early presidential primaries, according to mortgage papers filed on Tuesday and a campaign official.

The money will allow Mr. Kerry, who is lagging behind Howard Dean in polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, to spend more in those crucial states, where he must have a strong showing to sustain his campaign.

This is how Howard Dean makes nice?

From the New Democrats Online

Just when we were ready to mix up some eggnog and forget about politics for a week or so, Gov. Howard Dean chose to favor the DLC with one of the more peculiar party unity appeals in recent memory. At a campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Dean said this, according to the Los Angeles Times:

"One of the reasons I wish the other guys running for president would tone it down a little bit is that at the end, we're all going to have to pull together in order to beat George Bush. Even the Democratic Leadership Council, which is sort of the Republican part of the Democratic Party -- the Republican wing of the Democratic Party -- we're going to need them too, we really are."

Maybe Gov. Dean should take his own advice and "tone it down a little" himself. He should know how it feels to be on the receiving end of the insulting charge of crypto-Republicanism, since it was hurled at him by self-styled Democratic "progressives" in Vermont throughout much of his tenure as governor.

Anybody who disagrees with Dean is a Republican-- that's right, NRA approved, Howard Dean. He just can't help himself. You are either with him or against him. Who does that sound like?

Rush discovers right to privacy

Not previously known as a defender of the rights of suspected criminals, Rush Limbaugh has discovered his "liberal" side. Of course, it only applies to him.

Rush then:

I agree with the view, best articulated by Judge Robert Bork, that there is no basis in the Constitution for the privacy right which was announced as the foundational basis for the constitutional right to abortion.

Rush now:

It's not up to me to prove my innocence by giving up my right to privacy. I have to give up my right to privacy now in order for the state who is, in effect, just casting a line out there, hoping to hook something. They've got to invade my privacy to do this.

Must be something mighty interesting in those records. The relevant inquiry, however, is was Rush "Doctor shopping"-- a felony in Florida. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he's innocent until proven guilty, but I'm willing to be my entire Christmas haul that he was.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

Kerry has no money, less real support

Clark continues to position himself well to emerge early next year as the clear choice against Dean. He has the support of two of the most recognizable African-American political leaders and he has enough grass roots support to easily exceed the number of signatures to be placed on the South Carolina ballot. John Kerry on the other hand, opted to pay the $2,500 filing fee instead of getting the requisite number of voters' signatures, even though he recently had to mortgage his house just to stay afloat in the campaign.

Young stands by Clark in S.C.

COLUMBIA -- With former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young at his side, retired Gen. Wesley Clark on Sunday presented 4,000 petition signatures to qualify for South Carolina's Democratic presidential primary ballot.

Clark became the second of the nine candidates for the Democratic nomination to file for the Feb. 3 ballot. Campaign workers for Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts gave the state Democratic Party a check for $2,500 last week to qualify.

Dem Wrestling Federation

A Daily Kos reader posed the question of, "Who could beat up who in the Democratic Presidential field?" Well no one knows for sure, but here's one possible scenario.

The Smackdown

Kucinich would be the first to go, followed by Lieberman who would whine as he was taken out of the ring. Edwards would be too tentative, concerned that his hair might be mussed, and would run from the ring after a menacing glance from Sharpton. Edwards would then file a suit against Al for intentional infliction of emotional distress, and try to find a way to add Kerry to the suit due to his deep pockets.

Gephardt would try to bore the others into submission, but Sharpton would finally have enough of his monotone and bitch-slap him out of the ring. CMB, who earlier had sat on Lieberman and pinned him, would charge Sharpton from behind while he was haranguing Holy Joe, who was now sitting in fourth row insulting the rest of the field as being "unelectable", and both would go flying into the third row where they would continue an unsanctioned bout. Kerry would talk a lot of smack in the ring, but as the battle raged on, he would run out of steam and be disqualified when he tried to engage in an illegal tag team with his wife Teresa.

It would, thus, come down to Dean and Clark. Trippi would get a warning for coaching from the corner. Trippi would then leave the building and coach Dean via his Blackberry. Dean would be scrappy and put up a good fight, showing flashes of brilliant rage that electrified the crowd. As it wore on and his Blackberry battery ran low, Dean would start to feel it slipping away and bite Clark while in a headlock. Clark would look to the referee and ask for a point reduction, but after the ref claimed not to have seen the bite, Clark, saying negotiation had not worked, would get really pissed and drop his signature Body Bomb on Dean. Clark would then get Dean in a full-nelson and insist that in lieu of crying "uncle", that Dean say to him, "You have the power."

Dean refuses, and while not able to pin Dean, Clark maintains him in a hold from which he can't escape and runs out the clock to win on points.

Of course, that is only one possible scenario.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

You have the power, Al Gore...

to make America safer by yanking junior's car keys.

Gore's son charged with pot possession

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The son of former Vice President Al Gore was arrested Friday night on a marijuana possession charge after police stopped the car he was driving for not having its headlights on, according to a news release from the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Police Services.

Albert Gore III, 21, was behind the wheel of a Cadillac driving in downtown Bethesda at 11:30 p.m. EST Friday when it was spotted by a unit with the Montgomery County Police Holiday Task Force, the statement said.

After he pulled the car over, Officer Robert Cassels noticed all of its windows and the sunroof were opened despite the freezing temperature, and he "smelled the odor of marijuana coming from inside the car," the statement said.

A search of the car found "a partial marijuana cigarette" and "a cardboard cigarette box with a baggie containing suspected marijuana," the police statement said.

In addition to Gore, police charged two male passengers in the car with a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana. The three were released from jail, pending trial.

Gore, a Harvard University student, has had previous brushes with the law. He was ticketed for reckless driving by North Carolina police in August 2000 when he was clocked going 94 mph. Military police arrested him for drunk driving near a military base in Virginia in September 2002.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Pity the poor rich and powerful

Thurmond Family Struggles With Difficult Truth

COLUMBIA, S.C., Dec. 19 — After Essie Mae Washington-Williams told the world this week that she was Strom Thurmond's mixed-race daughter, she walked away "completely free" of a burden she had borne privately for decades.

Now members of Mr. Thurmond's sprawling family, a well-connected dynasty in South Carolina, say they are the ones struggling.

The sudden, very public arrival of Ms. Washington-Williams to the family has stirred a mix of frustration, curiosity, discomfort and shame, several relatives of the late Mr. Thurmond said today, speaking about the news for the first time.

Mary T. Thompkins Freeman, a niece of the late senator, who died at 100 in June, said Ms. Washington-Williams's announcement "was like a blight on the family."

Like others, Ms. Freeman heard rumors for years that her uncle, a legendary politician in the South who rose to fame as a fiery segregationist, had fathered a child with a black maid. But she never had to confront the truth, not like this.

"I went to a church meeting the other day and all these people came up to me and you could tell they didn't know what to say," Ms. Freeman said. "For the first time in my life, I felt shame."

Ms. Freeman also said that had the secret daughter been white, "it would be a whole other situation," because public criticism would not have been as harsh.

"Strom rose to such stature, you just wonder how in the world this could have gone on," said Ms. Freeman, 64, a retired teacher in Lugoff, S.C. "My family always had help around the house. But it just seems Strom would have been above that."

James Bishop, a nephew, said the publicity had been "embarrassing and awkward."

"The man's dead, and he can't speak for himself," said Mr. Bishop, 59, a horticulturist in Marietta, Ga. "I don't know why this lady is doing this."

Poor Strom. He's dead and can't speak for himself. Of course, the lucky bastard lived to be 100 and lived off the public dole most of his life. He had 78 years to speak to this issue, Mr. Bishop. He took the coward's way out until the very end. That is ultimately his legacy. Lived one hundred years and NEVER developed the courage to speak the truth. Sad. Tragic. Pitiful.

