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Consider:

"It is better to be drunk with loss and to beat the ground, than to let the deeper things gradually escape."

- I. Compton-Burnett, letter to Francis King (1969)

"Cynical realism – it is the intelligent man’s best excuse for doing nothing in an intolerable situation."

- Aldous Huxley, "Time Must Have a Stop"







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Wednesday, 8 September 2004

Topic: Election Notes

Bush's Bad Day at Black Rock (CBS)

At mid-week, Wednesday, things were making the folks a little grumpy at the White House.

David Froomkin in the Washington Post has a handy list with links of these minor irritations -

1.) We finally passed one thousand of our people dead in combat in Iraq, and although the White House is saying little, the media is doing heavy coverage of the milestone, if it is one.

2.) There are lots of big headlines about the record $422 billion budget deficit and the multi-trillion-dollar deficit projections for the future.

3.) Then there are many, many the stories about Vice President Cheney's statement yesterday that a Kerry victory would result in more terrorist attacks. So everyone should vote for George, or surely you will die. Yes, his own staff is now qualifying it. The Democrats, Edwards in particular, are all over it. Late in the afternoon, and not covered by Froomkin, the president was asked whether he agreed with the statement - and he just stared at the reporter, and did not say a word. This, I believe, was a steely-eyed Clint Eastwood moment.

4.) And of course Bush's National Guard record during the Vietnam War is turning into a real mess. CBS was all over it tonight on "Sixty Minutes II" and not kind.

5.) Florida Senator Bob Graham is all over the media - MSNBC "Hardball" a few hours ago - charging Bush with covering up evidence that might have linked Saudi Arabia to the September 11 hijackers.

6.) And there is Kitty Kelley's book in pre-release discussion everywhere on the net - not in the major media - on Bush using cocaine long after he said he stopped, and drinking heavily again now.

The "Sixty Minutes II" segment features Ben Barnes explaining how he pulled strings to get George Bush into the National Guard in 1968. But CNS has more stuff: new documents from the personal files of Colonel Jerry Killian, Bush's squadron commander.

And this is four new documents:

1.) A direct order to Bush to take a physical examination in 1972. Physical exams are an annual requirement for pilots.

2.) A 1972 memo that refers to a phone call from Bush in which he and Killian "discussed options of how Bush can get out of coming to drill from now through November" because "he may not have time." This was presumably in preparation for Bush's departure for Alabama that year, but is nonetheless damning since there's no reason that working on a Senate campaign should have prevented him from showing up for drills one weekend per month.

3.) A 1972 order grounding Bush. This order refers not just to Bush's failure to take a physical, but also to "failure to perform to (USAF/TexANG) standards."

4.) A 1973 memo titled "CYA" in which Killian talks about being pressured to give Bush a favorable yearly evaluation. He refuses, saying, "I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job."

Yipes!

A comment from Kevin Drum -
This story is a perfect demonstration of the difference between the Swift Boat controversy and the National Guard controversy. Both are tales from long ago and both are related to Vietnam, but the documentary evidence in the two cases is like night and day. In the Swift Boat case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence indicates that Kerry's accusers are lying. Conversely, in the National Guard case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence provides additional confirmation that the charges against Bush are true.

In fact, these four memos are pretty close to a smoking gun, since it's now clear that (a) Bush was directly ordered to take a physical in 1972 and refused, and (b) he plainly failed to perform up to National Guard standards, but that (c) he was nonetheless saved from a failing evaluation thanks to high-level pressure.

So why did Bush refuse to take a physical that year? And why did he blow off drills for at least the next five months and possibly for a lot longer than that?

And finally, why did he get an honorable discharge anyway?
Because he could, Kevin, because he could.

