What's that smell? Why, it's a Bay of Pigs

When I point out to conservatives the list of crimes perpetrated by the Bush family and/or members of the Rove administration, I have noticed a tendency to dismiss the crimes with a flippant “sounds like the Kennedys”. Why are they so intent on smearing a great man like Kennedy?

1961 - The Bay of Pigs invasion fails. Right-wingers blame Kennedy for failure to provide air cover. CIA loses 15 men, another 1100 are imprisoned.
Due to persistent problems with the CIA and their continual involvement in matters which were not their concern, Kennedy declared that he was going to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter them to the winds. Kennedy was apparently going to leave their destruction until after the next election but did start withdrawing troops from Vietnam, much to the dislike of the CIA.
Here is a copy of the ship registry of ships involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Two ships were “Houston” and “Barbara”.

Bush was living in Houston in 1961 during the planning of the invasion. Bush’s wife’s name is, of course, Barbara.
The CIA presents three alternative invasion scenarios to the Working Group of the Joint Staff who review the plans and choose the alternative recommended by the Working Group - the Zapata Plan, which involves a landing at the Bay of Pigs.

Bush bought subsidiary Zapata Off-Shore from his partners and went into business on his own in 1954. By 1958, the new company was drilling on the Cay Sal Bank in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. These islands had been leased to Nixon supporter and CIA contractor Howard Hughes the previous year and were later used as a base for CIA raids on Cuba. The CIA was using companies like Zapata to stage and supply secret missions attacking Fidel Castro’s Cuban government in advance of the Bay of Pigs invasion. In 1981, all Securities and Exchange Commission filings for Zapata Off-Shore between 1960 and 1966 were destroyed. In other words, the year Bush became vice president, important records detailing his years at his drilling company disappeared.
Before dead bodies become skeletons in the closet, they really stink a lot.
Hey Dude, Don't Use That Doormat!

"A strong America must...value the institution of marriage," Bush said. "I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization." Enduring? Maybe. But coming from an anthropological standpoint, that's debatable. However, the sanctity of marriage that he is so intent on preserving has actually been in question for quite some time now.

I was curious to see why President Bush believes that gay couples are a threat to such an institution. As I searched the leading causes of the unsanctimonious disintegration of marriage, I found sites (many of them religiously based) that offered a variety of explanations. Curiously, gay marriage was not one of those reasons...

Oddly enough, I did find the following statistics: America is hovering at around a 50% divorce rate. Now I'm no Harvard MBA, but that seems pretty substantial! Could divorce actually be the proverbial wolf in gay couple's clothing? Oh, and last time I checked, "God hates divorce" (Mal.2:16). So now we're onto something.

"If we are to prevent the meaning of marriage from changing forever, we must enact a constitutional amendment in America," Bush said. I feel ya bro! So I'm gonna suggest the following. Propose an amendment to outlaw divorce! That'll protect the sanctity of marriage! Wow, it really is that simple.

Seriously though, this issue is call for alarm. Cheryl Jacques, president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group, said: "Constitutional amendments have historically served to expand liberty and equality. This amendment would be the first to reinstate discrimination in our Constitution." It's also very disturbing that the President is using the Constitution as a doormat for his campaign headquarters. It's time to make a stand, it's time to be angry about the course of our country.

I leave you with the following:
"When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church - and there was nobody left to be concerned."
--Pastor Martin Niemoller

This is our cue folks, it's time to be concerned.
Republican Family Values - Bush Style
How Would YOU Like to be Thomas Alexander Andrews?

Neil Bush (you remember him from the $1,300,000,000 Silverado Savings and Loan scandal) is being sued for divorce by his wife Sharon.

Neil is now engaged to Maria, who is the mother of Thomas. Maria's ex-husband, Robert, is suing Sharon for spreading a rumor that Neil is actually Thomas' father, not Robert.

Dale Jefferson is the lawyer representing Robert, while David Berg is representing Sharon. So, anyway, Dale sent David a letter offering to settle the whole matter out of court with a DNA test. Winner gets $850,000.

Who writes this stuff?
from sfgate.com
Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" Monday, taking on the 2.7-million-member National Education Association early in the presidential election year.

The education secretary's words were "pathetic and they are not a laughing matter," said Weaver, whose union has said it plans to sue the Bush administration over lack of funding for demands included in the "No Child Left Behind" schools law.

Paige said later in an Associated Press interview that his comment was "a bad joke; it was an inappropriate choice of words." President Bush was not present at the time he made the remark.

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin said Paige's words were, "The NEA is a terrorist organization."

Weaver responded, "We are the teachers, there is no distinction."

Asked if he was apologizing, Paige said: "Well, I'm saying that I'm sorry I said it, yeah."

Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, put it in stronger terms, accusing Paige of resorting "to the most vile and disgusting form of hate speech, comparing those who teach America's children to terrorists."
Those Hilarious Conservatives

Conservatives are so funny! They can say the most outlandish, ridiculous things and not get the laughs they deserve. I think its about time that changed. Americans need to give these people credit for their rich satire and sophisticated humor. Its just one of their humble gifts to our beloved republic.

On Friday, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said that Americans "have been tolerant of homosexuality for years, but now it's being stuffed down their throats and they don't like it. They know it will undermine the very foundation of this society, will undermine our understanding of what families are."

"Tolerant of homosexuality for years"?! I had no idea that DeLay lived in San Francisco. And "stuffed down their throats"? Wow, that paints a pretty graphic picture, doesn't it?

In case you don't know who DeLay is, he's the former pest control magnate from Houston whose made his career by being the funniest man in Congress. He's also the guy that called Homeland Security when Texas Democrats went to Oklahoma to block Republican redistricting. What a prankster! That he became a leader in the GOP, let alone an elected official, is a tribute to the infinite wisdom of Republican voters and their party.

Last week, President Bush's chief economic adviser N. Gregory Mankiw wondered aloud whether jobs at McDonald's should be reclassified as manufacturing jobs. "When a fast-food restaurant sells a hamburger, for example, is it providing a 'service' or is it combining inputs to 'manufacture' a product?" What a great idea! Doing so could really help Bush's hysterical record on jobs, too.

A few weeks ago, evangelist and one-time Republican Presidential candidate Pat Robertson said, "I think George Bush is going to win in a walk. I'm hearing from the Lord that it's going to be a blowout." Can you see God talking to Pat Robertson? Now that's funny. I could almost wet my pants!

Bruce Miller has edited a new book titled, "Take Them At Their Words: Shocking, Amusing and Baffling Quotations from the G.O.P. and Their Friends, 1994-2004." Here is a humorous comment made by Barbara Bush on Good Morning America:

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths and how many... It's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

Stop it, please, you're killing me!
Neo - DON'T Follow the White Rabbit

The rumors about Texas Govnernor Rick Perry's homosexual affair and/or marital troubles are a distraction. DON'T TAKE THE BAIT!!

Perry is a Rove protege. The story is meant to serve as the banana peel to the real story that has been gaining traction. Bush's AWOL year and his lies.

Stay the course! Don't give in to the distraction. Prove to Karl Rove that we are smarter than he is.
Indigenous Style Democracy

The Economist believes that Democracy is a function of the state, not of its people. They recently published a very good article about indigenous people in Latin America. They titled it, “A Political Awakening”. However, the way they deal with the issue of indigenous movements is exactly in that fashion; simply a movement that is either too militant or merely a call for collective rights. They go on to posit that collective rights pose a potential conflict to Democracy. They never seriously entertain the notion that these collective rights may indeed be Democracy in action.

Indigenous people in Bolivia constitute 71% of the total population. 66% of Guatemalans, 38% of Ecuadorians, and 47% of Peruvians are indigenous people. Yet The Economist, like most American foreign policy experts, believes that when these people stand for their rights, their actions should be classified as nationalist, separatist, or militant movements. They call this empowerment “dangerous” and “extremist”.

In their opinion, rights should be ceded to these groups by the state. In Latin America, this state is usually maintained and dominated by a small class of European-descended elites. From them flows this concept of Democracy. They don’t see their function as the administrators of the popular voice, but as the distributors of favoritism and purveyors of corruption. In a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1877, Lord Acton wrote, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Welcome to Latin American Democracy.

How does one define a movement in which the vast majority of people in a given state participate? Democracy? Sure, there is the problem of tyranny of the majority. However, that’s a problem that we, the harbingers and inventors of the modern-day-style Democracy, are still dealing with. Take for example Lani Guinier's articles in the Boston Review where she argued that "…in a racially [and I will add sexually] divided society, majority rule is not a reliable instrument of democracy” (Boston Review, 9-10/92). One need not be an American history scholar to see the affects of our policies. Need I mention antidemocratic outcomes such as Negro Slavery, Japanese Internment Camps, white-male dominated government, and Native American Reservations?

What does The Economist suggest? “A mix of decentralization plus pragmatic recognition of traditional customs and authorities can go a long way to satisfy Indian demands without undermining the authority of the state.” Once again, they fail to realize that the people constitute the state, and thereby regulate its direction. They seem to be saying that the problem of indigenous movements can be neutralized by concessions. But that idea is slowly drawing to a close. Indigenous people want their lands back, and they’ll throw their tea in the harbor to get it.
America's Authoritarian Democracy

Reuters recently reported that the Iranian people are poised to democratically elect a conservative party, much to the chagrin of the State Department. "Candidates have been barred from participating in the elections in an attempt to limit the choice of the Iranian people," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli told reporters. I've heard that argument before, except last time it was my father lamenting third party participation in America.

