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9-13-2004

Down on the corner and our own PAC


Mark,

        How about this quote:

"When school children start paying union dues, that's when I'll start representing the interest of school children."  Albert Shanker, union president American Federation of Teachers.

        You kind of stole my thunder, but here's a few more comments on 527 groups.

        John Kerry can't say that Ben Ginsberg providing legal advice to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, while serving as outside counsel to the Bush-Cheney campaign is evidence of illegal coordination, when Bob Bauer serves as legal counsel to both the Kerry campaign and America Coming Together, and Joe Sandler serves as General Counsel to the Democratic National Committee and to Moveon.org and Moving America Forward all at the same time.  In fact, Sandler said that what he was doing didn't violate Campaign Finance Reform law.  Hey, John McCain, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  I knew you were full of sand.  Far be it from any Senator or Congressman to actually write/pass a law that any lawyer can't easily find a way around in say…5.5 seconds.  Far be it for a Senator or Congressman to write/pass a law that they actually have to adhere to.

        Don't count on Bauer or Sandler (or the many others) to give up their Kerry income, although Ginsberg did resign.  Yet another sign of respectability by the right and an utter lack of class by the left.  There are in fact, 11 such men on the Kerry campaign vs. the one that resigned form the Bush campaign.  Ultimate hypocrisy.

        But in other news, the American people recognize the President's commitment to getting results. In a Los Angeles Times poll released today, 52% of registered voters—not likely, but registered voters—approve of the job that President Bush is doing and has him now with a three-point lead over Senator Kerry as we go in to our convention. 

        In LA?
        Yes, in LA.
        No way!
        Way!

        The poll shows 15% of Democrats crossing party lines in support of President Bush. Senator Zell Miller is giving voice to a lot of blue-collar, Reagan Democrats. Our own PAC>>>

        Okay Mark, it's time we form our own PAC.  If Walter can have the CCC, kind of like the KKK, we certainly can have TITS-Today's Improvements, Tomorrows Success.  I think some of the very clever Hose Babes could even come up with some snazzy T-shirts and bumper stickers.  Heck, we could even have a calendar.  All proceeds could go to fund playground equipment, new FF apparatus, MDA, or whatever. 

        Does Walter (down on the corner, out in the street-wink, wink) even know how silly he sounds?  Let me get this straight…sorry I'm so slow-it's the Polish in me (or should I say Kielbasa).  For eight years, Walter and friends ignore what is going on downtown.  I have done a Google search on Walter and McG and only get a handful of hits and most were during the final few month of the "Great McG debacle."  Now Walter wants everything to change in about 5 minutes.  We have had eight months of a new administration and he want everything reversed?  Does he even dabble in reality?  Guess not.

        Okay, time to update the failure in Iraq:

Over 400,000 kids have up-to-date immunizations.
School attendance is up 80% from levels before the war.
Over 1,500 schools have been renovated and rid of the weapons stored there so education can occur.
The port of Uhm Qasar was renovated so grain can be off-loaded from ships faster.
The country had its first 2 billion barrel export of oil in August even with the rebels destroying some pipelines.
Over 4.5 million people have clean drinking water for the first time ever in Iraq.
The country now receives 2 times the electrical power it did before the war.
100% of the hospitals are open and fully staffed, compared to 35% before the war.
Elections are taking place in every major city, and city councils are in place.
Sewer and water lines are installed in every major city.
Over 60,000 police are patrolling the streets.
Over 100,000 Iraqi civil defense police are securing the country.
Over 80,000 Iraqi soldiers are patrolling the streets side by side with US soldiers.
Over 400,000 people have telephones for the first time ever.
Students are taught field sanitation and hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of germs.
An interim constitution has been signed.
Girls are allowed to attend school.
Textbooks that don't mention Saddam are in the schools for the first time in 30 years.

NY Times, otherwise known as "Bush Bashing made easy">>> Okay, next we have the NY Times issuing it's non-apology, apology for something they wrote that Bush didn't say, even though they said Bush said it.  Make sense?

