Saturday, July 10, 2004

Just saw F911 

My reaction:

"That son of a bitch!"

The audience was not—pace poor genteel Ellen Goodman (back)—a "club." There wasn't any hissing, or other overt displays. Rather, the audience was extremely quiet, alert, attentive. No cell phones, no conversations, nobody getting up for candy or popcorn. People were really paying attention, aware, perhaps, that the message of the movie isn't coming from anywhere else in our oh-so-competitive media marketplace of ideas.

A few of my own reactions:

1. It would be a great mistake to underestimate Bush. F911's brutal closeups reveal a man who's mean as a snake and entirely without conscience. (I'm convinced, by the way, that Moore's reading of what Bush was thinking in the Florida classroom is correct: Bush was thinking "Who fucked me?" You can see the calculation going on behind the pursed lips and shifting eyes.)

2. The original sin of the Democratic party was not "the war"—it was fighting a war through unconstitutional means and without gaining the consent of the people. As a result, the Democratic party lost "the mandate of heaven" for a generation, and almost wrecked the military into the bargain. The same thing can happen to the Republican party, for the same reasons, and it should.

The movie was also replete with little facts I didn't know. One of them was that James Bath, grounded at the same time as aWol—and whose name was blacked out on the service records released by the administration—not only funded one of Bush's companies, he did so with Bin Laden money. How odd.

But the biggest thing I didn't know was this:

3. When it came time for the Senate to certify the results of the 2004 election, 25 members of the House black caucus tried to block the counting of Florida's votes, on the grounds that we now know, and could reasonably have believed then, that black voters had been disenfranchised. However, to bring their petition onto the Senate floor, it had to be signed by at least one Senator.

And no Senator would sign (see here).

Disgraceful. How much trouble would have been avoided today, if that day Democrats had stood up for what they knew was right?

And, oh yeah, 4. Al Gore is an asshole. So? Better an asshole than a stone sociopath. My opinion.

BushCo vs. Civil Liberties, PA Edition 

So I'm googling around trying to find confirmation on the rumor that Bush flipped a Whoopie-finger at a roadside protestor (nothing yet) a search under "Bush Pennsylvania protest" turns up some other items worthy of note. First, and sadly unremarkable these days, from the Shamokin Times-Item:

While the event [in Kutztown PA] was touted as a town meeting, it was much more of a rally in format. One woman wearing a Kerry campaign T-shirt was escorted from the arena by university and state police even before the president’s arrival.
But then, two items even more alarming, from the Allentown Morning Call:
After Bush went into the hall, Jim Wright, one of the protesters, returned to his car and found it had a broken window. Glass littered the back seat, and various items inside were shuffled around.

An officer told him the Secret Service broke into the vehicle because two metal military ammunition containers made it look suspicious. Wright said he uses the containers to carry camping gear.

''If the insurance company doesn't pay for it, I'm going to take them to court,'' said Wright, who has traveled to a dozen or so antiwar protests from Washington, D.C., to New York. ''This isn't freedom.''

Bryan Ross, chief of the Berks County/Lehigh County Regional police, confirmed that the incident happened, apparently because the Secret Service found the vehicle suspicious. There were no further details.

Daniel Finsel, 21, of Lehighton spent three hours in the Kutztown lockup — unjustly, he believes. He said he was arrested for disorderly conduct while carrying a sign reading ''U.S. Aggression Breeds Terrorism'' two minutes before Bush rode up Main Street.

Finsel was given a citation and has to appear in court to pay a fine.

''I think it was an atrocity,'' he said. ''I was put in jail because of the way I feel, and I don't think that's right at all.''
UPDATE: Alert reader Peanut pointed my wondering eyes to the primary source on the Whoopi-finger story, at a LiveJournal site of the recipient of the honor, who goes by the name of jiveturky. It's long, so just go there and read it.

The good news is that JT claims one of his co-protesting buddies and Presidential Salute recipients managed to snap a picture of the Divine Digit in operation. The bad news is that the picture posted is not of the said digit, but rather of a fence and a propane tank.

It is entirely possible that this is a subtle work of art of such profundity as to be entirely over my head, but then it is also possible that the Homeland Security/RNC Hacking Department Haff Vays Ov Playink Mitt Pictures. Or maybe it's just that jiveturky screwed up somehow. I usually leave my tinfoil hat off on weekends to let my hair recover.

Iraq clusterfuck: Another triumph for privatization 

Apparently, Acting President Rove hasn't directed the new Iraqi puppet government to throw those pesky reporters out. So here's a cute little story from Baghdad:

As the intense summer heat bears down on them, Iraqis are coping by swimming in the Tigris and sleeping on their roofs. But frequent power outages are testing their almost legendary endurance in the sweltering summer months.

Heat similar to that of Baghdad can be found in neighboring Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. But unlike residents of those two wealthy nations, most Iraqis don't have air-conditioned cars and homes and try to go about their business normally even on the hottest of days.

Iraqis have had a wealth of experience in coping with power outages since the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Neighbors share large power generators and, in wealthy areas, even hire technicians to run, maintain and fuel them round-the-clock. Power generating also has become a business, with some entrepreneurial Iraqis buying generators and selling the power to households.
(via AP)

Gee, sounds a lot like "two societies," doesn't it? One poor and sweltering, the other rich and pleasantly cool.

So what's your point, lambert? C'mon, out with it!


The NYT's editorial Lambert quotes at length is worthy of note because, let's face it, it's the NYT and gets more attention that it deserves.

The folks who have got it dead-on right, though, are at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. This is clipped for length but the headline is the one THEY put on it:
Intelligence CYA/Senate GOP aims to help Bush

Editorial:July 10, 2004

If anyone thinks the Senate Intelligence Committee report on pre-Iraq war intelligence failures, released Friday, is all about making needed corrections to U.S. intelligence agencies and procedures, they're mistaken. This report is all about covering the Bush administration's posterior and getting President Bush reelected this fall.

Predictably, Republicans rushed to proclaim that the report exonerated the Bush administration's prewar activities... The notion that the Bush administration acted in good faith then, only to learn later that it had been misled by the CIA, doesn't pass the smell test.

The American people were duped into war by an administration that knew exactly what it was doing. Now it's trying to prevent exposure of its prewar conniving. Its efforts are cynical attempts to thwart the proper working of American democracy. Those efforts are not worthy of the American people, and they must not be allowed to succeed.
A damn shame that all these resounding denunciations are running on a Saturday, known to be the day of lowest newspaper readership.

Department of Closing the Barn Door After the Horse is Gone: The Times Gets It 

Well, the editorial page editors do, at least. It's a good editorial. Just two years too late, since all the facts in it were available to anyone at the time who had an open mind (i.e., paid attention to the blogosphere or the prescient anti-war critique in general):

The [Senate] report [on pre-war Intelligence failures] was heavily censored by the administration and is too narrowly focused on the bungling of just the Central Intelligence Agency. But what comes through is thoroughly damning. Put simply, the Bush administration's intelligence analysts cooked the books to give Congress and the public the impression that Saddam Hussein had chemical and biological weapons and was developing nuclear arms, that he was plotting to give such weapons to terrorists, and that he was an imminent threat.

Yes. Where was the Times when the news was breaking?

The report reaffirmed a finding by another panel investigating intelligence failures before the 9/11 attacks in saying that there was no "established formal relationship" between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

Yes. Where was the Times when the news was breaking?

Sadly, the investigation stopped without assessing how President Bush had used the incompetent intelligence reports to justify war. It left open the question of whether the analysts thought they were doing what Mr. Bush wanted. While the panel said it had found no analyst who reported being pressured to change a finding, its vice chairman, Senator John Rockefeller IV, said there had been an "environment of intense pressure". But the issue was glossed over so the report could be adopted unanimously.

Yes. Where was the Times when the news was breaking?

The panel's investigation into how President Bush handled the intelligence has been postponed until after the election. But the bottom line already seems pretty clear. No one had to pressure analysts to change their findings because the findings were determined before the work started.

Yes. Where was the Times when the news was breaking?

The Senate Intelligence Committee's report ought to be the first move back from the brink of destructive public cynicism. The next must come from the president, who could help restore confidence in the government's risk assessment by simply being frank about the errors his administration made and the lessons it learned. That would do more to prepare the country for the next crisis than a full season of scary press conferences by Mr. Ridge.
(via the slowly awakening from deep sleep Times)

Um. "Cynicism"? Don't you mean "realism"?

Where was the Times when the news was breaking?

Every damning indictment the report makes, and that the Times repeats, was repeatedly evidenced in the run up to the war—with the blogsosphere doing a lot of the heavy lifting. And where was the Times? Buying Chalabi slut Judith Miller a clean set of kneepads, that's where. And then another, another, and another. (Why, oh why, does Miller still have a job, seeing as what she did, unlike Jason Blair little stories, actually changed history and might have cost American lives.)

I remember the exact story that made me understand how decrepit, how complicit, and how complacent the Times had become, the moment when things snapped: when I read the story the times "broke" that showed how the "bourgeois rioters" who intimidated voting officials in Florida 2000 where really paid Republican staffers. They had the video that gave the evidence while the recount was still going on but only published the story well after the Supreme Court selected Bush. So, the answer to the question, Where was the Times when the news was breaking? has, for a long time, been... What? "Nowhere"? "In the tank"?

When will the Times become a news gathering organization again?

Good for New Jersey! 

The contrast is almost too much—while the wingers pervert the Constitution just fluff the base, people who take their oaths and vows seriously are preparing to commit their lives to each other:

Hundreds of same-sex couples gathered to register domestic partnerships on Saturday, the first day of a new law in New Jersey that gives gay partners some of the same rights as married couples.

More than 200 people attended a morning ceremony marking the law going into effect. Many arrived hours early, sitting on the municipal building's steps or on lawn chairs while filling out domestic partnership applications.
(via AP)

Family values. Eh?

