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Step off, old man!
Friday, 17 December 2004
Happy anniversary.. feel safer?
Remember when everyone went bananas on Howard Dean for saying the capture of Sadddam didn't make us any safer?

We just passed an important anniversary, one that none of the puppy dog media covered for fear it would make the Worst President Ever look bad.

A letter writer to summed it up pretty well:

Subject: one year anniversary

Yes Bart, the one year anniversary of the capture of Saddam has come and gone. There was not much fanfare as there was last year. From all accounts by the mediawhores at the time with the capture the war would turn more so in our favor, but a strange thing
happened on the way to the celebration by Bush and Company.

Total Fatalities since December 13, 2003: 904 (Saddam Hussein is captured)

This is a shame and Bart in your updates you hit it dead solid perfect accusing Bush and his friends from becoming super rich from this bloody war. You asked the perfect question: Are you happy with your vote America?

Well we see now that all the hoopla about the exit polls and the morals and values was a crock. People ask me on the issue of morals why I like Clinton so much and not Bush.

Well hell it is simple, Clinton is a man that knows he can sin, wheras Bush is man who believes he cannot sin and if he does, then his sins are justified.


Posted by brettdavey at 7:13 AM EST
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Too Much Trouble
I often wonder if any of the dirtbags involved in the Bush Adminsitration even feel a little bit bad about the soldiers killed in our various overseas engagements. I think they're more like a teenager who doesn't feel bad about doing something wrong, but feels bad about getting caught.

Of course, Rummy couldn't sign condolence letters to the families of soldiers killed in combat. He's too busy perfecting his Dirty Harry squint and pithy, pissy comebacks.


Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will begin personally signing condolence letters sent to families of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, after receiving criticism over his use of mechanical signatures.

In a statement provided to Stars and Stripes on Thursday, Rumsfeld tacitly admitted that in the past he has not personally signed the letters, but said he was responsible for writing and approving each of the 1,000-plus messages sent to the fallen soldiers' families.

"I have directed that in the future I sign each letter," he said in the statement.

"I am deeply grateful for the many letters I have received from the families of those who have been killed in the service of our country, and I recognize and honor their personal loss."

In a separate statement, Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said, "In the interest of ensuring timely contact with grieving family members, he has not individually signed each letter."

Department of Defense officials for the past few weeks had said only that the content of the letters was private.

But several families of troops killed overseas said they were sure the notes they received had not been signed by hand, and said they were angry that Rumsfeld was not paying attention to their loss.

"To me it's an insult, not only as someone who lost a loved one but also as someone who served in Iraq," Army Spc. Ivan Medina told Stripes.

"This doesn't show our families the respect they deserve," said Medina, a New York resident whose twin brother, Irving, was killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq this summer.

Illinois resident Bette Sullivan, whose son John was killed in November 2003 while working as an Army mechanic in Iraq, was incensed when she, her son's wife and her grandchildren received the exact same condolence letter with the apparently stamped signature.

"If each family receives two copies, how many signatures does that amount to?" she asked in an e-mail response to Stripes. "I can understand the use of stamped signatures for his brothers' mementos, but for those of his wife and children and mother? No, no, no."

Retired Army Col. David Hackworth, an author and frequent critic of the Department of Defense, publicly criticized Rumsfeld in a syndicated column earlier this month for not reviewing each KIA letter personally.

He called the fake signatures "like having it signed by a monkey."

"Using those machines is pretty common, but it shouldn't be in cases of those who have died in action," he said. "How can [DOD officials] feel the emotional impact of that loss if they're not even looking at the letters?"

Hackworth said he objected to using the stamped signatures for promotion and commendation letters as well, but said not personally handling the condolence letters is a much more serious offense.

Family members had expressed similar concerns to Stripes about President Bush's signature on his condolence letters, but Allen Abney, spokesman for the president, said that Bush does personally sign the letters sent from the White House.

Posted by brettdavey at 6:45 AM EST
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Wednesday, 15 December 2004
Kerik's second pad
There's another article in the NY Times today about the various skeletons in Bernard Kerik's closet. If you believe he withdrew because of nanny problems, you're sadly misinformed.

There's a nice little tidbit from the article about Kerik and his various affairs. Many people were wondering how he could afford a second apartment, set up stricly so he could carry on with other women.

The Times says the apartment was donated as a resting place for police officers who were working at Ground Zero. Kerik used it instead as his own personal bedroom.

Yes, another true Republican hero.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:12 PM EST
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Joe says no
They say that Joe Lieberman was twice offered the Homeland Security job and twice turned it down. I'm no fan of Lieberman's, but I have to give him a thumbs-up on this one. It was obviously a political calculation on the part of the White House.

Even though Lieberman is rather hawkish, he did more than his fair share of Bush-bashing during the primaries. Of course, at other times, he has had his head squarely up Bush's ass.

The White House was hoping to add another Republican senator to the roster if Lieberman accepted. He didn't, which is to his credit. If he had, the Democrats would have hated him for giving up his seat. It's the same way Dems hate Zell Miller for blasting his own party and the way Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)raises the ire of hardline Republicans.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:07 PM EST
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Monday, 13 December 2004
Conservative Idiots
One of the best things on the web is "The Top 10 Conservative Idiots of the Week," posted every Monday on

Here are a few from this week (the last one is a little offensive in its language, but since it was said by a staunch Catholic, it must be OK:

Wasting Everybody's Time
Last February, FCC Chairman Michael Powell told a Senate hearing that the number of indecency complaints received by the FCC had greatly risen in recent years, from fewer than 350 complaints in 2001 to almost a quarter-million in 2003. According to Powell, this was proof that there was "a dramatic rise in public concern and outrage about what is being broadcast into their homes."

Shocking, huh? I guess America really is morally outraged.

Not so fast though - it turns out that what Powell didn't mention during the Senate hearing was that 99.8 percent of the complaints filed in 2003 came from the Parents Television Council, a conservative activist group run by right-wing nutjob Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.

"Why does it matter how the complaints come?" said PTC spokeswoman Lara Mahaney. "If the networks haven't done anything illegal, if they haven't done anything indecent, why do they care what we say?" Right... and this comes from an organization which hires people to watch "Sex and the City" and write down every line that violates their arbitrary standard of purity.

Aren't you glad that folks like the Parents Television Council are wasting government time and money looking out for you?

Coincidence Of The Week
Moral Values Watch: Back on October 6 the Rev. Mike Hintz, a First Assembly of God youth pastor, appeared at a Bush campaign stop in Iowa to laud the president's tax policies. "Where we are in this world, with not just the war on terror, but with the war with our culture that's going on, I think we need a man that is going to be in the White House like President Bush, that's going to stand by what he believes." Hintz said he supports Bush's values.

In a remarkable coincidence, last week a Rev. Mike Hintz, of Des Moines, Iowa - who, funnily enough, also used to be a First Assembly of God youth pastor until he was fired on October 30 - turned himself in to the police after being charged with the sexual exploitation of a child.

I wonder if they're related?

Hollywood Jews Hate Jesus, Like Anal Sex
And finally, I'm going to have to start watching cable news again if this is the sort of thing I'm missing:

PAT BUCHANAN: Bill Donahue, what do you think about "The Passion of the Christ"? And as a practical matter, even if Hollywood hated the film, it seems to me as an artistic work of art, a smashing triumph, a film of great controversy and interest, it ought to at least be nominated for best picture. It pulled in more money than any other picture all year.

WILLIAM DONAHUE, PRESIDENT OF THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE: I spoke to Mel a couple of weeks ago about this. And I don't think it really matters a whole lot to him. It certainly doesn't matter to me. We`ve already won.

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, OK? And I'm not afraid to say it. That's why they hate this movie. It's about Jesus Christ, and it's about truth. It's about the messiah.

Hollywood likes anal sex. They like to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions. I believe in traditional values and restraint. They believe in libertinism. We have nothing in common. But you know what? The culture war has been ongoing for a long time. Their side has lost.

You have got secular Jews. You have got embittered ex-Catholics, including a lot of ex-Catholic priests who hate the Catholic Church, wacko Protestants in the same group, and these people are in the margins. Frankly, Michael Moore represents a cult movie. Mel Gibson represents the mainstream of America.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:34 AM EST
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Saturday, 11 December 2004
Repubs for porno
Turns out Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzalez' stepson is a website designer for Larry Flynt of Hustler magazine fame. He just resigned his job, probably because it doesn't look too good as his father gears up for the nomination process.

Immediately, my mind raced to Neil Bush and his on-the-record dalliances with prostitutes in Hong Kong.

What the hell is it with the Republicans family obsession with illicit sex you have to pay for?

