s skippy the bush kangaroo: August 2004

skippy the bush kangaroo



Tuesday, August 31, 2004

freep msnbc

question of the day, right under the pic of awol punching laura in the face with his elbow.

you know what to do.


posted by skippy at 7:51 PM | 0 comments

1000 protesters arrested today

the asspress (you may have to register) is reporting "nearly 1,000" protesters were arrested in nyc tuesday:

police wrapped demonstrators and an entire midtown manhattan block in orange netting tuesday to control anti-gop protests, arresting more than 400 people across the city as activists massed in the streets for marches to the site of the republican convention.

outside the new york public library, in the streets near the famed herald square and at the site of the fallen world trade center, demonstrators pointed themselves toward madison square garden and promised to get their message across that they want president bush out of office.

there were no immediate reports of violence, but it appeared by late evening that the planned march had deteriorated into blocks of human gridlock in several parts of the city.
luckily, nobody was arrested during the fox news shut-up-athon:

outside the fox news channel studios in midtown manhattan, police in riot gear used barricades to contain around 1,000 demonstrators staging a "shut-up-athon" to denounce what they called the network's right-wing slant. one woman held up a sign that read: "republicans are really stupid. they watch fox news and believe it." police said there were no arrests.
but we bet dick cheney wished he was in an undisclosed location last night:

police also announced the arrest of a 21-year-old yale student after he entered a restricted area near vice president dick cheney's booth at the convention monday night, coming within 10 feet of him and shouting anti-war and anti-bush statements. cheney was never in any danger, and no weapon was found on the man, authorities said.

outside the midtown hotel where texas delegates are staying, about two dozen protesters, depicting employees of "hallibacon," grunted through plastic pig snouts tuesday and wallowed in stacks of fake $100 bills bearing the images of bush and cheney.

the protesters accused cheney and halliburton, the company he once led, of profiting from the war in iraq and its aftermath. they chanted: "we love money. we love war. we love cheney even more."
who doesn't?

addendum: some of the above paragraphs are from an earlier version of this same story (when it was reported that over "400" had been arrested), but those words are now no longer at this url.

anyhow, you get the gist of it. folks got busted.
posted by skippy at 7:35 PM | 0 comments

the latest from nyc

here's the latest from nyc blogging, courtesy of cosmopoly's rnc blogging page:

steve gilliard loves new york.

matthew yglecias hates liddy dole.

talkleft will be ignoring ah-nold and laura tonight in favor of dog the bounty hunter.

am i patriotic describes amy goodman's run-in with the nyc police.

mydd rates the repubbb blogs.

media matters calls blitzer on letting the 527 lie go by.

stop the presses! kos has an open thread. (what a lazy way to run a blog).
posted by skippy at 7:23 PM | 0 comments

truth in advertising

the lovely pudentilla has found an (admittedly unofficia)l awol/cheney site named, appropriately enough, misogeny central .


posted by skippy at 12:35 PM | 0 comments

happy masonic festal day from the bush economic team

while you're seeing all the wonderful pat-ourselves-on-the-back headlines from the self-love-fest that is the repubbb national convention, you may want to consider the latest news from the commerce department:

personal incomes grew at the slowest pace in two years, and though spending rose more than expected, it is assumed this was because of incentives by auto dealers (end of the year clearance, we suppose), and is not anticipated to continue next month. cnnmoney:

analysts said purchases of autos helped lift spending in july, fueled by heavy incentives from automakers, and that spending was unlikely to post further solid increases if income growth remains weak.

the commerce department said americans' personal incomes rose a scant 0.1 percent in july -- the slowest growth since november 2002 -- compared with a 0.2 percent gain in june. economists surveyed by briefing.com had forecast an increase of 0.5 percent.

at the same time, spending by individuals jumped 0.8 percent in the month, compared to a revised 0.2 percent decline in june. consumer spending is watched closely since it fueled about two-thirds of the nation's economy. economists had forecast a 0.7 percent gain for july...

"trends show a sharp surge on auto spending in july but little strength elsewhere," said robert brusca of fao economics in a note to clients monday. "most disturbing is the ongoing sluggishness for services. demand there is hovering around (annual) gains of 2 percent. that won't create many jobs."

brusca and other economists said that the strength in spending in the face of weak growth in income can't be sustained.
and, ending on a bit of irony:

one piece of good news for financial markets was that measures of prices paid by consumers showed essentially no change in july compared with june.
the irony is, with this administration, a flat line is considered good news.
posted by skippy at 12:04 AM | 0 comments

Monday, August 30, 2004

say hello

to rook's rant.
posted by skippy at 11:42 PM | 0 comments

today in new york city

start at the bottom and work your way up for chronological order.

