Saturday, July 24, 2004


Via Lambert at Corrente. From Paul Lukasiak at The AWOL Project:

An examination of George W. Bush’s payroll records lead to the conclusion that Bush consciously and deliberately defrauded the United States government for pay and “points” to which he was not entitled. The White House probably doesn’t even know that the payroll records include the data necessary to prove fraud---the proof is found in the “incomprehensible” lines of data at the bottom of the payroll records.

Lieutenant Bush was required to attend scheduled monthly training with his Texas Air National Guard unit., or perform “substitute training” instead. However, under Air Force policy, advance authorization was required for “substitute training”, and this training could be done no more than 15 days before his unit met for the scheduled mandatory training. The payroll records show that, during his last year as a member of the Texas Air National Guard, fraud was involved in over 40% of the pay Bush received that was credited toward mandatory monthly training. Bush was paid for, and received “point credit” for “substitute training” more than 15 days before the corresponding scheduled training for five separate weekends of mandatory training.

Moreover, Without advance authorization, Bush could not be paid or credited with any “training” he claims to have performed in Alabama.

Yet The payroll records are completely inconsistent with Bush having received advance authorization for the “substitute training” supposedly done in Alabama. If training had been authorized, paychecks would have been issued no more than five weeks after the training had been done. Instead, it took an average of seven weeks (and as much as nine weeks) for pay to be processed.

Other documents in the Bush files provide additional evidence that the training that Bush was paid for in Alabama was never properly authorized. And the statements made by officers of the Alabama Air National Guard also confirm that Bush did not get the authorization necessary from Alabama for him to be paid and credited with training.

Finally, the White House has never released any of the paperwork that could show that this training was approved in advance, or that the training was actually accomplished. Additional circumstantial evidence strongly suggests that none of the training done in Alabama was properly authorized. When the evidence is considered as a whole, the obvious conclusion is that this paperwork never existed, and that Bush was paid for training that he never performed.

[. . .]

Among the hundreds of pages of documents released by the White House in February, not one single piece of paper exists that confirms that Bush did any training whatsoever after April 1972. The payroll summaries tell us that Bush got paid, and the data that was entered into the payroll system that generated those payments also generated the “points summaries” released by the White House for that period.

But a considerable amount of paperwork for all of this training should exist. Chief among these documents are the AF Form 40a’s which were used to authorize substitute training in advance, and to certify that the training had been accomplished.

All told, Bush performed “substitute training” on at least 20 days. Thus there should be, at the very least, 20 AF Form 40a’s with the name of the officer who authorized the training in advance, the name and signature the officer who supervised the training, and Bush’s own signature.

(There would probably not be any paperwork showing when Bush trained with his unit at Ellington AFB during scheduled UTAs. An AF Form 40, accompanied by a roster of authorized participants, was used to certify UTA performance itself. These forms would be kept as part of the unit records.)

Bush also supposedly performed 28 days of “active duty training” during the time in question. There should be written orders authorizing all of this duty in Bush’s files, as well as 10 DD Form 220s certifying the periods spent on active duty training.

[. . .]

The evidence that Bush never received the authorization necessary for him to receive pay for training is overwhelming.

1) The “training” for which he was credited could not have been authorized in advance under Air Force policy.

2) If the training had been authorized in advance, Bush would have been paid for the training that was accomplished within five weeks of performing the training. This did not happen for the substitute training that Bush supposedly did in Alabama.

3) Bush trained on weekdays in Alabama, yet the record shows that Alabama went “by the book” when it came to such substitute training, and only authorized Bush to perform “substitute training” for UTAs when the 187th was scheduled for its own UTAs.

4) Except for the training which was authorized but for which Bush never appeared, there is not a single piece of paper that suggests that Bush was authorized to train in Alabama, or that he had completed the training for which he was paid.

5) The commander of the unit where Bush would have trained, who would have had to authorize each day of training, has no recollection of Bush having trained with his unit.

6) The personnel officer who would have had to process the approval of the training, and would have been responsible for the completing and sending out the forms necessary for Bush to be paid for training, has no recollection of Bush having trained with his unit.

Without that authorization, Bush could not be paid. Bush had to have known that advance authorization was required for him to perform any training.

Yet Bush was paid for “training”. That is fraud.

[. . .]

The whole article is long, but worth a read. As I've said before, the government doesn't lose records. I'm sure they still have a timeline of every time I had a bowel movement on Air Force time.

Ol' Paul's bona fides, from Lambert:

Lest this work be dismissed as "tinfoil hat"-style ravings, our attention was first drawn to Paul's work by Orcinus (here). Paul is the kind of guy who works out what the holes in the 1970s payroll punch cards mean. In short, he's the kind of investigative journalist... Sorry, you ask: What does "investigative journalist" mean? Well, back in the days when we had a free press....

This guy knows what he's reading and commenting on. Youll see that when you read his article. Bush is a fraud and deserves to be in jail. Not just for this, but for the fraud he's perpetrated on the American public over the last four years.

Update 19:05: Lambert has more from Ol' Paul, about the form I spoke of a while back, one document that would put this all to rest.

I really don't care, but there's one document that I haven't seen that would put this all to rest. It's called a DD Form 214. Ask any veteran about it and he (or she, you PC busybodies) will explain it.

I say ha!

Asked, "Where is the DD214?!" alert reader and AWOL Payroll Records Jedi Master Paul Lukasiak adds in comments:

I'm not certain there is one. The DD214 is called the "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty ."