Copy and paste this link to learn about Gonzalez' son:

Posted by brettdavey at 9:02 AM EST
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Fear Factor
I wonder how long the frightfest is going to continue? There are a host of people who hope to keep scaring America with the spectre of 9-11 and some of them hope to keep it up for a while.

Suppose Giuliani wants to run for President. That means during the presidential election season of 2007, he'll have to run primarily on 9-11. Please, please, please Democrats, act tough for once if Giuliani runs. Start a fake organization-- "Americans for Decency" maybe -- and attack Rudy for having an affair with his press secretary and dumping his wife.

I'm not minimizing 9-11, but do you have anything else to say? On his behalf, Giuliani did act heroically on 9-11, as opposed to Bush who ran like the rich, gutless prep school boy that he is.

I hate to return to this but why hasn't any major media outlet done a story on the fraud that is Bush's Texas "ranch". This guy has lived most of his life in rich, gated communities. His ranch was built while he was running for President. It is a prop.

This is from the NY Times about Bernard Kerik taking a dive in his quest to replace Tom Ridge. He quit obstensibly because of an issue with an immigrant housekeeper, but there was increasing pressure as people looked at some of his shady dealings.

I only excerpted my favorite part of the story, which details the excellent family values of this upstanding Republican.

"A former New York City official who knows the circumstances of the withdrawal said that the housekeeper, who had worked for the Kerik family for about a year, left for her home country two weeks ago. Her name and nationality were not disclosed. Mr. Kerik lives in Franklin Lakes, N.J., with his wife, Hala, and their two small children. Mr. Kerik has two older children, one from a previous marriage and one whom he fathered while serving in the military in Korea."

Posted by brettdavey at 8:52 AM EST
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Friday, 10 December 2004
Support the troops -- dump Rumsfeld!
It's the incompetence, stupid!

This is from a site called

Just a passing thought. Back in 1993, following the infamous "Blackhawk Down " disaster in Somalia, Clinton's Secretary of Defense Les Aspin resigned amidst allegations that he had failed to provide the troops in Somalia with the armored support they needed to do their mission. House and Senate Republicans, including several who hold majority leadership positions today, were in the forefront calling for Aspin's ouster.

Why then aren't these same voices calling for the resignation of Donald "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." Rumsfeld? Aspin's Somalian botch resulted in the deaths of 18 US servicemen and the wounding of 75. Rumsfeld's apparent failure to insure proper armor protection for US troops has already, to date, resulted in more lives lost or maimed than happened in Somalia.

Meanwhile Rumsfeld's off the cuff musings that, "If you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up," has to rank as one of the great non-sequiturs of any modern Defense Secretary. Does this mean you might as well go into combat naked, painted blue with beards tarred like the Celtic warriors of old? I thought the goal was to produce tanks that blew up the other side before they blew up you and armored vehicles that kept soldiers from dying at the hands of low-grade homemade bombs? Rumsfeld's job is to make sure the troops go into combat with everything they need to minimize loses. That he should have done so and hasn't is indicative of incompetence, if not outright criminal negligence. That he makes light of it by essentially telling the troops "Life's not fair - tough cookies--borders on reckless endangerment. For Republican members of Congress not to call for his head, they way they did with Democrat Les Aspin a decade ago, is partisan hypocrisy of the most brazen and dangerous kind.

Support the Troops-- Dump Rumsfeld!

Posted by brettdavey at 3:26 PM EST
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Here's another sweet example of the troop-hating Bush Administration. Imagine if this happened under Clinton. This poor New Yorker would be on every Axis of Evil (Hannity-O'Reilly-Limbaugh) telecast for the next month.

If you're a Bush fan, please repeat: The troops are disposable to me.

Now, you're thinking like your Commander-In-Chief.