addendum: forget it. indymedia nyc seem to have shut down the feed. but go to their site for the latest on activism in the big apple this week.
posted by skippy at 5:00 PM | 0 comments

school house schrock, or, karma bites gop on the ass

repubbb virgina rep. ed schrock has resigned, effective immediately, citing "certain allegations." msnbc:


republican u.s. rep. edward l. schrock abruptly announced monday that he will not seek a third term, citing unspecified allegations that have “called into question” his ability to serve.

schrock said in a five-paragraph statement that he has “come to the realization that these allegations will not allow my campaign to focus on the real issues facing our nation.”

the release said he would not comment further on his decision, nor did he comment specifically on the allegations.
gee, what could those allegations about the co-signer of the "fedearl marriage amendment" (which proposed prohibiting gay people from marrying) possibly be?

couldn't be that he likes to meet gay men via a gay sex phone line, could it?

(thanks to atrios for the tip!)

posted by skippy at 4:49 PM | 0 comments

remember, vote early and often!

this week is the last week you'll have to nominate skippy's blog (url: www.xnerg.blogspot.com) in the washpost 2004 readers choice awards for best political and election blog.

there are several categories, so, even if you don't feel we are the best political blog around (that would be this one), there are plenty of chances to nominate us.

and don't be put off the by inferred premise that to participate in the washpost readers choice awards, that you actually have to read the washpost.

nobody does anyway.
posted by skippy at 4:43 PM | 0 comments

short answer? "yes."

from cursor, we get the wonderful mark morford's sfchron piece: "is our nation drunk?"

hey, it happens. sometimes you just gotta purge. vent. let it all out. because, really, it all makes you ask: is everyone on drugs? mass delusional? are we just blind? or is the vicious gop spin machine really that powerful? why, yes, yes, it is. and isn't it just the funniest thing?

but, wait, there's more. the gop is also accusing kerry of a nasty bout of "flip flopping" on a handful of issues. griping that he's changed his mind on a few key pieces of legislation, not the least of which is his support for war on iraq. and the usa patriot act. which is, you know, sort of true.

but, then again, not really, not considering how nearly every single congressperson was equally duped by the vicious gop war machine, the outright wmd lies and bushco's post-9/11 propaganda and the invidious usa patriot act midnight ream-through. hell, kerry was just as misled as the rest of us.

is kerry culpable for his own choices and for making errors in judgment and for not always being absolutely flawlessly progressive in his decisions? hell, yes. but does his record of such errors pale in comparison to bush's mile-high ream of lies and flip-flops and outright slaps in the face of your humanity? oh my god yes, yes, it does.

but lo, let us not hold back any longer. let us now laugh out loud, hold our sides in pain, gasp for air as we look at the bushco "flip flop" record, in sum. let us observe the short list of issues about which bushco has either completely reversed his position, or has simply openly lied to the nation about to further his administration's shockingly small-minded, self-serving corporate agenda:

the creation of the 9/11 commission. the iraq wmd investigation. the israeli/palestine conflict. nation building. same-sex marriage. veterans' benefits. the value of osama bin laden. the saddam/al qaeda link. north korea. the u.n. vote on iraq. "mission accomplished." ahmed chalabi. steel tariffs. the department of homeland security. campaign-finance reform. energy policy. hybrid cars. the deficit. assault weapons. abortion. science. global warming. the environment.
it is rather like living in bizarro world these days...
posted by skippy at 12:09 PM | 0 comments

history was made

talkleft tells us yesterday's march in nyc was the biggest protest at a political convention ever.

and here's proof.
posted by skippy at 10:36 AM | 0 comments

letters...we get letters...

reader cl gogetter sends us this reuters piece in which awol admits miscalculations in iraq.

dave at seeing the forest sends us his analysis of a portrait of a smear artist...this particular one being george c. landrith, with funding stretching back to scaife, castle rock, and others.

also at seeing the forest, zizka battles a troll (and while you're at it, show zizka some love).

the kids at the daily cookie send us this sirotablog post about more vote shenanigans in florida.

the dc also sends us a report from the government computer news which documents the fact that companies incorporated in overseas tax havens also have the edge in federal contracts.

political strategy has some great photos of yesterday's march, including a shot of michael moore participating in democracy.

gavin sends us one particularly somber shot.
posted by skippy at 10:17 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, August 29, 2004

open thread

possible topic: open needles.
posted by skippy at 8:50 PM | 0 comments

erratum

we are happy to correct a mistake we made earlier today.

we had said that none of the screeching head networks were covering the huge march down broadway in nyc, so we urged everyone to tune into c-span.

we were happy to see later that msnbc had in fact turned their live cameras on the march as a background to their reporters.