HOWEVER I JUST saw this...)

on the order which SUPPOSEDLY gives Bush an "honorable discharge", the following words appear...

"DD FORM 258AF will be furnished"

And I just found this in the Code of Federal regulations, 32 CFR 887.7 [PDF]

(d) If (obsolete form) DD Form 258AF, Undesirable Discharge Certificate, has been issued,

Aargh! On "the order" where? Which document? Don't keep us in suspense!

Heh. One more Saturday Night, eh?

I looked up into heaven, lord I saw a mighty sign
Writ in fire across the heaven, plain as black and white
Get prepared, there's gonna be a party tonight

Bunch of bloggers poring over documents, timelines, the US Code, and lots of archives ... I love it!

As that dope Drudge says, developing . . .

Update 19:55: I asked Paul in the comments section at Corrente:

What I want to know is why NOT the DD Form 214?

And he replied:

because that form was a release/discharge from Active Duty, and Bush was not on active duty at the time he was discharged...[my emphasis]

that is not to say that your concerns are unwarranted. We SHOULD have some kind of form (either a 214 or a 256AF or a 258AF ) that we do not have....and one suspects that there is a reason we don't have this rather essential form that would be part of any personnel file....

So, ladies and germs, where is the one document that could lay this all to rest? Only President Nitwit and his puppeteers know . . . for now.

Update 06:00 Sunday: Yeah, I'm still at it. I added this in comments at Corrente last night:

I got a deal with why there was no disciplinary action for this nitwit letting his flight status lapse. By golly, the Air Force spent how much training him to fly fighters? Do you think they'd just let him off that easy? Why wasn't the flight physical rescheduled and why wasn't his weenie whacked for missing the first one?

And then I went to sleep. This morning, from Lambert:

[. . .]

As Paul notes:

It turns out that there is also a DD Form 256AF, which was used for honorable discharges from the reserves. (this is probably the form that was used under normal circumstances instead of a DD214.)

So, is it a DD258 or a DD256? If the latter, that's the honoranble discharge form. Still, it looks like an "8" to my eye. And, to be fair to Bush, both letters do use the word "honorably" (apparently, you can commit payroll fraud and not show up for a medical exam, and still be discharged honorably. Oh-ka-a-a-a-y....)

Of course, all this could be solved very simply: Bush could simply authorize release of all the files, as he promised (back) he would do, but has not done. I wonder why?

And this from Corrente reader Bryan in comments:

The form 256AF is the fancy, for display, form that is issued. It is printed in color and has the seal. I have three of them, two for my regular AF enlistments and one for the end of my reserve commitment.

There still has to be a DD-214 issued at the end of your enlistment. It is the summary of your service and is the single accepted proof of military service for benefits of any kind. It also has a code on it that characterizes an individual's service and whether they are eligible for re-enlistment.

And then Farmer asks a good question:

If as Bryan above says, the 256-A is the fancy for display version of the DD214 shouldn't Bar or Poppy have a nice framed original hangin' in the rumpus room at Kenne-bunk-port? With GW's rugby trophies and stuffed pet goat?

Or something like that. They strike me as the types that would keep a keepsake trophy wall laying around somewhere. Maybe they'd like to show it off too us?

And what about a Meretorious Service Medal and/or a Good Conduct Medal. Would Bush have been eligible for one of those if he received an hon. discharge? - or wouldn't that apply in his case even with a DD214 or DD256. (?)

Let's face it, folks. Bush used his daddy's contacts in the Guard heirarchy to get out of service and get an honorable discharge to boot. If he didn't, we'd have all the records. I mean, we KNOW of every time John Kerry took a leak on a Vietnamese tree, don't we? Bush's records are buried so deeply by now that a guy like Paul Lukasiak will find them 50 years from now.

And lastly, because I've had it with talking about this asshole's service, or non-service. From Where Was Bush?:

Five Facts to Remember About Bush's National Guard Record

  • FACT #1: Questioning Bush's Record Does Not Denigrate Guard

  • FACT #2: Bush Received Special Treatment in National Guard

  • FACT #3: Bush's Whereabouts Unclear During 1972-1973

  • FACT #4: Bush Should Have Done More During 1972-1973

  • FACT #5: Bush Has Yet to Explain Missing Records

  • Now I'm done.

    We don't need no steenking security

    We have the 'war on terror'. From The Talking Dog:

    David Galland writes this week's entry for our weekly visit to Pravda (where we often go, to find news about here you can't seem to get from here, as our "fair and balanced" media's attention is captivated by reality television and shit), telling us of a report in the Tombstone Tumbleweed to the effect that among the over 5,000 "non-Mexicans" picked up and detained by border patrol officials for illegally crossing the border into Arizona include numerous Arabic speakers. Among the "non-Mexicans" are men (its always men...) believed to be of Syrian and/or Iranian descent (two of the top 5 terrorist sponsoring states, for those keeping score). Homeland Security Department officials, will not, of course, confirm this (that might scare people legitimately, by telling us of a real, actual threat, as opposed to vague threats just designed to stir up anxiety for political reasons, such as non-sensical threats that A.Q. would attack the highly fortified conventions, rather than its usual "soft" targets).

    [. . .]

    I've been saying it since 9-fucking-11. I see it here, in New York, believe it or not. Hell with ya if I offend, but strip 'em naked and you can't tell an Arab from a Mexican, especially if he can speak Spanish. You can't swing a cat on Long Island without hitting a bunch of illegals standing on a street corner, waiting for some Italian landscaper to give them work for the day and exploit them. Never mind the open border to our north.

