Monday, August 30, 2004

Just in time for the Republican National Convention, Galilean Citizens for Truth bring us the truth about Jesus Christ. That sound you hear is thousands of RNC delegates' heads collectively exploding.
Turquoise Waffle Irons in the Back Yard has the event schedule for the RNC; it's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" meets "The 700 Club". Who says the Neo-Cons don't know how to party???

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

(via Texas Air National Guard issues aside, it looks like Bush has a well-documented history of lying about his military record. Apparently, at one time he claimed to have been a member of not only the National Guard, but the Air Force as well. (Bold is mine)
Putting aside the controversy over Bush's Air National Guard service (or dereliction of duty), there was another instance when Bush clearly did not speak truthfully about his military record. In 1978, Bush, while running for Congress in West Texas, produced campaign literature that claimed he had served in the US Air Force. According to a 1999 Associated Press report, Bush's congressional campaign ran a pullout ad in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that declared he had served "in the US Air Force and the Texas Air National Guard where he piloted the F-102 aircraft."

Bush lost that congressional race, but twenty-one years later, the AP questioned him about the ad. The news outlet had a good reason to do so. Bush had never served in the Air Force. He had only been in the Air National Guard. But when AP asked Bush if he had been justified in claiming service in the Air Force, Bush, then the governor of Texas and a presidential candidate, said, "I think so, yes. I was in the Air Force for over 600 days." Karen Hughes, his spokeswoman, maintained that when Bush attended flight school for the Air National Guard from 1968 to 1969 he was considered to be on active duty for the Air Force and that several times afterward he had been placed on alert, which also qualified as active duty for the Air Force. All told, she said, Bush had logged 607 days of training and alerts. "As an officer [in the Air National Guard]," she told the AP, "he was serving on active duty in the Air Force."

But this explanation was wrong. Says who? The Air Force. As the Associated Press reported,

"The Air Force says that Air National Guard members are considered 'guardsmen on active duty' while receiving pilot training. They are not, however, counted as members of the overall active-duty Air Force.

Anyone in the Air National Guard is always considered a guardsmen and not a member of the active-duty Air Force, according to an Air Force spokeswoman in the Pentagon. A National Guard member may be called to active duty for pilot training or another temporary assignment and receive active-duty pay at the time, but they remain Guard members."
Another member of the Bush campaign has resigned over ties to the Swift Boat Veterans for Revenge.
A top lawyer for President Bush's re-election campaign resigned on Wednesday after disclosing he provided legal advice to a group that accuses Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry of lying about his Vietnam War record.

Benjamin Ginsberg was the second person to quit the Bush campaign over ties to the group, called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The Bush's campaign insists it has no relationship with the group and has denied Kerry's charge the president's re-election team is using such "front groups."

Ginsberg served as the Bush campaign's long-time chief outside counsel. He disclosed on Tuesday that he also gave legal advice to the Swift Boat group, which has attacked Kerry's record in television commercials and a book.

Records show the Swift Boat group received some of its funding from long-time Bush supporters. Its new commercial also features one veteran, Ken Cordier, who was on a Bush campaign committee until last week, when he was forced to quit.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Freewayblogger brings us the truth about some of our nations founding fathers, courtesy of the Revolutionary War Veterans for Truth. (Link via the General.)

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Well, well, well...isn't this iiiiinteresting!
Newly obtained military records of one of Sen. John F. Kerry's most vocal critics, who has accused the Democratic presidential candidate of lying about his wartime record to win medals, contradict his own version of events.

In newspaper interviews and a best-selling book, Larry Thurlow, who commanded a Navy Swift boat alongside Kerry in Vietnam, has strongly disputed Kerry's claim that the Massachusetts Democrat's boat came under fire during a mission in Viet Cong-controlled territory on March 13, 1969. Kerry won a Bronze Star for his actions that day.

But Thurlow's military records, portions of which were released yesterday to The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, contain several references to "enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire" directed at "all units" of the five-boat flotilla. Thurlow won his own Bronze Star that day, and the citation praises him for providing assistance to a damaged Swift boat "despite enemy bullets flying about him."
Meanwhile, Kerry fires at Bush for not denouncing misleading attack ads sponsored by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.
"This group isn't interested in the truth -- and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president," Kerry told a few thousand firefighters at the International Association of Firefighters meeting here. "They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the president won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything you need to know -- he wants them to do his dirty work."

Bush campaign officials have said they have no connection to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, but the White House has refused to denounced the ads despite a plea from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a Vietnam veteran.
Conversely (via, Kerry was quick to denounce an ad critical of Bush's military record after a similar request from McCain.
"I agree with Senator McCain that the ad is inappropriate," Kerry said in a statement released by his campaign. "This should be a campaign of issues, not insults."