in fact it was heartening to watch david gergen try to make himself heard above the shouts of the protesters.

and chris matthews was live from herald square, talking with some of the protesters and bystanders.

if they're not careful, msnbc might actually become a news station.
posted by skippy at 4:14 PM | 0 comments

tune to the rnc

for all the latest on blogged news from the repubbb national convention, go to cosmopoly's aggregator page.

another great source for news not found on tv: indy media, new york style.

for instance, found on the nyc imc, here's some great photos from today's march, and here's some others.

at least the mainstream media are reporting 10's of thousands, though from the look of the c-span pictures, we wouldn't be surprised if it was in the hundreds of thousands.

looks like a great party. sorry we are missing it.
posted by skippy at 12:20 PM | 0 comments

there are some real republicans left

the left coaster (pointed out to us by the kids at the daily cookie) links to a washpost piece about former nixon aide kevin phillips, who has some not-too-kind words about awol and his family:

i've never understood why we take bush and his family seriously," he says. "they come from the investment-inherited-money wing of the republican party. they display no real empathy for anyone who is not of their class"...

"they aren't supply-siders; they're crony-siders. as far as i'm concerned, i would put bush on a slow boat to china with all full warning to the chinese submarine fleet"…

his best-selling, muckraking book on the family that has held the presidency for eight of the past 16 years, "american dynasty: aristocracy, fortune and the politics of deceit in the house of bush," is a sustained rummage through the bush family closet. he pulls out all manner of files on the early bushes and the walker branch of the family, and their dealings with post-world war i german industrialists and post-world war ii saudi princelings. and he draws a bright connecting line between those wheeler-dealer financiers and their texas-lite descendants…

and he locates the source of his populist scorn for bush not in the polemics of the left but in the politics of his hero, dwight eisenhower. the former general was a politician who embraced a top marginal tax rate of 90 percent, who warned of the abuses of the military-industrial complex and who -- in phillips's telling -- had little use for the country club republican set.

"the republicans i respected really cared about the meatloaf crowd," phillips says. "the bush crowd can call me a pinko if they want, but that really doesn't go down well with people who know anything about politics."
mr. phillips says something we really agree with:

he's confounded, too, by the democrats' inability to savage their opponents. he frowns -- it's as if someone took pliers and pulled out the party's canine teeth. "the democrats accumulated all this dirt on bush, but they wouldn't use it," he says. "these people have no taste for the jugular."
and, to cap it all off, he rates the candidates pretty accurately, right about where we would put them:

so what's an nixon-eisenhower republican to do when he steps inside a voting booth in november 2004? phillips shrugs. as it stands, kerry has his vote, although the text of phillips's endorsement probably won't appear in any democratic ads. "i'm hoping that kerry's a seven on a scale of 10, but i'm afraid maybe he's just a five," phillips says. "but kerry's running against a zero. so my choice is clear."

posted by skippy at 11:37 AM | 0 comments

oh, no, no links at all

the old fashioned patriot links us to 100 wild-eyed monkeys typing who finds out the "veteran" sent to give a letter to max clelland at the recent crawford confrontation was the texas land commissioner whose biggest donor is...wait for it...bob perry!
posted by skippy at 11:29 AM | 0 comments

from smear to far

reader wingnut directs us (via buzzflash) to the editorial page of the minneapolis-st. paul star tribune, in which editor jim boyd laments the current smear tactics against john kerry:

i see the recent commentary by john h. hinderaker and scott w. johnson ("unwrapping kerry's story of christmas in cambodia," aug. 18) as part of that smear. it did not meet what i believe should be the standards of the star tribune's editorial pages. such pieces should not appear here, and that one does so for the second time in 10 days pains me greatly.

we have a responsibility to separate legitimate political opinion -- and the latitude is great -- from deliberate smear. that responsibility is especially important in this campaign. sometimes it's difficult to tell whether a piece crosses that line; to me, this is not one of those times. a legitimate piece might have raised hard questions about kerry in cambodia; theirs wasn't that piece…

then along came the hinderaker-johnson piece on kerry. it should have set off all kinds of alarms. as one of the editors responsible for these pages, i regret that it did not -- and that i was not here to weigh in on the decision.

now comes their second piece. i could do extensive line-by-line analysis, but i will not. it would take space i do not have. for the fair-minded, two examples should suffice.
the top of their piece is devoted to negatives: no record of this, no record of that, etc. this proves nothing. there generally are no public records of clandestine activities. the burden of proof here is on hinderaker and johnson, not on kerry and not on me…

this is not about who is elected, but about how we allow this campaign to unfold, especially on our pages. i am sick to death of being played for a chump by the likes of karl rove. america can definitely do better.
why not email mr. boyd and thank him for taking a stand against smear tactics?
posted by skippy at 11:13 AM | 0 comments

covering the coverage

of course you won't find any mention of the new york city protest and march on any of the screeching head networks today. but you can tune in to c-span for live coverage, even as we speak.
posted by skippy at 10:18 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, August 28, 2004

what's going on with msnbc?