    WABC in New York had this piece last week:

    (New York-WABC, July 20, 2004) — With the threat of a terror attack hanging over both political conventions, we have uncovered alarming security gaps. In some areas the border is wide open and unguarded. The New York State border with Canada stretches 500 miles. Anyone that crosses it, including a possible terrorist, can be in the tri-state area in just a few hours. . .

    [. . .]

    At the major new Canadian border, they are asking questions and checking identification. All trucks pass through radiation detectors. And when we went through in an empty U-Haul truck, U.S. Custom inspectors stopped us to take a look inside.

    But for all the post 9/11 tightening of the border's front-door, we found several back doors still unlocked and wide open.

    [. . .]

    But even less secure is the Mohawk Indian Reservation which straddles the border. As we discovered, here it's so easy to cross into Canada, you don't even know when you're doing it. No signs, no manned check points.

    [WABC investigative reporter, Jim]Hoffer: "Are we in Canada or New York?"
    Woman: "Canada."

    Several roads inside the reservation cross the Canadian border. It is a drug trafficker or terrorists' dream.

    Hoffer: We are just a few hundred yards from crossing back into the state of New York. And you can do this freely, go back-and-forth between the two countries undetected.

    David Harris, Terrorist Intelligence Expert: "There is no conceivable excuse for this kind of mismanagement of border security."

    [. . .]

    How are we winning the 'war on terror' when these folks can just walk in and out of here undetected? Just like 9/11, we're gonna be asleep at the switch when a major U.S. city goes up in a mushroom cloud. Hey, I'm all for immigration. I wouldn't be here if my parents didn't come to this country in pursuit of the Dream, neither would my wife, or my best friend . . . well, you get it. The Great Melting Pot is what makes America what it is. But I'm for LEGAL immigration. Forget the loss of revenue in taxes and the other attendant expenses relating to illegal immigrants, it's the security issue. If undereducated, south of the border, economic refugees can get in here this easily, in such numbers, imagine what a terrorist can do. I thought Bush was gonna make the borders safer, the lying sack of shit.

    The Russians are coming

    From The Agonist:

    AFP - Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Russian peacekeepers were needed in Iraq, as he arrived in Moscow Saturday for a two-day visit, the Interfax news agency reported.

    [. . .]

    "We need Russian peacekeepers," Interfax quoted Zebari as saying, shortly after he landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Russia opposed the US-led war in Iraq last year and has no troops there.

    [. . .]

    Zebari is due to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss "the normalization process in Iraq, prospects for progress in the political process, and issues of bilateral relations," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement Friday.

    Russia has been particularly keen to reclaim its Soviet-era oil interests in Iraq.

    I told ya, the French, Germans, and Russians will be making money from Iraq long before we will. Well, except for Halliburton, but their days are numbered as well, now that the Iraqis have 'sovereignty'. Unlike the U.S. they know the land and the people and there are prior economic relaitonships, lying dormant now, but which will bloom again when we pull out. I wonder how loudly Bush & Co will yell when Halliburton's contracts are voided and given to Russian concerns. I'll giggle my motherfucking ass off.

    No sugar coating

    I wasn't gonna say much on the 9/11 Report. Facts are facts and it's here if you want to read it and have a copy for youself. However, I had to post this from Democratic Veteran.

    Preznit Goat-Roper gets his goat got

    The terrorists plan and carry out a devastating strike against our country. Preznit Fuzzy Thinking launches into action fresh from his 100th day of vacation in 2001. He continues to read a book about Goats to Kids and then proceeds to spend the next 24 hours doing what he did for his entire National Guard career: Hiding out. Then whipping up everyone's fear level to just short of a declaration of Martial Law, he reluctantly appoints a commission to "look into" the whole 9/11 debacle. Today they hand him the report.

    Citing multiple failures across the government to detect and prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist plot, the bipartisan commission investigating the attacks today called for the appointment of a new high-level intelligence chief and the establishment of a national counterterrorism center to help overcome deep institutional failings and deal with the likelihood of another major terrorist assault.

    So, the 9/11 commission wants to "help overcome deep institutional failings", which on its face sounds about right. What does Preznit Pickled Liver say about the report on the worst day in modern times for our country?

    President Bush, presented with a copy of the report at the White House this morning, said he would study the panel's "very constructive recommendations." But he did not immediately commit his administration to any fundamental changes.

    What a tool. The only thing in DC more dense than this "man" is the granite used in building of which should be to his utter stupidity. The only thing he'll do with the 9/11 report is try and beat the Democrats in the name of the Clenis™ [DV's word for Clinton] since you know, the 1600 Crew really had no clue...and now he's admitting it.

    Sorry, didn't mean to sugar coat it like that.


    Friday, July 23, 2004

    The next President

    Via Ezra at Pandagon:

    In the President's world:

    [Bush] contrasted his philosophy with that of his likely Democratic opponent, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. Mr. Bush characterized Mr. Kerry as intent on expanding the size of the federal government, raising taxes and giving bureaucrats control over the lives of individuals.

    Is that really the campaign he thinks Kerry is running? Is that the campaign he thinks is beating him in the polls?

