Did You Ever Have To Finally Decide?

From Mike Miner’s Hot Type, we get this: Steve Chapman in the [Chicago] Tribune, August 22: “From listening to both sides, you’d think Kerry and President Bush were running for trustee of VFW Post 836. Though the differing war stories may be endlessly fascinating to anyone who served in Vietnam, or anyone who strove heroically to avoid serving in Vietnam, the rest of us would rather hear the candidates recite from a volume on patent law.” The Sun-Times made roughly the same point in an editorial August 24: “Nothing is more unappealing than the thought of this bickering over 35-year-old … Continue reading Did You Ever Have To Finally Decide?

Where Is The Shame?

Herbert: Mr. Bush himself, the nation’s commander in chief and the biggest hawk of all. He revels in the accouterments of combat. The story was somewhat different when he was 22 years old and eligible for combat himself. He managed to get into the cushy confines of the Texas Air National Guard at the height of the Vietnam War in 1968 – a year in which more than a half-million American troops were in the war zone and more than 14,000 were killed. The story gets murky after that. We know the future president breezed off at some point to … Continue reading Where Is The Shame?

Coalition Trouble

From Holden: The Italian Foreign Minister, channeling Brer Rabbit, says Italian troops will leave Iraq if asked: The Italian government is ready to pull its troops working with the U.S.-led coalition out of Iraq if Prime Minister Ayad Allawi’s government in Baghdad makes such a request, Italy’s Foreign Minister told al-Jazeera. “We are ready to leave Iraq, even tomorrow, if the government of Allawi asks us,” Franco Frattini said in an interview with the Doha, Qatar-based television station. Frattini’s comments contradict statements made by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who said Tuesday the Italian government won’t withdraw troops from Iraq following … Continue reading Coalition Trouble

Opportunity and the hierarchy of grief

If Rescue Me doesn’t win an Emmy for its writing in this episode there is no justice in the world. Last night Athenae’s Obsession with Denis Leary’s Creation hit on something I think is worthy of discussion going into the Grave Dancer’s Union this week in New York. Especially since Miserable Failure plans to watch the convention from a firehouse. Poet Charlotte Mayerson wrote, after losing a son to AIDS, “That I don’t own his death/Is a required course/His friends teach.” Rescue Me last night dealt with a firefighter who sat in a room full of people who said they … Continue reading Opportunity and the hierarchy of grief

Roy Hoffman, Liar

The Associated Press has located a March 18, 1969, report from Task Force 115, that was filed just 5 days after the swift boat action that resulted in John Kerry’s being awarded two of his medals. The report supports Kerry’s version and contradicts the swift boat liars. Task Force 115 was commanded at the time by Roy Hoffman, one of the swift boat liars. The anti-Kerry group has not produced one official Navy document supporting its claims. link here Personally, I think a public apology from every one of those liars is in order. And an apology is especially in … Continue reading Roy Hoffman, Liar


From Holden: A federal judge in New York just ruled that Bush’s ban on dialation and extraction (the misnamed “partial-birth abortion”) is unconstitutional. I know this will be red meat for the RNC next week, but it is the correct decision. In a highly anticipated ruling, a federal judge found the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional Thursday because it does not include a health exception. [snip] A San Francisco judge has already declared the 2003 law unconstitutional, and a judge in Lincoln, Nebraska, is still considering the question. The three judges suspended the ban while they held the trials. Continue reading Justice

They Don’t Call Him Dick Because It’s Short for Richard

From Holden: Usually the vice president does not take a direct, active role in screwing the little guy. But yesterday was special: In a lighter moment, the Cheney tour stopped at a farm stand owned by Ray Levan, 65, in the small town of Catawissa. Cheney and his wife went to buy fruit and vegetables, while daughters Mary [Yes! A Mary Cheney sighting!] and Elizabeth went with the Cheney grandchildren to watch cows being fed. The Cheneys purchased nine apples, five large tomatoes, three green peppers and a dozen ears of corn. Cheney pulled a $10 bill from his pocket … Continue reading They Don’t Call Him Dick Because It’s Short for Richard

Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Little Scottie is a sensitive guy, and sometimes he just can’t say those two little words: Q Which groups does he want to shut down? MR. McCLELLAN: It’s all the unregulated soft money activity by these 527 groups. [Blah-blah-blah, The President thought we got rid of… these shadowy groups. ] Q That includes the Swift Boats — Q — specific condemnation of the Swift Boat. Q — Swift Boat ones. He said, he’s happy that — he condemns all 527s — MR. McCLELLAN: The President condemns all the ads and activity by these shadowy groups. [Bla-blah-blah, the President … Continue reading Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Obsession Extra: The Preznit Loves Him Some Trial Lawyers

From Holden: Chimpy is champing at the bit to sue those shadowy 527 groups… or maybe the Federal Election Commission, it’s not clear. But, dammit, he’s gonna sue somebody, someday, right? Q McCain says he’s fed up with these Swift Boat ads. Is the President willing to go any further than what he said the other day? MR. McCLELLAN: Actually, thank you for bringing that up. The President, also, on board Air Force One, called Senator McCain this morning. And the President said he wanted to work together to pursue court action to shut down all the ads and activity … Continue reading Obsession Extra: The Preznit Loves Him Some Trial Lawyers

Republican Steals Housekeeper’s Baby

From Holden: Texas House of Representatives member Talmadge Heflin is one of the most powerful politicians in my native state. As chair of the Texas House Appropriations Committee his budget-cutting ways are the main reason Texas is racing Mississippi to the bottom of the barrel in terms of social expenditures. Unfortunatley wealth and power do not always come with a sense of decency. Although thrilled to have their son back, the parents who fought off state Rep. Talmadge Heflin’s effort to take custody of the boy want to know why two judges allowed the lawmaker to take him in the … Continue reading Republican Steals Housekeeper’s Baby

President (Heart) Piata

Not enough people heard this on The Daily Show the other night: CORDDRY: Jon — in fact a new group has emerged, this one composed of former Bush colleages, challenging the president’s activities during the Vietnam era. That group: Drunken Stateside Sons of Privilege for Plausible Deniability. They’ve apparently got some things to say about a certain Halloween party in ’71 that involved trashcan punch and a sodomized piata. Jon — they just want to set the record straight. That’s all they’re out for. I’d suggest we googlebomb piatafucker, but that’s too much to expect even from us, right? A. Continue reading President (Heart) Piata

U.S. admits contact with “bounty hunter”

The BBC is reporting that a Pentagon official has told it that Jonathan Idema, who is on trial in Afghanistan for torture, kidnapping and operating a private jail, did have contact with the Department of Defense. Until now, the DOD has refused to acknowledged any contacts at all with Idema, who has claimed that he talked with the Pentagon’s Acting Director of Security, Heather Anderson. Ms. Anderson answers directly to Sec. of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. According to the BBC report, the Pentagon official it spoke with said that Mr. Idema did have contact with Ms. Anderson, though the DOD is … Continue reading U.S. admits contact with “bounty hunter”

Have You Seen My Bush Boom? – Poverty Edition

From Holden: There is one thing I will admit George Bush is very good at doing, and that’s expanding the ranks of the poor. After four consecutive years in which the poverty rate declined, the percentage of poor people in this country increased from 11.3% in 2000 to 11.7% in 2001. In 2002 it increased again to 12.1% Today we learn that the number of poor people in the U.S. increased by 1.3 million individuals to 35.9 million, bringing the poverty rate to 12.5% for 2003: The percentage of the U.S. population living in poverty rose to 12.5 percent from … Continue reading Have You Seen My Bush Boom? – Poverty Edition

The Plame Game Continues: The Miller-Hannah Connection

From Holden: I recall that when I first heard that the NY Times’ Judith Miller had been subpeonaed by the grand jury investigating the Plame case I was a bit confused. Judith Miller? What connection did she have to the administration’s vengeful and felonious revelation of Valerie Plame’s identity and vocation? Then William E. Jackson, Jr., explained it to me in Editor & Publisher: The subpoena to Miller was the most recent in a series issued to journalists in a politically sensitive inquiry that has led investigators to question White House officials on several occasions. Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the publisher … Continue reading The Plame Game Continues: The Miller-Hannah Connection

Step Away from The Chimp

From Holden: Tony Blair may be slow, but he is capable of learning: “There is no question he would rather Kerry win than Bush,” says one senior government member. “Working with the neo-cons has been a millstone for him.” Asked which policies were causing the problems, he replied: “Just about everything in sight.” Of growing concern at the moment is US policy on Iran. The increasingly belligerent talk from the Bush camp fills Whitehall officials with dread. Blair, according to aides, only now understands the extent of Bush’s unpopularity in the UK. “We’ve been trying to tell him that even … Continue reading Step Away from The Chimp