One of the most reprehensible things about the past year's campaign against President Bush is that his accusers have repeatedly lied in calling him a liar -- and they've marshaled nonexistent evidence to support their fraudulent claims.

One of the principle complaints against President Bush's prosecution of the War on Terror is that he distorted the facts to tie Saddam Hussein to Al Qaeda's 9/11 attacks against the United States in order to strengthen his case for attacking Iraq.

Indeed an interim report by the 9/11 commission staff stated there is no credible evidence that Saddam collaborated with Al Qaeda on any attacks against America. A salivating partisan media, Senator Kerry and other assorted Bush-haters seized on that headline as if it were one of the final nails in the president's electoral coffin. But just like almost every other wished-for smoking gun against President Bush, this "finding" has ended up being an embarrassing, impotent little water pistol.

The Bush administration is guilty of no misrepresentations on this issue. If someone sets about to prove another person of lying, at the very least he should accurately quote the accused. After all, if you don't even know what the alleged liar said, how can you begin to determine whether he lied?

In all their gotcha-mania the accusers failed to meet this threshold requirement. They, including the New York Times, accused the administration of misrepresenting something it never said. You've got to have a representation before you can have a misrepresentation.

But now the Times has belatedly admitted that the Bush administration never claimed there was a specific connection between Saddam and 9/11 attacks, "only that there were ties, however murky, between Iraq and Al Qaeda."

Don't just brush over this as if it's a minor detail. The Times just confessed that neither Bush nor his team ever said Saddam was tied to 9/11. The Times even provided statements from various administration officials claiming there were connections between Saddam and Al Qaeda, but never positing a 9/11 conspiracy. This is a major, painful admission by the Times. Suffice it to say that if administration officials had made such an assertion, the Times would have discovered it in their frantic Nexis searches.

But true to form, the Times refused to remove the Bush smear completely, ending its paragraph with this tacky little bit of innuendo: "although whether there was a deliberate campaign to create guilt by association is difficult to say." Translation: "While we grudgingly concede the Bush team made no express claims tying Saddam to 9/11, it may well have tried to imply there was such a connection by confusing the issue."

What a cheap shot! Not only do we not get an apology from the Times for its own misrepresentations on this very issue, we get a parting shot trying to negate its lame pretense of correcting the record.

But we deserve an apology from the Times for just recently attributing statements to the administration it didn't make and then accusing it of lying about those statements. A scathing, rush-to-judgment Times editorial the day after the release of the commission's interim report makes the point.

The Times editors wrote, "It's hard to imagine how the commission investigating the 2001 terrorist attacks could have put it more clearly yesterday: there was never any evidence of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, between Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11. Now President Bush should apologize to the American people, who were led to believe something different."

So one week the Times said Bush fraudulently alleged a link between Saddam and September 11, and just a week later, they admit he made no such allegation. But the Times didn't apologize, nor did it withdraw its demand for the president's apology.

But the Times is not the only guilty party here. Senator Kerry, feeling his oats upon release of the commission's interim report, demanded that the president provide "a fundamental explanation about why he rushed to war for a purpose it now turns out is not supported by the facts." Well, President Bush did not lie about the Saddam/Al Qaeda connection. There is so much material on this it would take a full chapter in a book to do it justice. Regardless, it was just one of many reasons offered to go to war against Iraq.

And finally, "Air Guard or not Air Guard", that is really not a question>>>

What do you really know about George W. Bush's time in the Air National Guard?

That he didn't show up for duty in Alabama? That he missed a physical? That his daddy got him in?

News coverage of the president's years in the Guard has tended to focus on one brief portion of that time — to the exclusion of virtually everything else. So just for the record, here, in full, is what Bush did:

The future president joined the Guard in May 1968. Almost immediately, he began an extended period of training. Six weeks of basic training. Fifty-three weeks of flight training. Twenty-one weeks of fighter-interceptor training. That was 80 weeks to begin with, and there were other training periods thrown in as well. It was full-time work. By the time it was over, Bush had served nearly two years. Not two years of weekends. Two years.