Poor Strom. Took advantage of a 15-16 year old who worked as a maid in the Jim Crow South. Never acknowledged his daughter publicly. Never acknowledged his gross hypocrisy. Poor 'ol Strom. You know a man once said if we'd elected him President back in 1948 we wouldn't have had all these problems. Not sure to which problems he was referring. An epidemic of llegitimate births, perhaps. Absentee fathers run rampant. Lowlife sonsabitches unwilling to live up to their responsibilities. Strom woulda nipped those problems in the bud, you betcha.

How dare this woman speak the truth. Must've gotten that trait from her mother.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Ask Bush to make the case against Saddam

Bush is walking around with a special swagger in his swagger, and it's not just the bum knee. Dubya think's he has killed the Ghost of Bush-one-termers Past by capturing the guy his dad compared to Hitler, and then left in power as if 'ol Flyboy Bush were some yellow-bellied French appeaser. A mindless media seems to agree-- the Dems are doomed!

Bush's approval ratings bounced, but so what? Iraq needs to get a whole lot more pleasant in the coming months, and why would any reasonable person anticipate that just because Saddam was found in a hole the size of some Japanese hotel rooms? If Americans are still dying and still paying a hefty bill for Iraq in 10 months, will they really give a rats ass that Saddam is on trial somewhere? Well, they might if Shrubya can deliver on his BS and innuendo.

Bush, with the help of a spine-less, cajones-clipped media, has convinced a majority of Americans that Saddam Hussein had a significant role in 9/11. Well now is Dubya’s chance to seal his electoral fate. Let’s bring the SOB back to America, after a lengthy pit-stop in Gitmo, of course, and put him on trial for 9/11. If Ashcroft’s “Justice” Dept. fails to convict him, he would go free, but hell, with enough "evidence" to justify a costly and deadly war, surely we can easily convict the guy, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Has there ever been more arrogance and hubris in the oval office?

Next time someone poses the question, "Why do people hate Bush?", they should start with this article.

Remember 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? For Bush, They Are a Nonissue

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 — In the debate over the necessity for the war in Iraq, few issues have been more contentious than whether Saddam Hussein possessed arsenals of banned weapons, as the Bush administration repeatedly said, or instead was pursuing weapons programs that might one day constitute a threat.

On Tuesday, with Mr. Hussein in American custody and polls showing support for the White House's Iraq policy rebounding, Mr. Bush suggested that he no longer saw much distinction between the possibilities.

"So what's the difference?" he responded at one point as he was pressed on the topic during an interview by Diane Sawyer of ABC News.

To critics of the war, there is a big difference. They say that the administration's statements that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons that it could use on the battlefield or turn over to terrorists added an urgency to the case for immediate military action that would have been lacking if Mr. Hussein were portrayed as just developing the banned weapons.

"This was a pre-emptive war, and the rationale was that there was an imminent threat," said Senator Bob Graham of Florida, a Democrat who has said that by elevating Iraq to the most dangerous menace facing the United States, the administration unwisely diverted resources from fighting Al Qaeda and other terrorists.

Is Condolezza ready for her closeup?

Shrubya and company have done an excellent job of hiding truly scandalworthy goings on from a public weary of the manufactured scandals from the Clinton years. This may be one matter they can't keep from the light of day.

9/11 Preventable?

(CBS) For the first time, the chairman of the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is saying publicly that 9/11 could have and should have been prevented, reports CBS News Correspondent Randall Pinkston.

"This is a very, very important part of history and we've got to tell it right," said Thomas Kean.

"As you read the report, you're going to have a pretty clear idea what wasn't done and what should have been done," he said. "This was not something that had to happen."

Appointed by the Bush administration, Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey, is now pointing fingers inside the administration and laying blame.

"There are people that, if I was doing the job, would certainly not be in the position they were in at that time because they failed. They simply failed," Kean said.

To find out who failed and why, the commission has navigated a political landmine, threatening a subpoena to gain access to the president's top-secret daily briefs. Those documents may shed light on one of the most controversial assertions of the Bush administration – that there was never any thought given to the idea that terrorists might fly an airplane into a building.

"I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile," said national security adviser Condoleeza Rice on May 16, 2002.

"How is it possible we have a national security advisor coming out and saying we had no idea they could use planes as weapons when we had FBI records from 1991 stating that this is a possibility," said Kristen Breitweiser, one of four New Jersey widows who lobbied Congress and the president to appoint the commission.
Asked whether we should at least know if people sitting in the decision-making spots on that critical day are still in those positions, Kean said, "Yes, the answer is yes. And we will."

Kean promises major revelations in public testimony beginning next month from top officials in the FBI, CIA, Defense Department, National Security Agency and, maybe, President Bush and former President Clinton.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Joe Loserman probably hates this article

Clark's Jewish support

Jewish supporters say Clark is best positioned to stanch what some fear might be a massive Jewish defection to President Bush’s camp in November 2004. Clark’s solid pro-Israel pronouncements and history in uniform, they say, are the best Democratic bet against Bush’s tough-on-terror image and his rapport with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

One New York City fund-raiser with Jewish supporters in October netted over $1 million for the campaign, a Clark spokesman said.

“There wasn’t a candidate that could beat Bush until Clark,” says Michael Hoffman, a Chicago Web designer who started Jews for Clark. “He has a niche. Some of the other candidates, especially Dean, worry a lot of people, especially when it comes to fighting terrorism.”

Doing Saddam's Dirty Work

I wonder if Osama lit up a cigar when Saddam was caught. Being the type of secular leader Osama hates, they weren't exactly fast friends. Saddam's an evil bastard. Brutal enough to keep just about anyone out of his Iraq he didn't want there. The door's open now. But there are so many targets elsewhere.

Saddam Is Ours. Does Al Qaeda Care?

WASHINGTON — While President Bush was careful to remind Americans that even with Saddam Hussein behind bars, "we still face terrorists," the White House and Pentagon have characterized the arrest as a major victory in the war on terrorism. But is Iraq really the central battleground in that struggle, or is it diverting our attention while Al Qaeda and its confederates plan for new strikes elsewhere? There's strong evidence that Osama bin Laden is using Iraq the way a magician uses smoke and mirrors.

The calls to arms by Al Qaeda only intensified after the fall of Baghdad, when its intermittent Web site, Al Neda, similarly extolled the virtues of guerrilla warfare. In urging Iraqis to fight on, the site invoked prominent lessons of history — including America's defeat in Vietnam and the Soviet Army's in Afghanistan.

But as useful as Iraq undoubtedly has been as a rallying cry for jihad, it has been a conspicuously less prominent rallying point, at least in terms of men and money. The Coalition Provisional Authority may be right that thousands of foreign fighters have converged on Iraq, but few who have been captured have demonstrable ties to Al Qaeda. Nor is there evidence of any direct command-and-control relationship between the Qaeda central leadership and the insurgents.

If there are Qaeda warriors in Iraq, they are likely cannon fodder rather than battle-hardened mujahedeen. In the end, Qaeda's real interest in Iraq has been to exploit the occupation as a propaganda and recruitment tool for the global jihadist cause.

While America has been tied down in Iraq, the international terrorist network has been busy elsewhere. The various attacks undertaken by Qaeda and its affiliates since the occupation began have taken place in countries that are longstanding sources of Osama bin Laden's enmity (like Saudi Arabia) or where an opportunity has presented itself (the suicide bombings in Morocco in May, Indonesia in August and Turkey in November).

In fact, Saif al-Adel, the senior Qaeda operational commander who was credited with writing the "Shadow of the Lances" articles, is widely believed to have been behind the May attacks that rocked Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, but he has yet to be linked to any incidents in Iraq.

Lieberman transformed? I still think a better haircut could do wonders.

Can we get the Queer Eye Fab Four on this guy?

Gore Rejection Sends Jolt of Life Into Lieberman's Bid

In the span of a week, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman has become a man transformed.

I dunno. Still seems like the same whiny jerk to me. How 'bout you?