between keith obermann, chris matthews, and now, deborah norville, they are actually starting to act like real journalists over there.

ms. norville, unlike some screeching heads who let anybody dissemble any lies they like on their shows (we won't mention anyone by name, but the guy we're thinking of rhymes with molf mlitzer), repeatedly asked the shifty boat veterans pertinent and direct questions on her show last thursday. to wit:

norville: and mr. gardner, i want to start with you first. what do you specifically remember about that day in march of 1969?

steve gardner, swift boat veterans for truth: i wasn‘t on the boat in march of 1969.

norville: you were a part of john kerry‘s team, were you not?

gardner: i was a crew on the pcf-44 boat.

norville: and what do you remember about the day that has been so hotly debated in these ads? it was february. forgive me.

gardner: again, when you‘re talking—if you want to talk about christmas in cambodia..[yada yada yada, not answering the question]...he lied.

norville: mr. gardner, i‘m trying to find out, were on the swift boat commanded by john kerry? you were not?

gardner: i absolutely was, yes. i was on the pcf-44 for two months and two weeks of his tour of duty.

norville: but it was not the time of the incident that is so hotly debated right now?

gardner: if you‘re talking about the bronze star incident, no. larry thurlow is the man.
so deborah goes straight to the horse's ass and asked larry thurlow:

norville: another source, of course, is mr. thurlow, who was on another boat that was in the same vicinity. mr. thurlow, what do you remember about that day?

larry thurlow, swift boat veterans for truth: specifically, what i remember about that day is…[yada yada yada, john kerry is a liar, rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb]...at the time.

norville: how do you know he threw a grenade? did you see him throw the grenade, sir?

thurlow: i was there on the beach with him, and we had gone into this small village. yes, i had been there with him, and...

norville: did you see him throw the grenade?

thurlow: no, but i later heard him say that he had tossed the grenade there and that...

norville: did anyone see him throw the grenade?

thurlow: well, it depends which account you want to use...
and then later on, the coup de gras: norville forces thurlow to admit he has no real reason for his opinions other than his opinions.

norville: how do you know that, sir? because the report in question has initials that are not jfk, which are the initials of john kerry. they‘re the initial kjw, and the navy says that those initials were put on that report by the person at headquarters who was in receipt of that document.

thurlow: yes, i‘m sure that‘s correct. he acknowledged receipt by putting those initials on it. the reason i‘m so sure it‘s john kerry‘s report is because keep in mind that the action that day was the 3 boat being mined. now, the story that john kerry tells, of course, is he comes back through 5,000 meters of heavy automatic and semiautomatic weapons fire, small arms fire, from both banks, and in this hail of bullets, rescues jim rassmann, who‘d fallen off his boat earlier as he left the area.

now, the reason i‘m sure that john kerry wrote that report is the entire report is from the point of view of the 94 boat, his boat. what happened to the 3 boat and everything else that happened that day is basically just mentioned in passing.
[ed. note: emphasis, and skepticism, ours].

be sure to email deborah and thank her for not letting the shifty boat veterans slink by with their lies.
posted by skippy at 7:58 PM | 0 comments

not all demonstrations were in new york this weekend

the asspress tells us that some protesters picketed the main repubbb donor to the shifty boat ads in texas:

nearly 40 protesters gathered saturday at the home of the chief financial backer of the swift boat veterans for truth, whose ads criticize democrat john kerry's military record.

bob j. perry didn't appear to be at his suburban houston home and didn't answer three doorbell rings by several veterans wanting to hand-deliver a letter asking him to stop supporting the group.

"we deeply resent what he's doing to the veterans," said richard zaner, 70, a korean war veteran who lives in the same suburb as perry, a wealthy homebuilder.

kerry supporters chanted "hey, hey, ho, ho, your stinkin' ad has got to go." a nassau bay policeman was parked nearby.

posted by skippy at 7:49 PM | 0 comments

one down, 2,508 to go

thanks to this daily kos diary, we find this upi story telling us about one of the repubbb delegates who is dropping out of the convention and will be voting for kerry in november:

congressional quarterly reported friday that after attending four previous conventions, philadelphia's jesse walters was chosen as a delegate to this year's gop convention in new york only to resign the position, saying he could not support bush and expressing concern with the rightward move of the republican party.