We see here some in the press who are patriotic Americans are making journalistic decisions for the good of America. KWTV in Oklahoma City moved the CBS show from its mid-evening slot to 3:15 in the morning. But they said it wasn't political. And late in the day, after they got they got so much grief, they reversed themselves and decided to show the CBS "Sixty Minutes II" at its normal time. Odd. The CBS affiliate in Indianapolis said they'd only air the show at 2:30 in the morning, not at its normal 8:00 time. Why. Who knows? But the pressure from viewers got to them and they'll show it at 9:00 - only one hour late.

Most curious.

But Wednesday started with the bombshell article of the day -

Bush fell short on duty at Guard
Records show pledges unmet
The Boston Globe, September 8, 2004
... reporters Stephen Kurkjian, Francie Latour, Sacha Pfeiffer, and Michael Rezendes, and editor Walter V. Robinson.

It was written by Robinson.

Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, provides a summary and a comment -
The gist: Bush not only signed a pledge in 1968 saying he could be punished for not doing his drills, which he didn't and wasn't punished, but also that when he got permission to quit early to go to Harvard, it was on the condition he find a unit in Boston and finish out his service there, which he didn't and wasn't called on it. He could have been called up again because of it, but apparently "gamed the system," as one military guy puts it.

Yeah, I still think it's an issue with short legs, but maybe that's because the Kerry campaign is not making it clear to voters that when one is applying for this particular job, one's whole life of service and commitment, especially to one's country, is a legitimate subject of scrutiny.

If I went for a job interview, but told my prospective employers that since I found Jesus when I was forty, anything that happened before that was none of their business, wouldn't they have a right to drop me from consideration for the job? Hey, that finding-Jesus thing seems to have covered a multitude of sins, and as his possible employer, I think I have a right to know what those sins are!
Anyway, here are keys items from the article.
In February, when the White House made public hundreds of pages of President Bush's military records, White House officials repeatedly insisted that the records prove that Bush fulfilled his military commitment in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. But Bush fell well short of meeting his military obligation, a Globe reexamination of the records shows: Twice... Bush signed documents pledging to meet training commitments or face a punitive call-up to active duty. He didn't meet the commitments, or face the punishment, the records show....

On July 30, 1973, shortly before he moved from Houston to Cambridge, Bush signed a document that declared, ''It is my responsibility to locate and be assigned to another Reserve forces unit or mobilization augmentation position. If I fail to do so, I am subject to involuntary order to active duty for up to 24 months... " Under Guard regulations, Bush had 60 days to locate a new unit. But Bush never signed up with a Boston-area unit.... Dan Bartlett told the Washington Post that Bush finished his six-year commitment at a Boston area Air Force Reserve unit after he left Houston. Not so, Bartlett now concedes. ''I must have misspoke," Bartlett, who is now the White House communications director, said in a recent interview....

Bush, a fighter-interceptor pilot, performed no service for one six-month period in 1972 and for another period of almost three months in 1973, the records show.... Bush's attendance at required training drills was so irregular that his superiors could have disciplined him or ordered him to active duty in 1972, 1973, or 1974. But they did neither. In fact, Bush's unit certified in late 1973 that his service had been ''satisfactory" -- just four months after Bush's commanding officer wrote that Bush had not been seen at his unit for the previous 12 months....

Army Colonel Gerald A. Lechliter, one of a number of retired military officers who have studied Bush's records and old National Guard regulations.... ''He broke his contract with the United States government -- without any adverse consequences. And the Texas Air National Guard was complicit in allowing this to happen," Lechliter said in an interview yesterday. ''He was a pilot. It cost the government a million dollars to train him to fly. So he should have been held to an even higher standard."

Even retired Lieutenant Colonel Albert C. Lloyd Jr., a former Texas Air National Guard personnel chief who vouched for Bush at the White House's request in February, agreed that Bush walked away from his obligation to join a reserve unit in the Boston area when he moved to Cambridge in September 1973. By not joining a unit in Massachusetts, Lloyd said in an interview last month, Bush ''took a chance that he could be called up for active duty. But the war was winding down, and he probably knew that the Air Force was not enforcing the penalty."...