Monday, December 15, 2003

Mass graves may have many culprits

Throughout this whole debacle in Iraq, Lunaville has done an excellent job tracking US casualities. Today that site has a great post regarding other facts that might come out at Saddam's trial for war crimes. An excerpt:

First, from Human Rights Watch and the rebels themselves;
The rebels slaughtered thousands of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds; some by execution, by slitting throats, by hanging, by shooting...all were dumped into those mass graves.

"It was a revolution," says one Basrawi rebel. "It was glorious. There were demonstrations and shooting. There were bodies all over the place."

Then some excellent witnesses from the US Government;

"I'm not sure whose side you'd want to be on," then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney said as the uprisings began.

Colin Powell, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the Shiites, as well as the Kurds in the north, "never had a chance of succeeding, and their success was not a goal for the administration."

"Our practical intention was to leave Baghdad enough power to survive as a threat to an Iran that remained bitterly hostile toward the United States," Powell said in his book, "My American Journey."

Marlin Fitzwater, the White House spokesman at the time, said the "administration felt no guilt for refusing to aid the rebels."

Gen. COLIN POWELL: "The only issue that came up is, "Should we do something about the Iraqi helicopters? "It had never been one of our objectives to get involved in this kind of civil uprising between factions within Iraq and the Iraqi government. And so it was not clear what purpose would have been achieved by getting ourselves mixed up in the middle of that."

Pres. GEORGE BUSH: [April 3, 1991, Florida] "I do not want to push American forces beyond our mandate. We've done the heavy lifting. Our kids performed with superior courage and they don't need to be thrust into a war that's been going on for years." ...

And a whole lot of those bodies in the 1991 graves that weren't put there by the rebels were put there by the USA.

Thousands of Iraqi troops were buried alive in their trenches, with US troops bulldozing over top of them;

"Many Iraqi soldiers were killed by the simple expedient of burying them alive: in one report, American earthmovers and ploughs mounted on tanks were used to attack more than 70 miles of trenches. Colonel Anthony Moreno commented that for all he knew, 'we could have killed thousands'.

One US commander, Colonel Lon Maggart, estimated that his forces alone had buried about 650 Iraqi soldiers.

"What you saw was a bunch of buried trenches with peoples arms and things sticking out of them,' observed Moreno.

The US Pentagon defended this atrocity, saying there was a "gap" in international law that allowed for burying the troops alive.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Dubya finds common ground with the French

Bush demands that Clark's testimony be secret and scrutinized

PARIS, Dec. 13 — Washington has agreed that Gen. Wesley K. Clark, the former NATO commander and a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, can testify in the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic. But the Bush administration has demanded the right to edit videotapes and transcripts of the sessions before they are made public.
Closed sessions are routinely held at the United Nations tribunal that deals with Balkan war crimes, but usually to protect witnesses's safety. The conditions of General Clark's appearance are new.

The court agreed to give the United States government 48 hours to review the testimony and to ask judges to suppress any it regards as sensitive. Two government lawyers will accompany the general.

"The review is to ensure there was no inadvertent disclosure of sensitive, classified information," said Pierre-Richard Prosper, the United States ambassador at large for war crimes issues, in a telephone interview from Washington. During the Balkan wars, he said, General Clark "obviously had seen a substantial amount of intelligence." But, he added, "we feel fairly confident that the bulk of the testimony and videotapes can be released."...

Among the 280 witnesses who have already testified at the trial, there have been many high-profile witnesses and many senior military officers from other nations. Only France is known to have insisted that its top military officers testify behind closed doors.

Anti-Deaniacs with a budget, here you go...

Dems aren't that good with negative ads, even against each other. Dan Conley has an alternative to the current anti-Dean offering that would work better.

Whoever these guys are, give me an hour playing around on iMovie and I'll come up with a better anti-Dean ad than this ... and I won't even charge you for it.

How's this for a concept ... you start with George McGovern saying "this war was wrong from the start" cut to the crowd cheering, then you superimpose Dean's face over McGovern as you cut back to the podium. The voiceover says "third two years ago, Democrats nominated anti-war candidate George McGovern. We lost 49 states."

Now you cut to Walter Mondale saying "both Ronald Reagan and I will raise your taxes. He won't tell you, I just did." Cut to crowd cheering, cut back, superimpose Dean's face on Mondale. Voiceover: "20 years ago, Democrats nominated a candidate who promised to raise our taxes. We lost 49 states."

Voice over: "Howard Dean thinks his campaign is making history. But this is no time for us to suffer another historic defeat." Cut to shot of Dukakis in the tank, with Dean's face superimposed on Dukakis. "We can't give George W. Bush four more years. Let's get serious Democrats. If we nominate Dean, we re-elect Bush."

Friday, December 12, 2003

Let them eat MREs

More details about Dubya's duplictous photo op. Oh yeah, I mean the one with the turkey. No, I don't mean Dick Cheney, I mean the pretty unedible one on the tray.

MREs for Thanksgiving

...Stars and Stripes is blowing the whistle on President Bush's Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad, saying the cheering soldiers who met him were pre-screened and others showing up for a turkey dinner were turned away.

The newspaper, quoting two officials with the Army's 1st Armored Division in an article last week, reported that "for security reasons, only those preselected got into the facility during Bush's visit. . . . The soldiers who dined while the president visited were selected by their chain of command, and were notified a short time before the visit."

The paper also published a letter to the editor from Sgt. Loren Russell, who wrote of the heroism of his soldiers and then added: "[I]magine their dismay when they walked 15 minutes to the Bob Hope Dining Facility, only to find that they were turned away from their evening meal because they were in the wrong unit. . . . They understand that President Bush ate there and that upgraded security was required. But why were only certain units turned away?"

Russell added that his soldiers "chose to complain amongst themselves and eat MREs, even after the chow hall was reopened for 'usual business' at 9 p.m. As a leader myself, I'd guess that other measures could have been taken to allow for proper security and still let the soldiers have their meal."

The 1st Armored Division officials told Stars and Stripes that all soldiers had the opportunity to get a proper Thanksgiving meal -- possibly more than the newspaper's editors will get in Guantanamo next year.

Don't you feel better being ripped off by Halliburton instead of a damn Canadian company?

The Shrub thinks we should reward Halliburton because young Americans with no affiliation to the company risked their lives in Iraq. As one of those taxpayers Dubya was talking about yesterday, I would rather pay a Canadian, German or, dare I say it, a French company $61 million less.

Cheney's old company gouges US taxpayer

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A Pentagon audit has raised questions about whether a subsidiary of Halliburton -- an oil services company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney -- overcharged the U.S. government $61 million for gasoline imported from Kuwait to Iraq.

The Pentagon said Thursday a routine review turned up the potential overcharge by subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root, which was awarded a no-bid contract in March to rebuild Iraq's oil industry.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Republican Parables, Republican Myths

I received this "joke" in an email recently. Pardon me for being analytical, but I think one must buy into the underlying premises to find it funny. I don't.

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for redistribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican.

One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich & more welfare programs. In the middle of her heart-felt diatribe based upon the lectures she had from her far left professors at her school, he stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school.

She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she had to study all the time, never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. That she was taking a more difficult curriculum.

Her father listened and then asked, "How is your friend Mary." She replied, "Mary is barely getting by", she continued, "all she has is barely a 2.0 GPA" adding, "and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies." But to explain further she continued emotionally, "But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often doesn't even show up for classes because she is too hung over."

Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only had a 2.0." He continued, "That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair equal distribution of GPA."

The daughter visibly shocked by the fathers suggestion angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!"

The father slowly smiled and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party!"

This is a typical Republican parable parading as a joke. The analogy assumes most of the rich are self-made people who have not benefitted from connections. People who believe that probably also believe Dubya got into Yale based on grades and standardized test scores. They also believe that his daddy's friends funded his failed oil business because they were impressed with his smarts, experience and business savvy. And they probably also believe he was allowed to become a minority owner in the Rangers because of his business experience and baseball knowledge and didn't even realize he was "that George Bush."

As has been said before, Dubya is like his daddy. Born on third base, convinced he hit a triple. In fact, he seems far worse than his father on that score.

