Wednesday, March 31, 2004

CNN.com - A look at Bush's reversals - Mar 30, 2004

Unbelievable! CNN actually reporting on Bush's flip flopping. They don't cover nearly all of it-(they'd need a lot more bandwidth.)

Friday, March 26, 2004

MIA WMDs--For Bush, It's a Joke
by David Corn

[excerpt]-"But an awful you're-all-alone moment came during George W. Bush's comments that followed the sit-down dinner. The current president is often the honored guest at this annual affair, and the audience toasts him in what is supposed to be a sign of communal and nonpartisan spirit. And, the tradition is, that the president has to be funny; he has to provide us with an amusing speech that pokes fun at himself and his political foes. After all, political journalists love to see politicians engage in self-deprecating humor. Bill Clinton was quite good at these performances. Bush seems to enjoy them less. Rather than do straight standup, he sometimes relies on a humorous slide show, and that was how he chose to entertain the media throng this time.

It's standard fare humor. Bush says he is preparing for a tough election fight; then on the large video screens a picture flashes showing him wearing a boxing robe while sitting at his desk. Bush notes he spends "a lot of time on the phone listening to our European allies." Then we see a photo of him on the phone with a finger in his ear. There were funny bits about Skull and Bones, his mother, and Dick Cheney. But at one point, Bush showed a photo of himself looking for something out a window in the Oval Office, and he said, "Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere."

The audience laughed. I grimaced. But that wasn't the end of it. After a few more slides, there was a shot of Bush looking under furniture in the Oval Office. "Nope," he said. "No weapons over there." More laughter. Then another picture of Bush searching in his office: "Maybe under here." Laughter again.

Disapproval must have registered upon my face, for one of my tablemates said, "Come on, David, this is funny." I wanted to reply, Over 500 Americans and literally countless Iraqis are dead because of a war that was supposedly fought to find weapons of mass destruction, and Bush is joking about it. Instead, I took a long drink of the lovely white wine that had come with our dinner. It's not as if I was in the middle of a talk-show debate and had to respond. This was certainly one of those occasions in which you either get it or don't. And I wasn't getting it. Or maybe my neighbor wasn't."

David Corn wonders about the reactions of soldiers families to such "jokes"-well, yesterday's American Morning had the answer-Badly. In response to clips of the president's comedy the show recieved a flood of unsolicited e-mails decrying the president for joking over his false rational for war that had put their sons, daughters, and other loved ones in harms way halfway around the world. Let's see how funny Mr. Bush thinks it is in November when he loses his job.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

FactCheck.org Bush accuses Kerry of 350 votes for "higher taxes" higher than what?

[excerpt]-"The President misled voters and reporters in a March 20 speech when he claimed that Kerry “voted over 350 times for higher taxes on the American people” during his 20-year Senate career. Bush spoke of “yes” votes for “tax increases.”
But in fact, Kerry has not voted 350 times for tax increases, something Bush campaign officials have falsely accused Kerry of on several occasions. On close examination, the Bush campaign’s list of Kerry’s votes for “higher taxes” is padded. It includes votes Kerry cast to leave taxes unchanged (when Republicans proposed cuts), and even votes in favor of alternative Democratic tax cuts that Bush aides characterized as “watered down.”[end of excerpt]

This is a factual analysis of the Bush camp's attack on John Kerry's record by the non partisan Annanberg political fact checker. It's our job as American's to stay informed and keep the truth straight.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I'm watching the 9/11 commission hearings, as they question former secretary of state Madeline Allbright, and I am stunned. Certain Republican members of the commission are actually still trying to press the Iraq connection to 9/11. Oy Vey. Still worth watching tho.

Lifting the ShroudBy PAUL KRUGMAN

[excerpt-]"From the day it took office, U.S. News & World Report wrote a few months ago, the Bush administration "dropped a shroud of secrecy" over the federal government. After 9/11, the administration's secretiveness knew no limits — Americans, Ari Fleischer ominously warned, "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." Patriotic citizens were supposed to accept the administration's version of events, not ask awkward questions.

But something remarkable has been happening lately: more and more insiders are finding the courage to reveal the truth on issues ranging from mercury pollution — yes, Virginia, polluters do write the regulations these days, and never mind the science — to the war on terror."

(hepkitty's recommended read for the morning)

Monday, March 22, 2004

It never ceases to amaze me how any article in any paper that doesn't parrot the Bush party line instantly earns that paper the label of "the liberal media". Well, apparently now the Wall Street Journal has joined the liberal elites ever swelling ranks.