Further, "These actions do not represent free and fair elections and are not consistent with international norms." What would be consistent with international norms, Mr. Ereli? Do you mean the international norms which prevailed in Turkey when a majority protested America's military presence? Or is it statements like, "Russia and China stand for a multipolar, just and democratic world order based on the commonly recognized principles of international law"? This statement was presented by Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao in a joint statement targeting the United States for not seeking U.N. approval, and thus neglecting the democratic sentiments of the international community? Wait a minute, weren't these countries recently our enemies for not speaking for their people?

Non-Western countries are finally starting to come around. Increasingly, their taking into account the views of historically disenfranchised people. And its not looking good for us.

We ourselves don't practice a flawless democratic process, no matter what Mr. Ereli wants to believe about our country. There are constant allegations of corruption and exclusionary practices in our election system. However, we seem to overlook those problems. We believe, deep down in our apple pie eatin', flag wavin' souls, that those are minor details, irrelevant to our greater calling; that of spreading democratic joy throughout the world. Our foreign policy reflects that. We even go to war on that premise.

However, the small problems in our own process preclude any flawless working model that we might want to impose on newly developing democracies. At the end of the day, we're faced with the realization that Democracy is dynamic, and it's not always pretty.

As far as our involvement in the democratic affairs of other nations, I'd like to speak in a language which everyone here can easily understand, "Take the log out of your eye before you take the splinter out of their eye" (Matt 7:5).

I'm not sure what it is that America really fears. Is it rogue nations practicing Democracy? Or is it Democracy itself?
America's Secret Establishment: An Intro to the Order of Skull & Bones

Extracted from this site.

In order to bring in this new world order "a planned order with heavily restricted individual freedom, without Constitutional protection, without national boundaries or cultural distinction," had to be devised. With the concentration on controlling society as a whole, they had to implement 12 areas of concern:
1) Education - dictating how the population of the future will behave
2) Money - controlling wealth and exchange of goods
3) Law - enforcing the will of the state, a world law and a world court
4) Politics - directing each state
5) Economy - creating additional wealth
6) History - making the people believe what you want them to think
7) Psychology - controlling how people think
8) Philanthropy - so people think well of the controllers
9) Medicine - power over health, life and death
10) Religion - the people's beliefs, which is the spur to action for many
11) Media - power over what people know and learn of current events, and
12) Continuity - appointing follower's to ensure the longevity over generations.

More complete information (probably more than anyone would care to read) about the Skull and Bones is available here.

Did Bill Clinton really study law at Yale???

From the Washington Post:

President's Science Policy Questioned
Scientists Worry That Any Politics Will Compromise Their Credibility

In two independent reports released yesterday, groups of prestigious scientists raised concerns about the role of politics in the formulation of Bush administration science policy and urged greater oversight by independent organizations...

That was precisely the concern raised by 60 leading scientists and former federal agency heads who released a statement yesterday accusing the Bush administration of systematically suppressing and distorting scientific information to further its political goals. The statement's signers -- and an accompanying report compiled by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Washington-based advocacy group -- claim that politicization of science by the administration has seriously undermined the integrity of the nation's research enterprise and has misled the public about the implications of recent policy decisions.

"Across a broad range of issues, the administration has undermined the quality of the scientific advisory system and the morale of the government's outstanding scientific personnel," said UCS Chairman Kurt Gottfried, an emeritus professor of physics at Cornell University. "Whether the issue is lead paint, clean air or climate change, this behavior has serious consequences for all Americans," Gottfried said.

The statement -- whose signatories include 12 Nobel laureates, 11 winners of the National Medal of Science, three recipients of the prestigious Crafoord Prize, the heads of some of the country's leading universities and biomedical research institutes, and two former presidential science advisers -- calls for congressional hearings to look into the issue and a renewed administration commitment to public access to objective scientific information.

What? You mean the climate's a changin' you hippie scientist? Get a job stinky treehugger Nobel-prize winner! Maybe YOU came from monkeys, but the Lord and his dollars are my shepherd as an industrial polluter.
A Question of Dishonor?

President Bush's unsubstantiated claims to proper military service has been festering in my heart and mind since his interview on "Meet The Press" with Tim Russert. I don't usually share my political commentary with people outside my immediate family because I have always felt that people's political views are like their religious beliefs; very personal and very resolute. However, I recently felt an overwhelming need to share with everyone my views about Pres. Bush's assertion of having served "honorably" in the Guard.