    "My fellow Americans. It is time to remake this great country, to rebuild and repair our shining city on a hill. [wild cheers] To do that, I promise a Kerry Administration will be huge, reaching into every facet of American life and more bloated than a three-day-old corpse dredged up from the river. [standing ovation] Yes I promise higher taxes for ALL Americans -- no longer will we be divided by race or class -- in a Kerry Administration, you will ALL pay more to finance my enormous government. [women faint from excitement, little children wet themselves from happiness] Yes America, it is time to explode into the future and ensure our country's bureaucrats have total control over you and yours. They will be given keys to your homes, codes to your garages, and candlelit dinners with your wives. Yes America, relax, the era of big government has WILL SOON BEGIN! [crowd combusts in throes of big-government anticipatory ecstasy]"

    No wonder Bush is behind in the polls.

    What's the deal with Bush/Cheney '04? They got this guy elected in 2000 and this is the best they can do, mouthing the old Republican lines from '68?

    Your next President, John Kerry:

    John Kerry and John Edwards will stand up for America's values and have a plan to build an America that is strong at home and respected in the world. They believe we can have a strong economy focused on good-paying jobs, a health care plan that reduces costs, an energy plan that frees us from Mideast oil, and they believe we can strengthen our military and lead strong alliances that keep America safe and secure.

  • Children & Families
  • Civil Rights
  • Economy
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Homeland Security
  • National Security
  • National Service
  • Rural America
  • Science and Technology
  • Stronger Communities
  • Veterans
  • Women

  • Don't believe all the bullshit you hear from the fucking pundits. Hear it from the man himself. I mean, has President Holy War told you how he's gonna fuck up the country in the next four years?

    Sandy Berger, again, and Tucker Carlson

    Carlson is a lowlife fucking media whore asshole right-wing dope, I've said that before. From Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:

    There is nothing random about the documents he took. Berger stripped the files of every single copy of a single memo which detailed the Clinton administration's response to the Y2K terror threat.

    Tucker Carlson
    July 22nd 2004

    [. . .]

    [9/11 Commissioner Gorton on Lou Dobbs yesterday]GORTON: Well, we can't shed any light on exactly what happened there and on Sandy Berger's troubles with the Justice Department and the Archives. What we can say unequivocally is we had all of that information. We have every one of those documents. All of them have -- are infused in and are a part of our report.

    Read Josh's entire post.

    The Republican Machine. They've covered the media with their bullshit and no one calls them on it. No one questions these assholes as they spout their crap. The networks are worried about equal time and being tagged as 'Liberal'. Wish someone there would grow some backbone. The mass news media, network and cable, is where most of the masses get their news. They don't read papers, they don't surf the blogs, not the political ones anyway. They listen to the news out of the corner of their ear as the kids are screaming and they're putting dinner on the table, whatever. They don't fact check, they don't go research what the talking nitwit on TV said, they got other important shit to do. So they take what they hear and if someone doesn't call the bullshit artist on the crap he's shoveling, most folks believe it as fact. Incredible. Don't know whom I'm more pissed off at, the media or the Republicans.

    Thursday, July 22, 2004

    Sandy Berger

    I wasn't even going to bother with this because it's bullshit, but Dave at The American Street has a good take on the situation.

    Missing the point on the Berger thing... I'm reading Alterman, and Talking Points, and Kevin, and Slate, and everyone else, and it's like they're blind. They're all caught up in what Berger did or didn't do and how bad was it and why aren't the Republicans investigating Plame, etc...

    Just not getting it at all. Just missing the point. Just seeing the trees and missing the forest.

    Here is what is going on. The Republican Noise Machine is saying this proves Clinton is to blame for 9/11. Got that? Just as the 9/11 Comission releases its report, they are saying that the proof of Clinton's guilt was there, and Berger took and shredded that proof. Let that sink in a while. This theme is ALL OVER THE MEDIA - at least the media that matters to the voters they want to reach. Never mind that he only took copies of drafts of the documents, and they still have the originals -- that small fact is slipping WAY under the radar, and no one on "our side" even seems to understand that is the central issue.

    [. . .]

    Once again, just so you get it, they are saying that this proves that Clinton is responsible for 9/11, that it is a big cover-up, and that this proves Kerry is somehow implicated in trying to hand the country over to our enemies.

    This has been planned for MONTHS, from the day the 9/11 Commission was formed. It took TIME to research and put together that story about Berger's military records. Limbaugh surely didn't put that complicated 3-part smear together himself. And - and this is important - all these talking points and military record research, etc. were obviously prepared before the story leaked this week.

    Now this sounds about right, just the tactics the Republicans like to use. Remember what the Bush folks did to McCain in the run up to 2000?

    Where was Bush?

    The DNC has a new website that tells you.

    Wednesday, July 21, 2004


    Jenna Bush shows her . . . moneymaker.

    It's probably her most-used organ. Why does she strike me as one of these?

    "I won't let you fuck me because I have to stay a virgin, but I'll blow you."

    Ever know one of them? Love those God-fearing girls.

    Don't expect much

    Long day at work and my ass is shot (get your mind out of the gutter, I don't do that anymore). Not much blogging today.

    Here, something to give you a giggle. Cross posted from The Fixer:

    Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.

    Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.

    The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.

    A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation..

    Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.

    The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.

    If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.

    A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our longtime allies, then demand their cooperation and money.

    Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy. Providing health care to all Americans is socialism.

    HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.

    Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.

    A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.

    Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.

    The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.

    Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.

    You support states' rights, which means Attorney General John Ashcroft can tell states what local voter initiatives they have the right to adopt.

    What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.

    Friends don't let friends vote Republican! From my brother in law, Bob.