calling the decision to drop his position one of the five hardest he has had to make in his life, walters said he plans to cast his first-ever vote for a democrat for president in november.
now if we can get the log cabin repubbbs to come over...
posted by skippy at 2:31 PM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

lots of items today...

the kids at the daily cookie forward this bit of video of former texas lt. gov. ben barnes admitting he pulled strings to get awol into the national guard.

the pr folks for the flick bush's brain are thrilled at all the press they're getting, such as eleanor clift's interview with a repubbb deep throat about the film; britt hume discussing it with karl rove; and the nytimes movie minute review.

moveon.org tells us about their 10 new ads made by famous hollywood writers, directors and actors.

dave at seeing the forest covers the fact that awol thinks kerry is telling the truth about the swift boat medals.

and jenn arbuste (from the french: "jenna shrub") gives her two cents about swift boats.
posted by skippy at 2:05 PM | 0 comments

Friday, August 27, 2004

how the heck is he supposed to brush his teeth?

headline found on cnn: doctors grow new jaw in man's back.

"oops," doctors say.
posted by skippy at 3:28 PM | 0 comments

bloomberg: shifty boat ads didn't work

bloomberg is reporting that kerry and awol are in a statistical deadheat, and concluding that all the shifty boat fracas didn't help the repubbbs one iota:

president george w. bush and john kerry remain deadlocked in the race for the u.s. presidency, five national polls show, indicating that an anti-kerry advertising campaign by a vietnam veterans group has failed to hurt him or help the president.

kerry, a four-term u.s. senator from massachusetts, leads bush by 2 percentage points in a george washington university poll and by 1 point in a fox news survey. an investor's business daily poll shows the candidates even, while bush leads in polls by the los angeles times and the gallup organization. all results are within the surveys' margins for error…

the gallup survey found that 81 percent of those polled had seen the swift boat group's ads or were familiar with the commercials' content. ``it doesn't seem like it had any effect on the ballot question,'' jeff jones, managing editor of the gallup poll, said in an interview. that ``isn't because people aren't aware of what's going on,'' he said…

[in the latimes poll] eighteen percent of those polled said kerry had misrepresented his war record, while 58 percent said kerry had fought ``honorably'' and deserves the medals he won. half of republicans polled said they believe kerry lied about his war record, while democrats said 10 to 1 that kerry served honorably.
but the most surprising is from faux news:

a fox news poll found kerry leading bush by 1 percentage point among likely voters. in a three-way race that includes the independent nader, kerry would get 44 percent of the vote, bush 43 percent and nader 3 percent, the august 24-25 telephone poll of 1,000 likely voters shows. in a two-way race, kerry leads bush 45 percent to 44 percent.
and, don't listen to cnn's reports that awol holds the lead in electoral votes. you don't even have to listen to our preferred ev counter, the electoral vote predictor page. take a gander at bloomberg, a disinterested third party (as much as rich white guys can be disinterested), has to say about the electoral vote count so far:

a review of state-by-state polls and historical voting data by bloomberg news shows bush ahead in 19 states, including texas and idaho, with 153 electoral votes. kerry leads in 12 states, including new york and new jersey, with 179 electoral votes. in 19 states that have 206 electoral votes, including ohio and wisconsin, the most recent polling results are within the margin of error.
that's right. bloomberg has kerry leading 179 to 153, with 206 votes up for grabs.
posted by skippy at 3:15 PM | 0 comments

you're so aggregating

well, we can't do the crocadile who works on a farm joke for aggregator again, so we'll just forward this link to cosmopoly, and its aggregator page of all the bloggers who are blogging the repubbb convention next week.

(the link was graciously pointed out to us by the lovely anna of annatopia).

again, please notice that a couple of blogs that our scribblings are seen on will be a part of the brouhaha. we're happy that the american street and daily kos and mydd are participants, along with a host of the best of blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase, pat.pend!)
posted by skippy at 2:55 PM | 0 comments

mr. french suspended...no more milk and cookie for buffy and jody

readers of this space may remember when we told you about al french, the portland oregon da who has been proven to be a liar, specifically when he said in the on the shifty boat veteran ad that he witnessed the incident for which kerry got his medals (french wasn't there).

well, karma gets everyone, sooner or later, and mr. french has been placed on a 30 day suspension for lying.

the sad news is, it was for lying about an extra-marital affair, not about legalities like signed affadavits. the oregonian:

clackamas county prosecutor alfred french, who called sen. john kerry a liar in a political commercial, acknowledged thursday that he lied to his boss when confronted about an extramarital affair with a colleague.

