Friday, August 27, 2004

Thanks, Dubya!!!

If you live anywhere near New York City, you know that one of the things that excites sports fans in the area more than even our local rivalries is the idea that NYC could host the 2012 Olympics. It seems, however, thanks to W's stubborn insistence to do whatever Karl Rove tells him, that New York has all but lost the chance of seeing the Summer Games come to our town.

The chances of New York to host the Olympic games in 2012 were not that good. But now they were lowered to zero.
That's an IOC member quoted in der Spiegel commenting on Bush's refusal to pull his reelection ads taking credit for the success of Iraqi soccer team.

Remind me to thank the GOP for that when they're in town next week.

posted by Scott | 8/27/2004 | |

O'Neill Goes Even Further Off The Deep End

If John O'Neill digs himself any deeper, he's going to wind up back in Vietnam.

The Wall Street Journal, never unwilling to use its opinion pages as a print version of the Drudge Report, ran a piece this morning from prominent Swiftee John O'Neill headlined "We're Not GOP Shills."

I just kind of rolled my eyes and groaned. As much as I've covered this story, I sincerely want it to go away. It's ridiculous, most people recognize it as such, and we have more important things to talk about, such as more Americans being uninsured and the Pentagon report on the abuses at Abu Ghraib. However, I keep writing about it, thinking that if enough people put the truth out there, we'll eventually shut the whole thing down. To a degree, that's proven true, and to whatever extent I had anything to do with that, I'm glad.

O'Neill's latest piece of work is a denial that the Bush campaign had anything to do with the Swift Vet ads. It's hilariously subtitled, "President Bush can't stop us from telling the truth about John Kerry," as if to imply that President Bush is actually trying to stop them from doing anything. All in all, the piece sounds pretty desperate, taking the attention off of the veracity of the Swiftees' claims and putting the group in the victim roll.


What I really take exception to is O'Neill's continued claims that he's not politically motivated.

I have been charged with being a Republican shill. But for more than 30 years, I have been non-political, and have voted for as many Democrats as Republicans. In truth, I consider myself a political independent, regardless of how John Kerry and his supporters try to characterize me.
The thing is, it's really not that we try to characterize O'Neill so much as he characterizes himself.

For example, O'Neill is a registered Republican. He's donated $15,000 to Republicans in the past 15 years. And O'Neill appeared at the 1972 Republican convention to second the nomination of Richard Nixon.

That last one is what really burns me. In the WSJ piece, O'Neill claims that he hasn't been involved with political activities "for more than 30 years." It was 32 years ago that O'Neill appeared at the GOP convention. That's a carefully crafted piece of spin that is reminiscent of Clinton at his worst.

I'm quite frankly shocked that O'Neill is still trying to play the 'I'm not even political!' card in spite of all of the evidence mounting against him. Then again, I guess that fits into Swiftees' pattern. The more the evidence against the Swift Vets' version of events piles up, the more they keep fighting.

At the very least, I guess you have to commend them for being good soldiers to the last, fighting against all logic for their glorious leader. It's like Vietnam all over again.

(A note: I'd been using the spelling 'Swifty' and 'Swifties', but O'Neill's piece was at least useful for teaching me the proper spelling.)

posted by Scott | 8/27/2004 | |

Thursday, August 26, 2004

NEWSFLASH: 3/13/69 - Gunfire Erupts On Mekong Delta

Jeez Louise, now can we put this baby to sleep?

Larry Thurlow claims that no one was shooting at either his or John Kerry's swift boats on March 13, 1969. Kerry, Jim Rassmann, and the Navy say that the Viet Cong were doing just that. Kerry's Bronze Star is only good if he was getting shot at. Interestingly, so is Thurlow's.

Turns out they can both keep their medals.

Robert Lambert was the commander of Larry Thurlow's swift boat in March of 1969. In an interview with The Mail Tribune of Jackson County, Oregon, Lambert (hilariously)backs up Kerry and Rassmann's version of events.

"[Thurlow] and another officer now say we weren't under fire at that time," Lambert said Wednesday afternoon. "Well, I sure was under the impression we were."
Lambert is not a Democrat. In fact, he doesn't even plan to vote for Kerry. He also still takes issue with Kerry's anti-war activities in the early seventies. So I'd say he's a pretty non-biased observer.

So is that it? Are we all okay now? There was shooting. Kerry deserved the Bronze Star. End of story.

(Credit where credit's due: this came from TPM.)

posted by Scott | 8/26/2004 | |

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Bush '04/Swifty Lawyer Ginsberg Resigns

In a overwrought and bizarrely self-important letter of resignation, Ginsberg attempts to make the point that his relationship with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was not illegal (it wasn't and I said so myself) and that many Democratic lawyers have similar ties with progressive 527s.

Yeah? So what?