This analogy also assumes that everyone that is struggling to keep their head above water is in that situation because they are irresponsible and refuse to work hard. Even worse, they struggle because they are shameless, hedonistic libertines.

The message: Republicans are hardworking folks who’ve earned everything they’ve got and should not be required to share with the lazy, shiftless riff-raff that comprise the Dem party.

There are other sub-messages. Of course, there is the tired notion that ultra-liberal professors indoctrinate the young to become hard-left Democrats. This belief persists despite the fact that the number of people self-identifying as liberal has declined over the years. Another ridiculous assertion is that Dems believe that Bill Gates should be taxed until he has no more than a drunk on the street. Everything must be equalized—you get a 3.0 GPA, I get a 3.0 GPA.

John Edwards has probably made the best economic argument thus far in the campaign. Bush favors policies that favor wealth, not hard work. People who've never worked a day in the life may benefit from receiving a capital gains tax cut. One can sit by the pool and drink themselves silly and receive a tax cut. Paris and Nikki Hilton have fared very well under Bush and they seem to do little else but jet set from party to party. Dick Cheney received a bonus every year from Halliburton even though he never actually met the performance standards spelled out in his contract that were supposed to determine his bonus. He received a form of "social promotion", so to speak. Didn't earn it, but what the heck. He was also rewarded with the same severance he was promised if he worked a particular length of time, even though he left two years sooner than he was supposed to get it. Most Republicans don't even recognize the contradiction. In fact, most people don’t. These myths create our perception of reality, even when that perception cannot survive meaningful scrutiny.

Compassionate Conservative Parenting

I was reading over Dubya's 2000 acceptance speech at the Repug convention. Of course, there were the lies, falsehoods, distortions, half-truths, etc. I expected and mostly remembered that. But this section caught my eye.

To our daughters, Barbara and Jenna, we love you, we're proud of you, and as you head off to college this fall ... ... Don't stay out too late, and e-mail your old dad once in a while, will you?

And mother, everyone loves you and so do I.

Okay, saying everyone loves Barbara was a lie, too. I can't stand her. But, "Don't stay out too late..."? I know he was busy that summer, but I wonder if this served as his send-off to his daughters? And e-mail only? Can't you afford a weekly phone call? At least nights and weekends on the cell phone?

He's a Jerk, but he has more guts than Shrubya

Of course, so does Hillary and a 140,000 American troops.

Defense Secretary Visits Iraq to Meet Troops

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in Baghdad on Saturday that a program to train and deploy Iraqi security forces should be accelerated as Washington works to return sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

Rumsfeld was speaking after arriving in Baghdad from the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk where he began a first-hand appraisal of political and military conditions in Iraq.

Republican Party Branches Out to Brazil

Brazilian Mayor Bans Gays

The document signed by Berti on Tuesday bans homosexuals from taking up residence and staying permanently in Bocaiuva do Sul. The decree cites the need to push up birth rates and "preserve respect and family atmosphere" in the town of 10,000 people.

Somewhere, a wingnut is trying to connect this to Clinton

Haley, Convicted in Whitewater Probe, Dies at 72

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - John Haley, a Little Rock attorney who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after being swept up in the Whitewater investigation of former President Bill Clinton, was killed on Thursday in the crash of his private plane, his family said on Saturday.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

South Carolina a better measure of the Dem base than Iowa or New Hampshire

Watch for Clark to really take off in the coming weeks.

In South Carolina, Democratic Race Up for Grabs

"The field organization that is starting to come together here is Clark's. He is beginning to gain traction, at Edwards' expense," former state party chairman Dick Harpootlian said.

Keep those lies a comin'

Ever have someone lie to you when you knew they knew you knew they were lying? Didn't you think they must be some kinda sick puppy?

U.S. Says Retaliation Threat Not a Factor on Steel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick said on Thursday that the decision to end steel tariffs was based on studies showing the tariffs were no longer needed rather than out of fear of retaliation.

Speaking to reporters at the White House after the Bush administration announced it was scrapping steel import tariffs 16 months earlier than scheduled, Zoellick said the decision stemmed from the administration's analysis that they were no longer needed rather than on a World Trade Organization ruling that they were illegal.

"What I'm saying is this process was independent," Zoellick said. "In other words, the decision that the president made was (based) on an independent analysis."

Bush thinks it's just more fun when you lie

Nothing this White House likes better than a good lie. Things Bush is most thankful for: Kobe, Scott Peterson, Columbo, Michael Jackson, a disengaged electorate.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's flight plan was falsified last week to hide his Thanksgiving Day visit to Iraq, the White House said on Thursday, in another example of the extraordinary -- and deceptive -- steps taken in arranging the battle-zone trip.

Critics have said admitted deceptions over the trip threaten Bush's credibility, which has also been challenged on larger issues such as his assertions Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction that have not been found. ...

But David Wise, author of the 1973 book "The Politics of Lying," said, "The trip certainly I'm sure gave a morale boost to the troops, but that's almost beside the point."

"The question is, should the government engage in lying in order to essentially ... protect a photo op? The answer is, no it shouldn't," he said. "It's a serious business when government lies, and eventually it does hurt a government and a president's credibility."

And even the photo op was a lie.

What happened to "Bring 'em on."?

So Dubya found a war he didn't want to fight.

Trade War Averted After Bush Drops Steel Tariffs

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Japan and Europe dropped threats of tit-for-tat trade retaliation after President Bush scrapped controversial steel tariffs ahead of schedule, risking a political backlash at home.

Despite possible political damage ahead of next year's presidential election, Bush offered little to cushion the blow to U.S. steel makers and workers, who accused the Republican president of "capitulating to European blackmail."

In announcing the decision Thursday, Bush did say he would keep in place an existing system to license and track steel imports so that he could "quickly respond to future import surges that could unfairly damage the industry."

Minutes after Bush's about-face, the European Union suspended plans for retaliatory sanctions against $2.2 billion in U.S. goods, including politically sensitive products such as citrus fruits from Florida.

Japan also said it would drop a threat to impose retaliatory tariffs on $458 million of U.S. goods, but added that it wanted to make sure the U.S. tracking system did not impede trade.

"We hope that the United States will continue to abide by World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and play a leading role in maintaining free trade," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told a news conference Friday.

Rush embraces victimhood

Forget Limbaugh's signoff before going into rehab. Now he is claiming to be a victim. How many shows would he have gotten out of these same facts if the perpetrator had been a prominent Dem or liberal?

(CNN) -- Criminal investigators are searching doctors' offices for evidence that conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was "doctor shopping" for controlled substances, according to search warrants filed in the clerk's office of the Palm Beach County, Florida, State Attorney's office.

"His actions violate the letter and spirit" of Florida law, criminal investigators said.

The term "doctor shopping" commonly means a patient -- who may or may not have a legitimate physical ailment -- goes from doctor to doctor with the objective of improperly obtaining multiple prescriptions for prescription painkillers.

Limbaugh allegedly received doctors' prescriptions for more than 2,000 pills -- including the prescription painkillers oxycontin, lorcet and hydrocodone -- according to the search warrants.

The court papers indicate those drugs were sometimes obtained in the same week, less than a month apart.

Limbaugh returned to the airwaves last month after a five-week rehabilitation program to help him overcome his addiction.

Limbaugh's lawyer, famed criminal defense attorney Roy Black, denounced the searches of Limbaugh's physicians' offices and the seizure of his medical records.

"What these records show is that Mr. Limbaugh suffered extreme pain and had legitimate reasons for taking pain medication," Black said in a statement read by Limbaugh on his talk show.

"Unfortunately, because of Mr. Limbaugh's prominence and well-known political opinions, he is being subjected to an invasion of privacy no citizen of this republic should endure," he said.

The court documents state that Limbaugh used multiple doctors "to obtain excessive amounts of controlled substances to support his addiction."

