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Why Bush Left Texas
September 15, 2004 10:09 AM   Subscribe

Why Bush Left Texas Growing evidence suggests that George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas Air National Guard unit in 1972 for substantive reasons pertaining to his inability to continue piloting a fighter jet. A months-long investigation, which includes examination of hundreds of government-released documents, interviews with former Guard members and officials, military experts and Bush associates, points toward the conclusion that Bush's personal behavior was causing alarm among his superior officers and would ultimately lead to his fleeing the state to avoid a physical exam he might have had difficulty passing... If it is demonstrated that profound behavioral problems marred Bush's wartime performance and even cut short his service, it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal values. It could also explain the incomplete, contradictory and shifting explanations provided by the Bush camp for the President's striking invisibility from the military during the final two years of his six-year military obligation... There's that elephant in the living room again.
posted by y2karl (101 comments total)

 
Or not.
posted by dand at 10:19 AM on September 15, 2004


Its all forged! Its all lies intended to smear his good name. Its, its, its....... aw shit!

I liked this part "Questions have been raised about the authenticity of those memos, but the criticism of them appears at this time speculative and inconclusive, while their substance is consistent with a growing body of documentation and analysis."

Questions? I've been reading some of the most rabid GOP sites calling for Dan Rather's head on a pike! They have already tried and convicted him of forging these damning docs. Regardless of the authenticity of those particular memos, its becoming more and more impossible to ignore the fact that there are some gaping holes in Bush's record that they are refusing to fill.
posted by fenriq at 10:21 AM on September 15, 2004


No, the elephant in the living room is that you're playing right into Karl Rove's hands by keeping this alive. This won't change any (well, at most a minimal number) of votes: Kerry loyalists are already voting against Bush; Bush loyalists won't be convinced by any amount of evidence; and independent/undecided voters are interested in what the candidates will do over the next four years, not what they did thirty years ago. Kerry, IMO, is stronger than Bush on most if not all substantive issues, so every minute the voters spend distracted from those issues--even by something that seems to reflect negatively on Bush's character--is a victory for Bush.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:23 AM on September 15, 2004


I'm getting so tired of this shit from both ends. Why not talk about, say, the Iraq war, or domestic policy? I know why Bush wont, but for the life of me I don't know why Kerry / DNC is perusing this as vigilantly as they are.

The Nation is also better than this sub-par muckraking (Bush broke a chandelier in 1972!!!)
posted by SweetJesus at 10:26 AM on September 15, 2004


Just last week, I was mad at mefites for calling my posts crappy. I said that there was really not too much guidance for what constitutes a good post...but this, friends, is a crappy post.
posted by chinese_fashion at 10:27 AM on September 15, 2004


I'm getting so tired of this shit from both ends. Why not talk about, say, the Iraq war, or domestic policy?

"John Kerry delivers an economic policy address at the Detroit Economic Club and talks Wednesday about his plan to strengthen the economy and move America in a new direction after four years of wrong choices by George W. Bush."

Link.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:31 AM on September 15, 2004


No. This, this is a crappy post. But DevilsAdvocate, a pike, you say?
posted by eatitlive at 10:31 AM on September 15, 2004


Space Coyote, find a link other than to the candidate's actual site, and get off the boilerplate part of Kerry's speech (which admittedly needs some work anyways), and that becomes a workable FPP.
posted by chicobangs at 10:34 AM on September 15, 2004


chinese_fashion, I didn't see the Action Figure Art post originally but its pretty cool.

Until the Bush camp finally gives up and realizes that trying to prop up Bush as a war president is stupid given that he only completed four of his six years of service is pathetic.

Will any of this turn any votes? Maybe. I don't think its a good strategy for Kerry because he does have alot stronger weapons to smack Bush around with, fiscal irresponsibility, job loss, the entrenched war based on lies, blah, blah, blah. It goes on and on.

Clevershark has a good post up about Bush's flip flops that really need to be highlighted again and again and again. Lies need to be refuted again and again until they are dead.

Who is pushing the Bush service record issue anyway? Bush? Kerry? Or the media?
posted by fenriq at 10:37 AM on September 15, 2004


it could seriously challenge Bush's essential appeal as a military steward and guardian of societal value
Bullshit. Anybody who saw any appeal in him as a steward of the military or as a guardian of society's values was already so brainwashed that nothing would give them pause. All anybody is doing by bringing this stuff up at this point is giving him the opportunity to avoid debating real issues.
posted by substrate at 10:41 AM on September 15, 2004


"There's that elephant in the living room again."

yes, but at this point, this late in Bush's second national campaign, it's all moot. moot.
Rove's magic has worked: the more people talk about Bush being AWOL, the less relevant it becomes. the central issue of these last 3 months has been that traitor Kerry, who may have gone to Vietnam unlike his opponent but who the fuck cares, he didn't bleed enough anyway.
appalling as it is, the AWOL issue won't stick on Bush. people don't care. if that tells you ssomething about the American media, the American public or both I don't know, nor do I care. but it's a fact.

horrified non-USians stare at this trainwreck of a Presidential campaign where the main issues are 1967 and 1972. for those lucky furriners who don't have a horse in this race, truth is clear -- and also irrelevant:

- Young Kerry went to Vietnam and, already the smart politician, tried to milk his service for all its political worth, during and after combat, then went a little too far (for "New Democrat" 2004 standards, of course) in his criticism of US commitment to the war in Indochina.

- Young Bush asked his daddy for a nice National Guard spot instaed, but he was too drunk (or high) to complete the six years' commitment and to pass the physicals from '72 on (Allah knows what was running in his bloodstream, but after all it was the early 70's, and anyway since then he has discovered Jesus as his personal savior so his sins are cleansed, and his alchohol-and-coke-ridden system is cleansed as well).

this is what happened, simple and plain.

unless karl manages to dig up an old 8mm film of young Georgie Bush doing freebase and bragging about going AWOL thanks to daddy's friends, all of this stuff is moot.

and while Kerry supporters still debate Bush's 1972 records (or absence of records), Jebby has decided motu proprio that Nader will be on the Florida ballot. but yeah, let's talk about 1972, that's a real winner. say hello to President Jebby, children, 2008 is nearer thatn you think
posted by matteo at 10:43 AM on September 15, 2004


Who is pushing the Bush service record issue anyway? Bush? Kerry? Or the media?

It's hard to say at this point. As much as I think Bush does deserve to be taken down over this issue, it's clearly not helping Kerry's cause any. Rightly or wrongly, partisans of both stripes seem pretty sick of it.

In other news, Kerry in trouble in Wisconsin for mis-pronouncing Lambeau Field. Sorry, irony too thick... can't breathe.
posted by psmealey at 10:44 AM on September 15, 2004


The problem with criticizing Bush's military service is that he's already admitted he was a wastrel in his youth. This kind of stuff just falls into this category. Now, of course, he's a reformed man thanks to Jesus. I suspect that religious Bush supporters find this sort of redemption story appealing, actually.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:45 AM on September 15, 2004


Oy vey.

This is like the Dukakis campaign on evil steroids. When are you going to stop beating a dead wind surfer/road cyclist?