hours later, the clackamas county district attorney's office said french had been placed on a 30-day paid leave while it conducts an investigation into his conduct…

french's affidavit supporting the ad accused kerry of exaggerating his war record, yet french conceded that he was relying on the account of war buddies, not what he witnessed. since then, he's faced pickets outside his office and complaints of unethical conduct to the state bar.
we assume the extramarital affair mr. french had was a family one.
posted by skippy at 9:41 AM | 0 comments

mail call

let's open up the ol' skippy mailbag:

today the kids at the daily cookie send us this dick meyer editorial from cbsnews examining awol's dirty tricks.

reader and contributor rose sends us the story of the distraught man who set himself on fire after learning his son was killed in iraq.
posted by skippy at 9:10 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, August 26, 2004

central perks

talkleft is reporting that the city of new york and united peace and justice, the folks organizing the big protest march for the repubbb convention, have reached a compromise.

instead of gathering in central park (really nice) or under the west side highway (really crappy), the march will end at union square.

however, it looks as if nobody's trying to stop people from gathering in the park after the march, because, after all, it is a public place, n'est ce pas?

if we lived on that coast instead of this one, we'd be there. have fun, kids, and obey the law, don't break anything, and be sure to ask for a lawyer if detained by police.
posted by skippy at 9:37 PM | 0 comments

welcome to the blogroll

we're happy that g.d. frogsdong has added skippy to the blogroll of blanton's and ashton's (no, we don't know why the blog isn't called "frogsdong's"), and we're proud to reciprocate.
posted by skippy at 5:11 PM | 0 comments

happy susan b anthony day from the bush economic team

the census bureau's annual report says that, once again, there was an increase of the number of people living in poverty in the us this year. cnnmoney:

the number of americans living in poverty jumped to 35.9 million last year, up by 1.3 million, while the number of those without health care insurance rose to 45 million from 43.6 million in 2002, the u.s. government said in a report thursday.
and, as holden points out over on first draft, the number of people living in poverty has increased every year for the past four years.

but wait, there's more! even in you're not living in poverty, chances are good you're out of a job. initial claims for unemployment increased by a whopping 10,000 last week, far above what was expected. bloomberg:

u.s. initial jobless claims rose for the first time in four weeks, boosted by more filings related to hurricane charley, a government report showed.

first-time applications for unemployment benefits rose by 10,000 to 343,000 in the week ended aug. 21 from a revised 333,000 the week before, the labor department said in washington. about half the gain was attributed to the storm, a labor spokesman said…

claims were expected to rise to 335,000 last week, the median of 41 forecasts in a bloomberg news survey, from an originally reported 331,000. estimates ranged from 320,000 to 370,000.
posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 0 comments

fanmail from some flounders

let's open up the ol' skippy mailbag:

the american anti-slavery group will hold a rally in front of the un on sept. 12 to protest the inaction against the genocide in sudan. details here.

the moderate voice tells about the dave matthews band dumping 800 pounds of human waste from their tour bus...on tourists!

madkane has a new song parody about the repubbb convention.

the daily cookie sends us david corn's nation article about awol overstating his military record.

the dc also sends us this molly ivins' piece about awol's previous use of 527's.

zizka at seeing the forest sends us christmas in cambodia and a comparison of soros and scaife.
posted by skippy at 9:13 AM | 0 comments

two awol's walk into a bar...

here's joke sent to us by the kids at the daily cookie:

a new movement is starting so everyone can show which candidate theywant to be the next president of the us. the national display will take place on september 1, 2004.

if you support john kerry, drive with your lights on in the daytime.

if you support george bush, drive with your lights off at night.
addendum: dr. carol has a funnier one at the side show.
posted by skippy at 9:07 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

freep msnbc, which is, by the way, apparently on our side

we are surprised but happy to see msnbc use an asspress report that the navy records support kerry's version of the truth, which is - of course - the truth itself:

the navy task force overseeing john kerry’s swift boat squadron in vietnam reported that his group of boats came under enemy fire during a march 13, 1969, incident that three decades later is being challenged by the democratic presidential nominee’s critics.

the march 18, 1969, weekly report from task force 115, which was located by the associated press during a search of navy archives, is the latest document to surface that supports kerry’s description of an event for which he won a bronze star and a third purple heart.

the task force report twice mentions the incident five days earlier and both times calls it “an enemy initiated firefight” that included automatic weapons fire and underwater mines used against a group of five boats that included kerry’s…

the document, part of thousands of pages of records housed at the naval historical center, is one of several that say kerry and other servicemen were shot at from the banks of the bay hap river on march 13, 1969. the associated press located the document tuesday during a search of available records.

earlier this month, swift boat veterans for truth aired a television ad claiming kerry lied about the circumstances surrounding his medals. several members of the group who were aboard nearby boats that march 13 said in the ad and in affidavits that there was no enemy gunfire during the incident.