Investigators say they have searched two doctors' offices in Palm Beach County and have a search warrant for a third office in that area. A law enforcement source said there is also a search warrant for a fourth doctor's office in the Los Angeles area.

Black said the four doctors whose offices were searched had "treated Rush Limbaugh for serious medical conditions and the pain resulting from them.

"Let us make our position clear: Rush Limbaugh is not part of a drug ring. He was never a target of a drug investigation. He became addicted to a prescription drug during legitimate medical treatment. He has publicly admitted this problem and has successfully sought treatment, which continues today.

"We won't speculate on why the State Attorney's Office is handling Mr. Limbaugh's case the way it is. But what should be a responsible investigation is looking more and more like a fishing expedition," Black said.

The Whitewater investigation was a fishing expedition, Mr. Black. This is a wealthy criminal that the "old Rush" thought should be sent up the river.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Psst..Hey buddy...wanna buy some drugs?

Bush thinks he has a victory with this one. I kinda doubt it.

Analysts: Medicare Drug Costs Will Rise

WASHINGTON - Seniors will face annual increases in premiums and deductibles — and a growing gap in coverage — for the prescription drugs they buy under the new Medicare law, budget analysts say.

For example, the $250 annual deductible at the start of the program in 2006 is projected to rise to $445 by 2013.

The legislation that won final congressional approval Tuesday would allow seniors to buy coverage — at an estimated monthly premium of $35 — for their prescription drugs beginning in three years. After they agreed to the monthly premiums and paid their first $250 in pharmacy bills, the coverage would kick in, paying 75 percent of their bills between $250 and $2,250.

After that, there would be no further coverage until beneficiaries' drug bills for the year reached $5,100, leaving a gap of $2,850 that they would have to pay out of their own pockets. Above $5,100 the insurance would pick up roughly 95 percent of costs.

Those are the numbers supporters of the bill have used, with little mention that they would change in future years.

But after just one year, the Congressional Budget Office projects that seniors would see their $250 deductible and the $2,850 gap for which there is no coverage both jump 10 percent.

By 2013, the eighth year of the program, the deductible and the coverage gap are both projected to grow by 78 percent.

In other words, seniors would pay a $445 deductible and those with the largest drug bills would be entirely responsible for more than $5,000 in drug costs.

Bush family values

Room service takes on a whole 'nother meaning for well-connected, well-to-do.

HOUSTON (Reuters) Neil Bush, younger brother of President Bush, detailed lucrative business deals and admitted to engaging in sex romps with women in Asia in a deposition taken in March as part of his divorce from now ex-wife Sharon Bush.

According to legal documents disclosed on Tuesday, Sharon Bush's lawyers questioned Neil Bush closely about the deals, especially a contract with Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp., a firm backed by Jiang Mianheng, the son of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, that would pay him $2 million in stock over five years.

Marshall Davis Brown, lawyer for Sharon Bush, expressed bewilderment at why Grace would want Bush and at such a high price since he knew little about the semiconductor business. ...

Bush said he was co-chairman of Crest Investment Corporation, but worked only an average of three to four hours a week. For that, he received $15,000 every three months.

Bush said he provided Crest "miscellaneous consulting services."

"Such as?" asked Brown.

"Such as answering phone calls when Jamail Daniel, the other co-chairman, called and asked for advice," Bush said. ...

Bush is the third of five children in the family of former President George Bush and wife Barbara.

He was involved in a business controversy in the late 1980s when he was director of Denver, Colorado-based Silverado Savings & Loan, which collapsed at a cost to taxpayers of $1 billion.

He denied any wrongdoing, but was sanctioned by the federal government for his part in the failure.

The Bush divorce, completed in April after 23 years of marriage, was prompted in part by Bush's relationship with another woman. He admitted in the deposition that he previously had sex with several other women while on trips to Thailand and Hong Kong at least five years ago.

The women, he said, simply knocked on the door of his hotel room, entered and had sex with him. He said he did not know if they were prostitutes because they never asked for money and he did not pay them.

"Mr Bush, you have to admit it's a pretty remarkable thing for a man just to go to a hotel room door and open it and have a woman standing there and have sex with her," Brown said.

"It was very unusual," Bush said.

Can you imagine being able to write a killer Penthouse letter almost every time you stay in a hotel? "I had just finished my room service hamburger and was watching World Sport on CNN International when a beautiful woman knocked on my door, entered my room and rocked my world without saying a word."

Apparently, this is standard practice when you stay at the Concierge Level of Bangkok's finest hotels. I hear you also get a free cocktail hour and a copy of USA Today during the week.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Kids say the darndest things

Don't know who to attribute this to, but I thought I would share.

John Ashcroft was visiting an elementary school. After fifteen minutes of speaking he says, "I will now answer any questions you have."

Robert stands up and says, "Mr. Ashcroft, I have four questions: 1] How did Bush win the election with fewer votes than Gore? 2] Why are you using the American Patriot Act to limit civil liberties? 3] Why haven't we caught Osama Bin Laden? 4] Where are the weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?"

Just then the bell rang. The kids rushed out to play. Upon their return, Mr. Ashcroft said, "I'm sorry we were interrupted. I will answer any questions you have." A little girl named Julie stands up and says, "I have six questions: 1] How did Bush win the election with fewer votes than Gore? 2] Why are you using the American Patriot Act to limit civil liberties? 3] Why haven't you caught Osama Bin Laden? 4] Where are the weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? 5] Why did the bell ring 20 minutes early? and 6] Where is Robert?

A Royal Trashing

Well, you can dress him up, but you can't take him out.

Remember the hullabaloo about the Clinton/Gore trashing of the White House in the finals days of American democracy that never really happened? Sounds like Dubya might need to some fence mendin' with our last remaining ally.

Queen's fury as Bush goons wreck garden

THE Queen is furious with President George W. Bush after his state visit caused thousands of pounds of damage to her gardens at Buckingham Palace.

Royal officials are now in touch with the Queen's insurers and Prime Minister Tony Blair to find out who will pick up the massive repair bill. Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-mantained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads with three giant H landing markings for the Bush visit.

The rotors of the President's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Black Hawks damaged trees and shrubs that had survived since Queen Victoria's reign.

And Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men trampled more precious and exotic plants.

The Queen's own flock of flamingoes, which security staff insisted should be moved in case they flew into the helicopter rotors, are thought to be so traumatised after being taken to a "place of safety" that they might never return home.

The historic fabric of the Palace was also damaged as high-tech links were fitted for the US leader and his entourage during his three-day stay with the Queen.

The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage.

"The Queen has every right to feel insulted at the way she has been treated by Bush," said a Palace insider.

"The repairs will cost tens of thousands of pounds but the damage to historic and rare plants will be immense. They are still taking an inventory.

"The lawns are used for royal garden parties and are beautifully kept. But 30,000 visitors did not do as much damage as the Americans did in three days.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

A few words of free advice for the General

Of course, we all know how much free advice is usually worth.

While Bush gets by with almost daily contradictions and outright falsehoods, the media is scouring anything Clark has ever said looking to feed the inconsistency meme that the Repugs are pushing. (I've heard he once complimented Dick Cheney on his tie, but I haven't found the videotape.) The latest is from Face the Nation regarding Clark saying nice things about Rumsfeld’s appointment early on juxtaposed against Clark saying to Rather that he would not have appointed him. I understood Clark’s answer, but I think it needs to be bit more clear. I suggest:

I knew Rumsfeld from when he served previously and knew him to be extremely bright and capable. But at the time I spoke highly of his appointment, I assumed that his world view was more in line with the realties of the world we find ourselves in. As he has demonstrated, clearly it is not. In 2000, if I was President, I might have considered him for a position. If I had, I would have interviewed him, discovered the discrepancy in our world views and would not have appointed him, just as I said to Dan Rather recently.

On the comment about the Iraq war resolution that will not die, and was brought up in every major media appearance this past week:

When I said I thought the conversation with those journalists was “off the record”, what I meant by that was that we were have a free wheeling conversation in which I was thinking out loud about a complex and hypothetical situation, not stating a policy position for the record. This issue is less cut-and-dried than many would want you to believe, which is why I don’t think one’s vote on this should be any kind of litmus test for Democrats.