Kerry supporters, it's time to give up and start working on 2008 (and preventing Hillary Clinton from running)

Also,

Hag Sameach/Shanan Tova/Good New Year.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:51 AM on September 15, 2004


"John Kerry delivers an economic policy address at the Detroit Economic Club and talks Wednesday about his plan to strengthen the economy and move America in a new direction after four years of wrong choices by George W. Bush."

Yeah, I know he deals with these things in his speeches, but you have the DNC running this shit in battleground states, which is EXACTLY what Karl Rove wants - Keep the echo-chamber talking about Vietnam.

At the beginning of the campaign Kerry's Vietnam service record was a big plus, and I can see why Kerry used it as a big part of his message. But in 9 months, they've (Rove & Co.) successfully thrown enough wrenches in to the works to flip his service from a plus to a minus. Now, there really isn't anything Kerry can do about in the next seven weeks, it's just too late. He pissed away the month of August by taking Mary Beth Cahill's advice and "taking the high road" (Please, please, please fire her ass...) and instead gave the Republicans an entire month (and a slow news month at that) to beat the shit out of Kerry over the Swift Boat Vets, his supposed flip-flopping, etc.

So NOW they're getting Carville to help, coming out with these AWOL ads which tend to just look like petty revenge to your average "undecided" voter. It's a winning issue for Bush, in spite of the cognitive dissidence it requires to be effective.

But it doesn't have to be this way. There are just so many winning issues out for progressives - 1) The expiration of the assault weapons ban; 2) North Korea v Iraq in terms of threats in the war on "terror"; 3) The shipping of blue collar and white collar jobs overseas. Those are just three, and they're winning issues for Kerry if he can just learn to frame the fucking issue correctly and stop talking about Vietnam.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:55 AM on September 15, 2004


Kerry, IMO, is stronger than Bush on most if not all substantive issues

Stronger isn't the right word. The fact that he agrees with your 'humble' opinion doesn't make it stronger, or weaker, for that matter.

friends, is a crappy post

It's not so much a weak post as a y2karl post. Get use to it. This is his hobby.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 10:57 AM on September 15, 2004


Questions? I've been reading some of the most rabid GOP sites calling for Dan Rather's head on a pike! They have already tried and convicted him of forging these damning docs. Regardless of the authenticity of those particular memos, its becoming more and more impossible to ignore the fact that there are some gaping holes in Bush's record that they are refusing to fill.

Webloggers thinking they can give mainstream media lessons on being more objective and less partisan is like John Wayne Gacy thinking he can give Ronald McDonald lessons on how to be a better clown.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:04 AM on September 15, 2004


chico, i tend not to post stuff like that to the front page, but it was just a bit of a heads up to what kerry was actually talking about, and that he wasn't giving speeches about texas national guard records.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:05 AM on September 15, 2004


this is what happened, simple and plain.

I'm so glad we have matteo to alchemize opinion-as-fact into Plain Truth™ for us. That settles everything, and we need not investigate further.
posted by dhoyt at 11:06 AM on September 15, 2004


When are you going to stop beating a dead wind surfer/road cyclist?

Paranus, I just never felt like moping up the bile you spill every now and then, but don't you ever fucking try to diss Kerry on being a wind surfer (or a road cyclist for that matter.)

It certainly beats the crap out of any activities W gets into when he's not napping or going to church -- falling of a mountain bike (while riding in flat Texas) or a Segway doesn't count.

End of rant.
posted by NewBornHippy at 11:11 AM on September 15, 2004


I'm surprised the anti-Saudi-foreign-oil thing hasn't been pushed harder. I can't think of many topics that unite treehuggers, isolationists, conspiracy theorists and old-fashioned xenophobes. (OK, there's probably some overlap in there.)
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:13 AM on September 15, 2004


Kerry, IMO, is stronger than Bush on most if not all substantive issues

Stronger isn't the right word. The fact that he agrees with your 'humble' opinion doesn't make it stronger, or weaker, for that matter.


Not to pick nits but he said IMO not IMHO.
posted by Bonzai at 11:13 AM on September 15, 2004


Kerry supporters, it's time to give up and start working on 2008

You're like a broken, flamebaiting record. Seriously. You've gone beyond provocative into just plain boring. Can't you go back to railing on ragheads or something?
posted by jpoulos at 11:16 AM on September 15, 2004


The problem with criticizing Bush's military service is that he's already admitted he was a wastrel in his youth. This kind of stuff just falls into this category

Exactly. "Kerry & Bush: the Vietnam Years" has already been done, and it's already obviouser than obvious that Kerry put far more on the line and knows far more about real combat than Bush does. The useful part of the conversation is done.

In other news, Kerry in trouble in Wisconsin for mis-pronouncing Lambeau Field. Sorry, irony too thick... can't breathe.

If this is true, Wisconsin need to be nuked from orbit.
posted by weston at 11:17 AM on September 15, 2004


There's no news, no revelations, no scandals the can derail the Bush juggernaut now. The Kerry campaign has been completely emasculated, and the victorious Republicans are crowing in triumph. Now, there is only one thing that stands between George W. Bush and complete world domination -- the debates. You guys better hope that the 2004-model George Bush says something really, really, REALLY stupid in the upcoming debates.
posted by Faze at 11:18 AM on September 15, 2004


I don't see Kerry staying on the AWOL issue, I see Kerry moving forward and shredding Bush on his current failures.

I see the Media staying focused on "uncovering the truth" about Bush. And the truth no longer matters.

Kerry needs to keep working on Bush, keep pointing out his lies, failings and misdeeds and misrepresentations. He also needs to keep talking about how his plan will help all of America and not just the top 1% or 5% or whatever.

Its not over, its not even close to being over and anyone who keeps saying it's over is just being stupid (PP?).
posted by fenriq at 11:19 AM on September 15, 2004


"opinion-as-fact"

where's the opinion part? Bush did skip his physical exam, nobody saw him serve in the disputed period, the Pentagon's dog ate the payroll records, he has admitted "being irresponsible", there are witnesses of his "erratic" behavior in 1972 in Alabama, he has a record for drunk driving, ect etc.

where's the opnion? he was unfit to take a physical and left the Guard, daddy covered his ass. yawn.
it happened 30 years ago. Americans would be better off worrying about what will happen next (like, where and when and how Al Qaeda will strike again on American soil, to name one of a thousand examples, not to mention the deficit) but of course you're free to consider Kerry in Vietnam and Bush going AWOL as the 2key issues for a presidential campaign that is being played out as Iraq burns and more and more Muslims come to hate America's guts thanks to Abu Ghraib etc

ps I can also alchemize assholes into intelligent individuals, dhoyt. come see me in my study sometimes, maybe something can be done
;)

posted by matteo at 11:19 AM on September 15, 2004


I'm getting so tired of this shit from both ends. Why not talk about, say, the Iraq war, or domestic policy?

Because MeFites like y2karl think this topic is much more important. They just keep bringing it to the blue and feeding the fire. It's sad really. But the fun will be in watching him, after Bush has won the election, running around like a Roomba.