Beating Prisoners to Death: At that time I felt it was what was expected of us

From Holden: Testimony regarding a Iraqi priosner beaten to death at Camp Whitehorse is yet another example of how the lack of training for our troops led to the commission of war crimes: Pfc. William Roy testified Wednesday that he and defendant Sgt. Gary Pittman believed the 52-year-old inmate, Nagem Hatab, had sold a rifle taken during the ambush of a U.S. Army convoy that left 11 soldiers dead and led to the capture of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and five others. Hatab is among 37 Iraqi and Afghan prisoners whose deaths are under investigation. He died two days after his … Continue reading Beating Prisoners to Death: At that time I felt it was what was expected of us

Today This Morning on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden: Max Cleland: Stunt Man. Q Why didn’t the President invite former Senator Cleland in today? MR. McCLELLAN: I’m sorry? Q Why didn’t the President invite former Senator Cleland into the ranch today? MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there was a representative for the campaign that was there to meet Representative [sic] Cleland. And you all heard from both of those individuals. Q How would you characterize or respond to what happened today here in Crawford with Senator Cleland? MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Senator Kerry says that he wants to talk about the issues. Today’s political stunt is an interesting way of … Continue reading Today This Morning on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

Obsession Observes: INADSIYAR*

From Holden: Little Scottie explains: Q Just going back to the Ginsberg question. You remember Mark Racicot said that there is absolutely nothing, nada, no connection whatsoever between the President’s reelection effort and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. How would you characterize today the relationship between the President’s reelection effort and the Swift Boat — MR. McCLELLAN: Well, he’s the chairman of the campaign, and I think he characterized it very accurately. Q Even though — given what we know about Mr. Ginsberg? MR. McCLELLAN: I think what — again, let’s look at the double standing that — the … Continue reading Obsession Observes: INADSIYAR*

Obsession Must Know: Who The Fuck is Jerry Patterson?

From Holden: Little Scottie can’t handle follow-up questions, especially when he lies: Q Why did he choose Jerry Patterson? Patterson says he hadn’t been involved in the campaign at all, and Patterson is also — MR. McCLELLAN: Like I said, I’m sure the campaign would be glad to talk to you more about some of the arrangements for today. He was here representing the campaign and speaking on behalf of veterans who support the President. [snip] Q Scott, you described Patterson as a representative of the campaign. He was out there praising the most recent Swift Boat ads, calling it … Continue reading Obsession Must Know: Who The Fuck is Jerry Patterson?

NPR Has Come Close To Reporting The Facts

Oh, just kill me now. The most egregious parts of Jeffrey Dworkin’s commentary on the Not-So-Swift Boaters, which is essentially another “cable and the Internet made me do it” mea non-culpa: NPR reporting has come close to endorsing the Kerry view. Well, God forbid we endorse his view, given that it’s true and all. As early as June, NPR’s Peter Overby reported that the money for the Swift Boat Veterans campaign had come from three conservative Texans: John O’Neill, Harlan Crow and Bob J. Perry. Overby reported that all three have longtime connections to the Bushes –– both pre et … Continue reading NPR Has Come Close To Reporting The Facts

Voting While Black

From Holden: After successfully disenfranchising 4 to 6 million voters in 2000 the GOP is at it again. Hopefully, we’re prepared this time. At least the NAACP and People for the American Way are on it. Here’s a partial list of the Republican voter supression efforts to which both groups are calling attention: [T]he U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement intimidated black voters in Orlando to scare them away from the polls in November. [snip] A Republican state representative in Michigan told the Detroit Free Press … Continue reading Voting While Black

How Do You Like Your Little War Now?

From Holden: I hate to start the morning with anger and tragedy, but this incident in Florida is illustrative of what George Bush and his enablers on the right and the left have done to more than 950 American families. Melida Arredondo said she and her husband knew what was coming as three uniformed Marines approached their front door. While she started to cry, police say Carlos Arredondo simply snapped. Distraught after being told his Marine son was killed in combat in Iraq, Carlos Arredondo climbed into the Marine Corps van parked outside his home and set it ablaze Wednesday … Continue reading How Do You Like Your Little War Now?