The Ballad of Baby George 

Baby George says "I won't! I won't! I won't go to the NAACP convention because they are mean people who say bad things about me!"

Oh, you think I'm exaggerating?

"[BUSH] You've heard the rhetoric and the names they've called me."
(via our own Inky)

All together now—"Awwwwww! Poor George!"

Seriously, if Bush had real cojones, he'd go in front of this hostile audience and try to win them over. And even if he didn't succeed, he'd still look good for trying. But apparently the Bush brain trust has decided to expose Bush to deluded not yet enlightened friendly audiences, exclusively. I wonder why?

Dealing With Aliens 

Back in one of the earlier Straight Dope books, author Cecil Adams discusses a case in which a Texas woman named Sybil Christian (I swear I am not making this up) found a mysterious blob of unknown origin in her yard. Attempts to analyze the substance, described as looking like "smooth whipped cream, only purple," were made more difficult because she had squirted the blob with a garden hose before scientists arrived, causing Cecil to note "Mrs. Christian's notions of effective planetary defense were a bit quaint."

I think about that line a lot these days. In fact it came to mind again today when the invaluable Orcinus, in a feeble attempt to distract from the fact that he was taking a few days off to, like, earn a living, pointed to a blog I never heard of before, Emphasis Added. A couple of clips from an excellent essay:

Every time the center-left has extended Bush and the Republicans the benefit of the doubt, from failing to vigorously contest the election outcome to the Patriot Act to the authorizing resolution on Iraq, they have been made to look like fools and dupes. Daschle and Gephardt tried to play ball after 9/11 and got rolled over. The conservatism of Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Max Cleland and Martin Frost didn’t buy them a whit of slack from the Republican attack machine, which pulled out all the stops to slime and defeat them by fair means and foul.

I understand the impulse to be fair and reasonable, but really, trusting that Bush’s motives are anything but completely alien to moderate and liberal American values is an abdication of responsibility by the loyal opposition. Civility is a two-way street: you give in order to get. In today’s climate of fear and loathing fostered by right-wing extremists, the only purpose served by civility on the left is to keep the truth from being spoken too loudly or too honestly.
Go read all of EA's piece if your spirits are sagging like the Bush poll numbers. Go read the "Straight Dope" if your outrage meter is already spiked and you need a good laugh. In fact, what the hell, do both.

No More Mister Nice Goat 

At last the secret has been discovered.

What was it, we have wondered, about the book "The Pet Goat" that so fascinated George Bush? What kept him engrossed in it for those seven long, agonizing minutes despite hearing the news that his country was under attack?

The plotline? The challenge of making his way through a literary effort aimed at (we now know, see below) "struggling readers"? A troubling fascination with a creature associated throughout Western history with uncontrollable sexual enthusiasm?

While some of these details remain unclear, at least we know who to blame it on: Lyndon Johnson.

(via Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette)
URBANA – Proving that everything has an Urbana connection, here's one about the hit documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Filmmaker Michael Moore put seven minutes of the president reading "The Pet Goat" to Florida second-graders in the film, footage taken just after Bush learned of the terrorist attack on America – and continued to read on as if stunned.

Elaine C. Bruner, a longtime UI psychologist who co-wrote the text in which "The Pet Goat" can be found, is not a Bush fan, but says she can understand why the president might seem frozen with shock after the news.

"Clinton was so verbal, so quick to respond," she says. "Bush ... well..."

In 1969, she was an academic professional and part of a team writing a series of reading texts for SRA, then part of IBM, and now part of the McGraw-Hill publishing empire.

"The series came out of the (Lyndon) Johnson Great Society," she recalls.

One of the concepts in "The Pet Goat" that the president was communicating by reading aloud is that by adding a silent e, a vowel becomes long, as in "pan" and "pane" or "man" and "mane."

The main author of the series is Siegfried Engelmann, now at the University of Oregon, she said. It was part of Project Follow Through, a 1967 initiative of Johnson's War on Poverty.

"At one time we were told there could be no pictures of junk food" in the books, she said, "but President Reagan rescued us when he declared that ketchup was a vegetable'

"Having been developed at the UI, it was universal in schools for a while, then used for struggling learners," Bruner said. "Several of us spent our careers developing (the series), so the newfound notoriety of 'The Pet Goat' is kind of ironic. There was little or no media attention to it before."

In fact, due to the film, the reading text is now a collector's item on the Internet.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

Well, too much of a good thing makes Jack a dull boy. I think that's it. Night all.

Washington Times just a little defensive, perhaps? Overcompensating just a bit? 

Anyhow, here's the latest character assassination of Kerry/Edwards. Really unbelievable

Holding hands is no longer enough. The two Democratic candidates can't wait to get on stage for sessions of arm-gripping, face-fondling, knee-rubbing, neck-nuzzling, thigh-slapping and bear-hugging. This is not the political love that dare not speak its name from a closet, but the contrived warmth, born of the focus group, that shouts from the rooftop. And why not? We've become the therapeutic nation of huggers and fondlers.

"I've been covering Washington and politics for 30 years [said one wire-service photographer]. I can say I've never seen this much touching between two men, publicly."
(via Washington Times)


I mean, who would want to, you know, touch Dick "Dick" Cheney? Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew!

Good for Oregon! 

Wierd that the state's rights Republicans can't get their heads around this, isn't it?

Oregon became the second state to register same-sex marriage licenses Friday after a state appeals court upheld a lower court order directing officials to record more than 3,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples in Multnomah County.
(via AP)

Again, winning battles like this is a testimony to the courage of the gay community in "coming out" over the last decade. Gack... Marriage.... Family values... Pretty soon all the married gays are going to become Republicans...

An Act of Desperation: The Politicization of the War on Terror 

As W's political fortunes go down the toilet, I've been thinking about what these guys will do in desperation about October or so.

I really do think the current plan is to argue, especially if we have some horrific terrorist attack between now and the election, that if you vote for Kerry-Edwards, that's like voting for the terrorists! That's like what those awful appeasers in Spain did, can't you see?

I don't know if W and the boys will actually roll this argument out if they're not forced to do so by being twenty points behind in the polls. However, I'm apparently not the only one who thinks this argument is in the works. Ellis Henican at Newsday essentially makes the same argument today.

As Henican puts it:

With each new pointless warning, with each new breathless plea, those around George W. Bush are trying to link the terrorists with the Democrats.

Al-Qaida wants to "influence the American election," we are told. The terrorists hope to "pull another Spain," where the ruling party was voted out after the Madrid subway was bombed.

The implication isn't accidental, and it gets real ugly real fast: A vote for John Kerry, we are supposed to conclude, is a vote for Osama bin Laden.
That's exactly the plan you see.

The interesting thing is that some of the folks who've seen the evidence, like New York police commissioner Ray Kelly, are already calling bullshit on this:

Then, without being impolite to anyone in Washington, the New York police commissioner scoffed at the notion that al-Qaida has a candidate for U.S. president.

"No," Kelly said plainly, "the information is not that they are trying to influence the election in a certain way."
But I would suspect the morons in the media (that means you Bill Hemmer) won't stop and ask this rather obvious question: what evidence do you have for your assertion or are you just talking out of your, um, rear end?

MiniTru Speaks 

Shorter Tom Ridge: If we fail to keep you from getting killed between now and November, it will mean that we are winning the war on terror and deserve re-election.

More Shameless Republicans 

Nothing new here, I suppose, but it seems that our esteemed Congresscritter, "Chickenhawk" George Nethercutt (R-WA), will be a featured guest at the Bastille Day celebration in Seattle this weekend:
From: Consul Seattle [mailto:consul@faccpnw.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 4:48 PM
To: Consul Seattle
Subject: Bastille Day July 11 Seattle Center


Opening ceremonies 11:30am
With Congressman Nethercutt
awarding medals to D-Day veterans

Besides ducking Vietnam service and minimizing "a couple of dead soldiers a day" in Iraq (remember the good old days of "only" 2 dead a day?), Nethercutt has sponsored legislation retaliating for France's refusal to enlist its sons to die for oil /Bush's re-election the "liberation" of Iraq. In return for this unflinching sense of duty and devotion to international comity, he gets to troll for Francophile and veteran votes, simultaneously!

Maybe it's just that wacky French sense of humor. Perhaps Jerry Lewis will show up with a nice, fat, cream pie?...

Nah. Who am I kidding? Being Republican means never being held accountable. For anything.

Senate Republicans: CIA insufficiently Cheney-ed 

That's why all the WMD reports were wrong, you see.

Thank heavens we've been informed of this before the election!

Bush AWOL: So when was the microfilm "inadvertently" destroyed, anyhow? 

Froomkin reports that the "inadvertent" destruction (back) of the microfilmed records that would have proved that Bush was not a deserter came as a surprise:

A surprise, indeed. Heck, just two weeks ago in an interview for this column, Associated Press Assistant General Counsel Dave Tomlin told me the AP has been informed that the microfilm in question did indeed exist.
(via WaPo)

Gee, everybody seems really confused about this. I thought Bush released "all" the records months ago? How could they have known they had "all" (ha) the records if they didn't have either the microfilm or the paper backups?

Kevin Drum has more:

On the other hand, these three months (July-September 1972) are the crucial three months in the whole Bush National Guard saga, since this is when he skipped his physical, was grounded, and then disappeared from sight for six months. It's definitely fishy that of all possible periods, this is the one that went missing. (Note also that the 3Q72 payroll records were missing in the original document dump in February, as I noted in this post, and that the 4Q72 and 1Q73 records don't seem to agree with each other. As always with this stuff, it's hard to make sense of it.)

Of course, it's the Flight Inquiry Board report on why he was grounded after skipping his physical that we'd really like to take a look at. That would be interesting to see — assuming it wasn't also "inadvertantly destroyed," of course....