After training, Bush kept flying, racking up hundreds of hours in F-102 jets. As he did, he accumulated points toward his National Guard service requirements. At the time, guardsmen were required to accumulate a minimum of 50 points to meet their yearly obligation.

According to records released earlier this year, Bush earned 253 points in his first year, May 1968 to May 1969 (since he joined in May 1968, his service thereafter was measured on a May-to-May basis).

Bush earned 340 points in 1969-1970. He earned 137 points in 1970-1971. And he earned 112 points in 1971-1972. The numbers indicate that in his first four years, Bush not only showed up, he showed up a lot. Did you know that? (I did the math for you-842 points against a requirement of 200 points his first four years.)

That brings the story to May 1972 — the time that has been the focus of so many news reports — when Bush "deserted" (according to anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore) or went "AWOL" (according to Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee).

Bush asked for permission to go to Alabama to work on a Senate campaign. His superior officers said OK. Requests like that weren't unusual, says retired Col. William Campenni, who flew with Bush in 1970 and 1971.

"In 1972, there was an enormous glut of pilots," Campenni says. "The Vietnam War was winding down, and the Air Force was putting pilots in desk jobs. In '72 or '73, if you were a pilot, active or Guard, and you had an obligation and wanted to get out, no problem. In fact, you were helping them solve their problem."

So Bush stopped flying. From May 1972 to May 1973, he earned just 56 points — not much, but enough to meet his requirement.

Then, in 1973, as Bush made plans to leave the Guard and go to Harvard Business School, he again started showing up frequently.

In June and July of 1973, he accumulated 56 points, enough to meet the minimum requirement for the 1973-1974 year.  (Again, here is the math:  112 points his last two years or 954 points total against a requirement of 300 points-three times the amount needed to complete his requirements.) Then, at his request, he was given permission to go. Bush received an honorable discharge after serving five years, four months and five days of his original six-year commitment. By that time, however, he had accumulated enough points in each year to cover six years of service. During his service, Bush received high marks as a pilot. A 1970 evaluation said Bush "clearly stands out as a top notch fighter interceptor pilot" and was "a natural leader whom his contemporaries look to for leadership." A 1971 evaluation called Bush "an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot" who "continually flies intercept missions with the unit to increase his proficiency even further." And a 1972 evaluation called Bush "an exceptional fighter interceptor pilot and officer."

Now, it is only natural that news reports questioning Bush's service — in The Boston Globe and The New York Times, on CBS and in other outlets — would come out now. Democrats are spitting mad over attacks on John Kerry's record by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. And, as it is with Kerry, it's reasonable to look at a candidate's entire record, including his military service — or lack of it. Voters are perfectly able to decide whether it's important or not in November.

The Kerry camp blames Bush for the Swift boat veterans' attack, but anyone who has spent much time talking to the Swifties gets the sense that they are doing it entirely for their own reasons.

And it should be noted in passing that Kerry has personally questioned Bush's service, while Bush has not personally questioned Kerry's.

In April — before the Swift boat veterans had said a word — Kerry said Bush "has yet to explain to America whether or not, and tell the truth, about whether he showed up for duty." Earlier, Kerry said, "Just because you get an honorable discharge does not, in fact, answer that question."

Now, after the Swift boat episode, the spotlight has returned to Bush.

That's fine. We should know as much as we can. And perhaps someday Kerry will release more of his military records as well.  Yeah right.  Especially since it has already been reported that the officer that signed for Kerry's Silver Star has already gone public saying he never even saw the document.  Besides that, wasn't it Kerry way back in '92 that said that a person's service record shouldn't be a factor in his presidential Candidacy in reference to Clinton's Presidency?  Quick, someone get to Google.

Keep the faith.

Private Sector Dude