[excerpt-]"WASHINGTON -- Shortly after a passenger jet crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers raced back to the military headquarters from a meeting on Capitol Hill. The four-star general, acting head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that day, went directly to the Pentagon's command center. With smoke spreading into the cavernous room, he ordered the officer in charge, Maj. Gen. W. Montague Winfield, to raise the military's alert status to Defcon III, the highest state of readiness since the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.

That account is based on interviews with Gen. Winfield and a former White House official. In the months after Sept. 11, President Bush had a different public explanation about who put the military on high alert. The president said publicly at least twice that he gave the order. During a town-hall meeting in Orlando on Dec. 4, 2001, Mr. Bush said that after the attacks, "one of the first acts I did was to put our military on alert."

(thanx to Atrios for the heads up) Click the link. The journal does a great job putting the timeline together, and if you get a chance watch the public hearings of the 9/11 commission tomorrow. As for the other revelations in the news, (the new book by Richard Clarke), I just got it and will be starting it tonight. I'll give my review when it's done and let you know if it's worth a trip to the library ;)

Friday, March 19, 2004

Paul Krugman notes the one year anniversary of the war.

[excerpt]-"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." So George Bush declared on Sept. 20, 2001. But what was he saying? Surely he didn't mean that everyone was obliged to support all of his policies, that if you opposed him on anything you were aiding terrorists.

Now we know that he meant just that.

A year ago, President Bush, who had a global mandate to pursue the terrorists responsible for 9/11, went after someone else instead. Most Americans, I suspect, still don't realize how badly this apparent exploitation of the world's good will — and the subsequent failure to find weapons of mass destruction — damaged our credibility. They imagine that only the dastardly French, and now maybe the cowardly Spaniards, doubt our word. But yesterday, according to Agence France-Presse, the president of Poland — which has roughly 2,500 soldiers in Iraq — had this to say: "That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride."

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Apparently Bush has gained the coveted Al Qaida endorsement

(excerpt)-"The statement said it supported President Bush (news - web sites) in his reelection campaign, and would prefer him to win in November rather than the Democratic candidate John Kerry (news - web sites), as it was not possible to find a leader "more foolish than you (Bush), who deals with matters by force rather than with wisdom."

In comments addressed to Bush, the group said:

"Kerry will kill our nation while it sleeps because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish blasphemy and present it to the Arab and Muslim nation as civilization."

"Because of this we desire you (Bush) to be elected."

Well, since we naturally don't want to give in to the terrorists......;)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

As I sit here, unemployed, and blogging, it heartens me to know our government wants to reassure people concerned about tech job outsourcing. Unfortunately, it's not American workers they're seeking to reassure.

Powell Reassures India on Technology Jobs

(excerpt-)"NEW DELHI, March 16 — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, encountering the other side of a tempestuous debate in the United States, sought to assure Indians on Tuesday that the Bush administration would not try to halt the outsourcing of high-technology jobs to their country."

Whew, well that's a relief! wait, no it's not. After this, the awesome new Iraqi constitution, the new promises to illegal aliens, and the Free Trade of the Americas Agreement I really think Bush thinks he's running for king of the world, rather than President of The United States of America. Either that or he really doesn't give a crap about us at all. All the stuff I just mentioned, combined with his deplorable domestic agenda seems to point to the latter.

Monday, March 15, 2004

U.S. Videos, for TV News, Come Under Scrutiny

(from the Washington Post)
"WASHINGTON, March 14 — Federal investigators are scrutinizing television segments in which the Bush administration paid people to pose as journalists praising the benefits of the new Medicare law, which would be offered to help elderly Americans with the costs of their prescription medicines.

The videos are intended for use in local television news programs. Several include pictures of President Bush receiving a standing ovation from a crowd cheering as he signed the Medicare law on Dec. 8.

The materials were produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, which called them video news releases, but the source is not identified. Two videos end with the voice of a woman who says, "In Washington, I'm Karen Ryan reporting."

But the production company, Home Front Communications, said it had hired her to read a script prepared by the government.

Another video, intended for Hispanic audiences, shows a Bush administration official being interviewed in Spanish by a man who identifies himself as a reporter named Alberto Garcia.

Another segment shows a pharmacist talking to an elderly customer. The pharmacist says the new law "helps you better afford your medications," and the customer says, "It sounds like a good idea." Indeed, the pharmacist says, "A very good idea."

The government also prepared scripts that can be used by news anchors introducing what the administration describes as a made-for-television "story package."

In one script, the administration suggests that anchors use this language: "In December, President Bush signed into law the first-ever prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare. Since then, there have been a lot of questions about how the law will help older Americans and people with disabilities. Reporter Karen Ryan helps sort through the details."

The "reporter" then explains the benefits of the new law."