Listen closely, because I want to clarify this once and for all. If I were President, I would have wanted the Congress’ clear support to strengthen my hand with the UN. This is what I assume my fellow candidates who voted for the resolution were trying to achieve. More specifically, perhaps, trying to strengthen Colin Powell’s efforts to work through the UN. I don’t fault them for their vote. The Neocons never wanted to go to the UN in the first place and anyone interested in a diplomatic solution may have felt that providing Colin Powell with greater leverage was the best bet to avoid war.

In an ideal world, if I were in Congress I would have hoped to have a resolution that would have required the President to come back to the Congress. But don’t kid yourself. At the point this President decided to go to war, he would have gone with or without a resolution, and the Republican congress was not going to tie his hands. What I have said is that I would not have voted to go to war. But to be fair to them, I don’t think every congressmen who voted for the resolution viewed themselves as voting for war.

By the same token, I don’t fault Dennis Kucinich for voting against the resolution and I don’t fault anyone who claims they would have voted against the resolution if they had had the opportunity. This war at this time was absolutely not necessary. This war distracted us from the war on terrorism. I have been very consistent on this. Howard Dean consulted with me at least four times about foreign affairs and he never thought my position was otherwise. That said, once it was imminent, I supported our troops and wanted them to have everything they needed to be successful—especially an effective strategy for success which this administration has never had.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Wonder how much time they spent talking about this plan?

Wow. If this doesn't get tons of attention, even with the Kobe, Michael and Laci obsessions, I'm not sure what will. I'm glad Clark didn't get Tommy's endorsement. This certainly lends insights to why he feels a kinship with an AWOL President.

Gen. Tommy Franks says that if the United States is hit with a weapon of mass destruction that inflicts large casualties, the Constitution will likely be discarded in favor of a military form of government.

Franks, who successfully led the U.S. military operation to liberate Iraq, expressed his worries in an extensive interview he gave to the men’s lifestyle magazine Cigar Aficionado....

If that happens, Franks said, “... the Western world, the free world, loses what it cherishes most, and that is freedom and liberty we’ve seen for a couple of hundred years in this grand experiment that we call democracy.”...

“It means the potential of a weapon of mass destruction and a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event. Which in fact, then begins to unravel the fabric of our Constitution. Two steps, very, very important.”

Franks didn’t speculate about how soon such an event might take place.

If we have to give up our freedom to avoid losing our freedom, how do we come out ahead? And I thought not being free to travel to Cuba was bad.

It’s just politics, plain and simple

Clark continues to be questioned about Hugh “can I get some vodka” Shelton’s chickenshit cheapshot. Understandably, he’s kinda peeved by it. Frankly, I think he needs to resist the urge to consistently offer lengthy explanations about policy differences over Kosovo. The average voter needs something more brief and simple. I think he needs to cast that winning smile and laugh it off. The more serious he takes it, others will take it. Here’s how I wish he’d respond:

“Look, it’s pretty obvious that Hugh’s remark was just politics, plain and simple. I served in the military over 34 years and have an established record I invite anyone to examine. I’ve released my entire military record, and encourage President Bush to do the same by the way, and no superior officer that I served under ever questioned my character or integrity. In fact, it was just the opposite. And it wasn’t like I was pulled overnight as the Supreme Allied Commander. I continued to serve for months after the decision was made regarding my replacement and I was assured by Hugh that the only reason was because they had to assign my replacement on a particular timeline or he would have to be knocked back down to a two-star. And when I left I was awarded the highest medals possible for my service during that assignment.

You know, even though we had policy differences, I took Hugh Shelton at his word at that time, so if he is saying something different now both versions obviously can’t be true. But if has any real issue with me, I assume he’ll be man enough to tell me directly and not through some vague innuendo as a dinner speaker. I think he’s a better man than that. But any fair person who looks at my military evaluations will quickly conclude that his single remark is a non-issue. I believe the American people are fair and see through this kind of politics for what it is.”

Now others should raise this point: Hugh Shelton and William Cohen reportedly deceived Clinton into thinking Clark was on board with leaving his post early. Clinton was reportedly angry when he found out he had been duped by Shelton and Cohen. Character and integrity issues? Shelton should be called on to tell the truth about the deceitful way he and Cohen fooled the Commander-in-chief.

Moreover there is this gem from that integrity deprived little weasel Cohen on May 1, 2000:

Q: This is General Clarke's last visit to Kosovo today. Any word on how he has performed his job?

Sec Def.: He has done an extraordinary job. General Clarke is one of our most brilliant officers. He undertook a mission that is perhaps one the most complicated and complex and carried it out successfully. As I mentioned in my remarks, this air campaign was the most successful in the history of warfare. We had over 38,000 sorties that were flown. We had only two planes that were shot down and no pilots lost. That is a record that is unparalleled in the history of warfare. So, General Clarke and his entire staff and subordinates and all who participated deserve great credit.

Q: Why is he leaving office, then?

Sec Def.: He is leaving because we have General Ralston who will become the new SACEUR. We are now replacing many of our CINCs throughout the world.

Q: It is not a reflection on his performance?

Sec Def: No reflection at all. He has done an outstanding job as the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Southern Command, and he did an outstanding job here as EUCOM Commander and also as SACEUR.

Now, Cohen on October 15, 2003:

WILLIAM COHEN, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY: There was friction between General Clark and myself. And, frankly, I think it would be inappropriate for me to comment on his political aspirations. I made a judgment during the time that he was serving as head of NATO, SACEUR. And I felt that the ax, as such, when it fell spoke for itself.

Really? Then what were the words you spoke at the time, then? Bald-faced lies?

An attorney doing a cross examination would pose the question like this:

"Mr. Cohen you have made contradictory statements about General Clark's removal as Supreme Allied Commander. So which is it, were you lying in the May of 2000 or are you lying now?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

So much for the flypaper theory

I thought one of the supposed benefits of being in Iraq was that we wanted to invite terrorists to attack our troops in Iraq so that they will forget about the rest us back in the states. Guess this general is not on board with that inane plan.

Few Signs of Infiltration by Foreign Fighters in Iraq
BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 18 — The commanding general of the United States Army division that patrols much of Iraq's western borders with Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that his men had encountered only a handful of foreign fighters trying to sneak into the country to attack American and allied forces.

"I want to underscore that most of the attacks on our forces are by former regime loyalists and other Iraqis, not foreign forces," said the officer, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., commander of the 82nd Airborne Division.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Sure, the Brits hate Bush now, but once they see him up close...

then they'll really wonder why the rest of us put up with the moronic, faux cowboy bastard.

Bush granted an exclusive to Rupert Murdoch's tabloid with boobs, The Sun:

Speaking on the eve of a two-day State Visit to the UK, the US President said: “I can’t imagine what it would be like if I were a mother or a dad to have lost a child.

That's why we're in Iraq, and why you're not qualified to be Commander-in-Chief.

You're also a contradictory liar:

“I understand how bad they hurt."

You're gonna have a hard time selling Europe on this one since they still have some semblance of a free press (outside of Rupert's holdings):

“I want your readers to know the military is my LAST choice, not first choice.”

Compassionate Conservatism: Promise hugs for the family members when you send their sons and daughters to die in a needless war.

See, I understand the consequences of war. I understand particularly when I go and hug the moms and dads and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters of those who died.

Not sure when this has happened, but we know it hasn't been at any soldier's funeral since he hasn't attended any.

Is the world a safer place since the war in Iraq? He replied: “Yes, much safer. The free world has recognised the threat.

Do you really think Bush said recognized with an "s"?

“In order to make the world safe, you’ve got to see reality.

“And the reality is that there are cold-blooded killers who are trying to intimidate, create fear and shape the will of the civilised world."

The problem is, most Europeans polled think that Bush tries "to intimidate, create fear and shape the will of the civilised world."