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

General JC Christian wonders why, exactly, the GOP chose an insane person to run against Barak Obama for the Illinois Senate seat.
Think about it. He's been in the race for what, ten days, and he's already come out against the direct election of Senators, endorsed a slavery reparations scheme that would allow dead people to stop paying taxes, and blamed 9/11 on abortion.
(Click the link to the General's website to find links to the appropriate sources.)

Keyes also has the, er, honor, of topping this week's Top Ten Conservative Idiots list on Democratic Underground, due to his hypocrisy in moving from Maryland to Illinois to run against Obama, after making the following comment about Hillary Clinton four years ago: "I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it." Riiiiiiiiiight.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Want to protest the Bush Administration in an, er, unconventional manner? Axix of Eve has a creative collection of Protest Panties (and boxers and tank tops) featuring anti-Bush and -Cheney slogans such as "Lick Bush", "Fire Bush", "Yank Cheney", and a few others I can only list if I start charging people to read this site. Political protest has never been so much fun!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

As today is August 11th, it seems fitting that today should be the day that the Gadflyer's Paul Waldman reveals that John Kerry is the 11th most liberal member of the Senate, not the first as the GOP would have you believe. While the rankings the neo-cons have been trumpeting were compiled by the non-partisan National Journal, Waldman points out that the method used to calculate them is fundamentally flawed.
The funny thing about 2003 related to what the National Journal does when a legislator misses votes. The Journal used 62 votes to come up with the 2003 rankings, a fairly small number relative to the hundreds of votes a Senator casts in a year. They calculate three different ratings: one for economic policy, one for social policy, and one for foreign policy. These three are then combined to come up with an overall ranking.

But here's the catch: If a Senator misses more than half the votes the Journal uses in any one of these three categories, they don't count any of the votes he makes for that category, using only the remaining categories to calculate his overall score. If you're running for president, as both Kerry and Edwards were in 2003, you miss a lot of votes when you're off in coffee klatches and VFW halls in Iowa and New Hampshire. So Kerry missed 37 of the 62 votes, while Edwards missed 22. Consequently, the National Journal gave Kerry no score for economic or social policy, basing his entire ranking on his score on foreign policy. Edwards, on the other hand, got no score on foreign policy.

Obviously, if you want to know how liberal or conservative a Senator is, the best thing to do is to look at their entire career. How does Kerry compare to his colleagues? For starters, he's not the most liberal - in fact, among current Senators he comes in eleventh. Here's the top fifteen, with the composite score for each Senator in parentheses:

1. Mark Dayton, D-Minn. (90.3)

2. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md. (89.4)

3. Jack Reed, D-R.I. (89.3)

4. Jon Corzine, D-N.J. (88.8)

5. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. (88.6)

6. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. (88.5)

7. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa (87.6)

8. Richard Durbin, D-Ill. (87.3)

9. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. (86.2)

10. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. (86.0)

11. John Kerry, D-Mass. (85.7)

12. Carl Levin, D-Mich. (85.5)

13. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. (83.9)
14. Patty Murray, D-Wash. (83.8)

15. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. (83.8)

As for Edwards, he was the fourth most liberal in 2003. But he was 40th in 2002, 35th in 2001, 19th in 2000, and 31st in 1999, his first year in the Senate.
So there you have it, how the rankings were calculated and by whom (which even some members of the GOP who trumpet them couldn't tell you), AND why they are flawed. Never mind the fact that the argument is just plain wrong, it's also OLD; the neo-cons seem to roll out the same argument election year after election year--"(insert Democratic candidate's name here) is the most liberal (Senator, Congressman, Governor, etc)." Too often it works, because somewhere along the line, the Democrats allowed the Repugs to practically turn "liberal" into a swear word. How many people out there don't know exactly what liberal means, but somehow still "know" it's something bad, because the Republican noise machine was allowed to bully and slander, practically unchallenged, for so long? Far too many. Liberals are finally starting to fight back, in force, but can the damage be undone in time to un-seat King George?
Via, voters in Detroit last week approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
With 49 percent of precincts reporting early today, 59 percent of voters had approved the measure and 41 percent had opposed it.

"I always knew Detroit would come through for people who need help," said Rochelle Lampkin, a city resident who smokes marijuana for relief from multiple sclerosis.

But Andre Johnson, an antidrug activist, said, "This will be a silent killer for Detroit. It's the last thing Detroit needs."

The city's proposal earned almost 60 percent approval from votes. It follows on the heels of a movement that has spread mainly in the West.