Lawrence J. Korb, an assistant secretary of defense for manpower and reserve affairs in the Reagan administration, said after studying many of the documents that it is clear to him that Bush ''gamed the system." And he agreed with Lloyd that Bush was not alone in doing so. ''If I cheat on my income tax and don't get caught, I'm still cheating on my income tax," Korb said. After his own review, Korb said Bush could have been ordered to active duty for missing more than 10 percent of his required drills in any given year. Bush, according to the records, fell shy of that obligation in two successive fiscal years.

Korb said Bush also made a commitment to complete his six-year obligation when he moved to Cambridge, a transfer the Guard often allowed to accommodate Guardsmen who had to move elsewhere. ''He had a responsibility to find a unit in Boston and attend drills," said Korb, who is now affiliated with a liberal Washington think tank. ''I see no evidence or indication in the documents that he was given permission to forgo training before the end of his obligation. If he signed that document, he should have fulfilled his obligation."...

In June 1970, after five additional months of specialized training in F-102 fighter-interceptor, Bush began what should have been a four-year assignment with the 111th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. In May 1972, Bush... move to Alabama.... But Bush's service records do not show him logging any service in Alabama until October of that year. And even that service is in doubt... no one has come forward with any credible recollection of having witnessed Bush performing guard service in Alabama or after he returned to Houston in 1973.... On May 1, 1973, Bush's superior officers wrote that they could not complete his annual performance review because he had not been observed at the Houston base during the prior 12 months.

[S]ome [records]... suggest that he did a flurry of drills in 1973 in Houston -- a weekend in April and then 38 days of training crammed into May, June, and July. But Lechliter, the retired colonel, concluded after reviewing National Guard regulations that Bush should not have received credit -- or pay -- for many of those days either. The regulations, Lechliter and others said, required that any scheduled drills that Bush missed be made up either within 15 days before or 30 days after the date of the drill.... Bush had little interest in fulfilling his obligation, and his superiors preferred to look the other way. Others agree. ''It appears that no one wanted to hold him accountable," said retired Major General Paul A. Weaver Jr., who retired in 2002 as the Pentagon's director of the Air National Guard.
Ah well.

Actually, I'm of the opinion all this may actually play well to Bush's base. He beat the system - he stuck to "the man." He knows how to play the game. He's a sly fox. He's our kind of guy - to all those guys who wish they could get away with such things. It will increase their admiration of him. And that is the sort of things you hear on AM talk radio about all this.

Now Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, was one of the guys who started CNN and his wife is an executive there now, and he adds this -
I saw Judy Woodruff's interview with Globe editor Walter Robinson on CNN's "Inside Politics" an hour ago, and he made it sound like the Bush controversy is basically nailed, that for anyone who cares, the guy is guilty as the day is long.
Maybe so. But I watch CNN on and off too.

The White House and Wolf Blitzer (CNN two hours later) are saying they have proof Bush corresponded with a Denver Air National Guard unit while at Harvard and this technically fulfilled the requirement. There is no problem.

Bush didn't fly, he didn't attend any drills, he didn't show up for anything, but he wrote some letters saying he would if he had to. Case closed?

Maybe so.

But a minor note in ABC's "The Note" mentions in passing that the White House has now assumed all jurisdiction over any Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests, so that will stop things dead. No more of this. The White House must now approve all requests for government documents - think Karl Rove.

Works for me - shut it all down. This is making the president look bad. Facts do that.

I suppose the thing to do here is add a spirited defense of our right as citizens to know the facts of what our government does, and see the records of events and what people did at certain times when they were working for us in the government or military. Hell, we were paying their salaries. Of course you must make exceptions for matters that would reveal military or state secrets, or get people killed and all that. But still....

One could imagine a spirited defense of that idea. Go ahead. Imagine it, because I'm too dispirited to write it.

Finished yet? Good.

This story will probably fade away.

Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, thinks it's an issue with short legs - because the Kerry campaign is not making it clear to voters that when one is applying for this particular job, one's whole life of service and commitment, especially to one's country, is a legitimate subject of scrutiny.