the anti-kerry group has not produced any official navy documents supporting that claim, however. the man kerry rescued, jim rassmann, and the crew of kerry’s boat all say there was gunfire from both banks of the river at the time.
while you're on that page, why not freep the poll on the right hand side bar?


posted by skippy at 3:05 PM | 0 comments

as goes milwaukee, so goes the nation

the milwaukee journal sentinel has an op-ed piece which specifically points the finger of responsibility for the shifty boat ads squarely at awol:

but the ads that defame kerry are especially repellent, because they are almost certainly based on out-and-out lies, not fact. and bush's initial attempt to evade at least partial responsibility for this attack and his refusal monday to specifically disown it make him an accomplice in this smear campaign.
posted by skippy at 12:03 PM | 0 comments

stop the presses: attorney lies!

the dc sends us this bit from katu-tv in portland oregon, describing how local attorneys are calling for the resignation of the district attorney who appeared in a shifty boat ad, and said things that were later proved to be false.

a lawyer lying? what a suprise!

clackamas county veterans are calling for the resignation of an assistant district attorney who appeared in television ads attacking democratic presidential nominee john kerry's military record.

in the ad, and a sworn affidavit, al french says he served with kerry and that the purple heart medals kerry received were obtained under false pretenses.

however, french admitted later that he did not witness the events mentioned in the affidavit and was relying on what his friends told him.
french's playing fast and loose with the facts do not reflect well on his chose profession as a district attorney.

“mr. french signed an affidavit defaming john kerry's military service and then he admitted that he had no first-hand knowledge of what he swore to," [veteran don] stewart said on monday. "someone who the community trusts to carry out the law cannot be lying in sworn, legal affidavits."
we are deeply disappointed in mr. french. and we are sure buffy and jody are, too.
posted by skippy at 11:53 AM | 0 comments

if you can't beat them, get your own 527

the kids from the daily cookie sent us this washpost story which details how the repubbbs, tired of getting trounced in the 527 ad wars, are going directly opposed to what awol says in public and starting their own 527 ads.

republicans who once vigorously opposed the fundraising and spending activities of mostly liberal groups who have been working to defeat president bush are developing ambitious plans to raise unregulated "soft money" before the november election. the federal election commission earlier this month cleared the way for liberal groups to continue raising millions in unrestricted contributions, and now gop groups are joining in.

james francis jr., who put together the 1999 to 2000 bush pioneers, one of the most successful fundraising operations in u.s. history, has been asked to chair the lead gop organization, called progress for america (pfa), francis and other republican activists said yesterday.

officials of the organization indicated they are actively considering major purchases of television ads in roughly 18 key battleground states that praise bush administration policies. pfa and other conservative organizations are vowing to match or exceed fundraising by liberal groups that did not wait for fec clearance, and which have spent millions to elect the democratic presidential candidate, sen. john f. kerry (d-mass.).
we'd like to take a minute here and address the idea that 527's are all evil, or, the point made in our comments section, that because a handful of people may have contributed large sums of money to one 527 or another, it is somehow inherently bad.

the 527 is just the messenger, the conduit for the message. to condemn all 527's because of one group (and we won't mention the shifty boat veterans by name) is like saying "eliminate all talk radio because one host lied."

[ed. note: bad example. most talk show hosts lie. make it eliminating the telephone because one telemarketer defrauds you.]

paul begala made a good point on cnn live today today: the shifty boat veterans are allowed their own opinions, of course, but not their own facts. and this is the crux of the matter. (and, as an extra bonus, tucker carlson tried to refute paul by admitting that awol was never in viet nam. paul's face lit up like a christmas tree at tucker's admission.)

we would be happy to see 527 ads debating facts, even presenting facts with their own spin. we believe the shifty boat veterans have a perfect right to point out that john kerry denounced the war before congress after returning from viet nam, and to present that fact in as negative a light as they like, because, after all, that is a fact, and many negative things could be inferred from that by many people.

but nobody is allowed to make up facts and change facts to denigrate a war hero's integrity without being called on it.

and, as usual for the repubbbs, they are bringing up the straw man of the legitimacy of all 527's when their own 527 is obviously being called on its veracity.

but we would expect no less from them.
posted by skippy at 11:24 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

say hello

to the trials and tribulations of emmit skuowski.
posted by skippy at 12:46 PM | 0 comments

bill schneider is an *ssh*le

sorry, our headline writer was totally unable to think of a clever line for this.

we were watching cnn live today today, and betty "i'm not daryn kagen" nguyen sent the mic over to cnn's resident windbag bill schneider for a bit of background on the 527 flap.

if anybody had any doubt about bill's political leanings, today's explanation would certainly put it to rest.

yes, well, the most famous example right now is the swift boat veterans group, which is a group that was organized among veterans of the vietnam war who had grievances with john kerry and are infuriated that he's running for president, because a lot of them were angered over his testimony about atrocities when he came back from vietnam and have harbored those grudges for years.