    Yup, that's about it

    Stole it from Corrente:

    Tuesday, July 20, 2004

    Not good

    I had hopes for the situation in Sudan in the Darfur region when I heard the peace talks were underway. But The Head Heeb (Jon's back from vacation, yay) finds this:

    Bad news of the day

    The Darfur peace talks are in danger of collapse even before they start, after rebel demands at an initial meeting resulted in a shouting match:

    The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebels put forward a number of preconditions to holding political talks: disarmament of the Janjawid and the removal of those of them absorbed by the police and army; respect for the 8 April ceasefire; an end to impunity for the perpetrators of crimes and an inquiry into allegations of genocide; unimpeded humanitarian access; release of prisoners of war; and a "neutral" venue for future talks, which did not include Ethiopia.

    The coordinator of JEM, Ahmed Jugod, told IRIN that unless these basic demands were met they would not engage in a political dialogue with Khartoum.

    A spokesman for the Sudanese government, Ibrahim Ahmad Ibrahim, said "the demands of the rebels are unacceptable". He said the demands showed " disrespect to the African Union". "It is a delaying tactic, the rebels are not serious," he added.

    The Sudanese government's objections might impress me more if they hadn't already promised to do most of the things that the rebels are demanding. At the same time, the rebel factions aren't doing themselves any favors by insisting that these measures be completed before the talks rather than in parallel. Time isn't on their side, and arguing over preliminaries will only increase the likelihood that the janjawid will complete their work. United Nations mediators are working to bring the parties back to the table, but even if they succeed, more time will have been wasted while more people become refugees.

    Hopefully, the U.N. can do something. It would be nice if the U.S. had some credibility left to take an active role in the peace talks instead of just issuing a soundbyte from Colin Powell every few months.

    I'm surprised . . . not!

    From WTF Is It Now??:

    Halliburton under investigation. Again.
    Joining the terrists

    A grand jury issued a subpoena to Dick 'Chicanery' Cheney's "former" company Halliburton regarding its subsidiary's work in Iran, where it is illegal for US companies to operate.

    The sneaky, double-dealing bastards said they would comply, but believed that their links to Iran through their tax-sheltered Cayman Islands unit "were in compliance with applicable laws and regulations."

    Yawn, duh. Does this shit surprise anyone anymore?

    What it should say

    From Jesus' General, guest blogging at Spectre AWOL:

    If this is what you want, vote Republican.

    Another from Tennessee

    Those folks down there are fun. Remember yesterday's naked guy covered in nacho cheese? Today, another from South Knox Bubba:

    ROGERSVILLE, Tennessee - With their cell doors accidentally left unlocked, four county jail inmates escaped only to return the same night — with beer.

    The Hawkins County Jail inmates, who bought four cases of beer before returning to the jail, were charged Monday with escape and introduction of intoxicants into a penal institution, the Kingsport Times-News newspaper reported Tuesday.

    "I guess they thought if they came back they wouldn't be charged with escape, but they were wrong," Sheriff Warren Rimer said.

    Ridgy Dean Coleman, Jimmy Joe Stapleton, David Wayne Blizzard and David Allen Hopkins escaped Thursday night when their cell block doors were unlocked and a faulty control panel failed to alert jailers, Rimer said.

    Two of the inmates walked out through a fire exit, left the door propped open with a small Bible and made a hole in the exercise yard fence. They walked to a nearby market and bought the beer.

    [. . .]

    Read it here.

    At least they had their priorities straight. Oy!

    National Guard personnel shortage

    What'd I say a while back? From The Fixer:

    [. . .]

    Do you notice who they're planning to call up? Mostly Guardsmen. Watch how all the Guard activations will hurt recruiting. Ask any member of the National Guard why they signed up and they'll tell you they did it to help their neighbors. The Guard is a state militia and their primary role is support of the governor. The guard assists in times of crisis and natural disaster. Ask any of them if they signed up to go half a world away to fight in a misguided, unjust war. Then ask them if they're going to reenlist.

    [. . .]

    I done stole this from Glen at A Brooklyn Bridge today:

    Double Dipping

    Paul Krugman, among others, has criticized the Bushies for their creative accounting. Depending on the speech, they claim that x amount of dollars will be available for one thing, then a week or month later, they claim that same money will be used for something else. But then, graduates of the Enron School of Economics are rarely bothered by the fact that a dollar can be spent once.

    Now, it would seem that people can only be in one place at one time. (Who knew?) The problem is that too many are not here.

    SEATTLE, July 19 - With tens of thousands of their citizen soldiers now deployed in Iraq, many of the nation's governors complained on Sunday to senior Pentagon officials that they were facing severe manpower shortages in guarding prisoners, fighting wildfires, preparing for hurricanes and floods and policing the streets.


    California fire and forestry officials said they were not using National Guard troops to battle wildfires plaguing that state, but they did say that they were using nine Blackhawk helicopters borrowed from the Guard to fight the fires. Some of the helicopters are bound for Iraq in September.

    More than 150,000 National Guard and Reserve troops are on active duty. Many of the Guard troops have received multiple extensions of their tours of duty since the United States went to war with Iraq last year.

    While Western governors focused mostly on wildfires, governors and other officials from other regions expressed a host of other worries, both at the meeting here and in telephone interviews. In Arizona, officials say, more than a hundred prison guards are serving overseas, leaving their already crowded prisons badly short-staffed. In Tennessee, officials are worried about rural sheriff's and police departments, whose ranks have been depleted by the guard call- up. In Virginia, the concern is hurricanes; in Missouri, floods. And in a small town in Arkansas, Bradford, both the police chief and the mayor are now serving in Iraq, leaving their substitutes a bit overwhelmed.