And now, aWol paperwork expert and analyst paul lukasiak—the man who actually figured out how to read the Army's payroll punchcards— moves the story forward this way:

We have the previous and subsequent reports, which tell us what the "missing" report contained, i.e. nothing.

The subsequent reports have a "points grid" that show that Bush was not credited with any duty during the quarter in question. In addition, there are cumulative payroll summaries in the header of the document, and by comparing the data in the previous quarterly summary to the data in the subsequent quarterly summary, one can ascertain that Bush was paid nothing during the "missing" quarter.

This is, in other words, ALMOST a non-story. What the payroll records from that quarter would have revealed is information regarding the abortive transfer to the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron, and the loss of flight status. Because both changes would have affected Bush's payroll, there would have been data entered with regard to those changes, and that data entry would have shown up on the bottom of the payroll reports themselves.

However, the story does say that some punch cards were being released. Insofar as the payroll data was entered into the system using punch cards, it is possible that there is a punch card showing the order removing Bush from flight status.

Re the "abortive transfer", if there were no changes made in the payroll records, it is absolute proof that Bush remained obligated to attend drills with his Texas unit for that entire six month period. "Approval" of the transfer request did not mean that Bush was no longer obligated, only ORDERS tranferring Bush to the 9921st would make that happen. And those orders would be reflected on that payroll report.

So, if I have this right, the missing records would add nothing to our knowledge of whether Bush served in the period they cover; we already know that he didn't.

What the missing records would show is that he was obligated to serve, and didn't. Correct? Readers?

And it's all so very, very simple. Why doesn't Bush authorize the release of all his military records, just Like Kerry and McCain have? After all, that's just what Bush said he would do:

[RUSSERT] Would you authorize the release of everything to settle this?

[BUSH] Yes, absolutely.
(Meet the Press via TAPPED

But Bush hasn't released "everything." The latest release withheld 60 pages of medical records, and the report of the Flight Inquery Board isn't even in play. I wonder why not?

If everything Bush says and does on the war seems fake, that's because it is 

In fact, as the ever essential Orcinus shows, its a psyops campaign directed at the home front. After citing the Information Warfare Site, WikiPedia, and experts in the field, Orcinus continues:

We have in fact known from even before the outset that the war against Iraq would prominently feature psychological warfare.
Most people have assumed that [psychological] warfare would be directed against the enemy and the subject citizens. They have not stopped to consider that, by definition, it would also be directed toward the American public as well.

The entire meaning of the Iraq war -- and by extension, the "war on terrorism" -- is inextricably bound up in the psychological manipulation of the voting public through a relentless barrage of propaganda.

This is why the both the runup to the war and its subsequent mishandling have been so replete with highly symbolic media events -- many of them played repeatedly on nightly newscasts -- that have proven so hollow at their core, from the declarations of imminent threat from Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction, to phony images of Saddam's statue being torn down, to flyboy antics aboard airline carriers, to meaningless "handovers" of power. It also explains why certain important and humanizing symbols of wartime -- civilian casualties, the returning flag-draped coffins -- have been so notably absent from our views of the war.

The role of the media in this manipulation cannot be understated. The abdication of the media's role as an independent watchdog and its whole subsumation as a propaganda organ bodes ill for any democracy, because a well-informed public is vital to its functioning.

Gee, the Bush campaign wouldn't be part of this operation, would it? No! They would never do that!

Pentagon reneges on pledge; "ghost prisoners" still held at Gitmo 

That didn't take long, did it?

Despite pledging yearly reviews for all prisoners held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Pentagon officials tentatively agreed during a high-level meeting last month to deny that process to some detainees and to keep their existence secret "for intelligence reasons," senior defense officials said Thursday.

Under the proposal, some prisoners would in effect be kept off public records and away from the scrutiny of lawyers and judges.

The meeting on the Guantanamo reviews occurred months after U.S. officials came under harsh criticism by investigators and human rights observers for practices involving "ghost" detainees in Iraq who were kept hidden from inspectors for intelligence purposes.

"I don't know how any of this squares with anything. That's been my problem with this thing from the beginning," he said. "Any time you get the dark side involved, human rights tend to be less of an issue."

One critic said he spoke out about the proposal because he felt that holding detainees "off the books" was unnecessary and potentially illegal. He discounted arguments that the secrecy would withhold news of the captures from other terrorists.

"These Al Qaeda guys are smart," one of the senior defense officials who was critical of the policy said on condition of anonymity. "If Mohamed is no longer on the other end of the phone, they're going to know we've got him."
(via LA Times)

Just like torture. Trashes the rule of law, doesn't work, and it's stupid. Seems like brute force and ignorance (and psyops) is all these people know.

Bush to AIDS community, scientists: Go Cheney yourself 

Just one more little act of degradation. And what is one among so many?

The U.S. government will send only one-quarter as many people to the huge international AIDS conference starting Sunday in Bangkok as it sent to the last one in Barcelona.

The decision to cut attendance, which comes as the Bush administration is rolling out its five-year, $15 billion global AIDS treatment plan, was reached long after many government scientists had made plans to attend the conference, which is held every two years. Dozens of scientific presentations were withdrawn, about 50 will be published only as summaries and not presented publicly, and dozens of meetings -- many designed to train Third World AIDS researchers and foster international collaboration -- were canceled.

Wow! Way to show those scientists respect!

The move, which officials say is to save money, is interpreted by many AIDS experts as payback for the heckling of Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson at the last AIDS conference

No, that can't be true! The Bush administration is known for its lack of petty-mindedeness generosity of spirit!

The decision has caused consternation at the CDC and the NIH and among AIDS scientists outside the government whose work is funded by those agencies. Almost nobody was willing to speak on the record because of fears of retaliation.

"What can I say? I can't say anything," an anguished NIH researcher said.
(via WaPo)

Retaliate? The Bush administration?

It couldn't be, could it, that with $15 billion to spend, Bush doesn't really want scientists involved in the process?

Remarkable skin lightning lotion! 

This post doesn't mean anything. At least I don't think it does. To be honest I'm not sure what it means. It's just one of those weird things that sometimes jumps right up in front of you and starts yelling "look at me, I'm a weird thing!"

Any of you who have ever attended an outdoor Grateful Dead concert or still remember that MSNBC talk show program hosted by Allan Keyes* will know exactly what I mean by weird things that sometimes jump right up in front of you and start yelling "look at me, I'm a weird thing!"

*True Historical Facts Note: Allan Keyes is a past Republican presidential candidate, member of the second circle of Powers, Dominions, and Virtues - and - the former ambassador to the volcanic island nation of Cretin.

Anyway, who cares. What this post is really about (although it doesn't really mean anything) is what resulted when I Googled up corrente and discovered that corrente had been adopted by something called "shopping.service.com". Where, it just so happens, you can learn anything you need to know about "remarkable skin lightning lotion." Which reminds me of something I once encountered during an outdoor Grateful Dead concert in West Virginia. If you've never experienced "skin lightning" (or west Virginia) I suggest you try it. It's remarkable. You won't be sorry. Then again maybe you will.

In any case, remarkable.skin.lightning.lotion.shopping.service.com.htm here or cached here provides a wide assortment of valuable feeds and links and teaser leads to articles and websites featuring a remarkable variety of topics and products including "one minute manicures", "Jafra consultants" and a free vat of "royal jelly product". Use your imagination.

Also available: "Neways Snap Back... remarkable stretch mark cream", "cosmic energy stones" - in the event pea gravel won't do the trick - a "white bunny named Lightning," and "a remarkable 29 cent goldfish," from "The Oregon Association of American Mothers Inc," which, if you ask me, seems like a pretty good initial offering price for a goldfish from Oregon.

You can also learn about "joint problems in dogs," (something I know a thing or two about), "PRECURSOR" colonization and early hair coloring tips among "a group of plane faring (pf) and space faring (sf) races that preceded humanity and are now thought to be extinct," and an expression the residents of Alaska have coined for people entering Alaska; "they call it Coming into the Country."

Obviously, if it's cutting edge coined immigration expressions you're looking for, Alaskians are the go-to folks.

Then, there are links to useful archived scientific topics such as this:
NewsPro Archive - July 2001. Ohldepharte. Posted Monday, July 30, 2001 by admin. By Terry Moore. By now, what with all the alien sightings, U.F.O. ... they are rumored to bear a remarkable resemblance to groundhogs ... little samples of soap, skin lotion and dog food to ... little samples of soap, skin lotion and dog food to ...

Your guess is as good as mine. In any event, at some point, should you just so happen to be shopping for cosmic gravel or a white bunny named lightning - and who the hell isn't! - you will eventually discover a link to an earlier corrente offering which offers "Stupid Republican Pet Tricks," and a "Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry' bumpersticker." Scroll even further down the page and you'll discover a link to this archived post by Lambert:

corrente / Leah, Lambert, Tresy & the farmer
The Blog of 4: Leah, Lambert, Tresy and the farmer. Saturday, June 12, 2004. Goodnight, moon. It's dark under the table, and I'm going to bed. Wonder if we're going to be able to nail that slippery little scut on torture? Well, we can dream. corrente.blogspot.com

Why are links to these corrente posts included on this page? Ya got me. But it all somehow makes sense if you think of it all as some kind of crazy integrated poetic whole. For instance, just prior to Lambert's old post cited above, you will discover a "Firecat Fanfics - Sakura and Snow - Exchange," link which will remind you:
In the shrine's inner sanctum, light fell into shadow: pale sun spilling slantwise through the open doorway and onto the tatami floor. ... the tube's cap, the glisten of lotion across Seishirou's fingers ... flowing over his pale skin, reflecting in eyes made dark ... with the potential for lightning--the frisson of a tender ...