"But wait! We didn't get a chance to talk about shit that matters... you know, Democratic issues like health care and the environment. This isn't fair. It's too late?"
- y2karl circa mid-November
posted by Witty at 11:26 AM on September 15, 2004


You're like a broken, flamebaiting record. Seriously. You've gone beyond provocative into just plain boring. Can't you go back to railing on ragheads or something?

If he's just boring you, ignore him. Seriously, about 50% of the posts on threads like these ones are either PP or people complaining about him. Sheesh.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:26 AM on September 15, 2004


...but this, friends, is a crappy post.

No, pal, this is a crappy post.

Meanwhile, as the whining continues that Bush's having been AWOL just doesn't matter today, the case for our current leader having defrauded The United States of America during his "wastrel youth" gets even more damning.

Or does it? Can anyone debunk this? No, seriously - I'm no expert on these terms of agreement, but I'm guessing there could be some loophole whereby the five years started during the course of the six years. Still, the fact that this wasn't included in the released documents suggest there's something there, I'd say.
posted by soyjoy at 11:34 AM on September 15, 2004


The whole military service issue builds and echoes on both sides for awhile, pushing out any real debate. We then have debate on the military debate, which is debated more, to the point of debating the evidence of the debate. My high school speech class could do better than this, even if Mrs.Watson was the harshest grader ever.

At this point, it doesn't matter if it's Kerry's campaign, pro-Kerry groups, or the media that pushes this issue. Bush has already got the walk on this subject. It can all backfire if Bush steps up and asks, "If these issues were so important, why didn't we talk about them last election? Did whether or not I show up to a doc's office years ago really matter during my last term? Why doesn't the other side want to talk about America's future?"

(I'd like to see Kerry win, but I'd also like to see the Democrats get their act together. Or better yet, a third Moderate party formed where folks like me can belong without the need to associate with evil oil companies or puppet-waving hippies. But that's another post.)
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:35 AM on September 15, 2004


The military service issue is important because we have no other major issues facing the country right now. The Iraq thing is going great, Al Aqeda is defeated, Afghanistan is on the road to prosperity and peace, the economy is great, health care is going great too. So it makes sense that people want to look to the past.

I also heard a rumor tha they started doing drug tests right before Bush bailed out of his physical. Oooh, he was a bad bad man.

And Robocop, I'll join that party.
posted by cell divide at 11:39 AM on September 15, 2004


"but don't you ever fucking try to diss Kerry on being a wind surfer (or a road cyclist for that matter.)"

FWIW, I'm a road cyclist. I have a Klein Quantum, (but not a Kyptonite lock...). The point is not that he road cycles; the point is that such isn't reassuring to most Americans!
posted by ParisParamus at 11:40 AM on September 15, 2004


Bush isn't likely to lose much momentum from this, which is surprising especially considering that Republicans kept going on about how "character matters" during the Clinton years.

That motto was understandably revoked the moment they decided to choose Dubya as a candidate the first time around...
posted by clevershark at 11:41 AM on September 15, 2004


There's a great series of letters on the Op-Ed Page responding to a recent article about the travails of "Mr. X," a non-liberal who lives on the Upper West Side.
posted by ParisParamus at 11:44 AM on September 15, 2004


(oh: in the New York Sun, today)
posted by ParisParamus at 11:44 AM on September 15, 2004


The Iraq thing is going great, Al Aqeda is defeated, Afghanistan is on the road to prosperity and peace, the economy is great, health care is going great too.

Please tell me you forgot your /sarcastic tag.

clevershark, by "character," they mean "someone who thinks and feels like me."
posted by callmejay at 11:45 AM on September 15, 2004


Ask yourselves this: Why doesn't America care about the deficit, social security, foreign policy, the increasing concentration of wealth, and health insurance?

Why is the Republican party able to run successfully for office on a platform of noabortion-nogaymarriage-hailtothechurch-demsarestickers?

This is your America people. Better tune in.
posted by ewkpates at 11:49 AM on September 15, 2004


The crux of the faked-memo argument is that it's technically possible to create a similar document in Word. So what? That's not an argument. The "they didn't have typewriters like that" argument has also been debunked because they were in production since the 1950s.

The religious right are the biggest hypocrits on the face of the earth for supporting such a "man."
posted by fleener at 11:51 AM on September 15, 2004


What's funniest about this thread (and Metafilter to a largew extent), is that "liberals" (whatever the hell that really means) STILL don't get it. They/you still don't know how to chose a candidate who can win a election Presidential election. You scream and use vulgarities, and waste energy on Kerry and Dean, and you're making no progress whatsoever. Even New York has a Republican governor (who I don't like), and NYC a Republican mayor. Center-Right coalitions get elected; Center-Left ones don't because the Left just scares too many people.

Basically, A guy who prays and thinks abortion should be illegal scares me less than one who has Al Sharpton at this convention, and that cowtows to corrupt European regimes on issues of national security
posted by ParisParamus at 11:53 AM on September 15, 2004


The point is not that he road cycles; the point is that such isn't reassuring to most Americans!

George Bush: Cheerleader

ParisParamus: Still spewing bullshit.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:53 AM on September 15, 2004



posted by ParisParamus at 11:55 AM on September 15, 2004


Bush isn't likely to lose much momentum from this, which is surprising especially considering that Republicans kept going on about how "character matters" during the Clinton years.

That's because the Gingrich Republicans knew how to frame an issue, and it also helped that the country was in a period of prosperity and everyone likes to hear about blow jobs. Things are very different now, and running with the "AWOL" shit is the wrong way to frame the issue. Bush isn't a bad leader because he shirked his National Guard duty, he's a bad leader for other reasons...

All you hear on the news these days, or coming out of Soccy Mc's wide mouth, is that President Bush is a strong, decisive leader in these unsteady times - that's the line. Every Republican talking-head has this message burned into their brain, and boy, they bring it out at every opportunity. It doesn't matter if its true, as long as everyone says it. Kerry and his team don't have this kind of message discipline, which is I think you see a new slogan every other week from Kerry (really, who the fuck thought up "W Stands for Wrong"? )

What's funniest about this thread (and Metafilter to a largew extent), is that "liberals" (whatever the hell that really means) STILL don't get it. They/you still don't know how to chose a candidate who can win a election Presidential election.

Hahaha! Have Clinton run for a third term and see how quickly he beats Bush. Kerry, sadly, just isn't as good with image and media as Bush is, and in this country where the majority of the public is turned off to politics, all that really matters is the 40 second clip of Bush behind a backdrop that reads "STRONGER AMERICA". That's what modern campaigning has been reduced to.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:03 PM on September 15, 2004


that the documents are fake but that they reflect documents that once existed.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:09 PM on September 15, 2004


WEll, at least you have Metafilter as a place to meet and commiserate...
posted by ParisParamus at 12:12 PM on September 15, 2004


Bush family's influence somehow got W. into the Guard. Well, maybe, but I've never seen a shred of evidence to that effect. The only person who has claimed to have such knowledge is Ben Barnes, who said that he used his influence as Lt. Governor of Texas to get W. into the Guard without the knowledge of the Bush family, but was proved to be a liar when it was pointed out that Bush joined the Guard in 1968, a year before Barnes became Lt. Governor.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:14 PM on September 15, 2004


soyjoy, the line about the document being unquestionably authentic is going to be questioned. Undermine the truth so that it becomes impossible to tell truth from lie and they've won.

Bleh.

What's on Cartoon Network?
posted by fenriq at 12:17 PM on September 15, 2004


WEll, at least you have Metafilter as a place to meet and commiserate...

Hav you said a single thing that can be backed up? The closest you've been able to come is "there are some letters to the editor here.."

You are wasting the time of every single reader of every thread you appear on with your falsly smug, empty horseshit.

Meanwhile, "In Iraq's wasteland, total chaos looms" - The Australian

Yeah, I wonder how much safer the world will be after four more years of a weak president who can't say no to campaign contributors.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:17 PM on September 15, 2004


that the documents are fake but that they reflect documents that once existed.

Anything that begins "the documents are fake, but..." is not a winning issue.

WEll, at least you have Metafilter as a place to meet and commiserate...

Is this what you do all day? Bait people on the internet into ideological arguments and then never respond? How pathetic...
posted by SweetJesus at 12:19 PM on September 15, 2004


Or better yet, a third Moderate party formed where folks like me can belong without the need to associate with evil oil companies or puppet-waving hippies. But that's another post.)

That's the attitude that seperates the losers from the winners. You absolutely cannot win an election without joining forces with lots of people who completely embarass you.
posted by straight at 12:21 PM on September 15, 2004


A guy who prays and thinks abortion should be illegal scares me less than one who has Al Sharpton at this convention, and that cowtows to corrupt European regimes on issues of national security

Hold on there, cowboy. I can't think of a single candidate for President from this year (from Kerry to Dean to Nader, even) that would ever kowtow to a European regime when it concerns our national security. To put it in those terms either means that you're buying the "with us or against us line", or just stopped thinking altogether.

Also, Al Sharpton may keep strange bedfellows from time to time, but he is a man who stands up for what he believes in. I fail to see what's so dangerous or wrong about having him at your convention. Speaking of strange bedfellows, the only honest part of the GOP convention was giving the floor to Zell Miller to spew venom and vitriol. For the first time during that week, at least, the GOP gave a genuine glimpse of its dark-hearted consituency: embittered old segregrationalists that yearn for the "good ole days".
posted by psmealey at 12:21 PM on September 15, 2004


The problem with criticizing Bush's military service is that he's already admitted he was a wastrel in his youth.

That little stint of public service at Project P.U.L.L. has never been properly examined in the mainstream press...

"In the spring of 1972, he left this job and went to Alabama to work on the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Republican Winton Blount. Returning to Houston, he became a counselor for African-American youngsters in a program called PULL (Professional United Leadership League). The program brought together volunteers from the athletic, entertainment, and business worlds to work with young people in a variety of ways. George taught basketball and wrestling and organized field trips to juvenile prisons, so his young charges could see that side of life and resolve not to end up there themselves.

"‘He was a super, super guy’ says Ernie Ladd, a professional football player who also worked with the program. ‘Everybody loved him so much. He had a way with people....They didn't want him to leave.’

"His work with Project PULL, Bush says in A Charge to Keep, gave him ‘a glimpse of a world I had never seen. It was tragic, heartbreaking, and uplifting, all at the same time. I saw a lot of poverty. I also saw bad choices: drugs, alcohol abuse, men who had fathered children and walked away, leaving single mothers struggling to raise children on their own. I saw children who could not read and were way behind in school. I also saw good and decent people working to try to help lift these kids out of their terrible circumstances.’"

Three sources told biographer J. H. Hatfield that Bush was performing community service on the orders of a judge. A Yale classmate said, "George W. was arrested for possession of cocaine in 1972, but due to his father's connections, the entire record was expunged by a state judge whom the older Bush helped get elected. It was one of those 'behind closed doors in the judges' chambers' kind of thing between the old man and one of his Texas cronies who owed him a favor ... There's only a handful of us that know the truth."

If the record of an arrest was expunged, Bush apparently received the equivalent of Youthful Offender status at the age of 26.


Though some have tried only recently:

Helen Thomas: Did the President ever have to take time off from Guard duty to do community service?

Scott McClellan: To do community service? I haven't looked into everything he did 30 years ago, Helen. Obviously, there is different community service he has performed in the past, including going back to that time period --

Helen Thomas: Can you find out if he actually had --

Scott McClellan: Helen, I don't think we remember every single activity he was involved in 30 years ago.

Helen Thomas: No, this isn't an activity. Was he forced to do community service at any time while he was on --

Scott McClellan: What's your interest in that question? I'm sorry, I just --

Helen Thomas: Lots of rumors. I'm just trying to clear up something.

Scott McClellan: Rumors about what?

Helen Thomas: Pardon?

Scott McClellan: Rumors about what?

Helen Thomas: About the President having to do community service while he was in the National Guard, take time out for that.

Scott McClellan: I'm not aware of those rumors. But if you want to --

Helen Thomas: Could you look it up? Would you mind asking him?

Scott McClellan: That's why I'm asking what's your interest in that? I just don't understand your interest in that.

Helen Thomas: It's what everybody is interested in, whether we're getting the true story on his Guard duty.

Scott McClellan: Well, you have the documents that show the facts.

Helen Thomas: I'm asking you to try to find out from the President of the United States.

Scott McClellan: Like I said, it's well known the different jobs he had and what he was doing previously, that we know. That goes back to --

Helen Thomas: I didn't say "previously." I said, while he was on Guard duty.

Scott McClellan: But you're asking me about 30 years ago. I don't think there's a recollection of everything he was doing 30 years ago.

Helen Thomas: Well, he would know if he had to take time out.

Scott McClellan: Again, I mean, the issue that was raised was whether or not the President was serving while he was in Alabama. Documents reflect that he was --

Helen Thomas: Well, this is another issue.


The President's community service at Project P.U.L.L. is apparently part of that elephant in the living room. It will be interesting to see if it gets examined by the press in the next few weeks. It certainly will make for some cognitive dissonance on the part of his supporters if there is anything to these allegations.

Vote Bush--Always Got Cuts In Line, Always Will. He's Entitled To The Job.
posted by y2karl at 12:26 PM on September 15, 2004


For the first time during that week, at least, the GOP gave a genuine glimpse of its dark-hearted consituency: embittered old segregrationalists that yearn for the "good ole days".

Actaully I'd say those dispicable purple heart bandaids gave a good glimpse into what rich republican elites and their duped followers who vote against their best interests really think of veterans.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:30 PM on September 15, 2004


It certainly will make for some cognitive dissonance on the part of his supporters if there is anything to these allegations.

I think the phrase "cognitive dissonance" has suffered from extreme overuse. Again, Bush supporters simply don't care what he did when he was young. They already know he was, essentially, a bad person. I don't think that pushing these issues helps Kerry really, since everyone already knew that Bush was an irresponsible young man. Again, I think that among Bush's supporters on the religious right, this plays in his favor - he has been redeemed by Jesus, etc.

Personally, I would never vote for Bush because of these things, but then again I would never vote for Bush anyway for many other, more important, reasons. But this whole focus on Nat'l Guard vs Swift Boats is a gigantic waste of time. Honestly, if Bush and Kerry swapped their personal histories, would that really affect anything among their supporters? Would you then be so gung-ho about military service, y2karl?
posted by me & my monkey at 12:47 PM on September 15, 2004


y2karl rove?!
posted by gluechunk at 12:51 PM on September 15, 2004


me & my monkey, but that's just the point, you can't switch histories because then we'd have Kerry screeching about Bush's service record and Kerry wouldn't have one and the GOP would be foaming at the mouth.

There's a double standard in place, anything negative Kerry did after his service damns him and nothing Bush has ever done can damn him.

Its a moot and stupid point and its time to move on.

And folks, can we please stop baiting ParisParamus, yes, he's a troll who gets his jollies from riling up people, yes, that makes him a pathetic loser, yes, we all know it, yes, people still get drawn into "arguments" with him that go nowhere and accomplish nothing. Responding to PP is like setting your hair on fire and then wondering what smells bad, its makes no friggin' sense. Just ignore his posts and deal with the substantive responses, it'll make for shorter threads and less stupid derailments.
posted by fenriq at 1:01 PM on September 15, 2004


purple heart bandaids
Those band aids were what they are, childish. When I saw them linked all over the net, it made me cringe for the Republican party like I had a stinging boo boo.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:01 PM on September 15, 2004


ps I can also alchemize assholes into intelligent individuals, dhoyt. come see me in my study sometimes, maybe something can be done
;)

Funny stuff there, made me laugh.

Or better yet, a third Moderate party formed where folks like me can belong without the need to associate with evil oil companies or puppet-waving hippies. But that's another post.)


I'd join that party Robocop.

Can we not buy that town in Canada and move there? I will plow snow in the winter and cut grass in the summer. Maybe if we all write Oprah she will buy it for us.

Vote for me this November. I am no worse a choice then the others.

I can find all my service records too!
posted by a3matrix at 1:06 PM on September 15, 2004


soyjoy, the line about the document being unquestionably authentic is going to be questioned.

I realize that, fenriq, but as I said, the fact that it can be referenced through existing documents, and if the writer is to be believed, fills in something that's otherwise missing, seems to merit at least some examination. That and the fact that it does have a GWB signature to verify or debunk. Frankly, I find Paul Lukasiak and the AWOL Project to have more credibility than CBS, who have, we must recall, been punk'd before.

But just assuming for the moment that it were authentic, can the claim the writer makes be debunked by some more extensive knowledge of military rules? If so, the document's authenticity is moot. I just though someone here might know.
posted by soyjoy at 1:08 PM on September 15, 2004


Dan Rather's head on a pike!
The hack sure deserves it for being so gullible about the documents. But what about the people who used those other forged documents to hoodwink a nation into war, then tried to cover it up by outing a CIA WMD expert. Pikes all around, I say.
posted by JackFlash at 1:15 PM on September 15, 2004


MetaFilter: Pikes for everyone!
posted by fenriq at 1:19 PM on September 15, 2004


I think that it's obvious that this entire thing, the "memos", the book deals, etc., have been signed, sealed, and waiting for delivery as a "September Surprise"--incompetently.

In other words, as a smear campaign it may have had considerable organization ahead of time, but its execution has been a disaster. It has been reduced to two factions, those who (intelligently) want to cut their losses, run, and try to find some other programme against Bush; and the "reinforcing defeat" faction, that will continue to try to defy reality and force-feed laughable "evidence" through the media, doing the Kerry campaign more harm then good.
posted by kablam at 1:21 PM on September 15, 2004


Forgery claims dissected

More throw shit at the wall and see what sticks method of proof employed by the wingnuts.
posted by Space Coyote at 1:21 PM on September 15, 2004


Frankly, I find Paul Lukasiak and the AWOL Project to have more credibility than CBS, who have, we must recall, been punk'd before.

Yeah, well, unfortunately CBS news gets to go on TV all day long and say whatever the hell they want, and Paul Lukasiak has a web site.

CBS wins... We're you under the impression that truth matters? It doesn't.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:22 PM on September 15, 2004


Or better yet, a third Moderate party formed where folks like me can belong without the need to associate with evil oil companies or puppet-waving hippies. But that's another post.)

A moderate party could be formed, or an existing party turned into it, simply by figuring out a way to get all the non-extremists to vote.

Although, who do puppet-waving hippies hurt? :-)
posted by callmejay at 1:23 PM on September 15, 2004


There's a double standard in place, anything negative Kerry did after his service damns him and nothing Bush has ever done can damn him.

Its a moot and stupid point and its time to move on.


My point exactly. I think that most people are much more interested in what the candidates would do as President than what they did in the sixties and seventies.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:33 PM on September 15, 2004


"Or better yet, a third Moderate party formed where folks like me can belong without the need to associate with evil oil companies or puppet-waving hippies."

I want one! Where do I sign?!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:35 PM on September 15, 2004


Talk about a stalled offensive: the DNC just released a TV ad based on the memos, called "Fortunate Son", and DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe had just announced the party will hold various "Operation Fortunate Son" events, where veterans would (still might, I guess) demand answers to "five specific questions" about President Bush's Guard service--based on the memos.

Gee, no prior planning here. Nuh-huh. And then their point man, Kenneth, steps into a deep hole full of punji stakes.

Bugler, sound retreat.
posted by kablam at 1:42 PM on September 15, 2004


Kerry supporters, it's time to give up and start working on 2008 (and preventing Hillary Clinton from running)

Are Democrats really that wimpy and defeatist, or is this what the NeoCons are planting all over the net?

Hell no, it ain't over for Kerry. The race is too close to call. He's restructuring his campaign team and is going to get more agressive with team Bush (like he should have with the Smearboats).

He's lagging merely because people have doubts if he's the guy to lead the war on terror for the next four years... as soon as he gives the commander in chimp a black eye (and hopefully soon), people will come around.

I'll count Kerry out if (and that's a BIG "if") Bush wins the election and not a second before.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 1:46 PM on September 15, 2004


"Dan Rather's head on a pike!"


posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:53 PM on September 15, 2004


In other news, Kerry in trouble in Wisconsin for mis-pronouncing Lambeau Field. Sorry, irony too thick... can't breathe.

I can't digest this w/o finally coming to the conclusion that the American electorate really does choose based on identification rather than policy. This is essentially Wisconsinites favoring Bush because he's a footbal/Packers fan. On the surface, I can't imagine anyone arguing that's a reasonable basis for choosing a president, but apparently it says something to people.

Look at the dig that Cheney put in -- "next thing you know, he'll think Vince Lombardi is a foreign leader." When in fact, Bush had this very problem four years ago, running as a candidate with no foreign policy experience and apparently unable to answer questions like who was in charge of Pakistan.