    In Idaho, 62 percent of its National Guard units have been mobilized; the same goes for Oregon. In Alaska, it's 15 percent. People in the Reserves and National Guard tend to be highly motivated for community service; many are also police, fire fighters, and emergency services personnel. They're the very people you want to have around in a disaster.

    I guess this is another part of our "sacrifice" for Optional War I. Homes and businesses threatened by fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes? Hey, America-hating scum, don't you know there's a war on?

    Told ya. The Guardsmen are needed at home, not being used for cannon fodder in Iraq. President Nitwit doesn't get it. I don't think the moron even realizes exactly how this country works. He sees America as a resource area for his cronies in Big Business.

    The Village Idiot

    From The Farmer at Corrente:

    Iraqis are sick of foreign people coming in their country and trying to destabilize their country. ~ George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2004

    I doubt very much that George W. Bush recognized the ironic idiocy contained within his own statement above. Nuance, afterall, is not his thang. Not that I'm surprised. The existence of the entire Bush diktat seems to rely soley upon ironic ideological idiocies and the kindness of some collective disengagement from tangible reality. All frosted over with romanticized Pollyannaesque notions of our national self as a flawless example of eternal goodness and light and liberty for one and for all and for evermore. As if we as Americans were some kind of grande luxe preternatural marvel. Some boundless corpus sanctum hovering above an enormous swamp. America as divinity. All despite our own frequent complicity in tangible substratum historical imbecilities, cruelties, thieving, and national folly.

    [. . .]

    Entire post.

    Monday, July 19, 2004


    Here's a new target for the terrorists during the Olympic Games in Athens. From MSNBC:

    ATHENS, Greece - Thousands of riders packed the city’s new tram Monday as it made its first trip through the Greek capital before next month’s Olympics.

    Designed primarily to ease chronic congestion on the capital’s busy streets, the tram system also was built with the Aug. 13-29 games in mind. Traffic jams are a serious problem in Athens, which has nearly 5 million residents and more than 2 million cars.

    During the Olympics, trams will carry spectators from the city center to sports venues along Athens’ southern seaside suburbs. The system can carry up to 80,000 people a day.

    [. . .]

    Yup, that should make the appropriate statement. Ba-boom, no more tram, bodies and parts all over the TV in every country. Remember Madrid? Wait.


    From WABC in New York:

    Some Manhattan Restaurants Getting More Smoker-Friendly

    (New York-WABC, July 23, 2004) — Lighting up just got easier at many Manhattan restaurants. The reason -- more sidewalk cafes, and more seats designated for smokers.

    After a 25-year-ban, the city is now allowing hundreds of restaurants to seat patrons on the sidewalk.

    And a quarter of those seats will be designated for smokers.

    Look for the new smoke-friendly sidewalk cafes on a huge swath though Midtown, as well as on streets dotting the Upper East Side and Downtown

    Ha! Fuck you, you militant non-smokers. I'm tired of you closing down every fucking place to smoke. Hear that, Mayor Bloomberg, you little fucking troll. It's about time someone's on our side.

    Hand puppets

    From The Capital Times via Just a Bump in the Beltway:

    The man, who more than a year ago declared that the heavy lifting in Iraq was done, only to discover that the fight had barely started, is now back with another over-the-top pronouncement. "Today," Bush said last week, "because America has acted and because America has led, the forces of terror and tyranny have suffered defeat after defeat, and America and the world are safer."

    By any measure, the president is wrong.

    Iraq, which posed no serious threat to the United States before the invasion, is now a chaotic and dangerous nightmare - not just for the 135,000 American soldiers who continue to occupy it, but for the world. Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups that had not previously operated there - because of the militant secularism of former dictator Saddam Hussein and his ruling Baath Party - appear now to be operating in many regions of the country.

    In Afghanistan, from which resources were redirected to fight the Iraq war, there is now talk of delaying elections because the Taliban is resurgent. And beyond Kabul, there is little order.

    North Korea has reportedly quadrupled its nuclear weapons capacity in a year.Iran is reportedly developing the capacity to create nuclear weapons.

    Osama bin Laden remains at large, and his al-Qaida terrorist network continues to strike - not just in Madrid, where this year's train bombings killed more than 200 people, but around the world. Indeed, according to the U.S. government's own analysis, terrorist incidents have been on the rise over the past two years.

    [. . .]

    How can the president be so ill-informed? How can he not recognize what people around the planet, and an ever-growing percentage of the American population, see so clearly: That the invasion and occupation of Iraq drew resources, energy and attention away from efforts to combat the most serious threats facing the United States and the world?

    [. . .]

    It is entirely possible that President Bush really does not know that his approach to the war on terror has been a failure. Whether he scans the headlines, as Laura suggests, or really does avoid contact with news that has not been filtered by his staff, all indications are that this president is not a curious man. And his lack of curiosity is not just frightening. In times like these, it is dangerous.

    Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential contender John Kerry, says that America needs "a president who is not fazed by complexity, a president who likes to read." President Bush's claim that he has made America safer, which we fear he may actually believe, proves her point.

    Face it, Bush is a moron and Cheney has his arm up Bush's ass, making his lips move. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    Blue states

    I'm sorta glad I live in a blue state (NY). You know we're gonna go firmly for Kerry, so President Nitwit doesn't bother much here. The amount of political ads we see on local TV is minimal, compared to what they're showing in the swing states. The only ones we see are the local crooks (no joke, local NY politics is a whole different animal) and we know what they're about. The only time I see a presidential ad is when I have cable news on. There is a God!