Can you believe these guys!? Maybe this is why the press bends over for Bush so much-they don't want to be replaced by actors. They do seem to be fighting back though-
"Rumsfeld Caught Lying, Yet Again, On "Face the Nation." But This Time, a Journalist Actually Threw It In His Face.


Excerpt from "Face the Nation":

SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you're the--you and a few other critics are the only people I've heard use the phrase `immediate threat.' I didn't. The president didn't. And it's become kind of folklore that that's--that's what's happened. The president went...

SCHIEFFER: You're saying that nobody in the administration said that.

Sec. RUMSFELD: I--I can't speak for nobody--everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.

SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn't say that? The...

Sec. RUMSFELD: Not--if--if you have any citations, I'd like to see 'em.

Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says `some have argued that the nu'--this is you speaking--`that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: And--and...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.

Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I've--I've tried to be precise, and I've tried to be accurate. I'm s--suppose I've...

Mr. FRIEDMAN: `No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.'

Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It--my view of--of the situation was that he--he had--we--we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that--that we believed and we still do not know--we will know."

See Buzzflashfor a link to the whole interview.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Caught on Film

Check out this link-(and he calls John Kerry a flip flopper)

Monday, March 08, 2004

Halliburton Supports the troops!!

End of hot meals for U.S. troops
in Iraq?

"Halliburton has a multibillion-dollar contract to feed and house U.S. troops in Iraq. But there are problems. A food subcontractor that runs 10 percent of the dining facilities in Iraq claims it hasn’t been paid by Halliburton for months and is threatening to stop serving hot meals.

The company, Event Source, serves 100,000 meals a day in Iraq under a contract with a Halliburton subsidiary. vent Source claims Halliburton owes it $87 million, including payment for President Bush's Thanksgiving dinner with the troops.

“When you get stuck out there for $87 million,” explains Event Source Chief Executive Officer Phil Morrell, “it’s a question of economics.”

In an interview with NBC News, Morrell says he’s already laid off employees in the United States and soon will have to feed sandwiches to the troops, instead of hot meals, because his company is running low on money."

Well, maybe Bush can donate some of the reelection money he'll make using that plastic turkey thanxgiving photo-op in Iraq to throw the troops some lunchables or something? No wait-I forgot-he needs that whole 200 million to run unopposed in the primary-sorry! (thanx to Atrios for the heads up!)

Sen. Hillary Clinton had some great jabs at the Bush administration at last night's annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington. A sampling-

"• The Clinton administration used to say it had "moved millions from welfare to work," to which Bush could add, "We've made that journey round trip."

• "I actually saw the vice president as we were walking in," she said. "I was getting out of my car. . . . he was getting out of Justice Scalia's."

And not to overlook a great one by Wall Street Journal columnist Al Hunt speaking of President Bush's absence from the dinner while he entertained Mexicaan President Vincente Fox on his ranch in Texas-"That pretty much sums up the White House philosophy: Why waste time with newspaper reporters when you can spend quality time with Fox?"

hee hee ;)-thanx to the Washington Post

Good Morning America-The first two things I heard on the news as I woke up this morning where-in this order-Bush campaign says it won't pull 9/11 ads, followed by, (and this is why I hate the media-There's no one covering this on the web yet-but I'll get a link as soon as one goes up) anyway-followed by, 'John Kerry to put together team to go to Iraq and assess the situation'. So to sum up, before I even open my eyes, Bush is whining, and Kerry is leading. Finally news to get me up on the right side of the bed.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

A pearl of wisdom from Bill Maher-

"Why is the president, someone who supposedly likes “facts” and relies of “good judgment,” stonewalling the 9/11 Commission? He’s refused to meet with the full panel, and will only meet with the chair and co-chair. Oh, and only for one hour. He’s acting like it’s an interview with Mary Hart. And initially the White House resisted the idea of extending the commission’s deadline, though they put out the laughable idea that they actually did want it extended, but Dennis Hastert wouldn’t agree to bring it up. Please, Hastert is like Morgan Freeman in Shawshank – he can’t take a piss without the White House’s say-so.

They claim they don’t want 9/11 to become a political football. How ridiculous is that coming from the guy who’ll be addressing the Republican Convention on the top of a trash heap with a fireman in one arm and a megaphone in the other?"

...apparently he hadn't even seen the ads yet.

For some friends of mine who want to know more about what kind of leader this John Kerry fellow would be, here are a few resources.