Like that matters?

--

Footnote:

THE CBS BUILDING
51 WEST 52ND STREET
Architect: Eero Saarinen and Associates
Developer: CBS
Erected: 1965
In midtown Manhattan, the "Black Rock," as this headquarters building of CBS is popularly known, has befuddled and confounded architecture critics since its inception.

Is it great architecture or bad urbanism?

Like most real-life either/or questions, it isn't that simple.

This 38-story, sheer, freestanding tower set in its own shallow sunken plaza is unquestionably great architecture because it is original, consistent, boldly expressed and daring. Initially, some observers did not like its dark coloration, and considered sunken plazas anathema and its aloofness rather condescending and disrespectful of the common man, that is, the pedestrian. These attributes, however, were not really negatives given its context of fronting on an avenue whose smile then displayed many broken and missing teeth because of the existing irregular pattern of nearby public plazas. Moreover, its context along the Avenue of the Americas was generally undistinguished design. ...
The link will give you more details, and photographs.

Posted by Alan at 20:24 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Wednesday, 8 September 2004 20:34 PDT home


Topic: World View

Even thugs need advice now and then...

As I write this it is coming up on one in the morning in Paris. What you missed on television there Wednesday evening? An odd documentary revealing something you would have never imagined.

Les escadrons de la mort - L'?cole fran?aise
Mercredi 8 septembre 2004 ? 20h45
Rediffusion: vendredi 10 septembre 2004 ? 16h45
R?alis? par Marie-Monique Robin
Production : Id?ale Audience

What is this about? Will you tune in to watch the rebroadcast at quarter to five Friday afternoon? Oh heck, no one watches Arte-TV late on Friday afternoon in that city. That's "L'Heure Verte" - the Green Hour. (Think absinthe if you wonder about the name they use for what we call the Happy Hour.) But it is an interesting show.

This is a documentary about the development of anti-subversive methods used by the military, employed for the first time in Algeria. There's no news film from the war of independence in Algeria; only the Italian-Algerian film "The Battle of Algiers." (That film has been discussed in these pages here and here.)

Well, it seems the leading generals are still alive, and they spoke for this documentary. Paul Aussaresses said, "How do you get information without torture?" He was there, and also characterized the Gillo Pontecorvo 1965 film as being accurate, "true to life."

The French military developed the tactics thought necessary to deal with a civilian insurgency, including torture to gain information, and the elimination of those tortured. According to the documentary, these methods were developed and refined by the French. But France "lost" Algeria.

Still, this documentary shows, other governments were quite impressed with French methods. In the early 1960s French "experts" who had served in Algeria were invited to Fort Bragg to instruct the US Army in counter-insurgency tactics. "Operation Phoenix" in Vietnam was a result.

Yep, we learned to be tough from the French. Ha!

We are shown that other French "experts" were invited to Argentina to teach the military there, and to Chile, Uruguay and Paraguay. Chileans were trained at bases in Brazil. French "experts" were also loaned to the US "Southern Command" in Panama, where officers from South American armies came for training.

"Operation Condor" was a coordinated anti-subversive effort run by South American dictatorships. For example, it "disappeared" Chileans who were refugees from the Pinochet regime living in Argentina.

One Argentine ex-officer explained that their cells only held 100 persons. When there was an excess, the extras were given cement shoes, flown out over the Atlantic and dumped.

A Chilean journalist asserted that France's DST assisted on keeping watch on Chilean refugees in France, and alerted Pinochet's secret police when the refugees were returning to Chile.

There are international warrants outstanding against some of those who appeared in the documentary. It was also asserted that Pinochet is not senile - which his defense says he is.

The whole thrust of the documentary was to explain the role of the "French School" of counter-insurgency tactics, first developed in Algeria in the late "50s.

Now you know where the US Army in Iraq got its inspiration.