    The tinfoil hat brigade

    But things that seemed nuts a couple years ago seem strangely plausible now. Robbed this from Lambert at Corrente:

    The Republicans are easing Americans into the idea that it's OK to report their neighbors political beliefs to a central authority.

    But don't worry! The central authority is only the Republican Party! Phew! For a minute there, I was worried!

    The party has asked 60,000 supporters from across [Minnesota] to figure out what issues animate their neighbors and where they stand in the political spectrum, and report that information back to the party -- with or, possibly, without their neighbors' permission.

    The site and the party's reliance on neighborly connections, [Larry Colson, a Minnesota entrepreneur who helped develop the site] said, are ways of filling those gaps. "You're more likely to tell your neighbor what your party preference is when they ask than you are to some stranger on the phone," he said. Those who seem persuadable will receive campaign literature from Republican candidates -- including President Bush -- with whom the party plans to share its data. Those deemed incorrigible Democrats will be struck from the list.
    via WaPo)

    I can think of another name for the GOP "Team Leaders" who will be populating the Republican database with their neighbors's names and affiliations: informer.

    Of course, the real nightmare scenario would be a national Republican "enemies list," constructed by winger activists. I mean, who really believes "incorrigible Democrats" will be "struck from the list"? After all, when the time comes to round up the traitors, the list of "incorrgible Democrats" will be a very good starting point. And please refer all comments containing the words "tinfoil hat" to the Department of "No! They would never to that!"

    Laugh if you will, but I don't put anything past Bush and his cronies anymore.

    Update 13:50: Lambert has more:

    And just in case you didn't think the Minnesota Republican Party's effort to have informers collect information about the political affiliations of their neighbors (back) wasn't really all about intimidation, here are some comments from the designer of the system, Larry Colson:

    [Minnesota Republicans realize] that with Minnesota now "in play", the Cowards will be forced to spend time and money in a state that they formerly took for granted. ...

    Larry Colson
    Minnesota eCampaign Chair

    Nice, huh? For "coward," of course, read "traitor."

    Nice words from the party whose candidate can't prove He did his duty in the military (even though He did collect a paycheck).

    Sunday, July 18, 2004


    From Newsday:

    ATLANTA -- When Georgia voters go to the polls Tuesday, one name will be conspicuously absent from the ballot: Zell Miller.

    The quirky Democratic senator who backs President Bush and often votes with Republicans is retiring after a decades-long political career that made him a near permanent fixture on the Georgia ballot. Eight Democrats and three Republicans have lined up to take his place in what promises to be an important campaign in the battle for control of the Senate

    About time this fucking asshole retires. He should have been booted out of the Democratic Party years ago.


    I'm done for the day. The Mrs. is making mussels in wine sauce and I already smell it cooking, so I'm outta here. Remember, I'm still looking for someone to take over the most of the blogging burden here. Leave a comment or email me if you're interested.

    Jobs gone in Ohio

    Stole this from Kevin Hayden at The American Street:

    Ohio isn't working

    One fifth of the nation's job losses under Bush have occurred in Ohio. And even a Fed economist is admitting Ohio's economy is going nowhere fast.

    The unemployment rate rose to 5.8 percent in June from 5.6 percent in May, reflecting both seasonal entrants into a slack market and a loss of 14,300 jobs, spread across most sectors except government.

    A modest spring rise in manufacturing payrolls was wiped out in June with the loss of 3,400 jobs. By month's end, the number of manufacturing jobs statewide stood at 824,700, down 159,700 since the start of the last recession in March 2001.

    Economist Mark Schweitzer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland set aside the June numbers since a monthly reading can be misleading to look at the employment picture over the past year. Even so, the picture was lackluster.

    "It's been really flat for almost the last 12 months," Schweitzer said. "There's nothing clearly wrong, but there's nothing clearly going right, either."

    Remember, Ohio's a bellwether state. The GOP hasn't won the White House without it. And they can't even buy a vote there.

    I thought Ohio was solidly red, but I guess when they feel it in their pockets, they get bluer. Do you think the state will undergo an economic boom between now and November? I didn't either. If Ohio is the bellwether Kevin says, it's see ya, Dubya.

    What the fuck?

    From Reuters via The Memory Hole:

    By Adam Tanner
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Los Alamos National Laboratory, a key U.S. center for nuclear weapons research, has temporarily ceased all classified work after vital data was reported missing last week from a research area, lab officials said on Thursday.

    Such a precaution at Los Alamos, the New Mexico birthplace of the first atomic bomb during World War II, has not occurred in recent memory, lab officials said, highlighting the seriousness of the breach.

    [. . .]

    The case of the missing disks is the latest in a series of security shortcomings at U.S. nuclear weapons labs in recent years. Just last month a set of keys to a sensitive nuclear area at Los Alamos went missing for most of a day.

    "This is a big deal, but it is certainly a necessary step," Danielle Brian, director of the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group in Washington D.C., said of the Los Alamos halt of classified work.

    The missing data was on two zip disk drives, she said, adding: "They need to change the way they handle classified media and move to what's called a media-less system so that there isn't the capacity for a scientist to just walk off with a disk or a zip drive."

    [. . .]

    Are we serious about the proliferation of nukes at all? I mean, yeah, it was the reason we went into Iraq, but here, like there, we could give a shit about securing information and materiel. Jesus H. Christ, this is fucking Los Alamos, where they developed the A-Bomb and shit. How can their security be so fucked up?


    From Asia Times:

    The new Saddam, without a moustache
    By Pepe Escobar

    Talk about outsourcing.