But now other Midwestern cities, including Ann Arbor, Madison, Wis., and Columbia, Mo., are looking at similar measures.
As an Ann Arbor resident, I would be VERY surprised if such a measure were to fail here (should it ever come to a vote). As it is now, getting caught smoking pot on city property will only get you a $20 ticket (just make sure you're on city, NOT university property; toking on U of M's campus will get you in a lot more trouble!). For more info on the Detroit measure and what it means, read this.

Monday, August 09, 2004

For those of you wondering what the F**k happened to my website last week, the short story is that my template went "poof!" and disappeared on me when I tried to make a small change (yes, I *did* save it, but it disappeared anyway). I emailed tech support to see if they could recover it, and when they finally got back to me over the weekend, they said I had fallen victim to a glitch in their system and unfortunately they could not recover it. I have (obviously) gone back in and chosen the same pre-made template I had before, but it may take a while for me to make all the necessary customizations to restore it to its previous form. So, the comments, BlogRoll, etc will all be coming back, it just may take a while depending on how motivated I am to get on the computer after work. Stay tuned.

Monday, August 02, 2004

In The Church of Bush, Rick Perlstein takes a disturbing peek into the psyches of the Bush apologists.
Here are some things that Christopher Nunneley, a conservative activist in Birmingham, Alabama, believes. That some time in June, apparently unnoticed by the world media, George Bush negotiated an end to the civil war in Sudan. That Bill Clinton is "lazy" and Teresa Heinz Kerry is an "African colonialist." That "we don't do torture," and that the School of the Americas manuals showing we do were "just ancient U.S. disinformation designed to make the Soviets think that we didn't know how to do real interrogations."

Chris Nunneley also believes something crazy: that George W. Bush is a nice guy.

It's a rather different conclusion than many liberals would make. When we think of Bush's character, we're likely to focus on the administration's proposed budget cuts for veterans, the children indefinitely detained at Abu Ghraib, maybe the story of how the young lad Bush loaded up live frogs with firecrackers in order to watch them explode.

So what does a conservative say when such "nice guy" jazz is challenged? Say, when you ask whether a nice guy would invade a country at the cost of untold innocent lives on the shakiest of pretenses? Or, closer to home, whether he would (as Bush did in late 2000) go on a fishing trip while his daughter was undergoing surgery, and use the world's media to mockingly order her to clean her room while he was away? Doesn't signify with Chris. "If you're in one camp, the idea of being firm, 'tough love,' is very popular. If you're in another, you can say, 'Well, that's just mean!' On my side, well, I like the whole idea of 'tough love.' "

This is a journey among the "tough love" camp. The people who, even in the face of evidence of his casual cruelty, of his habitual and unchristian contempt for weakness, love George Bush unconditionally: love him when he is tender, love him when he is tough – but who never, ever are tough on him.
Ariel Sharon appears to have pulled a bait-and-switch, agreeing to halt the building of new settlements in Gaza, while planning to expand settlement activity in the West Bank.
It has emerged that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has given the go-ahead for 600 new homes in the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

Mr Sharon and Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz agreed the plan two months ago but it has only now been made public.

The new homes are to be built in Maale Adoumin, close to Jerusalem. It is already home to 28,000 Jewish settlers.

Israel has committed itself to freezing settlement activity under the international "roadmap" peace plan.

Under the terms of the stalled peace plan, the Palestinians are obliged to crack down on militant attacks against Israel.

All settlements in the West Bank and Gaza are considered illegal under international law.

The BBC's Katya Adler in Jerusalem says Palestinians fear that Israel's plan to pull out of Gaza next year could mean Mr Sharon plans to bolster Jewish settlements in the West Bank instead.

Our correspondent reports that US officials say the building plans appear incompatible with the peace plan.
Michael Moore's record-breaking documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11" has been banned in Kuwait.
Kuwait has banned Michael Moore's controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, calling the film insulting to the Saudi Arabian royal family.
Authorities in Kuwait, a US ally, also objected to the film's criticism of America's invasion of Iraq.

"We have a law that prohibits insulting friendly nations," said Abdul-Aziz Bou Dastour of the Information Ministry.

Abdul-Aziz Bou Dastour said the film "insulted the Saudi royal family by saying they had common interests with the Bush family and that those interests contradicted with the interests of the American people".

He added: "The movie made Iraq look like a paradise whose problems started with the American invasion. It would have angered Kuwaitis."

Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to London, has said Moore failed to carry out proper research for the documentary.

He said the film "criticised America's policy on invading Iraq and this was tantamount to criticizing Kuwait for [what it did] to liberate Iraq".

The state-owned Kuwait National Cinema Co had applied for a license to show Fahrenheit 9/11 but its request was turned down by government censors.

It is showing in other Middle Eastern countries including the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon.