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February 12, 2004

Witnesses

From one of my longtime client papers, the Memphis Flyer--two witnesses who state definitively that Bush never showed up for Guard duty in Alabama:

MEMPHIS – Two members of the Air National Guard unit that President George W. Bush allegedly served with as a young Guard flyer in 1972 had been told to expect him and were on the lookout for him. He never showed, however; of that both Bob Mintz and Paul Bishop are certain...

Recalls Memphian Mintz, now 63: “I remember that I heard someone was coming to drill with us from Texas. And it was implied that it was somebody with political influence. I was a young bachelor then. I was looking for somebody to prowl around with.” But, says Mintz, that “somebody” -- better known to the world now as the president of the United States -- never showed up at Dannelly in 1972. Nor in 1973, nor at any time that Mintz, a FedEx pilot now and an Eastern Airlines pilot then, when he was a reserve first lieutenant at Dannelly, can remember.

Story here, hat tip to Atrios.

If this isn't national news tomorrow, everyone in the mainstream media deserves to be fired.

...also: Col. William Campenni (retired), the guy who's been writing letters claiming that Bush did too uh huh fulfill his duty, is going to be on Washington Journal tomorrow morning (7:30 am EST). I'd strongly urge the early birds among you to call CSpan and mention the Memphis Flyer article.

Another celebrity couple calls it quits
After 43 years as one of the world's prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up. The couple's "business manager," Russell Arons, vice president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken "feel it's time to spend some quality time — apart."

"Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end," said Arons, who quickly added that the duo "will remain friends."

Arons denied that there was any truth to rumors that the breakup was linked to the Cali (as in California) Girl Barbie, arriving in stores now. To better reflect her single status, Cali Barbie will wear board shorts and a bikini top, metal hoop earrings, and have a deeper tan.

Nothing denotes single status like a deep tan, after all.

Barbie — the most popular fashion doll in the world, according to toy maker Mattel — met Ken on the set of a TV commercial in 1961, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Arons hinted Wednesday that the separation may be partially because of Ken's reluctance to get married. All those bridal Barbie dolls in toy chests around the globe are really just examples of Barbie's wishful thinking, she explained.

Well, it's really no secret that Ken is, you know, a confirmed bachelor.

Oh, lord

Drudge has something on his site about a possible marital infidelity on the part of John Kerry.

Here we go again. Peckergate, part deux.

Tragedy, meet your successor, farce.

This doesn't mean Kerry's out, of course, even if it's true. But it means the media will be back on comfortable ground--talking about sex, rather than the lies which led us to war.

Sigh...

Blogs vs. AWOL

Calpundit has been all over this story--just scroll through, he's got a more thorough analysis of the evidence than you'll find anywhere else, including an interview with a man who claims to have seen some of Bush's record being roundfiled. Counterspin raises some interesting questions about a fellow who's been writing letters supporting Bush's version of events, and Oliver Willis actually tracked the guy down and talked to him on the phone.

Good work, guys.

--------------------

February 10, 2004

Rumsfeld

He's either a complete liar or he's completely senile. Either way, he should resign tomorrow. This is just outrageous.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said he did not recall British Prime Minister Tony Blair's pre-war claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready to be deployed in 45 minutes.

"I don't remember the statement being made, to be perfectly honest," Rumsfeld told a Pentagon news conference.

General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he didn't remember the statement either.

The claim made headlines around the world after Blair leveled it in a 55-page "white paper" presented to the House of Commons in September 2002.

I can't even begin to express my astonishment.

And then there's this:

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked about Tuesday's car bombing in Iraq that killed about 50 people, said there are murders in every major city in the world "because human beings are human beings."

...afterthought: I wonder if Rumsfeld remembers Bush making the 45-minute claim?

The White House, in the run-up to war in Iraq, did not seek CIA approval before charging that Saddam Hussein could launch a biological or chemical attack within 45 minutes, administration officials now say.

The claim, which has since been discredited, was made twice by President Bush, in a September Rose Garden appearance after meeting with lawmakers and in a Saturday radio address the same week. Bush attributed the claim to the British government, but in a "Global Message" issued Sept. 26 and still on the White House Web site, the White House claimed, without attribution, that Iraq "could launch a biological or chemical attack 45 minutes after the order is given."