It is unlikely this documentary will make it over this way, with subtitles and all that, as it doesn't fit our current narrative about the French being cowards and wimps. Want to learn to be a tough thug and have the bad guys fear you? The French can help, it seems? And have helped.

I shall ask my friends in Paris if any of them caught the show, but I suspect "L'Heure Verte" may have had more allure.

__

Oh, and an odd photo published long ago by Ric Erickson in MetropoleParis - a place where you might spend "L'Heure Verte" - and named appropriately...



Posted by Alan at 15:52 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Wednesday, 8 September 2004 16:48 PDT home

Tuesday, 7 September 2004

Topic: Photos

Burned out on politics....

What is there to say? Political commentary can wait until tomorrow, and I had meetings all afternoon in Pasadena. And anyway, it was too hot to get all excited about anything in the news. When I arrived on White Oak in Pasadena in the early afternoon it was well over one hundred in the shade, and dry as a bone - the third day of this, with many more to come.

Today's news? We finally reached one thousand of our people dead in Iraq. Dick Cheney told us electing John Kerry would mean we would certainly be attacked again, and many more would die this time - so the choice is obvious. Vote for George or die. More of Bush's military records have been found - and he really did skip out on a whole lot of his service. Kitty Kelly's new book was released - George did a whole lot of cocaine as recently as a few years ago and is drinking again? Maybe. The book by Senator Edwards of Florida came out too - Bush knows the Saudi folks were behind 9/11 as is covering up? Maybe. The polls are shifting. Again. Same old stuff.

The lieu of commentary, photos...

The mindless world of popular entertainemnt - the heart of Hollywood, Bob Hope Square, where Hollywood and Vine meet - and on Hollywood Boulevard at La Brea, the hard metal women at the western gateway to it all...

































Posted by Alan at 21:48 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
home

Monday, 6 September 2004

Topic: Photos

Follow-Up: Low-Rent Crystalnacht (...it continues)

At some point in these pages you will find a continuation of what started with the "Low-Rent Crystalnacht" idea here (and published in Just Above Sunset on the weekend here).

I don't like what is in the air, but I want to avoid being one more lefty yelling Nazi and fascist like so many others. Bush is not Hitler. And Karl Rove is not Hermann Goering. Yes, Rove's grandfather was Karl Heinz Roverer, the Gauleiter of Oldenburg. Roverer was Reich-Statthalter - Nazi State Party Chairman - for his region. He was also a partner and senior engineer in the Roverer Sud-Deutche Ingenieurburo AG engineering firm, which built the Birkenau camp - according to this research. But so what? The father of Arnold Shwarzenegger was a Nazi officer, but Arnold is our governor out here now. That's all in the past.

Lots of folks like to point out the seizures in late 1942 of five enterprises Prescott Bush, the grandfather of the president, managed on behalf of Nazi industrialist Fritz Thyssen. Prescott Bush got caught red-handed and a whole bunch of assets were seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act. Yeah, there were these Nazi financial transactions, from 1924 on, and maybe through 1951 actually, involving Prescott Bush and the private bank, Brown Brothers Harriman. Yep, Averell Harriman seems to have been involved. (Read all about this stuff here.)

But really, George Bush is not his grandfather. Arnold Shwarzenegger is not his Austrian father. And I taught the grandchildren of Averell Harriman back in the seventies at that fancy prep school in upstate New York. Nice kids, and not Nazis as far as I could tell. But the family did run the oldest fox hunt in America, yearly, on their big estate down in Geneseo.

"The world may be divided into people that read, people that write, people that think, and fox-hunters."
- William Shenstone, Works in verse and prose (1764).

Everyone has their faults.

But is there something fascist and Nazi-like in the air? The idea that Andrew Sullivan floated - the cult of the Great Leader - fascinates me, particularly in how it makes certain attitudes and behaviors (like the minor Crystalnacht-lite vandalism noted previously) almost inevitable. But I don't know. I just put this week's Just Above Sunset to bed and may take a rest. It's about 110 right now here, really, and I'm drained. Los Angeles is in the middle of a four-day heat wave. Let it rest.