Obvious conclusion: Loin! A tender loin! Nothing like a tender loin on a tatami floor! Especially when it involves a "Stupid Republican" and a free vat of "royal jelly product!" Just ask Jerri Ryan! Who can tell you whatever ya want to know about U.F.O.'s and "space faring (sf) races," and "Stupid Republican Pet Tricks."

See what I mean? All the dots connect somewhere down the line. Ya just gotta stick with it. Later on down the page you will be treated to a "KidsBookshelf Poems and Short Stories," link which originates from some place called www.kidsbookshelf.com and features this brief teaser:

KidsBookshelf Poems and Short Stories ... The Castle a most remarkable place Beautify with many ... on your skin it is not sticky; it is scented body lotion ... and she can make lightning come out of her ...

"...out of her..." what!? Good Gawd! Kids these days. Hey, wait a minute - that kinda reminds me of a Grateful Dead concert I once went to in West Virginia.

Oh well, at least I now know where all you Corrente readers are coming from.

Anyone know where I can get me "a scrappy Mutt" a "lightning bolt" and a "blistery stigmata?"

I'll bet Allan Keyes would know.

This post is dedicated to Matt Deatherage and Presbyterian church-basement tuba bands everywhere.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

You know, I really love that phrase, "inadvertently destroyed." Sure, it starts out applying to the suddenly and mysteriously missing microfilm that would have proved Bush wasn't a deserter (back), but it seems to apply to a lot of other things, too!

That's because it combines two key aspects of the Bush administration: (1) the clusterfuck aspect, with "destroyed", and (2) the total denial of any responsibility or accountability, with "inadvertently." Yes, I think this meme's a winner!

1. The Bill of Rights—inadvertently destroyed!

2. Jobs for millions—inadvertently destroyed!

3. Fiscal sanity—inadvertently destroyed!

4. International credibility—inadvertently destroyed!

I could go on, but... Readers? No points for working in references to goats. That's so unfair.

UPDATE I forgot, in taking rhetorical flight, to mention how glad I am that farmer has finished haying or plowing or seeding or flood control or whatever he was doing. In the immortal words of Gracie Slick: "You have heard the heavy groups. Now you will hear morning maniac music!"

Swing Low, Sweet Air Force One 

Gee, don'tcha just hate those "scheduling conflicts"? Don'tcha just hate it even more when your alternative is to appear before people who might ask embarassing questions about Florida, or not be sufficiently deferential, and might not even let you rub their bald heads for luck?

(via Minneapolis Star-Tribune of all places)
PHILADELPHIA -- President Bush declined an invitation to speak at the NAACP's annual convention, the group said.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People expects more than 8,000 people to attend the convention opening Saturday.

Democratic challenger John Kerry accepted an invitation to speak next Thursday on the final day of the convention, the NAACP said.

Bush spoke at the 2000 NAACP convention in Baltimore when he was a candidate. But he has declined invitations to speak in each year of his presidency, the first president since Herbert Hoover not to attend an NAACP convention, John White, a spokesman for the group, said Wednesday.

The NAACP received a letter from the White House three weeks ago declining the invitation because of scheduling conflicts and thanking the it for understanding. It was signed by presidential scheduler Melissa Bennett.

White House spokesman Jim Morrell said Wednesday that the president has spoken about ``equal opportunity and equal rights for all Americans'' in many public places.
Yeah, particularly to the "haves and the have mores....my base." That's really the way to reach out, unite not divide, right Georgie?

Bush AWOL: Microfilm records "inadvertently destroyed."
How conv-e-e-e-n-ient! 

Goodness gracious! If I didn't have so much faith in the integrity of the Bush administration, I'd say there was some sort of cover-up going on. Remember Nixon's secretary, Rosemary Woods, and the famous 18 1/2 minute gap, where she somehow accidentally erased the tapes of her boss was incriminating himself? History does repeat itself, doesn't it?

Military records that could help establish President Bush's whereabouts during his disputed service in the Texas Air National Guard more than 30 years ago have been inadvertently destroyed, according to the Pentagon.
(via, amazingly enough, the Times)

Well, shit happens. But let's look at the detail...

It said the payroll records of "numerous service members," including former First Lt. Bush, had been ruined in 1996 and 1997 by the Defense Finance and Accounting Service during a project to salvage deteriorating microfilm. No back-up paper copies could be found, it added in notices dated June 25.

But this is too much. (1) Why are there no backups? Surely whoever did the microfilm had the duty not to destroy the originals? (2) Do we know that the originals were, in fact, there? Was there no inventory? No chain of custody for the evidence?

The destroyed records cover three months of a period in 1972 and 1973 when Mr. Bush's claims of service in Alabama are in question.

Gee. Funny it's only those three months, isn't it?

The disclosure appeared to catch some experts, both pro-Bush and con, by surprise. Even the retired lieutenant colonel who studied Mr. Bush's records for the White House, Albert C. Lloyd of Austin, said it came as news to him.

Gee. So, with no inventory and no chain of custody, why we are sure the "inadvertant destruction"—love the phrase!—happened in 1997, under the Clinton administration? (You know, given everything else The Clenis™has been accused of, it's funny he wouldn't guard those records as the appple of his eye...)

There was no mention of the loss, for example, when White House officials released hundreds of pages of the President's military records last February in an effort to stem Democratic accusations that he was "AWOL" for a time during his commitment to fly at home in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Gee. I wonder why not? The WhiteWash House said "all" the records at the time. So how did they know they released "all" the records without cross-checking against the microfilm?

The disclosure that the payroll records had been destroyed came in a letter signed by C. Y. Talbott, chief of the Pentagon's Freedom of Information Office, who forwarded a CD-Rom of hundreds of records that Mr. Bush has previously released, along with images of punch-card records. Sixty pages of Mr. Bush's medical file and some other records were excluded on privacy grounds, Mr. Talbott wrote.

Gee. That's funny, isn't it? We already know about Bush's hemmerhoids and his dental exam. No privacy problems there, eh? So what else is there that we don't know about?

Mr. Talbott's office would not respond to questions, saying that further information could be provided only through another Freedom of Information application.

How very forthcoming.

The bottom line? Bush is still stonewalling.

But Mr. [James Moore, author of a recent book, "Bush's War for Re-election,"] said [Bush] could still authorize the release of other withheld records that would shed light on his service record.

Among the issues still disputed is why, according to released records, Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on Aug. 1, 1972. The reason cited in the records is "failure to accomplish annual medical examination."

So, here, at least, things are very simple, just as they always have been.

Maybe we can't resolve, through payroll records, whether Bush did, in fact, fulfill his legal obligations to serve.

But perhaps we can resolve why he was grounded. And to resolve this, Bush just needs to authorize the release of the sixty pages that have been withheld, so far. Why on earth would Bush let this issue fester? I just can't understand....

So, "Lincoln," why is it that you're still a Republican? 

Republican Lincoln Chafee on the anti-marriage for gay people amendment:

"Nuts", said Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I. "To be seen as the party that's coming between two people that love each other doing what they want to do ... to me that's going to be seen as a liability, politically."
(via AP)

So why put up with it, Senator? Who was it who said, "With malice toward none, with charity toward all"? Let me see, now... Hmmm....

"We Don't Want Tyranny" 

Read this once and be shocked at what we've come to.

Then read it again, slower. Look at the numbers and look at the quotes. Look at the lengths the fascists had to go to for even a TIE vote on this in the House. They got it this time, but the tide is turning.

(via AP at NYT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Republican-led House bowed to a White House veto threat Thursday and stood by the USA Patriot Act, defeating an effort to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that helps the government investigate people's reading habits.

The effort to defy Bush and bridle the law's powers lost by 210-210, with a majority needed to prevail. The amendment appeared on its way to victory as the roll call's normal 15-minute time limit expired, but GOP leaders kept the vote open for 23 more minutes as they persuaded about 10 Republicans who initially supported the provision to change their votes.

``Shame, shame, shame,'' Democrats chanted as the minutes passed and votes were switched. The tactic was reminiscent of last year's House passage of the Medicare overhaul measure, when GOP leaders held the vote open for an extra three hours until they got the votes they needed.

``You win some, and some get stolen,'' Rep. C.L. Butch Otter, R-Idaho, a sponsor of the defeated provision and one of Congress' more conservative members, told a reporter.

The effort to curb the Patriot Act was pushed by a coalition of Democrats and conservative Republicans. But they fell short in a showdown that came just four months before an election in which the conduct of the fight against terrorism will be on the political agenda.

``I would say, in my judgment, that lives have been saved, terrorists have been disrupted, and our country is safer'' because of the act, said Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a man President Bush is considering to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

``We are all in that together,'' Sanders, one of Congress' most liberal lawmakers, said of the anti-terror effort. ``In the fight against terrorism, we've got to keep our eyes on two prizes: the terrorists and the United States Constitution.''

Critics of the Patriot Act argued that even without it, investigators can get book store and other records simply by obtaining subpoenas or search warrants. Those traditional investigative tools are harder to get from grand juries or courts than orders issued under the Patriot Act, which do not require authorities to show probable cause.

``We don't want tyranny,'' said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.
UPDATE: So I posted this here in great haste because it was breaking news, cutting about half of the original for length but leaving a lot for the quotes. And then I amble over to dKos and what do I encounter but a stern discussion on the matter of Fair Use and Copyright Law as it pertains to clips from articles. This is now shortened up considerably and you are cheerfully encouraged to go read the original in its entirety.

Exit left 

Poor Inerrant Boy! Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

The caption:

Bush walks away from a briefing with the media, refusing to answer questions after he was asked about Enron and the reported indictment of former CEO Kenneth Lay, who was a close adviser and fund-raiser for Bush and his father, earning him the presidential nickname of 'Kenny Boy.'(AFP/Paul J. Richards)
(via AFP)

"Refusing to answer questions"? I wonder why?

NOTE Via Kos via Atrios.

"Welcome to the committee, Comrade Lysenko!" 