Those who know me well understand that my beliefs have moved from generally conservative to radically liberal. Because of this, my impressions are obviously read as politically affiliated propaganda. This issue, in my opinion, transcends associations with any particular political party.

Furthermore, throughout the whole tumultuous process of becoming politically aware, I've always remained proud of my military service. No matter what the debate may be against the military and its actions, my loyalty has always been to the Army and its soldiers. It's a relationship that I myself do not fully understand, but I know its real and its true. That's why this issue has deep meaning for me. Not because I'm a maniacal Democrat, but because I'm a proud veteran who earned my right to honor and respect in Iraq during Desert Storm/Shield.

George Bush was a child of privilege. We all know that. He was given opportunities that you and I will never have. So it's immaterial to me whether he owned the Texas Rangers or managed an oil exploration company because ultimately, its irrelevant to my experiences. I can feel neither shame, pity, nor pride for his accomplishments because they are uniquely his, and unmistakably foreign to me.

Now his military service is a different matter. He claims honorable service in an institution that relies on the hard work and selfless dedication of its troops. It is a fraternity of sailors, soldiers, and airmen and women who at any given moment are required to prove their loyalty and love for their country. Men and women have died while serving our nation. Indeed, men and women are dying as we speak in Iraq and Afghanistan in defense of our ideals. Ironically, President Bush, the same man who uses the honor and reputation of the military to elevate his own, has sent these soldiers to defend a concept that he himself had little regard for.

This is not an issue of age or maturity. You don't somehow grow out of this lack of regard for duty. This is a personality flaw that follows a person through life. I served my time, as did my father and many others like him. Privilege was never an issue nor an excuse; service and duty were. We earned the right to call ourselves veterans. President Bush has not earned that right if the allegations against him are true, and he should be censored and harshly admonished for pilfering an honor which is not his.

During this debate I've been reminded of Admiral Boorda, who displayed a combat "V" designation that he had not officially earned. This "V" would have been affixed to an existing medal that he presumably would have been awarded. To others this may have seemed a minor infraction. But the Admiral understood the severity of his offense. When it became public that he had borrowed the honor imbued in that small "V", he committed suicide to deal with his shame. Assuming that President Bush is guilty of these allegations (allegations that I believe have legitimate merit and substance), it doesn't seem that he has exhibited that same shame. This, I believe, comes as a result of his unfamiliarity with military honor. It also points to the character flaw that I spoke of earlier.

Does this man really deserve our vote? Please inform yourself of this very important issue and decide for yourself. It's a question of honor, and its our duty to uphold the memory of those who willingly served and died for their country.
Voting Issues: The Economy, Jobs and National Security

If the November election comes down to just these three issues, it should be a slam dunk for Democrats, whether running for President, Senator or Representative. Certainly these aren't the only areas of weakness for the Republicans. The Bush administration has done "more damage to our environmental protections than any other in U.S. history," favoring the rights of polluters over people. They've alienated us from the world community, except for a handful of nations which supported our invasion of Iraq, including Great Britain, Australia, Spain, Poland and Palau. (Even in the UK and Australia, 70% of the public opposed the invasion without UN support.) By stifling dissent, they've cracked down on free speech and freedom of assembly, rights so fundamental to American democracy that they were placed in the first ammendment to our Constitution. They've not only allowed, but actively encouraged the privatization of schools and prisons, despite evidence of privatization's dangers.

Neverless, it looks like the economy, jobs and national security are the three issues which Republicans will be running on, and the issues which they feel most confident about.

Granted, the economy is recovering, and will likely continue to grow through 2004. But how much credit should Bush take, and what will be the long term cost of his tax cuts for the rich?
Speaking Monday morning in Tampa, Florida, Bush argued that his tax cuts are helping the economy and warned that Democrats would endanger the country's fiscal health by raising taxes.

Bush addressed workers at a window-and-door manufacturing plant. It's his 19th visit to Florida as president. He told the workers that the country is recovering from its economic downturn and that the recovery is due to his own policies.
Just last month, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told Lesley Stahl of CBS' 60 Minutes:
“Yes, well, in the last quarter the growth rate was 8.2 percent. It was terrific,” says O’Neill. “I think the tax cut made a difference. But without the tax cut, we would have had 6 percent real growth, and the prospect of dealing with transformation of Social Security and fundamentally fixing the tax system. And to me, those were compelling competitors for, against more tax cuts.”
So in exchange for 2 percent more growth, we gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Americans who didn't need the money, rather than fix Social Security? Furthermore, current economic growth is not producing jobs, or job security. It is increasing buying power, thanks to a lagging dollar. But what good is buying power if you don't have a job?