All in all, I'm just amazed at the Bush campaign -- they seem to be able to accuse Kerry of all the weaknesses that their candidate possesses in spades and get away with it. Questions about Vietnam service? Runaway spending? Mispronounciation of words? Kerry problems! Also -- that Bush likes football, he's in touch with the Packers fans, and that's the kind of guy I'd like to see in office.

So I'm back in High School, where much of America is apparently more comfortable.

They/you still don't know how to chose a candidate who can win a election Presidential election. You scream and use vulgarities, and waste energy on Kerry and Dean

Paris, I have sympathy for this, because I share your opinion about some of the tasteless/shock tactics that protesters tried to use in NYC -- there are all too many problems with protestors abandoning dignity and thinking that any attention is good attention. But I don't think Kerry's campaign itself has a dignity problem, its problem is fundamentally one of identitification. If you can illustrate instances where the Kerry campaign has demonstrated dignity problems, I'm all ears.
posted by weston at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2004


Spcae Coyote-- if you really think, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, that the CYA memo is authentic, you are the wingnut.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:54 PM on September 15, 2004


The race is "too close to call"? Please tell me which presidental race since 1968 wasn't "too close to call," and yet didn't in retrospect have an obvious loser-in-waiting? This is all about momentum--or lack thereof, and other intangibles that are, nonetheless, palpable to the somewhat objective observer.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:01 PM on September 15, 2004


the DNC just released a TV ad based on the memos, called "Fortunate Son", and DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe had just announced the party will hold various "Operation Fortunate Son" events, where veterans would (still might, I guess) demand answers to "five specific questions" about President Bush's Guard service

You know, I really don't want to believe the people who say that there aren't really two parties, it's just a single cabal running everything, and the outcome of the election is predetermined by them. But given the above, the only two possibilities I see are 1) the DNC is very, very stupid; or 2) they want Bush to win while still putting up the appearance of mounting on opposing campaign.

The one small consolation I have is that I don't live in a battleground state, and thus can vote for Badnarik with a clean conscience.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:04 PM on September 15, 2004


The race is "too close to call"? Please tell me which presidental race since 1968 wasn't "too close to call," and yet didn't in retrospect have an obvious loser-in-waiting?

Everything's clear in retrospect, I guess. Until then, you should be prepared for a surprise. Ask Bush I about that.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:11 PM on September 15, 2004


In other news, Kerry in trouble in Wisconsin for mis-pronouncing Lambeau Field. Sorry, irony too thick... can't breathe.

I can't digest this w/o finally coming to the conclusion that the American electorate really does choose based on identification rather than policy. This is essentially Wisconsinites favoring Bush because he's a footbal/Packers fan.

psmealy, weston, RTFA already. Not one single person is identified who said--or even suggested--they would not vote for Kerry because he got the name of Lambeau Field wrong. What does the article say? Ooh, Republicans are making fun of him for the gaffe. Never would have expected that one, huh? Must be a sign of the collapse of democracy?

If your opinion of the American electorate is so low that you're willing to believe that, because some Republicans are making fun of a Kerry gaffe, and a lazy and/or partisan reporter decided to write that up rather than actually cover the issues, that suddenly thousands of Wisconsinites will switch their vote from Kerry to Bush (despite the fact that the reporter did not identify one single such person), then you are at least as guilty as those Republicans of being incredibly insulting to the intelligence of voters.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:15 PM on September 15, 2004


They/you still don't know how to choose a candidate who can win a Presidential election. You scream and use vulgarities, and waste energy on Kerry and Dean, and you're making no progress whatsoever. Even New York has a Republican governor (who I don't like), and NYC a Republican mayor. Center-Right coalitions get elected; Center-Left ones don't because the Left just scares too many people.

ParisParamus, your quixotic quest for this stuff strikes me as a particuarly good example of a faith-based program.

thomcatspike, Barnes was Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives before he was Lieutenant Governor...so he wasn't without influence.
posted by Vidiot at 2:19 PM on September 15, 2004


In other news, Kerry in trouble in Wisconsin for mis-pronouncing Lambeau Field.

My guess is that anyone who cares about this wasn't going to vote for Kerry anyway.
posted by drezdn at 2:20 PM on September 15, 2004


and other intangibles that are, nonetheless, palpable to the somewhat objective observer.

Yeah, you let us know if you come across one.
posted by fenriq at 2:21 PM on September 15, 2004


Palpable intangibles? Heh.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:07 PM on September 15, 2004


... despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, ...

[sigh]

You do understand, don't you, that the dataset used to derive that "mountain of evidence" is far too degraded to actually provide that evidence?

Not that it should matter to you, I suppose. I mean, once you've "proved" something, should it matter that your proof is bogus, as long as the thing you "proved" is still true? E.g., if Newton had "proved" gravity by balancing Carole Cleveland against a duck, would that really matter? I guess not.
posted by lodurr at 3:21 PM on September 15, 2004


lodurr, nice link. He does a very nice job of busting the main issues raised by the "memos are forged" crowd.

There are still hundreds and thousands of sites calling for Rather's resignation and public apology and maybe a little public humiliation.

Its looking like he's owed the apology, not the other way around.
posted by fenriq at 3:56 PM on September 15, 2004


Bush, Vietnam and the Blogs of War

Let us reiterate what is irrefutably proven. Bush, with an incredibly low pilot aptitude test, jumped to the head of a long line to join the Texas Air National Guard.

He was given an immediate commission despite a complete lack of experience of qualifications.

He missed his flight medical in 1972 and was grounded. He has never explained why.

He was absent from active duty for twelve months from May 1972 to May 1973, and has never explained why.

The White House has never answered Helen Thomas's question about whether or not he was sentenced serve mandatory community service in this period.


Bush's military service in question – again

Not everyone is concerned about the laxity shown to President Bush during his last two years. As Maj. Gen. Paul A. Weaver Jr. a former director of the Air National Guard, pointed out, the war was winding down and Bush did a fairly good job his first three years. "One thing a commander is given is common-sense leeway, and I think that is what happened here," he said. "Here we had Lt. Bush not wanting to stay in the airplane and not interested in keeping up his status and wanting to be a full-time student. The commander probably said, 'I'll take that flying spot and give it to someone who will be an active participant.'"

Asked if he faulted President Bush for not following the regulations governed by his military-service obligation, Weaver said his only disappointment was that Bush had signed up to fly jets in the first place, adding that his training cost a great deal of taxpayer money. "If you're going to fly a high-performance airplane," he added, "then you need to be there flying it."

But others who have reviewed the documents say President Bush should have been treated more strictly. Eugene R. Fidell, a military law expert in Washington, notes that nothing in Bush's military file shows he received prior approval to miss any of the required drills. Under Air Force regulations, Bush was non-compliant with his military service obligation the moment he missed more than one month of weekend drills and by the third month he was in serious breach of his duty. "By then," Fidell says, "you should be thrown out of the program or, if there is a draft, called up for active duty."

James T. Currie, a retired colonel who is a professor at the Industrial College of The Armed Forces and the author of an official history of the Army Reserve, said that while the Guard had a reputation as being a "good old boy's club" during Vietnam, that didn't mean regulations shouldn't apply. "You make a commitment, and in return for what is a fairly minor inconvenience, you avoid getting drafted and sent to Vietnam, so I think the least you could do was fulfill the letter of that commitment," he said. "Clearly if you were the average poor boy who got drafted and sent into the active force, they weren't going to let you out before you had completed your obligation."