How does the Bush administration find "qualified" scientists? No surprise, but it's nice to see in print:

Two recently appointed members to the National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research, Dr. Richard Myers of Stanford University in California and Dr. George Weinstock of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, said they had been asked inappropriate questions when they were nominated.

Weinstock said a staffer at the Health and Human Services Department called to ask "leading political questions."

"There is no doubt in my mind that these questions represented a political litmus test," he said in a statement.

Myers said he received a similar call in which he was asked about his opinion of embryonic stem cell research, which the White House opposes.

"Then the staffer asked questions that really shocked me," Myers is quoted as saying in the report. "She wanted to know what I thought about President Bush: Did I like him, what did I think of the job he was doing."
(via Reuters)

I don't see what the big deal is here.

What these so-called "scientists" don't understand, or are unwilling to see, is this: Since Bush is Chosen of God to Lead the country, how could it be inappropriate to question them regarding this Ultimate Truth?

It's an ill wind ... 

Coincidence? You be the judge:

Crude oil prices in New York surged above $40 a barrel Thursday for the first time in more than a month after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security signaled terrorists were scheming to disrupt U.S. elections.

The rally reinforced the market's pattern of buying whenever terrorism worries surface, despite government data showing across-the-board builds in petroleum inventories last week.
(via AP)

It would be interesting to know who bought oil stocks right before the warning, eh?

Republican values: "Fascist" is starting to look like exactly the right word, 2 

Read how Digby on how to get on the "Homeland Security Watch List.

Remember when the Nazis tried to get the Danish Jews to wear a yellow Star of David? And the Danes, from the King on down, all started to wear the yellow star? It's starting to seem like we need to do something similar in this country.

NOTE Thanks to alert reader Jennifer for the pointer.

Looking Out for #1 

Tucked away in Seth Ackerman and John Judis' article on the Administration enlisting the Pakistani military in its re-election campaign hunt for al-Qaida leaders, there is this little nugget:

The Bush administration has matched this public and private pressure with enticements and implicit threats. ...[Colin] Powell pointedly refused to criticize Musharraf for pardoning nuclear physicist A.Q. Khan--who, the previous month, had admitted exporting nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea, and Libya--declaring Khan's transgressions an "internal" Pakistani issue.

So, for those keeping score: first Bush let al-Qaida's leadership escape from Tora Bora rather than divert military assets from attacking Iraq, then spared Abu Musab Zarqawi so we could falsely link Saddam to al-Qaida as a pretext for attacking Iraq, and gives a pass to a country that actively participates in the market for nuclear terrorism so we can catch the al-Qaida leadership we let get away 2 1/2 years ago. Meanwhile New Yorkers and Californians get the least homeland security funding per capita, Montanans the most.

Maybe someone with experience in NCAA playoffs could help, but from where I sit the rankings going into the Self-Preservation Semifinals seem to be something like this:
1. Bush and cronies
2. Rogue nuclear states
3. al-Qaida
4. US citizens
(5. Saddam)

So this is what they meant by "moral clarity."

Lambert has more.

Department of "No! They would never do that!"—July surprises 

From the New Republic, a little innoculation before the Democratic Convention in July:

The Bush administration denies it has geared the war on terrorism to the electoral calendar. "Our attitude and actions have been the same since September 11 in terms of getting high-value targets off the street, and that doesn't change because of an election," says National Security Council spokesman Sean McCormack. But The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs [High Value Targets] by the election. According to one source in Pakistan's powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), "The Pakistani government is really desperate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his associates after the latest pressures from the U.S. administration to deliver before the [upcoming] U.S. elections." Introducing target dates for Al Qaeda captures is a new twist in U.S.-Pakistani counterterrorism relations--according to a recently departed intelligence official, "no timetable[s]" were discussed in 2002 or 2003--but the November election is apparently bringing a new deadline pressure to the hunt. Another official, this one from the Pakistani Interior Ministry, which is responsible for internal security, explains, "The Musharraf government has a history of rescuing the Bush administration. They now want Musharraf to bail them out when they are facing hard times in the coming elections." (These sources insisted on remaining anonymous. Under Pakistan's Official Secrets Act, an official leaking information to the press can be imprisoned for up to ten years.)

A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
(via New Republic)

Of course, there are factions in Pakistan's ISI who have no reason to love the Bush administration. But this material sounds absolutely in character for these guys, doesn't it?

Republican values: Do anything to win. Anything.

Republican values: Families still holding raffles to buy troops equipment 

Remember the families who had to buy body armor for their sons and daughters serving in Iraq? Remember the chambers of commerce who bought armor for HumVees? Of course.

And remember how Inerrant Boy thanked them, and recognized their efforts? And reimbursed them? No, I didn't think you did.

No, that slippery little scut didn't do a damn thing, and the families are still doing the same thing. This time it's scopes:

One of the many Fillmore residents who bought raffle tickets from Krista Iverson at Fillmore's July Fourth celebration could win a .22-caliber rifle, but Krista's husband will get much more.

Lt. Robert Iverson, a Fillmore native, is in Iraq with Marine Artillery Unit 511 out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. Although the unit is on the front lines, the military has not equipped its AR16 rifles with scopes -- which obviously could better enable the soldiers to see their targets.

The Tapco company has donated 30 scopes, but Iverson's battalion needs 124, at a cost of $70 each. Krista has raised $1,200, but considering Fillmore probably won't have another festival until July 24, the mother of two is hopeful people will donate funds in her husband's name at any Zions bank.
(via the Salt Lake Tribune)

Sure, Bush can stop by a cute little lemonade stand on his way to another fundraiser—he only had a $10; I'm surprised it wasn't a $100—but when is He going to stop by Krista Iverson's stand and buy a raffle ticket there?

Answer: When Hell freezes over.

Republican values on supporting the troops: Talk the talk. Period.

Or maybe these winger loons think Krista Iverson's raffle for scopes for the troops is a shining example of privatization?

Republican values: "Fascism" is starting to look like exactly the right word 

Read this story. Is this the America you know? Is this the America you want? And what does this story say about Republican "values"?

A worker with the Federal Emergency Management Agency who wore an anti-Bush T-shirt at the president’s July Fourth rally in Charleston has been sent home to Texas.

Nicole Rank, who was working for FEMA in West Virginia, and her husband, Jeff, were removed from the Capitol grounds in handcuffs shortly before Bush’s speech. The pair wore T-shirts with the message “Love America, Hate Bush.”

The Ranks were ticketed for trespassing and released. They have been given summonses to appear in court, Charleston Police Lt. C.A. Vincent said Wednesday.

FEMA spokesman Ross Fredenburg would not say Wednesday whether Nicole Rank had been fired.

“All we can say is that our federal coordinating officer, Lou Botta, sent Nicole home,” he said. “We cannot comment further, to protect her privacy. Federal privacy laws prevent us from saying anything.”
(via the CharlestonGazette)

Don't you love that claim of privacy? It ties a cute little bow on top of the whole package, doesn't it?

The full force of the State's police power being used on behalf of a political campaign? American citizens handcuffed and hauled off in restraints for wearing the wrong T-shirt? What does that sound like to you, folks?

It sounds like Republican values in action, to me. We'll be waiting for the WhiteWash House to issue some sort of condemnation for "isolated incidents" (yawn) and for the wingers and media whores to disassociate themselves from these vile actions... And something tells me that we'll be waiting a long, long time.

UPDATE Oops! I pinned the outrage meter on this one. It's just a single incident, as
Sid the Fish points out to me. My bad. It was the additional details in this one that got me. Sorry.

Options for Kenny Boy: How about a tell-all book? Say, about how Enron stole billions from California? 

Certainly one way to pay off the lawyers! And the book practically writes itself, doesn't it? Robert Bryce lifts up the Enron rock in Salon and finds all kinds of crawly, squirmy things:

Lay could dish the dirt on several important topics: the [1] Karl Rove-brokered push that resulted in Enron paying Christian conservative turned super-lobbyist Ralph Reed $300,000; [2] Lay's dealings with secretary of state turned super-lobbyist James Baker; [3] why Enron hired Ed Gillespie, the man who now heads the Republican National Committee; [4] the reason for Lay's decision to allow the Bushes to use Enron's fleet of airplanes as their own; [5] what happened in those meetings with Dick Cheney and his energy task force; and [6] what really happened with the California energy crisis.
(via Salon)

Of course, Lay would have to ask fast; the book would need to hit the stands by, say, late October.... Anyhow, Bryce picks [6] as the hot topic: The phony California energy "crisis" scam:

Or better still, what might Lay tell us about the California energy crisis? Some may recall that Lay had a private meeting with Cheney on April 17, 2001, to talk about the [California] energy markets, which were reeling from skyrocketing power prices. During the meeting, Lay told Cheney that the federal government should not impose any restrictions on the markets. His memo to Cheney said that "the administration should reject any attempt to re-regulate wholesale power markets by adopting price caps." Even temporary price restrictions, the memo argued, "will be detrimental to power markets and will discourage private investment."

Cheney immediately began parroting Lay's argument. The day after the meeting, Cheney mocked the idea of price caps during an interview with a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, saying caps would provide only "short-term political relief for the politicians." He also said they would discourage investment, a matter Cheney called "the basic fundamental problem."

Today we know [and Paul Krugman wrote at the time—Lambert] that one of the fundamental problems with the California energy crisis was that traders from Enron and other energy companies were manipulating power prices at their whim -- and that they liked to joke about how they were taking money from those "poor grandmothers in California." Lay could tell us when he first learned that his traders were making huge profits by scamming California's gas and electricity markets.

Oh, and those thieving traders? Faithful Republicans, every single one. Let's watch Republican values in action. From the trading transcripts:

On the calls, traders openly and gleefully discussed creating congestion on transmission lines, taking generating units offline to pump up electricity prices and overall manipulation of the California power market.