...this is the biggest problem I face as a satirist these days: these guys keep outdoing my cartoons. How am I supposed to stay ahead?

Apparently it is snowing in Hell today
WASHINGTON – Conservative television news anchor Bill O'Reilly said Tuesday he was now skeptical about the Bush administration and apologized to viewers for supporting prewar claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

The anchor of his own show on Fox News said he was sorry he gave the U.S. government the benefit of the doubt that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's weapons program poised an imminent threat, the main reason cited for going to war.

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

Story, via Pandagon.

Why Bill Clinton's statements on Iraq are completely irrelevant to the current debate

Since some of our slower friends are having trouble with this one, I'll try to put this as simply as possible.

1. President Bush said many, many times that he had no intention of attacking Iraq before 9/11.

2. President Bush said many, many times that he only decided to attack Iraq because of 9/11.

3. President Bush, in fact, was actively planning to attack Iraq from the moment he took office.

4. President Bush lied.

All clear now? Good. Now run along and play.

--------------------

February 08, 2004

The incredible shrinking President


Because I am known for my graphic playfulness, I feel compelled to note that this is an unretouched photo. (Original's here, via Ailes.)

Oh. My. God.

So to speak.

Flight 34 was headed from Los Angeles to Kennedy Airport on Friday afternoon, said the spokesman, Tim Wagner. The pilot, whose identity was not released, had been making flight announcements and then asked that the Christians on board raise their hands, Mr. Wagner said.

The pilot told the airline that he then suggested that the other passengers use the flight time to talk to the identified Christians about their faith.

(Via Pandagon.)

...A reader notes that I missed the obvious headline for this one: "Guess we know who his co-pilot was..."

In America

This has been on a lot of sites already, but just in case you haven't seen it:

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- In what may be the first subpoena of its kind in decades, a federal judge has ordered a university to turn over records about a gathering of anti-war activists.

In addition to the subpoena of Drake University, subpoenas were served this past week on four of the activists who attended a Nov. 15 forum at the school, ordering them to appear before a grand jury Tuesday, the protesters said.

Federal prosecutors refuse to comment on the subpoenas.

In addition to records about who attended the forum, the subpoena orders the university to divulge all records relating to the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, a New York-based legal activist organization that sponsored the forum.

Kos has an update from the executive director of the Catholic Peace Ministry, which I think is important enough to reprint in full:

Yesterday, February 3, Detective Jeff Warford of the Polk County Sheriff's Office-FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force came to Catholic Peace Ministry's office here in Des Moines with a subpoena for me to testify before a Federal Grand Jury next Tuesday, February 10.  Mr. Warford also served papers on Elton Davis at the Catholic Worker House and Patti McKee, who was coordinator of Iowa Peace Network until last month. The Grand Jury process is shrouded in secrecy. We do not know who or what the object of this investigation may be, beyond "possible violations of federal criminal law in the Southern District of Iowa."

The proceeding will be behind closed doors. We may not have an attorney present. We have the right to plead the Fifth Amendment, refusing the answer questions that might incriminate us.  The government, then, can offer us immunity from prosecution, in which case we will obliged to answer under threat of contempt of court and could be imprisoned for the length of the Grand Jury session, 18 months, should we continue to refuse to answer. This immunity would be limited to our own testimony and anything any of us say could be used against the others.

Whatever is going on, this is definitely an escalation on the part of the government's war on dissent and clamp down on civil liberties.  The fact that anything that we three and the peacemaking communities we represent could possibly attract the notice of a "Terrorism Task Force" is reprehensible. Please spread the word, express concerns you have with Federal and Polk County authorities. Keep us in mind and prayer.

Brian Terrell
Executive Director
Catholic Peace Ministry

Welcome to George Bush's America.

Arrrgh

Hey Russert--ever heard the name "Valerie Plame"?

...here's an annotated transcript from CAP. One thing it doesn't really convey is the sixth-grader-who-forgot-to-study look on Bush's face throughout much of the interview--but it's not as if you haven't seen that before.

--------------------

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