Bush&Co say that jobs are coming, just give it some time. How long? This administration has seen nearly three million jobs lost on its watch. At the same time, Bush has received massive donations from corporations that have moved offshore to avoid paying federal taxes, and shipped jobs overseas for good.
The Bush administration is overly upbeat in predicting that 2.6 million new jobs will be created this year, private economists say.

The economy has lost 2.2 million payroll jobs since January 2001, giving Bush the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover.

"When a good or service is produced at lower cost in another country, it makes sense to import it rather than to produce it domestically," the president's report says. "This allows the United States to devote its resources to more productive purposes."

"President Bush's tax and trade policies have fueled this trend in outsourcing, which has clearly contributed to job losses in our economy over the past three years," Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., senior Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee, said at a hearing Tuesday. "President Bush stands idly by as jobs continue to take flight from the U.S., and now we know why - it's part of his economic plan."

The White House's previous job growth predictions have been off the mark. Last year, it forecast 1.7 million new jobs for 2003. The economy lost 439,000.

The administration estimated that 100,000 payroll jobs would be lost in 2002, when the economy was emerging from recession. The country lost 1.45 million jobs that year.

American factories have lost 3 million jobs in the last 42 months since a peak in July 2000.

Ultimately, investment in overseas jobs will help the U.S. economy by providing cheaper goods and services, economists say.

"There's nothing wrong with exporting jobs, as long as you're importing an equal number of jobs," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's. "The problem is, right now we're not doing that."
And now we learn that military contractors, and not just Halliburton, are getting jobs in Iraq even while they owe taxpayers for evading taxes.
We all know that Halliburton is gouging taxpayers--according to the Pentagon, Vice President Cheney's old company overcharged the US government by as much as $61 million for fuel in Iraq. But now we learn that more than 27,000 military contractors, or about one in nine, are evading taxes and still continuing to win new government business.

According to the General Accounting Office, these tax cheats owed an estimated $3 billion at the end of 2002, mainly in Social Security and other payroll taxes, including Medicare, that were diverted for business or personal use instead of being sent to the government. (Lesser amounts were owed in income taxes).
Which brings us to national security. Bush has managed to pulloff the unthinkable: his war on terrorism has managed to cultivate the very thing it aims to fight, while allowing corporations to make millions by overcharging American citizens. Does Bush's "shoot first" foreign policy make Americans safer at home and abroad, safer now than we were before September 11, 2001?

Despite the growing evidence of Bush's failure on these three fundamental issues, it's going to be a tough election. But that's an issue for another post.
What if you held an election and nobody came?

Of better still - what if you had an election for President of the United States and only had one person listed?

Kerry's role is not to win. His role is to make sure no one else gets the Democratic nomination.

Skull & Bones: The Secret Society That Unites John Kerry and President Bush
The sole purpose of the Skull and Bones Order is to perpetuate power. To maintain and increase this power, politically ambitious Bonesmen strive to put fellow Bonesmen in key positions of influence, to help build the New World organization that is their primary goal.
Oh, they'll put on a good show. Cheney will be replaced on the Republican ticket for effect (and they'll send all the smelly garbage out with him). But Kerry isn't supposed to do well. He's supposed to prevent anyone else from doing well. Even now Dean and Edwards are facing pressure to concede the nomination. Pay attention to this, though - notice whether or not Kerry gives up his Senate seat during the campaign.
Bush Plan to Deny Overtime Pay for Military

You'll find that most military veterans feel a certain loyalty to the US and the uniform they wore. They appreciate the opportunity that the military gave them, while they also depend on the government fulfilling its obligations to offer them the benefits that they were promised.

George Bush certainly doesn't act like someone who served honorably, and the recent attention on his dubious record explains why. In addition to cynically using the military to fight a war over oil, Bush has also denied pay raises to the military, cut benefits for servicemen in favor of tax cuts for the rich, and aided and abetted Halliburton's rise to become the Army's American Express Card. (They don't leave home without it.) The latest slap to the military comes in Bush's "Fair Labor Standards Act" which is under review.
"“Under the Bush proposal, if an employer determines that the training veterans have received in the military is equivalent to a four-year professional degree, that employer will now be allowed to deny those veterans overtime eligibility and refuse to pay them anything for overtime work."
This is not America. You can get involved and make your voice heard here.
On Friday, John Calhoun, 69, a Roswell, Ga., businessman and retired officer with the Alabama Air National Guard, confirmed Bush’s claims that he served with this Montgomery Guard unit while working on the 1972 U.S. Senate campaign of Winton “Red” Blount Jr.

“The truth is George Bush came to Alabama. He asked for weekend drills with us. He was assigned to me,” said Calhoun, who was in Florida on Friday for this weekend’s Daytona 500. Calhoun said he saw Bush sign in at the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery eight to 10 times for roughly eight hours at a time from May to October 1972.

“He showed up. He sat in my office. He signed in,” Calhoun said. “He was very determined to be there. He was in uniform and he did what he was supposed to do.”

However, Calhoun recalled Bush in the unit in the summer of 1972 when the documents indicate that he had not yet applied to serve there.
Oh, wait, maybe not... nice try though, chump.
George W. Bush's Lost Year in 1972 Alabama

The result of an investigation into George W. Bush's lost year in 1972 reveals a cocky privileged son who used his family connections to avoid military service in Vietnam and spend seven months in Alabama partying. He clearly skipped out on National Guard duty and avoided a mandatory drug test....

This article, while unfortunately devoid of substantiating references, makes for excellent reading, and warrants further research.

The article recounts numerous impressions of Bush on the campaign , but there is still no one who has admitted to having seen him drill (i.e. perform his required National Guard duty) during this same time.

Did you witness GW Bush performing any National Guard Service between May 1972 and October 1973, in either Alabama or Texas? If so, you could be eligible for thousands of dollars in unclaimed reward money!! Here are the details of the Texas and Alabama rewards."

General William Turnipseed

Bush was finally approved for a transfer to the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery. His orders required him to report to the unit commander, Gen. William Turnipseed.

In interviews, Turnipseed said they had no memory of Bush ever reporting, and could produce no documentation that he ever even checked in.

''Had he reported in, I would have had some recall, and I do not,'' Turnipseed said. ''I had been in Texas, done my flight training there. If we had had a first lieutenant from Texas, I would have remembered.''

George Bush is the worst president in the history of the United States. My god - how did we come to this???

from Yahoo News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two ex-Halliburton employees told Democratic lawmakers that Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites)'s old energy company "routinely overcharged" for work it did for the U.S. military, the congressmen said on Thursday.

The Texas oil services giant, which is being examined by the military for possibly overcharging for services, has consistently denied allegations of overbilling.

Halliburton did not immediately respond to the allegations or questions over why the two employees had left the company.

The two ex-employees, who contacted U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, a California Democrat who has been critical of Halliburton, worked for the Texas firm's procurement office in Kuwait. Waxman's office said the two quit for personal reasons.

Examples of wasteful spending given by the ex-employees ranged from leasing ordinary vehicles for $7,500 a month to seeking embroidered towels at a cost of $7.50 each when ordinary ones would have cost about a third of the price.
You mean the Bush/Rove/Cheney administration would steal from American taxpayers? Say it ain't so!
I would like to remind you, dear TestPattern reader...

Now that the media is focusing on Bush's military "record", I would like to draw your attention to something I have posted here in the past:

See a good collection of Bush's records here: http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/document.htm I would like to draw your attention to the last document (Document 30) on this page - the orders suspending Bush's flight status in 1972. Never mind that, by his own admission, Bush has been drug-free only since 1974 (and was flying (or not) in 1972). I want to draw your attention to the name listed in paragraph 7 of this document - Major James R. Bath.

James Bath went on to become the sole U.S. representative of a certain wealthy Saudi, investing his money in U.S. energy companies.

That wealthy Saudi? - Salem bin Laden
Those U.S. energy companies? - George W. Bush's Arbusto, Bush, Spectrum 7, and Harken
From Yahoo News
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of George W. Bush's conservative political supporters are increasingly restive and anxious about the president's economic policies as well as his attempts to justify the war against Iraq (news - web sites).

Fox television news anchor Bill O'Reilly, usually an outspoken Bush supporter, said on Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

"I was wrong. I am not pleased about it at all and I think all Americans should be concerned about this," O'Reilly said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America.

Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter for former President Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) and for Bush's father and an outspoken conservative commentator, said in a commentary on the Wall Street Journal's Internet service:

"The president seemed tired, unsure and often bumbling. His answers were repetitive, and when he tried to clarify them he tended to make them worse. He seemed in some way disconnected from the event."

Conservative columnists George Will and Robert Novak and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough, now a cable TV commentator, have also recently criticized Bush's fiscal programs and his attempts to explain them.
Opium, the Opiate of the Messes

The background to Skull and Bones is a story of Opium Samuel Russell established Russell and Company in 1823. Its business was to acquire opium from Turkey and smuggle it into China, where it was strictly prohibited, under the armed protection of the British Empire. Russell and Company moved the primary center of American opium smuggling to Connecticut.

William Huntington Russell, Samuel's cousin, went to Germany, in 1831-32, to study. According to information acquired from a break-in to the "tomb", in 1876, "Bones is a chapter of a corps in a German University. . . . General Russell, its founder, was in Germany before his Senior Year and formed a warm friendship with a leading member of a German society. He brought back with him to college, authority to found a chapter here." So, William H. Russell, valedictorian of his class and fourteen others became the founding members of "The Order of Scull and Bones", launched under the Russell pirate flag, in 1832-33. It is only at Yale.