But just to keep the issue alive, here you can watch an ABC news video from last week's Republican National Convention - a clip from the floor of Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. You will see a young Republican supporter kicking a female protester inside the Garden as she is lying on the ground being held by three secret service agents. The protesters were arrested. The young Republican was not. A search is on for his identity - and here and here you can announce you know this young fellow, if you do.

The question that comes to mind for me is simple. When a political leader becomes something like a cult leader, in the sense that his decisions and actions cannot be doubted or even questioned - as that would be unpatriotic and an attack to the personality of the leader - is such behavior to be expected, or even glorified? Or put it another way. When you base your campaign on your attitude - and not on your ideas or your actions or your decisions or your accomplishments - does such behavior in your followers, well, just follow naturally? Even more simply? If all you have to run on is swagger and sneers, then, when people buy into that, what else did you expect?

There will be more of this.

As for the young Bush enthusiast, my young prep school students back in the seventies looked much like this.



Posted by Alan at 17:37 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 6 September 2004 17:47 PDT home

Sunday, 5 September 2004

Topic: Election Notes

Political Methodology: Fighting Dirty

Mark A. R. Kleiman says things here that I have not seen elsewhere, thus I distrust this assertion.
Bush's return to drinking is apparently common knowledge in DC, though it seems unlikely anyone will talk on the record.
So it's common knowledge? That's an old political dirty trick. Make a wild claim that cannot be proved and hope people start believing it? Maybe there's a reason hardy anyone will talk on record. Maybe it's not true.

Does that matter? This methodology worked for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And Dennis Hastert has tried it out on George Soros. Are we coming down to this on both sides?

Hell, there has been word out for two years now that Larry Flynt has the goods on George Bush, that Bush arranged an illegal abortion for a girlfriend long ago. Flynt says he's waiting to reveal all. But he hasn't.

Kleiman also says this -
The abortion story is old news, but seemed to be solid, at least by Swift Boat standards: the woman in question denies it, but the two then-friends who drove her to the (illegal) abortion mill have supposedly signed affidavits.

It's [Adlai] Stevenson's challenge to Nixon: if you don't stop telling lies about us, we're going to have to start telling the truth about you. Bush has been asked politely, and he hasn't. Now it's our turn.
Yipes. The battle is joined?

Enter Susan Estrich, the former campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988 - a local lass with offices down the street in Century City. Yes, she is paid to be regular commentator on Fox News, the token Democrat who is more than willing to say over and over all that all Democrats are idiots, and Bush should selected for another four years because he's a neat guy.

But over the weekend she herself senses the battle is about to get quite nasty.

Lies move Democrats to dig up dirt
The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, Florida, Saturday, September 4, 2004

Her thesis? The Bush side has told so many flat-out lies about Kerry that the mild-mannered girly-men of the Democratic Party are going to abandon their characteristic wimpy pleasantness, and abandon their usual method of appealing to reason and sense, and haul Bush over the coals. None of this "Can we reason together for the common good?" crap. Stuff is going to come out, and it will be bad stuff. Gentlemanly restraint and circumscription? Don't mention bad things you know about the other guy? Don't say the obvious because you might seem unreasonably bitter and negative?

That just so last week. The Bush team, and particularly Karl Rove, decided that's how they'll play the game? Then so will the Kerry side. They called it down upon themselves.

Here's how Estrich sees the situation now -
My Democratic friends are mad as hell, and they aren't going to take it any more.

They are worried, having watched as another August smear campaign, full of lies and half-truths, takes its toll in the polls.

They are frustrated, mostly at the Kerry campaign, for naively believing that just because all the newspapers and news organizations that investigated the charges of the Swift Boat assassins found them to be full of lies and half-truths, they wouldn't take their toll. The word on the street is that Kerry was ready to fire back the day the story broke, but that his campaign, believing the charges would blow over if they ignored them, counseled restraint.