The problem with Ginsberg was never that he worked for both the campaign and the 527. The problem was the hypocrisy it took for President Bush to say that he and his campaign had absolutely nothing to do with the Swifty ads and had no sway over them. The Swifties went so far as to say that they weren't even partisan, that they would have attacked Kerry if he were running as a Republican. (Yeah, in a primary maybe. Remember the 2000 GOP presidential primary?) And THAT was the problem with the Bush-Ginsberg-Swifty connection. It exposes Bush's total dishonesty in condemning 527 groups.

You've gotta love how this crowd tries to change the subject.

posted by Scott | 8/25/2004 | |

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Definitive Bush Campaign/Swift Vets Connection

There have been a number of established connections between Bush/Cheney '04 and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. This latest outing of a Bush campaign adviser, however, is the strongest.

Campaign counsel Benjamin Ginsberg, who also served as Bush's general counsel during the 2000 recount debacle, has admitted to advising the GOP Swifties on First Amendment Law. While sharing legal advice is not necessarily evidence of direct coordination between the campaign and the 527, it is evidence that there exists a tightly linked machine behind the Swift Vets' anti-Kerry ads.

Whereas certain members of the campaign tied to the Swift Vets have been able to claim ignorance -- Ken Cordier comes to mind -- Ginsberg enjoys no such wiggle room. Not only is he someone who should know better, he is officially the figure who is supposed to know better.

But aside from the legal issues, it would make sense that Ginsberg would advise a group making questionable attack ads against Kerry. Aside from being lead counsel to Bush, Ginsberg is also lead counsel for Americans for Job Security, a pro-corporate 527 (interesting that Bush wants to put his own lawyer out of a job, huh?) that was established to directly counter the AFL-CIO.

In 2004, Ginsberg's Americans for Job Security has been running attack ads against Inez Tennenbaum in South Carolina and Erskine Bowles in North Carolina, among others. Some of AJS's other greatest hits include using Trent Lott's power as Senate Majority Leader in 2000 to strong-arm high-tech corporations into donating to AJS and taking out a gigantic $1 million ad buy in Minnesota during the 2002 Senate race against the late Paul Wellstone.

Ginsberg's a real piece of work. If this is what I compiled in about 20 minutes on Google, I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with.

posted by Scott | 8/24/2004 | |

How Bush/Cheney Manipulates Kerry's Words

Dana Milbank at The Washington Post has an amazing examination of the ways in which the Bush campaign has twisted John Kerry's speeches in recent months. It isn't really surprising that it happens, but the extent to which liberties are taken with Kerry's words is mind-boggling.

Here is just one short example:

"Every performer tonight in their own way, either verbally or through their music, through their lyrics, have conveyed to you the heart and soul of our country."
-- Kerry, July 8

"The other day, my opponent said he thought you could find the heart and soul of America in Hollywood."
-- Bush, Aug. 18

That's certainly not the most damning of them, but it tells you something about how far Team W is willing to stretch the truth to paint Kerry as some sort of maniacal pinko, out of touch with mainstream America. (Watch -- a press release will come out soon headlined, "Liberal Blogger: Kerry is a 'maniacal pinko, out of touch with mainstream America!' ")

This favorite game of the Bush campaign has gone unchallenged for far too long by the media. Fortunately, there are folks like Milbank and Chris Matthews out there who are starting to take Bush to task for this garbage.

posted by Scott | 8/24/2004 | |

Why Kerry Must Win

As if any of you had forgotten, there's a serious fight on for the White House. We're all busy -- perhaps too busy -- doing battle with the Swift boat cranks, but there are much more important issues to be dealt with.

Alabama Gov. Bob Riley told a Republican breakfast that President Bush's re-election will change the U.S. Supreme Court, described by the governor as "very liberal."

Riley joined GOP activists Saturday in Florence, Ala. for a breakfast held by a group called the Shoals Concerned Conservatives. About 350 people attended.

Riley said because the next president could appoint up to three Supreme Court justices, the coming years could be a turning point for the Republican Party if Bush is re-elected.

"This is the greatest opportunity we will have to return to the value set that makes us unique in the world," Riley said.

Riley, a former congressman, blamed the "very liberal Supreme Court" for letting the country degenerate over the past few decades.

"There are very few times in our country when you have a defining moment like we have now," Riley said.
You heard it here first, folks! The Rehnquist Supreme Court -- home to Scalia and Thomas and O'Connor -- is "very liberal."

It would be funny if it weren't so frightening. This is a stark admission of radicalism by a party that is trying so hard to portray itself as moderate. During the RNC, you will see pro-choice moderates like Giuliani, Pataki, Ridge, Bloomberg, Schwarzenegger, and McCain (that 'family decision' comment he let slip in 2000 outed him) trotted out with big smiles and middle-of-the-road rhetoric. They may mean it, but it's not representative of their party. The idea, as if you haven't figured it out, is to lull the all-but-apolitical undecideds out there into not voting against Bush. There's no crisis, the image sings, go back to sleep.

If you want the fundamental(ist) truth of the GOP, look to crackpots like Riley.

He is right about one thing, though. There truly are very few times in our country's history such a defining moment has arisen.

Kerry must win.

posted by Scott | 8/24/2004 | |
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