Middletown - He lost his arm serving his country in Iraq. Now this wounded soldier is being discharged from his company in Fort Hood, Texas, without enough gas money to get home. In fact, the Army says 27-year-old Spc. Robert Loria owes it close to $2,000, and confiscated his last paycheck.
"There's people in my unit right now - one of my team leaders [who was] over in Iraq with me, is doing everything he can to help me .... but it's looking bleak," Loria said by telephone from Fort Hood yesterday. "It's coming up on Christmas and I have no way of getting home."
Loria's expected discharge yesterday came a day after the public got a rare view of disgruntled soldiers in Kuwait peppering Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld with questions about their lack of adequate armor in Iraq.
Like many soldiers wounded in Iraq, Loria's injuries were caused by a roadside bombing. It happened in February when his team from the 588th Battalion's Bravo Company was going to help evacuate an area in Baqubah, a town 40 miles north of Baghdad. A bomb had just ripped off another soldier's arm. Loria's Humvee drove into an ambush.
When the second bomb exploded, it tore Loria's left hand and forearm off, split his femur in two and shot shrapnel through the left side of his body. Months later, he was still recuperating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and just beginning to adjust to life without a hand, when he was released back to Fort Hood.

AFTER SEVERAL MORE MONTHS, the Army is releasing Loria. But "clearing Fort Hood," as the troops say, takes paperwork. Lots of it.
Loria thought he'd done it all, and was getting ready to collect $4,486 in final Army pay.
Then he was hit with another bomb. The Army had another tally - of money it says Loria owed to his government.
A Separation Pay Worksheet given to Loria showed the numbers: $2,408.33 for 10 months of family separation pay that the Army erroneously paid Loria after he'd returned stateside, as a patient at Walter Reed; $2,204.25 that Loria received for travel expenses from Fort Hood back to Walter Reed for a follow-up visit, after the travel paperwork submitted by Loria never reached the correct desk. And $310 for missing items on his returned equipment inventory list.
"There was stuff lost in transportation, others damaged in the accident," Loria said of the day he lost his hand. "When it went up the chain of command, the military denied coverage."
Including taxes, the amount Loria owed totaled $6,255.50. The last line on the worksheet subtracted that total from his final Army payout and found $1,768.81 "due us."
"It's nerve-racking," Loria said. "After everything I have done, it's almost like I am being abandoned, like, you did your job for us and now you are no use. That's how it feels."

Posted by brettdavey at 3:01 PM EST
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Rumsfeld puts the troops in their place
Is there any question that in an administration of unbridled incompetence that Donald Rumsfeld is the worst of the worst?

First, that old cranky jackass talked to the troops at his recent town hall meeting like he was scolding one of his children. Then it turned out he wasn't even telling the truth. Shocker, huh?

Bush & Co. don't love the troops. They regard them the way they do the hired help. Soldiers are invisible pawns to them. And the Bush-lovers who think he is a friend of the troops are delusional. You can believe the Tooth Fairy and professional wrestling are real, but just because you believe it doesn't make it so.

From today's Boston Globe:

WASHINGTON -- Despite Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's assertion that the military is outfitting Humvees with armor as quickly as possible, the company providing the vehicles said it has been waiting since September for approval from the Pentagon to increase monthly production by as many as 100 of the all-terrain vehicles, intended to protect against roadside bombs in Iraq.

Army officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, acknowledged yesterday that they have not approved new purchase orders for armored trucks, despite the company's readiness to produce more. They said the Pentagon has been debating how many more armored Humvees are needed.

Rumsfeld, questioned by soldiers in Kuwait on Wednesday who said they have had to pick through landfills for scrap metal to boost vehicle protection, said the Army was working as quickly at it could to get armored Humvees to the front. It is "a matter of physics, not a matter of money," Rumsfeld said, adding that the Army was "breaking its neck." President Bush yesterday reiterated that "the concerns expressed are being addressed."

But executives at Armor Holdings in Jacksonville, Fla., as well as Army officials and members of Congress, said Rumsfeld's assertion that the protective equipment is being provided as quickly as possible is not true and added the company has been waiting for more purchase orders.

"We're prepared to build 50 to 100 vehicles more per month," Robert Mecredy, head of Armor Holdings' aerospace and defense unit, said in a statement. The company is producing about 450 armored Humvees per month, up from 50 in late 2003, when a sudden surge of attacks in Iraq exposed a lack of protective armor.

The company says that by February it could be producing as many as 550 fully armored Humvees per month -- with armor plates on the sides, front, rear, top, and bottom -- if given the go-ahead. The company estimated it would cost the military about $150 million a year to pay for the additional 100 vehicles per month.

The company said it also told the Army it could add new production lines and turn out even more vehicles.

More than half of the roughly 1,200 US soldiers who have died in Iraq have been killed by roadside bombs or in ambushes from rocket-propelled grenades. A lack of armor on thousands of older vehicles has been blamed for many of the deaths.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:54 PM EST
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