Just Coincidentally
Bush appointed Yale University president to his commission to investigate intelligence failures prior to the Iraq

Again, Totally by accident
Opium production in Afghanistan has increased 20-fold since 2001.

Within a year of the Taliban's collapse, Afghanistan had regained its rank as the world's leading producer of opium, supplying 75 percent of the heroin available. After last year's bumper harvest of 3,900 tons of opium, the UN reported that poppy cultivation has increased almost twentyfold since 2001.

The drug economy now is at least as big as the legal economy, contributing $1.5 billion annually to the farmers who cultivate poppies and as much again to the traffickers, middlemen and processors who refine the opium into heroin.

Bush As Bright As Kerry?

Ok, so GOP cheerleader Peggy Noonan was unimpressed with the interview George Bush gave Tim Russert this weekend on Meet the Press. It should have been a slam dunk: taped, not live; in the Oval Office, not NBC studios. It wasn't. But what is this about Bush being smarter than he appears? Is she kidding?
Mr. Bush is as bright as John Kerry, just as Mr. Reagan was as bright as Walter Mondale, who was very good at talking points. They all are and were intelligent. Yet neither Mr. Bush's interviews and press conferences nor Mr. Reagan's suggested anything about what they were like in the office during a crisis: engaged, and tough. It's something else.

I haven't read Ron Suskind's new book in which he recounts interviews with former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, but my guess is that "engaged" isn't a word that O'Neill would use to describe Bush. Or "bright" for that matter.
The Numbers Game

From the way the press is covering it, you would think that the Democrat Primaries are practically wrapped up and Sen. John Kerry is the de facto nominee. The only real race left now seems to be for Vice President, whether it will be Sen. John Edwards or Gen. Wesley Clark.

In reality, just 18% of the delegates to the Democratic National Convention have been decided, or 795 out of 4,321. Of those 795, 495 are for Kerry, 174 are for Gov. Howard Dean, 116 are for Edwards and 82 are for Clark. (Sharpton and Kucinich have a few delegates, too, with 12 and 2 respectively.)

What does this mean? The numbers game favors Kerry, but Dean, Edwards and Clark can conceivably pick up enough delegates in the remaining states to prevent Kerry from securing the 2,161 delegates needed for the nomination. Dean seems to have the strongest support on the West Coast, while Edwards and Clark have shown themselves to be formidable candidates in the South and Mountain States.

In related news, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) sums up Dean's effect:
"Whether he wins or not, Dean forced Kerry, Clark and Edwards to sharpen their message to come out more strongly against Bush and run a much more populist campaign. He dictated where everybody else is."

Just wait until March 2nd, when primaries will take place in California, New York and several other states. This contest is by no means over.
Jon Carroll explains what Howard Dean did for the Democrats, and why John Kerry and the party owe him thanks for being courageous and honest when no one else (but Dennis Kucinich) was:
Whoever the Democratic nominee is, he should thank Howard Dean for leading his party out of the darkness. The electorate is energized; people are finally paying attention to the Bush bunco schemes. Good going, Howard; whatever happens, you done good.
Walter Cronkite on Being a Liberal

"A liberal to me is one who—and it suits some of the dictionary definitions—is unbeholden to any specific belief or party or group or person, but makes up his or her mind on the basis of the facts and the presentation of those facts at the time. That defines what I am. I have never voted a party line. I vote on the individual and the issues."
--Walter Cronkite

Facts don't seem to be all that important to the Bush administration when it comes to waging war, cutting taxes, rewriting environmental law, curtailing civil liberties and reproductive rights. Let's hope that the facts matter to voters come November.
Skull and Crossbones

Symbol of: Neo-Nazi symbol
Also Known As: "Death's Head" or Totenkopf
Traditional Use/ Origins: Symbol of the Nazi Schutzstaffel(SS)
Hate Group/ Extremist Orginization: Neo-Nazi, Racist Skinheads
Extremist Meaning or Representation: Shows allegiance to the white supermacist movement
Background/ History: The "Death's Head" was the symbol of the SS-Totenkophfverbande[one of the three original branches of the SS] whose purpose was to guard the concentration camps. Most of the Original members of this orginization where later transferred into and became the core of a Waffen SS division, the Deaths Head Division. The symbol is most often seen as a tatto, which sometimes indicates that its wearer has murdered one of the movements enemies.

Oh, I'm sorry. You meant the Skull and Bones Society of Yale University. My bad.
The MoveOn.org Ad Censored by CBS

In case you missed this ad, which ran on CNN during the Super Bowl half time show, you can now watch it here.