    The first two acts of former Central Intelligence Agency asset turned Prime Minister Iyad Allawi were to call a US air strike on an alleged safe house in Fallujah, and to sign a martial-law order to be imposed on an Arab "sovereign" state by a Western, Christian army. Saddam Hussein also imposed martial law on Iraq. Last year, the talk in Baghdad was that the Americans wanted an "American Saddam". Now they have one. No wonder "sovereign" Iraq looks like your average Arab dictatorship - again: it could be Egypt, it could be Syria.

    [. . .]

    "With Allawi, it's like the CIA is marrying Iraq," says a Baghdad intellectual. European diplomats in Brussels prefer to note his old-school but very sound strategy to climb to power: first infiltrating the debris of the Iraqi secret services and then putting them back into place while allying himself with former Ba'ath Sunni generals so he can reconstitute the army in his image. In Baghdad, Allawi is called "Saddam without a moustache". Exactly what Washington wants.

    But the point is what Iraqis want. They want two things from Allawi: restoration of order and security, and getting rid of the US occupation as soon as possible. Allawi and his party, though, have absolutely no popular base. He has to do what the Americans - via US Ambassador John Negroponte at the US Embassy - tell him to do. Bringing back the Mukhabarat and Saddam's spies is a tremendously unpopular move - as well as a virtual death warrant to democracy.

    [. . .]

    The trumpeted "reconstruction" is seen by most Iraqis as an extension of the occupation: one more foreign invasion, this one by US multinationals. That's why the "reconstruction" is a key target of the resistance. US contractors are protected by thousands of mercenaries. Twenty-five percent of reconstruction contracts go to security: this is money not being spent on hospitals, schools, roads and US-bombed telephone exchanges. So what the average Iraqi sees is a surrealist situation of contractors spending fortunes to arm and insure themselves against the Iraqis they were supposed to help in the first place.

    [. . .]

    Washington tried 19th-century-style colonialism in Iraq. It failed. Now it's trying a remix of 1970s Latin America - with proxy hardcore security forces subjected to the US. It will fail - as it did in Latin America. The United States may be militarily strong in Iraq, but politically it is a midget - as Fallujah demonstrates. Only one desired effect by the White House is already on: the war - at least in this summer silly season - is slowly disappearing from US television. The resistance - and not only in Fallujah - will certainly bring it back.

    The word is clusterfuck, ladies and germs. Read the whole article here.

    9/11 Final Report

    From the Washington Post via Kos:

    [. . .]

    . . . In fact, the language of the final report suggests that the Bush administration had warnings of lower Mahattan being targeted. The graphic linked above sums this up nicely along with other discrepancies.

    [. . .]

    Here it is in graph form, comparing the Bush Administration's bullshit before the Commission to the facts the 9/11 Commission found.

    Big Agro

    From Jim Hightower:

    [. . .]

    Bush’s ag policy reads like it could’ve been written in the lobbying offices of the corporatizers, because—surprise!—it was. Bush and the people in his inner circle (as well as those in his near-outer circle) know as much about agriculture as a hog knows about Mozart. For policy direction, they naturally turned to those they know and trust—not the dirt farmers and hardscrabble ranchers of America (and damned sure not consumers and environmentalists), but the brand names of agbiz—Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Tyson, and others who—surprise again!—happen to be big money backers of the prez.

    Take his policy toward the heartland’s amber waves of grain. Our country’s incredibly efficient family farmers, blessed with rich soil and good climate, produce not just an abundance of corn, wheat, and other grains, but in most years, such massive overabundance that our storage facilities floweth over. Farmers need a policy that allows them as a group to control their overproduction (something that no individual farmer can do). By matching their production to what the world market actually needs, farmers could then get a fair price in the marketplace for their crops.

    Did George, who boasts of having an MBA from Harvard, apply this basic lesson one learns in Supply & Demand 101? Of course not! He’s no dummy. Well, he’s no Mensa, either, but one lesson George learned early in life is: Always go with those who put the butter on your biscuits. In this case, that’s the ADMs and Cargills—the giant grain traders who buy the farmers’ crops and appreciate presidents who keep the price of those commodities low, low, low.

    [. . .]

    Like everything else he does, President Political Favors looks after his friends first, and his friends are those who contribute big bucks to his campaign. Asshole.

    Eeny, meeny, miney, mo-rons

    From MSNBC/Newsweek:

    [. . .]

    The 9-11 Commission report emphasizes there is no evidence suggesting that Iranian officials had advance knowledge of the September 11 plot. Still, the report raises new, sharper questions about whether the Bush administration was focused on the right enemy when it decided to remove Saddam Hussein. The NSA memo adds to a large accumulation of intelligence indicating that Iran has had more suspicious ties to Al Qaeda than Iraq did. Among those who once had a base in Iran: Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, allegedly the No. 1 terrorist in Iraq today. Meanwhile the commission found there was no "collaborative, operational" relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

    [. . .]

    So, 'splain to me again why we went into Iraq instead of the other 2/3 of the Axis of Evil? 'Splain to me why we threw close to a thousand U.S. lives down that dry hole in the desert when the Iranians helped Osama bin Forgotten pull off the 9/11 attacks? 'Splain to me why, when I knew the North Koreans were trying to build a nuclear weapon 25 years ago, did we go after this nut in Iraq who even Al-Qaeda didn't bother with?

    Because it's all about oil and money, ladies and germs. It was never about the 'war on terror', and the loss of 3000 lives in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania were just a convenient excuse. Bush and his Cabinet are war criminals, pure and simple.