One of my vows to the American people is, I won’t forget the lessons of September 11, 2001.

That lesson for Dubya: Terrorism is great for poll ratings.

The Sun is beaming over its coup:

Sun beats the world

THE Sun scooped the world with its interview with Mr Bush — and it hasn’t gone down well with our rivals.

The President has given no one-on-one interviews this year with major US papers.

When asked why he chose The Sun, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan told miffed reporters: “It has a large readership.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

Well, they say she is a polarizing figure

Apparently Hillary is generating a little generational tension. Too bad. Since both are wasting their time, they have alot in common.

The Draft-Hillary Camps Push Their Buttons, and Each Other's

How divided is the race for the Democratic presidential nomination? Even the Draft Hillary movements can't stand each other.

"We're avoiding him," says Adam Parkhomenko, the 18-year-old leader of VoteHillary.org in Arlington, talking about Bob Kunst, leader of Miami Beach-based HillaryNow.com.

"I'm avoiding him," says Kunst of Parkhomenko. "The kid is on a total ego trip."

Not true, says Parkhomenko. "We wouldn't be in this situation if the guy had just returned my e-mails. And when he finally did, all he wanted was for me to help him to sell bumper stickers."

"I'm way too busy for this nonsense," Kunst declares.

The timing of this spat could not be worse. It coincides with Hillary Rodham Clinton's much-hyped appearance at the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner Saturday night. This is a momentous occasion for those who believe that the senator's presidential candidacy in 2004 is inevitable, like Santa Claus on Christmas, despite her numerous vows to the contrary. ...

Saturday's dinner is also a chance for the Draft Hillary movements to coalesce. But there's little coalescing going on between Parkhomenko and Kunst. They are selling their respective Hillary buttons and bumper stickers outside Veterans Memorial Auditorium. They are separated by about 50 feet but don't speak to each other. Only about each other.

"He's an 18-year-old kid," says Kunst, who is 61. "I don't trust him."

"Yeah, whatever," Parkhomenko says. ...

Saturday, November 15, 2003

Deja Vu?

I recall a helicopter crashing after hitting a military transport plane in Iran in 1980. Many people saw it as a turning point in Carter's presidency, supposedly reflecting a lack of competence and deepening the sense of American frustration over the Iran hostage crisis. What will the tipping point be in Iraq?

MOSUL, Iraq (AP) - Two Black Hawk helicopters collided and crashed Saturday night, killing 17 American soldiers in the U.S. military's worst single loss of life since the Iraq war began.

Five soldiers were injured and one was missing, the military said. One helicopter smashed into the roof of a house, witnesses said, and there were reports one of the aircraft was shot down.

As the U.S. death toll in Iraq passed the 400 mark, the Iraqi Governing Council endorsed a U.S. plan Saturday that would create a provisional government by June. The transfer of power would provide Washington with an "exit strategy" in the face of escalating guerrilla warfare.

Wonder who they were talking about?

Fresh from Iowa:

"We need to offer answers, not just anger," Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) told a boisterous party fundraising dinner. "Solutions, not just slogans. So Iowa, in January, don't just send them a message. Send them a president."

"We are all angry at George Bush, we should be angry at George Bush," said Sen. John Edwards (N.C.). But he cautioned that anger alone will not change the country. "If all we are in 2004 is a party of anger, we can't win."

Being pissed ain't enough? Ya think?

"Hi, I'm Wes Clark and I'm running for President."

Clark readies to spend a little cash on media:

Clark will spend a substantial portion of his resources on paid advertising, launching on Tuesday an ambitious two-month , $1.1 million media buy in New Hampshire that highlights his combat heroism and NATO leadership and keeps him on television through the Jan. 27 primary, with few down days. The ads will be launched with a $220,000 first-week blitz of 60-second spots. Campaign officials hope that the spots will help define Clark for the large percentage of undecided voters in the state who know little about him.

Soon after, the campaign plans major television buys in South Carolina and Arizona, states where Clark is popular. The later buys are part of an aggressive strategy that anticipates Clark doing well in New Hampshire, and breaking out of the nine-person pack in the Feb. 3 primaries, creating a two-man race with Dean.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

Latest from Gallup

For those thinking Dean has somehow wrapped up the Dem nomination before a single vote has been cast, the latest numbers from Gallup make clear this race is far from over.

Howard Dean Still an Unknown Quantity to Many Americans
No front-runner among Democrats for their party's nomination

The lack of significant upward movement in the name identification of Dean is perhaps the most surprising finding here. He has been widely considered -- by pundits, columnists, and professional political observers -- to be the front-runner in the race, and he has certainly received a good proportion of the news coverage about the Democratic candidates. Still, as can be seen, only 46% of members of his own party say they know enough about Dean to give an opinion either way, slightly less than his name identification among all Americans.

And in a head-to-head with Bush, Clark still does best:

Bush 50
Wesley Clark 47

Bush 53
Howard Dean 44

Bush 52
Dick Gephardt 46

Bush 52
John Kerry 46

Bush 52
Joe Lieberman 46

Clark does best of the five leading Democrats; Bush beats Clark by only three percentage points among registered voters nationwide. Dean does the worst; Bush beats him by nine percentage points.

We are a long way from the finish line, folks. Support the candidate of your choice, and work for his or her election.

Clark to stay within financial limits

Guess these means Clark will need to rely on Moveon.org, Soros, and others to attack Bush if he gets the nomination. Expect to see even more free TV time for the General if that happens. Heck, he might even become Larry King's co-host. Good morning, Regis. Dave, how's the new baby? Don Imus, can we talk? Oprah, have you read my book(s)?

Clark to accept public financing

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic hopeful Wesley Clark, who flirted with the idea of skipping public financing of his campaign despite a late fund-raising start, announced Thursday he will stay within the system.

The decision means Clark will be limited to $45 million in overall primary spending and will face state-to-state spending caps. He will be eligible for up to about $19 million in government funding for his campaign.

Keep the truth to yourself, soldier. That's an order!

Commander-in-chief blasted on Rockford air waves

ROCKFORD -- An Illinois National Guardsman at home on leave blasted the President today on a Rockford area radio show, saying the President lied about his reasons for American military going to Iraq.

Sergeant Jessica Macek of Rockford, Illinois has been serving in Iraq for six-months with the National Guard's 333rd MP Company, and while home on leave, during an interview on WNTA 1330 AM Radio in Rockford said she believes that President Bush lied about the reasons for going to war.

"I believe it is in the forefront in the minds of many soldiers that we were lied to about the reasons for going to war," Macek told the radio audience.

The bulk of Macek's criticism comes over what she said was a lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction. "We have been there for six months now, and we have not found any weapons," said Macek. "If there were weapons it seems we should have found them by now."

In a subsequent interview Macek said she may not have used the best wording when she offered her criticism of Bush and that she "can't always think of the best words to use at the best times."

Macek was on leave for nine days and was scheduled to go back to Iraq on November 8th, where according to her she is located 80 miles south of Baghdad. She said she has seen much progress in the reconstruction of Iraq but that lately she has not seen the "smiles on the faces" of the Iraqi people.

"There has been a change since the first time I arrived, it is just different," said Macek. "It used to be welcoming but the attitude has changed to a more negative attitude toward American soldiers."

She offered no specific reason as to why there may have been a shift in their attitude but that it was just her feeling of the situation.

Macek's strident criticism of President Bush may have opened her up to disciplinary action according to US Central Command Spokesmen Major Pete Mitchell based at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa Florida.

The President lies, people die, but that's not the offense? Sure, I understand why soldiers aren't quite as free to speak their mind as the rest of us, but in the larger scheme of things, who holds the commander-in-chief accountable for his lies? (Other than the electorate years later.) What does the military code of justice say about placing troops in harms way for fraudulent purposes? Any military lawyers out there have any theories on this one?