They also kidded about Enron's hefty political contributions -- particularly to Bush's 2000 presidential campaign -- and how that could translate into more opportunity for profit in California.

"I'd love to see Ken Lay be secretary of energy," one trader said, referring to the now-disgraced former Enron chief executive whose ties to the Bush administration have drawn criticism from Democrats.

In one transcript, a trader asks about "all the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers of California."

To which the Enron trader responds, "Yeah, Grandma Millie, man. But she's the one who couldn't figure out how to (expletive) vote on the butterfly ballot."
(AP via the Seattle Post Intelligencer

Funny ha-ha, eh?

Looting, lying, lawbreaking—Republican values in action!

Bush values: Not that there's anything wrong with this 

Considering the source, Larry Flynt... OTOH, he was right about Bob Livingstone, remember? From Salon, and it's really not so painful if it pays for the content click through:

The first thing in your book that everyone is going to jump on is your claim that young George W. Bush paid for his girlfriend's illegal abortion.

[FLYNT:] You can't stay with a story this long and not believe in it. In 2000, I got a call from a lawyer in Houston. He told me that his client, "Susan," could prove that George W. Bush arranged for his girlfriend to have an abortion back in the early 1970s. Her boyfriend at the time, "Clyde," was pals with Bush and set up the procedure. We checked up and found that indeed "Clyde" was responsible for keeping Bush out of trouble. Bush had knocked up a girl named "Rayette." We talked to the doctor that performed the abortion. We felt we really had a blockbuster story, but about two months before we were going to break the story, "Susan" disappeared. We finally found her. She was living in a half-million-dollar home in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before that she was living in a small apartment working for $13,000 a year as a cocktail waitress. I'm not saying Bush bought her off, but I'm confident that one or more of his cronies did. The only thing that interested me in this story is -- I'm pro-choice, but to have a guy who is running on a pro-life platform ... and this procedure was committed in 1971, two years before Roe vs. Wade, which would have made it a crime.

I went to two members of the national press (during the 2000 presidential campaign) and said, "Look. I don't have anyone out on the stump. You guys do. At least ask Bush the question." You know what? They refused to. One of them had the nerve to tell me that the election was too close. "We don't want to be the ones to tip it in any direction." I thought, that gives you a really great feeling about the press.
(via Salon)

Well. Certainly the episode runs true to form. Especially the values part—buying people off.

It would be nice to have a little more collateral, though, wouldn't it?

Cheney's doctor: What is it with Republicans and pharmaceuticals, anyhow? 

First Rush "B-i-i-i-g Pharma" Limbaugh, then Cheney's doctor. And now it turns out the Cheney knew his own doctor was using all the time:

One thing that became clear yesterday is that Cheney has known about [his doctor,] Malakoff's problems for some time. Jonathan Reiner, director of GWU's cardiac catheterization laboratory, said in an interview that Cheney "has known for years" about Malakoff's drug dependence, although he would not be specific.

"Dr. Malakoff had frank discussions with the vice president for quite a period of time about this," Reiner said. "This was not just recent news. He has kept him apprised."
(via WaPo)

Weird that Cheney's so calm about this, eh? War on drugs, and all that. And if you knew your doctor had a drug dependency, wouldn't you change your doctor?

So, why? Putting on my tinfoil hat, the only reason I can think of is that Cheney owned Malakoff. The deal is, "Say my heart's in fine shape, and I'll keep quiet about your dependency." Eh?

Judy Woodruff's "Scary!" Hangdog Playhouse 

"Scary!" - ? What could CNN's Judy Woodruff be referring too? What's so scary Judy? Could it be that we have a group of people in the White House who have been operating a secretive foreign policy chop shop on the taxpayer dole? Waging a war founded upon conspiracy theories, carefully orchestrated deceptions, false premises, prearranged cost plus contractual cronyism, and outright bald faced lies. Could that be what Judy finds scary? Or perhaps Judy is scared because over 800 Americans have died in Iraq and more than 4000 wounded as a direct result of such deceptions, false premises, conspiracy theories, cronyism, and outright bald faced lies.

More than 4000 missing arms, legs, hands, eyes, feet. Thousands burned, bandaged, brain damaged, beheaded -- spines snapped, folded, spindled and mutilated. And that's not counting the thousands and thousands of Iraqi citizens suffering likewise. Could Judy be afraid of that? Or maybe Judy finds it "scary!" that people such as herself helped ballyhoo, mass market, distribute, fold, lick, and rubber stamp many (if not all) of those hot metal conspiracy theories, false premises, deceptions, and outright bald faced lies with nary a second glance to the questionable veracity and/or consequences of such oily forged mechanics. Could that be what Judy finds "scary!"?

Oh, no! Nothing like that. Don't be ruhdicaliss. What Judy finds so "scary!" (with an exclamation point) is a recent poll cited by CNN senior political analyst, and visiting American Enterprise Institute goodfellow, Bill Schneider. A poll which allegedly indicates that voters, "by better than 2-1", consider John Trial Lawyer Guy Edwards, and his "experience" as such, a "strength" rather than a "weakness".

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking - OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! - How scary is that? Sure ya are. That's what Judy thought too. Upon hearing the terrifying news she immediately exclaimed: "Scary!". Just like that. Just cacked it right up as if she were expurgating a vulgar clam which had failed to behave itself on the path to assimilation.

As a matter of fact I have a transcript snip of the televised exchange right here below: (bold emphasis mine)

SCHNEIDER: Republicans also intend to attack Edwards for being a trial lawyer. How scary is that? Not very, because by better than 2- 1, voters see Edwards experience as a trial lawyer as more of a strength than a weakness -- Judy.



WOODRUFF: Interesting. OK. Bill Schneider, thanks very much.


"Scary!" Oh yes. But Judy composed herself immediately - she is, after all, a practiced tragedienne - but for a moment there I was almost convinced she might just spring from her anchor chair and begin running around like a blind clog in a meat locker screeching "the trial lawyers are coming, the trial lawyers are coming!" and then hurl herself down a hole in the floor and scamper off to the safety of some secret CNN panic room impervious to the advances of populist litigators or peasants wielding prosthetic devices.

Anyway, considering all the scary things in the world to be scared of, I thought it a little out of character for the usually sedated hangdogish Judy Woodruff to become aroused to the extent she felt it necessary to declare a favorable public opinion poll of a particular celebrated trial lawyer's career a "scary!" harbinger of some apparently sinister harbinger variety or another.

On the other hand I don't really know what Judy is into personally. For all I know she may be returning home each evening and performing deeply discounted one hour (no waiting) human organ transplants on her kitchen table. Or chaining blind Chinese immigrants to a fleet of giant bench saws. Who the hell knows. I suppose anyone practicing home surgical remedies or running around town selling elixirs of news hokum as cures for everything from pattern baldness to Bolshevism or operating a swelter box crosscutting operation from inside a cinderblock bunker in the back yard might become a little jumpy around the notion of trial lawyers lurking in the harbingers regardless of neighborly affirmations of trial lawyer popularity in general. But, like I said, I dunno what Judy gits herself into once she exits the sparkly tee-vee screen. Could be almost anything I imagine.

She does however appear to be fond of carrying on conversations with "unidentified males" captured on videotape. That stirs the imagination doesn't it? Here's a brief sample from a July, 06 episode of Paula Zahn Now; with Judy Woodruff guest hosting. Roll nasty tape:

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST, "JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS" (voice- over): Tonight, Republicans target John Edwards.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No foreign policy experience.

WOODRUFF: And he's not John McCain.

That's right Judy, you boob-toob remora. "He's" not John McCain. McCain is that clingfish from Arizona who is currently darting about the country like a fawning kismet rooting for the same B-Team that portrayed him in 2000 as a reconstructed commie stooge sent home to derail the Assentation. Plus, he had that brown baby and that crazy junkie wife that he kept locked up in a trailer on the edge of town! You remember the brown baby and the crazy junkie wife on the edge of town don't you Judy? The one that Kool Aide Karl's thirsty Team-Bush spongers soaped up as suspect family character values and telling reminders of Mr. McCain's, uh, smirk smirk, "foreign policy experience".

John McCain. Yeah. Gimme a break. The man has no sense of decency or self respect whatsoever if all he has to offer at this point is himself as just one more etagere or flash of pasty leg in some twisted goosestep on behalf of the Bush Dynasty's continuing criminal cabaret freak show enterprise. To dance like a cheap whore to that terrible tune after what those BushCo. shit fiddlers put him through in 2000 is pretty weak policy indeed. Foreign or domestic.

John McCain ain't no John Edwards. That's for sure.

UPDATE CNN doens't seem to have an ombudsman (Readers?) The feedback page on "editorial slant" is here.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Goodnight, moon 

It's finally dawned on me. With Edwards, the final piece is in play on the board. It's going to be the Mother of All Campaigns, don't you think?

And it is a shame the way Bush demeaned himself by taking shots at Edwards, on his first day out of the box. You'd think He would stand above the fray, and all that. Sad, sad.

Electronic voting: Floridians sue for recounts if machines get glitchy 

Oh, wait a minute. The electronic machines are computers! So that "glitchy" thing will never happen. Phew!

Voting rights groups sued Florida election administrators on Wednesday to overturn a rule that prohibits manual recounting of ballots cast with touch-screen machines, a lawsuit with echoes of the state's disputed 2000 presidential election voting.

The lawsuit said the rule was ``illogical'' and rested on the questionable assumption that electronic voting machines perform flawlessly 100 percent of the time. It also said the rule violated a Florida law that expressly requires manual recounts of certain ballots if the margin in an election is less than 0.25 percent of the votes cast.

The plaintiffs said in their suit the electronic voting machines were ``known to malfunction and to be subject to malicious tampering.''

Fifteen Florida counties containing about half the state's population use electronic touch-screen voting machines. They include the three most populous counties -- Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach -- that were at the heart of the 2000 punch card ballot recount battle.