The "Child's Pay" ad was directed by Charlie Fisher of Denver and was chosen as the best ad among over 1,000 that were submitted in MoveOn.org's "Bush In 30 Seconds" ad contest. MoveOn.org was able to raise the $1.7 million to run the ad during the Super Bowl in just over a day, but CBS decided not to air it, citing a policy against "controversial" advertising. What about free speech, or has CBS forgotten that the airwaves are publicly owned? How come the "controversial" policy doesn't apply to the White House's ads, e.g. the ad Bush&Co ran last year connecting drugs to funding terrorism, certainly a "controversial" idea by any standard.

Or maybe CBS is just returning a favor to Michael Powell's FCC for allowing greater media consolidation? They spent millions courting the White House to prevent FCC reform.
The Dean Scream Debunked

I've supported Howard Dean since last spring. Although he's not my ideal candidate, I still feel he has the best chance of defeating George Bush in a general election. But if the corporate media and Democratic analysts like Paul Begala and James Carville get their way, we'll get to see a John Kerry versus George Bush election in November, a battle between two members of the Yale University "Skull and Bones" secret society. And I'm afraid that the GOP and Karl Rove couldn't have hoped for a better outcome from the Democratic primary process.

I'll support whomever the Democrats nominate, whether it's John Kerry or Howard Dean or Hillary Clinton, but after watching the primaries closely, I've been disturbed by how much influence the corporate media and the party ideologues have had on the process. Two months ago, Dean seemed to be the clear people's choice. He had shown the courage to criticize the president on invading Iraq and giving tax cuts to the rich when the Democratic leadership was unwilling to do so. His campaign had used the Internet to revolutionize fundraising, getting small donations from hundreds of thousands of Americans. He had broken all previous fundraising records set by Democratic presidential candidates, including Bill Clinton. He also had big endorsements from Al Gore, Bill Bradley and Tom Harken. Thanks to grassroots organizing and a loyal group of volunteers, he had built big leads in Iowa and New Hampshire just a few weeks before those ballots were cast.

So what happened? The story of Kerry's ascendancy in the last month is the story of how corporate media and the moneyed elite usually get the candidate they want. And the so-called Dean Scream is a perfect illustration of this point.

The story goes something like this. Just two weeks before the Iowa caucus, Dean was leading Dick Gephardt in the polls. So Gephardt spent what little money he had on television ads attacking Dean. At the same time, TIME and Newsweek ran unfavorable cover stories on Dean, and rightwing groups like The Club for Growth ran some of their own anti-Dean propaganda. (Paradoxically, it was rumored that Republicans were giving money to the Dean campaign, since they felt he would be easy to beat in November! If you believe that Karl Rove really thought that Dean would be as easy to beat as McGovern was in 1972, I have some real estate in Iraq for sale.)

What happened next is that Iowa voters got tired of all the mudslinging, were turned off by Gephardt, but also grew nervous about Dean. Maybe Dean was as bad as the rightwing said? Out of desperation, they turned to two Senators who were more upbeat, or at least less angry; who seemed reasonably electable, albeit beholden to big money donors: John Kerry and John Edwards.

After finishing third in Iowa, Dean gave a speech that was meant to rally the troops, and remind them that he was a fighter. His speech had the intended effect, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Dean raised his voice to a scream to be heard above the roar of his supporters. The press ran footage of Dean yelling, without placing it in context, or showing how his voice was heard by the crowd. The crowd didn't hear it as a scream at all. What the national press ran was "isolated" audio of Dean's voice. ABC and others have only recently apologized and attempted to fix the damage they caused to Dean's campaign, but it may well be too late.

New Hampshire voters paid attention to Iowa's results, and the negative media blitz about the Dean Scream. It also didn't help Dean that John Kerry found his voice and showed off his hockey skills. Kerry won again. (Most media outlets didn't report that he may have done so thanks to Republican voters.)

Historians may look back on Dean's speech after the Iowa caucus as the turning point of his candidacy. The media dutifully reinforced the impressions that they had been selling about Dean for more than a month, delivering just another misrepresentation about the potential nominee. They couldn't have served Karl Rove better if they had tried to.

In some ways, whether Dean gets the nomination or not isn't all that important. As long as the Democratic Party learns what Dean has tried to remind them about themselves. As long as they defeat George Bush in November and stop letting the Republicans bully them in Congress. As long as Republicans and Democrats alike find it increasingly difficult to lie, cheat and steal without being punished. If Kerry can carry the torch of the Democratic Party, the torch that Dean re-lit for all of us during the last twelve months, then he'll have my support. In the meantime, Howard Dean is still my choice and I hope other voters in the remaining 48 states will agree.