Unwitting Drudge indicts Bush

The signed document Drudge posted is titled "Statement of Understanding" and dated May 27, 1968, the day Bush joined the Guard. Among the stipulations Bush agreed to was entering "active duty for training for 120 days," bolstering Bush's later assertion about the Air Force. But a Pentagon spokesperson told the A.P. in 1999 that despite their four-month training, Air National Guard members are not counted as members of the active-duty Air Force.

Bush's 1978 assertion that he served in the Air Force is "an embellishment, but not a lie," one former Air Force pilot says. Yet the story soon disappeared from Bush's official biography -- perhaps the best indication of his camp's recognition that the Air Force claim stretched credulity. (Not that the story of his military life then grew more accurate: During the 2000 campaign, Bush's official bio, scrubbed and rewritten by Hughes, said he flew F-102 planes in the Guard until 1973. Of course, that's untrue: Bush walked away from flying in 1972 never to return, an event he has yet to explain.)

Like the White House aides who in February released a portion of Bush's military payroll records under media pressure without fully understanding the incriminating evidence embedded in their military coding -- information that has come back to haunt Bush -- Drudge, by posting Bush's 1968 signed statement, merely reminds people how far short of fulfilling his military requirement the president fell.


Dubious Honor

The list of people who've pulled the AWOL-followed-by-honorable-discharge stunt almost makes it sound chic: A co-star of "Sex and the City"; Igor Stravinsky's biographer and sidekick (later arrested for his desertion in a New Orleans brothel). A few years ago, a guest columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ruminated on going AWOL from his unit routinely with a "case of beer" to drink himself "into oblivion." "I don't know how, but I did manage to get an honorable discharge."

There's a simple reason these stories are so common: In the military, the status quo presumption is that all soldiers will receive an honorable discharge; if the government wants to change that, "it has to put together a case to overcome that presumption," according to Michael Noone, a professor of law at Catholic University and a retired Air Force judge advocate. Often, even with evidence of misconduct, the commanding officers don't want to bother with the lengthy hearings that securing a dishonorable discharge would require. "There may be lots of reasons why the government decides not to try to overcome that, from laziness to charity. Who knows?" Essentially, Noone says, "All you had to do was let the system run on by inertia, and [the soldier would] get an honorable discharge."

Retired Army Colonel Dan Smith, now a senior fellow in military affairs at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, adds that, oftentimes, even if there were serious questions surrounding a soldier's discharge, it wouldn't show up in the records; soldiers worked out informal agreements with their superiors all the time. "Back in the '70s, all you had to do was talk to your commander and that kind of thing wouldn't necessarily be noted. It would just be verbal." That kind of conversation would have been especially easy for someone with the kind of political connections of a young George W. Bush.

Perhaps more striking is how often serious questions of misconduct have been flat-out ignored. John Allen Muhammad, convicted last November for his participation in the D.C. sniper shootings, served in the Louisiana National Guard from 1978-1985, where he faced two summary courts-martial. In 1983, he was charged with striking an officer, stealing a tape measure, and going AWOL. Sentenced to seven days in the brig, he received an honorable discharge in 1985.


Upon review:

CBS Offers New Experts to Support Guard Memos

Richard Katz, a computer software expert in Los Angeles who was featured on the "Evening News" segment, said in an interview that he had called his local affiliate, KCBS, after looking at the memos on the CBS Web site after the initial broadcast, when some experts were saying that the memos looked as if they had been composed using the Times New Roman font in Microsoft Word.

Comparing the CBS memos with a replication produced on Microsoft Word, he noticed a slight variation in the boldness of the letters, as there is on many typewritten documents. "It doesn't look like you can do this very easily," he said. "If you use something like Photoshop you could come close to faking it, but why not just go out and buy a Selectric for $75?"

Bill Glennon, a technology consultant and I.B.M. typewriter specialist who had posted his thoughts on the memos on a blog and was quoted over the weekend in publications including The New York Times, said CBS called him Monday morning. The producer asked him to come in and look at the memorandums and say whether he thought that an I.B.M. typewriter could have produced the documents. He said he was initially leery of talking. "Because quite honestly there's some people out there, they're scary," he said. "You don't agree with them, you offer opinions that don't jibe with theirs and you get a target on your back."

Mr. Glennon was in charge of service for 1,000 contracts for I.B.M. typewriters for 15 years, starting in late 1972, around the time the memorandums were produced. He spent 15 minutes with the CBS documents, he said, and believes that they could have been created using the kind of typewriters he worked with at I.B.M.

posted by y2karl at 4:18 PM on September 15, 2004


> Bush loyalists won't be convinced by any amount of evidence

Y'all just can't understand this, just as Dan ("Why won't you talk about the content of the memos?") Rather can't. What y'all fail to grasp is that everybody, left or right, already knows that Bush was a rich, drunk little fratboy who got preferential treatment. That's already factored in to their candidate preference. How do y'all (and Dan) expect to change anybody's mind with more and more evidence of stuff they already know ten times over?

It's like you revealing that Intel won't meet it's profit projections for the quarter and then wondering why the stock doesn't go down after your announcement--answer being that everybody else in the world already knew your news two weeks ago and it's already discounted in today's stock price.
posted by jfuller at 4:22 PM on September 15, 2004


The Lambaeau field thing is pretty bad, if I can be the contrarian. I mean Kerry presents himself as, if not a regular guy, at least a guy who's not out of touch.

And if you've been "in touch" with mainstram American male culture for the past 20 years, you know how to pronounce the name of that field!
posted by cell divide at 4:29 PM on September 15, 2004


jfuller, that's why there are more and more of us that just want to leave this crap in the garbage and get to current issues and events.

Given what Bush has accomplished (or not) in his four years it should be like shooting fish in a barrel to present him as the miserable failure he's been. But the problem is that the fish seem to be utterly deaf to any criticisms of Bush. They just don't seem to care that he's a miserable failure.

I am just not understanding how and why so many Americans have been so completely fooled by Bush.

cell divide, you are aware that none of us speaks perfectly all the time, right? He made a mistake. No one really cares except for the GOP who thinks its funny to make fun of Kerry for one slip while overlooking Bush's years of manglisizing the language.
posted by fenriq at 4:36 PM on September 15, 2004


psmealy, weston, RTFA already. Not one single person is identified who said--or even suggested--they would not vote for Kerry because he got the name of Lambeau Field wrong.

From the article:
It sort of plays into the perception, right or wrong, that people think John Kerry is an opportunist who when he is not out windsurfing comes in to try to be a regular guy," said Ken Goldstein, a professor at the University of Wisconsin. The latest polls shows Kerry down eight points; he was tied in most polls before the gaffe."
posted by weston at 4:38 PM on September 15, 2004


How can someone who's supposed to be so Frenchy French French French mispronounce Lambeau?
posted by LionIndex at 4:41 PM on September 15, 2004


L'ambeau?
El ambeau?
Lamb boo?
El amboo?
Lamb bow?
posted by ParisParamus at 4:52 PM on September 15, 2004


How can someone who's supposed to be so Frenchy French French French mispronounce Lambeau?