Florida banned punch card ballots after 2000, but there have already been glitches with the electronic machines that replaced them in some counties.

Audit tests using the new touch-screen machines last year showed some of the data recorded on the Miami-Dade machines were not transferred to electronic logs that would need to be reviewed in a recount.

`The experience of Miami-Dade County alone shows that they (the machines) are subject to all kinds of errors. That's precisely why we must have a mechanism in place to recount all of the votes in close elections,'' said Florida ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon.

About 30 percent of U.S. voters cast their ballots on electronic voting machines in 2002, according to the Council of State Governments. In California, problems with the machines forced the state to rewrite its electronic voting rules in April and decertify those used in one-third of its polling places.

Florida's touch-screen machines do not produce printouts of the ballots. Other lawsuits winding through the courts have sought to require the printouts. Wednesday's lawsuit did not specifically ask for them, but said there must be some means of ensuring the integrity of the electronic machines, in order to secure voter confidence.
(Reuters via the New York Times)

Sheesh. So why not just ask for an audit trail in the suit? I don't get it.

Bush contributor Ken "Kenny Boy" Lay to be indicted 

You'd think they could have gotten this done before an election year. Oh, wait...

Kenneth Lay, the former Enron Corp. chief executive who insisted he knew nothing about financial fraud at the energy trading giant, has been indicted on criminal charges, sources told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The action caps a three-year investigation that has already seen several other executives charged and, in some cases, already sentenced to prison for their roles in the company's scandalous collapse.

The specific charges remained under seal.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was expected to bring civil fraud charges against Lay on Thursday, including making false and misleading statements and insider trading, a person familiar with the case said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Prosecutors have aggressively pursued the one-time celebrity CEO and friend and contributor to President Bush who led Enron's rise to No. 7 in the Fortune 500 and resigned within weeks of its stunning failure. Barring last-minute delays, Lay is the 30th and highest-profile individual charged.
(via AP)

Just another example of heavy-handed government interference, if you ask me.

Cook Books For Fun & Profit 

(via NYHoHumTimes)

WASHINGTON, July 6 - An internal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that the top Medicare official threatened to fire the program's chief actuary if he told Congress that drug benefits would probably cost much more than the White House acknowledged...

In recent weeks, [Thomas A.] Scully has registered as a lobbyist for major drug companies, including Abbott Laboratories and Aventis; for Caremark Rx, a pharmacy benefit manager; and for the American Chiropractic Association and the American College of Gastroenterology, among other clients. All are affected by the new Medicare law, which Mr. Scully helped write.
You want the short version? It's here, albeit buried in the NINTH (of 17) paragraph:

Representative Pete Stark of California, the senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, said, "It sounds as though the Bush administration examined itself and found it did nothing wrong.''
Go read the whole thing; while the story is calculated to cloud reader's minds, most of the paragraphs are short, as befits the literacy-challenged modern media.

When "journalistic objectivity" prevents a reporter from plainly and clearly telling the truth--that Thomas Scully is a liar, a thug and a thief who's going get away with this sleaze because Republicans control Congress too--then maybe it's time to revisit the whole idea.


No, it's not something from Cheney's Word of the Day Desk Calendar.

I have no idea what this story means. But they're taking a batch of reservists, Marines, some of whom have already been deployed to the qWagmire once, and shipping them the hell off to Djibouti. Oil? WMD? Halliburton have something there that needs protecting?

And catch the part about a tank battalion, going to provide security, but not taking their tanks along. This one's been way far under the radar, whatever it is.

(via The State (Columbia SC))
The couple, married two weeks, said farewell Tuesday for what could be several months as 73 Marine reservists left Eastover on the first leg of a trip that will take them to the Persian Gulf region.

The part-time Leathernecks, members of Delta Company, 8th Tank Battalion, will spend the next three weeks in training. They will then head for Dijibouti, a tiny desert nation in the Horn of Africa that is half the size of South Carolina.

Dijibouti is home to Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion outpost now used by U.S. forces for anti-terrorism.

Delta Company is joining about 3,000 other reservists and National Guardsmen from South Carolina who are on active duty fighting the war on terrorism.

Bracewell, 33, a 10-year veteran of the Marines, fought with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force during the opening months of the Iraq war. He had to say goodbye again to his wife and 7-year-old son who are at home in Atlanta.

Delta Company will be providing security at Lemonier. That means they had to leave behind their M1A1 Abrams tanks.

“That’s the tough part because the tanks are our comfort zone,” said Gunnery Sgt. Roger Conrad, 43, of Seneca.

Tonto Edging Off the Reservation 

Tonto and the Lone Ranger are out riding one day when they are suddently set upon by a large, angry war party of Apaches. Hastily taking shelter behind some rocks they shoot and shoot, but their foes are many and their bullets few.

Lone Ranger: Gosh, Tonto old friend, I guess we're not gonna make it this time.

Tonto: What you mean "we", white man?

(via Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
LONDON — British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday that the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is an "anomaly" that has to end.

Blair confirmed that he had asked President Bush to free the remaining four Britons detained in the camp.

"Guantanamo Bay is an anomaly that has at some point got to be brought to an end," Blair told a committee of lawmakers.

Blair is under pressure from political opponents and many lawmakers of his own governing Labour Party to resolve the issue. Some suggest the deadlock reveals that he actually wields little influence in Washington, despite supporting Bush in the Iraq war.

It's "Be nice to Cheney" Wednesday! 

We need him on the Republican ticket!

I'll start!



From alert reader Attaturk, The many moods of Dick "Dick" Cheney. CAUTION: Not over breakfast or at lunch! Noone will be admitted to the theatre after the movie begins!

Republican looting: Could it be? Republican officials fixing Iraqi contracts for friends? 

Under the amazingly deadpan headline, "Pentagon Deputy's Probes in Iraq Weren't Authorized, Officials Say", this, from the Los Angeles Times:

A senior Defense Department official conducted unauthorized investigations of Iraq reconstruction efforts and used their results to push for lucrative contracts for friends and their business clients, according to current and former Pentagon officials and documents.

John A. "Jack" Shaw, deputy undersecretary for international technology security, represented himself as an agent of the Pentagon's inspector general in conducting the investigations, sources said.

In one case, Shaw disguised himself as an employee of Halliburton Co. and gained access to a port in southern Iraq after he was denied entry by the U.S. military, the sources said.

In that investigation, Shaw found problems with operations at the port of Umm al Qasr, Pentagon sources said. In another, he criticized a competition sponsored by the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to award cellphone licenses in Iraq.

In both cases, Shaw urged government officials to fix the alleged problems by directing multimillion-dollar contracts to companies linked to his friends, without competitive bidding, according to the Pentagon sources and documents. In the case of the port, the clients of a lobbyist friend won a no-bid contract for dredging.

Shaw's actions are the latest to raise concerns that senior Republican officials working in Washington and Iraq have used the rebuilding effort in Iraq to reward associates and political allies.
(via LA )


After lying, looting is what Republicans do best!

Recruits Wanted for Martyrdom Operations 

Remember back on Monday when those folks wore the "anti-Bush T-shirts" to the Bush rally and got, not just tossed out but arrested (briefly) for "trespassing"? And we all said how cool it would be to do something like that, particularly if a (properly patriotically-clad) friend was undercover nearby with a videocamera?

Have at it, comrades.

(via Hagerstown MD Herald-Mail)
CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - More than 200 tickets were available Tuesday afternoon at Franklin County Republican Headquarters for a campaign stop by President Bush in York, Pa., on Friday.

"We probably have 250 out of an allotment of 332," county Republican Chairman Roger Beckner said Tuesday afternoon. Bush will be appearing in Toyota Arena at the York Expo Center, he said.

Tickets are limited to two per person and are being given away on a first-come, first-serve basis, Beckner said. The headquarters are at 293 Southgate Mall. Headquarters are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. or until the tickets are gone, Thomas said.
Residents of south-central PA, MD, WV areas particularly wanted, at least to pick up the tickets. Bonus points if you have, know or are a civil-liberties attorney.

Recycling the talking points -- word for word. 

A hilarious moment on CNN this morning. Bill Hemmer had Mr. "$100 Haircut" Cliff May from NRO and Victor Kamber on to talk about the selection of John Edwards as Kerry's running mate.

At the end of the time slot, May, trying to get in the last word, said something to the effect of "The selection of John Edwards is all sizzle and no steak." At this point Hemmer (a stuffed shirt if I ever saw one) got this grin on his face and asked Cliff May if he'd read the Wall Street Journal this morning. Hemmer then read the last line of a WSJ editorial which, predictably, matched exactly what May had just said. Hemmer asked May, rather abruptly, if he was ripping off the WSJ. May, obviously embarrassed, said, "Um, gee, I'm sorry about that if I did it. Um..."

At this point, Victor Kamber interrupted and got the last word in, saying something like this:

"If this is true about the Edwards decision, that it's more sizzle than steak, I'll tell you one thing. Edwards certainly brings a great deal more steak to the table than George W. Bush did four years ago, I'll tell you that."

If I can remember, I'll try to post a transcript in an update to this post later today.

Hey you there, wanna buy some media dope? 

It didn't take more than 30 minutes for the Beltway corporate enclave media courtesans at CNN and MSGOP to begin nailing the GOP talking points frame to the wall. See, it's like this: John Edwards = trial lawyer! John Edwards = inexperience in foreign policy! John Edwards = Democrat's attempts to appeal to Southerners because the South has always been ignored by the unappealing anti-southern Democrats!

And on and on the RNC script managed message goes.