Senator John Kerry Delivers the Weekly Democratic Radio Response-
excerpt-"Even more shocking, tens of thousands of other troops arrived in Iraq to find that — with danger around every corner — there wasn't enough body armor to protect them. Many of their families on the homefront - mothers and fathers, husbands and wives and children — were forced to raise the money to buy it for them. They went to their neighbors for donations — and dipped into their savings to give their sons and daughters the equipment to save their lives — which the Army should be providing. Last month, a young newlywed in Virginia even gave her husband body armor for Valentine's Day as he prepared to ship out to Iraq.

"Families should be sending pictures and care packages to Iraq — and the Department of Defense should be sending the body armor. Today, I call on President Bush to support a law now in Congress to reimburse each and every family who had to buy the body armor this Administration failed to provide. This month, I will also be introducing a Military Family Bill of Rights to prevent anything like this from ever happening again.

"What we face isn't a question of the budget; it's a question of priorities and values. This Administration has given billions to Halliburton and requested 82 million dollars to protect Iraq's 36 miles of coast line. But they call this basic body armor a 'non-priority' item."

Also, here's a link to his view about what needs to be done in North Korea-

Next Step on Korea

August 06, 2003
Washington Post
by John F. Kerry

excerpt-"Freezing North Korea's reprocessing activities is our most urgent need. We cannot allow North Korea to continue to build its capacity to produce bombs while we are negotiating. Ultimately, our goal is to force North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program through an internationally verifiable process. The administration's negotiating strategy must further both these objectives -- and in a way that prevents the North Koreans from extracting concessions from us absent compliance by them.

Administration officials have said precious little about an immediate freeze, preferring to focus on their oft-repeated demand that North Korea dismantle its nuclear weapons program in return for a U.N. promise not to attack. History suggests that Kim Jong Il, a paranoid dictator, is not going to do anything on U.S. demand. From the North Korean perspective, nuclear weapons are at the core of the country's security and the regime's survival. And they could provide Pyongyang with a new, lucrative source of income for its cash-strapped economy. A viable strategy for addressing this nuclear crisis must take these factors as well as U.S. and allied security needs into account. This does not mean that we pay off Kim Jong Il to dismantle his program. It means that we approach these negotiations with three basic realities firmly in mind."

Any other inquiries into his expeience and views can easily be found on Kerry's website . (if you like what you see, you can also donate to the campaign there-just sayin... ;)....)

"He molests the dead"-
by Jimmy Breslin

An angry New Yorker's view of Bush using the WTC dead to shamelessly further his political career.

Thanks to Josh Marshall for pointing out this article in the Israeli Paper,
Haaretz. Now that attribution is taken care of, here's the gist-

"Sources: PM drops option of moving Gaza settlers to W. Bank

By Reuters and Haaretz Service

Political sources said Friday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in a concession to the United States, had dropped the option of moving settlers from Gaza Strip settlements to the West Bank, an idea that had enraged Palestinians.
Also Friday, security sources said that, bowing to White House pressure Israel intends to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November before uprooting the Jewish settlements in Gaza.
The security sources said Sharon recognized the Bush administration's concern that implementing his unilateral pullout plan during the U.S. campaign could cause political problems by fuelling instability in Palestinian areas."

As Josh Marshall so rightly points out, "...if the administration is pushing back turmoil in the Middle East to game the election, we should know more about that."

Thursday, March 04, 2004

I'm watching Crossfire. They're discussing political advertising in the presidential election. Now, I live in a battleground state so I've seen Bush's ad. It contains images of 9/11, including firefighters carrying someone's remains out of the wreckage in a flag draped coffin. First let me say how disgusting it is that the Bush campaign would use an image of someone's remains in a political ad. Second let me say that it's funny how he'll approve of showing a flag draped coffin from the WTC attacks in his reelection ads, but he won't allow any images of the flag draped coffins comming back from Iraq. Now, as I was saying, I'm watching crossfire as they discuss this issue, and the guy from the Bush/Cheney campaign can't defend the image. He's dancing around it, and going so low as to refer to the people who are offended as union members and special interest groups-Let's hear some quotes from some of these so called special interests shall we?-

Bush's Ad Rates A Zero

"It's a slap in the face of the murders of 3,000 people," said Monica Gabrielle, whose husband died in the twin tower attacks. "It is unconscionable."

"It's as sick as people who stole things out of the place. The image of firefighters at Ground Zero should not be used for this stuff, for politics,"-NYC Firefighter Tommy Fee

Mindy Kleinberg said she was offended because the White House has not cooperated fully with the commission and because of the sight of remains being lifted out of Ground Zero in one of the spots.

"How heinous is that?" Kleinberg asked. "That's somebody's [loved one]."

How heinous indeed.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Hip Hip Hooray to Maureen Dowd at the New York Times!! Finally someone willing to tell it like it is on the Bush administration's stonewalling of the 9/11 investigation.

Sorry, Right Number

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