Give him a break. Kerry was just in St. Louis on Friday, and he obviously has fond memories of their airport.
posted by Hlewagast at 4:54 PM on September 15, 2004


One point to consider is this can only benefit the Kerry campaign - it is forcing Bush supporters to take the position that, "Well, it don't really matter anyways, Vietnam. What matters is the economy, I mean health care, I mean Jesus!"

It forces Bush supporters to consider current issues, as they have a natural blind spot to Bush's faults, one of which is now Vietnam.

Bush is stranded as the focus is forced to shift.
posted by the fire you left me at 5:28 PM on September 15, 2004


jfuller, that's why there are more and more of us that just want to leave this crap in the garbage and get to current issues and events.

Yeah but jfuller made one hell of a point: Everyone knows, nobody cares. The National Guard bit didn't work against him in 2000, what made anyone at the DNC think it's gonna work now?

Terry McAuliffe... what an embarrasment! The Dems need to dump that loser, and quick. The hot topic is Terrorism & National Security and keeping our Wal-Marts safe from terrorists... Kerry's rambling about healthcare, his heroism when I was four years old, and the DNC is running "Fortunate Son" ads. Gee, how did those sinister Republicans manage to plant that silly notion that "Kerry is out of the mainstream", anyway?

Jeebus! On Earth Prime, a freakin' wino would be 20 points ahead of Bush... here in Bizarro World, Lesser Evil #1 is trailing to a pampered rich kid because everyone loves having a President as dumb as they are.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 6:05 PM on September 15, 2004


President Bevis hehehehehehe?

What y'all fail to grasp is that everybody, left or right, already knows that Bush was a rich, drunk little fratboy who got preferential treatment...

If the possession of cocaine was a midemeanor, perhaps, but one might fail to grasp how getting a felony conviction for drug possession cleared is not above and beyond the call of common run of the mill rich, drunk fratboy preferential treatment. What is the symbolic equivalent of a purple heart shaped bandaid for that? A gold plated Monopoly Get Out Of Jail Free card?
posted by y2karl at 6:37 PM on September 15, 2004


NEWS FLASH! Voters don't give a rat's ass what Bush did in the National Guard. Maybe they should, but they don't. This is a losing issue for the Democrats.
posted by republican at 6:59 PM on September 15, 2004


you are at least as guilty as those Republicans of being incredibly insulting to the intelligence of voters.

Moi? I insult them gladly. And here it is: if after 3.8 years of having George Walker Bush as your President and you consider yourself an "undecided voter", you are a complete fucking idiot. Seriously, like him or hate him, how can you possibly be "undecided" at this point?

In all seriousness, though, my terse post (what's the emoticon for tongue-in-cheek, anyway) was mostly meant to poke fun at the idiot editor (whom I presume was responsible for the headline rather than the writer), in framing the article that way. I don't honestly believe that, cheesehead or not, there is any living, breathing person in the country that would actually vote either for or against John Kerry based on his mixing up the names of the Frozen Tundra (tm) with the airport in St. Louis. It was just a casual nod to the state of things in the press these days.
posted by psmealey at 9:03 PM on September 15, 2004


NEWS FLASH! Voters don't give a rat's ass what Bush did in the National Guard. Maybe they should, but they don't. This is a losing issue for the Democrats.

Hey, hey, hey! We can't trust you, you're republican.

Also, your profile has one too many degrees of seperation. Ever see Flatliners?
posted by SweetJesus at 9:41 PM on September 15, 2004



WEll, at least you have Metafilter as a place to meet and commiserate...


Yes, and you have MetaFilter to piss your schadenfreude all over.
posted by scarabic at 3:12 AM on September 16, 2004


> If the possession of cocaine was a midemeanor, perhaps, but one might
> fail to grasp how getting a felony conviction for drug possession
> cleared is not above and beyond the call of common run of the mill rich,
> drunk fratboy preferential treatment.

How many such RDFs have you observed getting their PT? As it happens I have known many. I assure you (correctly) that what you describe is SOP--and has been since forever:
the strong and clever will twist to their advantage any laws that are made; the law is a spider's web that catches the little flies and lets large creatures break through and escape.
-- Anacharsis, to Solon (c. 638 - c. 558 BC)
I recall in particular a Princeton guy I knew who was convicted not just of possession but of pretty serious dealing. And he wasn't even all that rich--just rich enough to get a good lawyer and a sympathetic shrink (not for therapy but to testify to suddenly-discovered "mental problems.") Basically all he got was some community service and had to finish his PhD at Georgia Tech. Very likely if his parents had been in the endowing-a-professorship class (let alone the donating-a-building class) he could have stayed at the P-school.

Now then, my point: knowing all this perfectly well (viz. Anacharsis, above) voters when considering youthful crimes'n'misdemeanors typically ask themselves not "Was he worthless back then?" but "Has the guy's character changed? Has he grown up instead of just getting older?" In the case of W, supporters believe he has grown, like St. Augustine and Winston Churchill he has left his misspent youth behind. Those who oppose him naturally don't believe any such thing, once a dumbass always a dumbass say they. Both of these are attitudes. As such they largely precede objective evidence, faked or real, thought they do form a focus for the accretion of (highly filtered) supporting evidence to justify the preexisting attitude. Does this count as fooling oneself? Of course it does. Is it the exclusive property of Republicans (or Americans?) If you think so you're fooling yourself.
posted by jfuller at 5:18 AM on September 16, 2004


Moi? I insult them gladly. And here it is: if after 3.8 years of having George Walker Bush as your President and you consider yourself an "undecided voter", you are a complete fucking idiot. Seriously, like him or hate him, how can you possibly be "undecided" at this point?

Heh heh... I'm stealing that! Good one, and a great non-partisan question to boot.
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 8:24 AM on September 16, 2004


NEWS FLASH! Voters don't give a rat's ass what Bush did in the National Guard.

We shall see...

TPM:

And here we get down to a specific and perhaps touchy point. Why wouldn't Bush show up for that physical? An Air Force pilot's physical is a bigger deal than the one civilians get on a routine basis. But still, it's not that big a deal. Even if he didn't think it was necessary, why disobey a direct order to get around it?

And on this point let me make a more general suggestion. The White House's story has changed many, many times on the Guard matter. And they've been careful -- and wisely so -- to avoid make definitive statements that would limit their room for maneuver after future revelations.

There are now two news organizations actively at work (and at least one of them is pretty far along) on a story about just why Bush was having those problems in the Guard in 1973. With that in mind, now my might be a good time to press a few more specific questions. At least one major news organization -- and I suspect others -- is working on a story that touches directly on why Bush might not have been willing to take that physical.

posted by y2karl at 11:46 AM on September 16, 2004


karl - the elephant has left the living room.

Where it once was there now festers an enormous, steaming pile of reeking crap.
posted by troutfishing at 12:11 PM on September 16, 2004


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