The Republican Party is not required to demonstrate to anyone at CNN or MSGOP that their excitable charges against Edwards are anything but pre-fabricated cartoon characterizations founded in hyper-spin, semantic propaganda, and old off the shelf canard. CNN and MSGOP certainly are not going to ask the right wing dope peddlers for any such detailed explanation of the pre-bottled medicine show potion they are hustling. Oh heavens no! Because, like all cagey corporate marketing shills, CNN and MSGOP make the rockets go up - who cares where they come down - that's not our department - say the clowns on the town. (sorry Tom Leher)

The Cakewalk News Network (CNN) and their little sidekick pip MSGOP are essentially nothing but pitch doctor potion bottlers themselves. Ya know the old snake oil concoctions: WMD! Yellowcake! Killer Drone Plane Invasion! 45 Minute Mushroom Cloud! Mission Glossy Flower Tossy! and on and on.... so much conspiracy theory and romantic moony-eyed insta-cures bottled up and peddled by Pentagon network media embeds, right wing think tank alchemists, elitist Beltway cocktail party voodoo-politick pundit pimps and wannabe celebrity Dartmouth Kool Aide Kiddy Kultists. All eventually delivered into millions of living rooms each afternoon by an unquestioning easily bewitched cacaphony of slutty corporatist cable TV "News" network cosmetic counter groovies and studio tanned automatons.

Like, yah know what, sometimes when I watch Judy Woodruff on CNN I begin giggling like a hapless nervous ninny because I imagine go-go fetch dancer Judy as a lithe bikini clad sunken-eyed skull shrunk anti-version of Goldie Hawn wriggling about on a Laugh In stage as the camera zooms in on a smooth milky thigh that displays the techno-colored tattoo flashback "SOCK IT TO ME BABY!". I know, it's a perverted muse, but, well, hey, I've smoked myself a forest of wet curly-bud and gobbled up pages of serrated paper dreams so what the Dick-F#%!-U-Self-Cheney do I know? Nuttin. Nuttin a'tall.

Anyway, lets flash back to the whole appeal to the South thing that I mentioned earlier. You know, the pill that the Kool Aide Kids in the corporate media and their RNC groove daddios want you to swallow. The smooth plastic pill that conjures hallucinations describing Dems as hostile to that whole "southerner" thingee. You know how that old times here is not forgotten come on goes.

So, I decided to look up the history of the Democratic Party's choice of "southerners" as contenders for the Dem Party's top slots. (as if this one required some great exercise in documentary journalism). Here goes:

Number of "southern" Presidential and Vice Presidental candidates - excluding Texans - that have been advanced by the Democrats since 1944: Answer: 13

Number of "southern" Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates - excluding Texans - (which, by the way, would constitute ONLY ONE particular "Texas" family ONLY!) that have been offered up to the faithful by the Republican Party since 1944: Answer: 0 (ZERO - NOT ONE SINGLE SOUTHERN STATE CANDIDATE!)

So, I don't suppose the potion peddlers in Atlanta (CNN) might be interested in this historical numerology given the way some southerner's (you know who you are) entertain traditional hankerins' for heapin' helpins' of romanticized historical hokum and boo-hoo woe is me lost cause mythology. Whatever.

In any case, here's the real historical dope on the Democratic Party's candidate selection record as it caters to that whole tender "southern" candidate sensibility thing.

Maybe a few dandy "southerners" (again, you know who you are) would take to revisitin' tangible reality one day? That sure would be a monumental Civil Wow reenactment occasion. At least when it comes to analyizing which political party has most often advanced candidates representing the "South" over the past 60 years. Not that any of the corporate confederate reality benders at CNN or MSGOP will abandon their company store party hookah, climb down off of their shit fed mushroom stump, and wander amongst the fields of flowery statistics below. Oooo-nooo! That would be so like square man! Like think outside the box man! Ooo-Baby!

Yeah right.

Anyway, below is a brisk rundown of the presidental candidate election crop planted since 1944. Harvest at will, sit back, bask in that warm southern summer sun, and light up fat bone for me.

Thanks to Andy (see comments) for pointing out that Ike ran from NY in both the 52 and 56 election and that Nixon also ran from NY in both 68 and 72. I screwed up some figgers below so I've made corrections where needed. (I hope) - Year by year election stats available via: this place

Southernerners named to national tickets since 1944: (excluding Texas as a southern state)
Republicans = 0 - as in ZERO!!!!!!!!!! NONE! NOT ONE.
Democrats = 13

Southerners named to national tickets since 1944: (when including Texas as a southern state)
Republicans = 6 - Each one named George Bush. George HW Bush 4 times / George W Bush twice.
Democrats = 16

Texans named to national tickets since 1944:
Republicans = 6 Each one named George Bush.
Democrats = 3

Lefty Coasters (Californians) named to national tickets since 1944:
Republicans = 8 correction: 6
Democrats = 0 - as in ZERO!!!!! NONE! NOT ONE.

Snooty elitist New Yorkers named to national tickets since 1944:
Republicans = 4 correction: 7 (5 correction: 8 if Nelson Rockefellar included)
Democrats = 2

Snooty elitist intellectuals from New York and Massachusettes named to national tickets since 1944:
Republicans = 5 correction: 8 (6 correction: 9 if Nelson Rockefellar included)
Democrats = 5

Zany Hollywood Left Coaster actors named to national tickets since 1944:
Republicans = 2 (Reagan, twice)
Democrats = 0

Southern states represented on national REP Party tickets since 1944: (excluding Texas)
Represented on Republican tickets = NONE

Southern states represented on national DEM Party tickets since 1944: (excluding Texas) = North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Alabama, Kentucky.


REPUBLICAN candidates
P - Thomas Dewey (NY)
VP - Earl John William Bricker (Ohio)

DEMOCRAT candidates
P - Franklin D. Roosevelt (NY)
VP - Harry Truman (Missouri) Southern State

P - Thomas Dewey (NY)
VP - Earl Warren (California)

P - Harry Truman (Missouri) Southern State
VP - Alben William Barkley (Kentucky) Southern State

P - Dwight D. Eisenhower (NY)
VP - Richard Nixon (California)

P - Adlai Stevenson (Illinois)
VP - John Jackson Sparkman (Alabama) Southern State

P - Dwight D. Eisenhower (now from PA) correction: (NY)
VP - Richard Nixon (California)

P - Adlai Stevenson (Illinois)
VP - Carey Estes Kefauver (Tennessee) Southern State

P - Richard Nixon (California)
VP - Henry Cabot Lodge (Mass)

P - John F. Kennedy (Mass)
VP - Lyndon Johnson (Texas) Southern State Texan

P - Barry Goldwater (Arizona)
VP - William Edward Miller (NY)

P - Lyndon Johnson (Texas) Southern State Texan
VP - Hubert Humphrey (Minnesota)

P - Richard Nixon (California) correction: (NY)
VP - Spiro Agnew (Maryland)

P - Hubert Humphrey (Minn)
VP - Edmund Muskie (Maine)

P - Richard Nixon (California) correction: (NY)
VP - Spiro Agnew (Maryland) resigns 1973
VP - Gerald Ford (Michigan) replaces Agnew as VP.

P - George McGovern (S. Dakota)
VP - Thomas Eagleton (Missouri) Southern State
VP - Sargent Shriver (Maryland) replaces Eagleton on ticket.

1973 - Nixon resigns:
VP - Gerald Ford (R - Michigan) becomes President.
GOV - Nelson Rockefeller (R - NY) appointed Vice President.

P - Gerald Ford (Michigan)
VP - Bob Dole (Kansas)

P - Jimmy Carter (Georgia) Southern State
VP - Walter Mondale (Minnesota)

P - Ronald Reagan (California)
VP - George HW Bush (Texas) Southern State Texan

P - Jimmy Carter (Georgia) Southern State
VP - Walter Mondale (Minn)

P - Ronald Reagan (California)
VP - George HW Bush ("Texas") Southern State Texan

P - Walter Mondale (Minn)
VP - Geraldine Ferraro (NY)

P - George HW Bush (Texas) Southern State Texan
VP - Dan Quayle (Indiana)

P - Michael Dukakis (Mass)
VP - Lloyd Bentsen (Texas) Southern State Texan

P - George HW Bush (Texas) Southern State Texan
VP - Dan Quayle (Indiana)

P - Bill Clinton (Arkansas) Southern State
VP - Al Gore (Tennessee) Southern State

P - Bob Dole (Kansas)
VP - Jack Kemp (Maryland)

P - Bill Clinton (Arkansas) Southern State
VP - Al Gore (Tennessee) Southern State

P - George W Bush (Texas) Southern State Texan
VP - Dick Cheney (Wyoming)

P - Al Gore (Tennessee) Southern State
VP - Joe Lieberman (Connecticut)

P - George W Bush (Texas) Southern State Texan
VP - Dick Cheney (Wyoming)

P - John Kerry (Mass)
VP - John Edwards (North Carolina) Southern State

NOTE: For the purpose of this post I've used the old Confederate States of America model to define what constitutes a "southern" state. I've also included Kentucky and Missouri on the "southern" roster. Although each remained officially loyal to the Union during the war many residents from both KY and the Show Me State remained sympathetic to the Confederate cause and did appoint governments in exile which supported the CSA. Additionally, for cultural and geographic reasons, I've included Missouri and Kentucky in the "southern" states column since I consider each of them more "southern" than Texas; which, despite its inclusion in the CSA, and the fact that Sam Houston was heaved overboard for refusing to support the Lost Cause, remains to a some extent geographically and culturally on the "western" edge of what I'd define as a genuinely "southern" state.

Therefore, "southern" states for the purposes of this post will include: SC, MISS, FLA, ALA, GA, LA, TX, VA, ARK, TENN, NC, KY and Missouri. I'll leave others to haggle over the fate of Maryland. I personally don't consider Maryland a "southern" state any more than I'd consign southern New Jersey or Dover Delaware to the mellon patch of Dixie. But, again, I'll leave the matter of Maryland's manly deeds and womanly words - fatti maschii, parole femine - to the mercy of others.


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