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Reemerging as the majority party

Dems in Repug land see Clark as the best chance to take the country back. Get hyped up at a Dean rally, then work for Clark to make it happen.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, plans to endorse the Democratic presidential candidate Friday, according to Democrats familiar with his plans.

Baucus' spokesman, Barrett Kaiser, confirmed reports of the senator's plans to endorse Clark.

Clark, the newest candidate in the race, has already received the backing of Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Baucus, who promotes himself as a bipartisan Democrat, believes Clark can reach across party lines and be the best opponent of President Bush, say Democrats familiar with Baucus plans.

Misguided loyalty

Powell Suggests He Would Never Resign on Policy
Wed November 12, 2003 07:33 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell, talking on Wednesday about his 1940s predecessor George Marshall, suggested he would never resign on policy, however much he might disagree with President Bush.

Powell said in the interview: "I think any good subordinate accommodates himself to the wishes of his superior and, in effect, you determine how best to serve that individual."

Too bad Powell sees himself as serving a misguided individual instead of serving his country. Powell's resignation could be a powerful statement.

Monday, November 10, 2003

A closer look at Kentucky and Mississippi

The South is uphill for the Dems, but not out of reach with the right candidate and message. Only 45% of voters in these two states are definitely planning to vote for Bush-- and that number could conceivably go lower.

Looking ahead to 2004, pluralities of around 45 percent in both states said they definitely would vote for Bush if the presidential election were today while about 35 percent definitely would vote for someone else. Those who haven't firmly made up their minds comprised 20 percent of the gubernatorial electorate in Kentucky and 17 percent in Mississippi.

123 and still couldn't break free: Sexism follows woman to the grave

Have you been carrying around any lingering resentments that you should probably let go of? This poor woman was still resentful about something she had to do in the 1800's. And still no peace.

123-Year-Old Woman Buried Next to Hated Husband

TIRANA (Reuters) - The oldest woman in Albania -- and perhaps the world -- died at the age of 123 and was buried beside the husband she resented being forced to marry at 14.

Born on August 22, 1880, Hava Rexha breathed her last in the picturesque central Albanian village of Shushice, where she had spent her whole life.

Wrapped in a faded shroud which she embroidered for herself when her elderly husband died a few years after World War II, Rexha was buried in the wooded Shushice cemetery.

Hundreds of people, who saw her as an icon of longevity, joined her only surviving daughter, Vule, 80, and 120 other members of her family to pay their last respects at a Muslim ceremony local reporters described as "majestic."

Interviewed by Reuters a month before her 122nd birthday, Rexha still resented her forced marriage at 14 to a man who was "about 60 and married twice before as well."

"I did not want a wedding. I didn't love my husband. He was an old man," said Rexha, who had six children, four of whom died in childhood.

I've got someone in mind

Sometimes David Broder merely irritates. But once and a while, he makes a good point.

Today, only 121 veterans of the armed services are in the House -- barely more than one-quarter of the membership. A generation ago, in 1975, 318 of the 435 representatives had worn their country's uniform, and a good many of them had seen combat in World War II or Korea. Comradeship came more easily to them, and so did the kind of mutual respect that makes possible compromise and, ultimately, agreement.

None of the top leaders of either party today has been in the service. Most of those who aspire to be their successors also lack that experience.

It is not just politicians and legislators who would benefit from undergoing the discipline and experiencing the rewards of giving a period of their lives to tasks assigned by their country -- either military or civilian. That is the surest way we know to restore the sense of shared commitment so lacking today.

We need more veterans -- and we desperately need more people who know the difference between warfare and politics.

Thank God we're a nation of immigrants

Having personally experienced the repressive regime of an egomaniacal tryrant, Soros does not care much for the man from Crawford (by way of New Haven).

Soros's Deep Pockets vs. Bush
Financier Contributes $5 Million More in Effort to Oust President

NEW YORK -- George Soros, one of the world's richest men, has given away nearly $5 billion to promote democracy in the former Soviet bloc, Africa and Asia. Now he has a new project: defeating President Bush.

"It is the central focus of my life," Soros said, his blue eyes settled on an unseen target. The 2004 presidential race, he said in an interview, is "a matter of life and death."

Soros, who has financed efforts to promote open societies in more than 50 countries around the world, is bringing the fight home, he said. On Monday, he and a partner committed up to $5 million to MoveOn.org, a liberal activist group, bringing to $15.5 million the total of his personal contributions to oust Bush.

Overnight, Soros, 74, has become the major financial player of the left. He has elicited cries of foul play from the right. And with a tight nod, he pledged: "If necessary, I would give more money."

"America, under Bush, is a danger to the world," Soros said. Then he smiled: "And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."

Soros believes that a "supremacist ideology" guides this White House. He hears echoes in its rhetoric of his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans." It conjures up memories, he said, of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit ("The enemy is listening"). "My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me," he said in a soft Hungarian accent
Asked whether he would trade his $7 billion fortune to unseat Bush, Soros opened his mouth. Then he closed it. The proposal hung in the air: Would he become poor to beat Bush?

He said, "If someone guaranteed it."

Sunday, November 09, 2003

This should encourage other countries to stop developing nuclear weapons

I guess if we had this weapon we would have nuked Saddam's bunker at the start of the war and then...he'd still be out there.

With many bills in play, including a far-reaching energy bill and reform of Medicare, Republicans are also quietly using the spending bills to embark on new initiatives.

House and Senate negotiators last week completed work on a $27.3 billion energy and water bill that provides $13.5 million for research on a new kind of nuclear weapon, known as the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, or bunker buster.

Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but Bushco doesn't appreciate irony

Bushco not pleased with it's handpicked Iraqi governing council:

Occupation authority officials complain that council members are frequently absent from meetings or send delegates to sit in while leaders travel or stay at home. In Washington, U.S. officials voiced complaints last week that council members are overly concerned about their own political and economic interests at the expense of acting decisively.

Wonder where they have picked up these traits? Why should the Iraqi governing council be any different than any other part of the Bush administration? Isn't this whole thing about promoting the self-interest of Bush and his backers?

The Bush administration is considering replacing the U.S.-appointed body with a large, representative assembly specifically tasked to move the constitutional and elections process forward.

Wish it that easy to replace our SCOTUS-appointed government.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Truth is more frightening than fiction

Maybe CBS should have skipped the miniseries and done a documentary.

Some true-life scenes: Reagan opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, opposed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (calling it "humiliating to the South"), and ran for governor of California in 1966 promising to wipe the Fair Housing Act off the books. "If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house," he said, "he has a right to do so." After the Republican convention in 1980, Reagan travelled to the county fair in Neshoba, Mississippi, where, in 1964, three Freedom Riders had been slain by the Ku Klux Klan. Before an all-white crowd of tens of thousands, Reagan declared: "I believe in states' rights".

As president, Reagan aligned his justice department on the side of segregation, supporting the fundamentalist Bob Jones University in its case seeking federal funds for institutions that discriminate on the basis of race. In 1983, when the supreme court decided against Bob Jones, Reagan, under fire from his right in the aftermath, gutted the Civil Rights Commission.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Anything Dean hasn't changed positions on?

Dean's about to change his mind again. He does that, you know, when given new facts. This time the new facts are that he thinks it's to his advantage.

"Where's the principle?" Kerry asked of Dean's change of heart, which has come in part because of the extraordinary success the former governor has had in raising millions of dollars from small donations, many on the Internet.

Dean acknowledged changing his views but said he blamed it on a sudden realization that Bush, who abandoned public financing in the 2000 campaign, could financially overwhelm a Democrat who stayed within the system.

Dean told reporters, "I probably had no idea President Bush was going to raise $200 million." But Bush raised about $100 million in his first campaign and it was well known at the time of Dean's statement that he would seek nearly to double that this year.

"[P]robably had no idea?" Did you or didn't you? And if you didn't, are you a moron? Besides, can't a candidate stay within the limits for the primary and opt out in the general? If so, why not do that, if Bush's totals are what concern you?

More "straight talk" from the man that would be John McCain 2004.