But most of all, activist Democrats are angry. As one who lived through an August like this, 16 years ago - replete with rumors that were lies, which the Bush campaign claimed they had nothing to do with and later admitted they had planted - I'm angry, too. I've been to this movie.
Lies move numbers.
Whoa! Is she going to quit her lucrative job at Fox News? What is this change of heart?

It seems she suddenly recalls how one of Bush's close friends planted the rumor about Dukakis suffering from depression after he lost the governorship - and remembers her side lost six points in the polls over that one, the work of the late Lee Atwater, the mentor of Karl Rove. And she suddenly remembers how someone claimed Kitty Dukakis once burned a flag at an anti-war demonstration. That wasn't true and the Bush folks denied having anything to do with it. But she recalls that that it turned out to have come from a United States senator by way of the Republican National Committee.

Estrich is gracious enough to point out that Lee Atwater did apologize to her for both things, later, and, as she puts it, on his deathbed. But then she points out that Atwater's widow is connected to the woman running the Swift Boat campaign.

She's not a happy camper.

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

Will it be the three, or is it four or five, drunken driving arrests that Bush and Cheney, the two most powerful men in the world, managed to rack up?

After Vietnam, nothing is ancient history, and Cheney is still drinking. What their records suggest is not only a serious problem with alcoholism, which Bush but not Cheney has acknowledged, but also an even more serious problem of judgment.

What if Bush were to fall off the wagon? Then what? Has America really faced the fact that we have an alcoholic as our president?

Or how about Dead Texans for Truth, highlighting those who served in Vietnam instead of the privileged draft-dodging president, and ended up as names on the wall instead of members of the Air National Guard.

Or maybe it will be Texas National Guardsmen for Truth, who can explain exactly what George W. Bush was doing while John Kerry was putting his life on the line. Perhaps with money on the table, or investigators on their trail, we will learn just what kind of wild and crazy things the president was doing while Kerry was saving a man's life, facing enemy fire and serving his country.

Or could it be George Bush's Former Female Friends for Truth? A forthcoming book by Kitty Kelley raises questions about whether the president has practiced what he preaches on abortion. As Larry Flynt discovered, a million dollars loosens lips. Are there others to be loosened? ...
Cool. Those will do for a start.

I like the Dead Texans for Truth - because it hits the hardest. Who is dead because GWB was allowed a safe stateside commission that he kind of kissed off anyway?

The times may be changing.

Her conclusion?
The arrogant little Republican boys who strutted around New York this week, claiming that they have this one won, would do well to take a step back. It could be a long and ugly road to November.
George? Karl? You asked for it.

Thinking about it, I'd guess Estrich won't really need to resign from Fox News after laying this all out. They'll fire her, after O'Reilly tells her, repeatedly and with vigor, to shut up.

The only problem with this is Bush has an out.

Alcoholism, the hidden abortion, AWOL issues, and an obvious lack of the basic capacity - intellectually, temperamentally and morally - to do the job?

He can pull a Jimmy Swaggart.

You recall that in February 1988 televangelist Jimmy Swaggart admitted in a tearful, Sunday-morning sermon that he had engaged in "improprieties" with a (gasp!) prostitute. Yeah, the year before he had called down fire and brimstone and denounced his fellow Assemblies of God televangelists Jim Bakker and Marvin Gorman - for their extramarital fooling around. Oops.

But Swaggart asked for forgiveness, on television, with tears, and although he's not pulling in the hundred million a year like he used to, he's doing just fine.

The Christian Right are a forgiving lot (save with flaming queers who want to marry and with bloodthirsty Muslims who think Jesus was only a prophet and not the Messiah).

George can pull a Jimmy if he has to.

And George already has an ally in the Assemblies of God at his side now, right there in his cabinet - John Ashcroft, a leader in the Assemblies of God. Ah.

The Democrats are screwed. Lay it all out. And all will be forgiven. And pass the Kool-Aid.

Posted by Alan at 20:35 PDT | Post Comment | Permalink
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