...that was a group of veterans. some republican activists helped organize that group, but again, because it wasn't directly coordinated with the bush/cheney campaign, we're not -- there's no indication that what they did was illegal.

others include george soros -- an anti-bush activist on the left who's very, very rich, who has given a lot of money to groups like moveon.org -- and the media fund. they are running ads against president bush.
bill characterized the "shifty boat veterans" as a group of veterans. salute the flag, folks, these guys fought for our country! this 527 must be patriotic! oh yes!

notice that bill says that "some republican activists helped organize" this 527, but "there's no indication" that they're doing something illegal.

however, bill fails to make that legal distinction abut the left. he singles out george soros ("who's very, very rich"), and connects him to moveon.org, who are "running ads against president bush."

the implication is clearly this: the right's 527 are grass roots, from hard working veterans, who just happened to get some help from "activists" who aren't doing anything illegal

but the left is funded, and indeed propelled into existence, by nasty millionaires who want to get their point of view into the national debate.

once again, the right has turned the truth completely around. war is peace. up is down. freedom is slavery.

millionaire-funded organizations are grass roots, and grass roots are millionaire-funded organizations.

bill failed to mention bob perry, the millionaire repubbb contributor who is the main source of funds for the shifty boat veterans. he also failed to mention that that 527 came into being specifically for this campaign, and is organized by a handful of high-powered repubbb operatives, with many connections to the administration.

bill also failed to mention that moveon.org has been in existence for several years, and gets the majority of its funds from small donors like you and us.

so, once again, the media hides facts embarrassing to its agenda, and makes up facts to prop it up.
posted by skippy at 11:55 AM | 0 comments

man who said "elvis has left the building" has left the building

wmc-tv in memphis gives us the ironic news:

the elvis presley road show announcer who popularized the phrase "elvis has left the building" has died from injuries suffered in a car crash in california.

a spokesman for graceland confirmed 81-year-old al dvorin has died and said he was in a car driven by presley photographer ed bonja.

the california highway patrol said dvorin died yesterday on a remote desert road when he was thrown from a car that missed a curve.
please give us a moment. we're all shook up.
posted by skippy at 9:08 AM | 0 comments

who needs training, get to iraq!

the kids at the daily cookie sends us this piece from the nj star-ledger which tells us that the marine corps is cutting its training schedule in half to hasten the pace they send troops to iraq:

under growing pressure to ship marines to iraq, the marine corps is cutting in half the rigorous field combat training it gives units preparing to deploy, senior officers say.

the marines hope to make up the time by intensifying this final, pre-deployment training and focusing it on skills needed to survive and prevail in iraq's brutal combat conditions. this means practicing more nighttime operations, ambushes, city fighting and guarding of convoys.

the exercise, called a cax in marine lingo, has been shortened from 23 to 11 days, col. blake crowe, operations officer for the marine corps training command at quantico, va., said in an interview.
this was done, crowe said, to "get more battalions through" in a shorter period of time. until now, the marine corps trained 10 battalions in cax every six months. under the accelerated schedule, it will train eight battalions in two months.

the intense course, to begin this fall at the marine desert training base at twentynine palms, calif., will for the first time include thousands of marines who hold traditionally noncombat jobs such as truck driver, intelligence analyst and jet aircraft technician.

increasingly, these "noninfantry" marines are deploying into combat zones where they find themselves suddenly under fire and unprepared. commanders in iraq report that some marines, pressed into the fight from their truck cabs and computer consoles, have not had combat training in a decade.
posted by skippy at 8:58 AM | 0 comments

doling out attitude

if anyone is as upset as we are with bob dole for claiming that john kerry "never bled" during the actions for which he got his purple hearts, why not let mr. viagra know how you feel?

here's an email contact page on mr. pepsi's website.

here is our letter to mr. dole:

mr. dole,

i voted for you in the 96 election, because i thought you were a man of principles and honor.

i wish i could take back that vote.
[ed. note: skippy did not actually vote for sen. dole, but he did in fact consider it, until the senator started in with the "hollywood is the reason for all things evil in america" crap. but we thought it would stick the knife in a bit deeper if we said skippy did vote for him].

irrespective of party affiliations, you know that for a veteran such as john kerry to win so many medals during an armed conflict like the viet nam war, his service to this country is not something to denigrate, take frivolously, or dishonor with snide remarks.

i would think that since you yourself are a decorated veteran, you would think twice about dismissing someone's wounds and earned decorations, whether or not that person is in your political party or not.

i had always thought you were a man for whom honor and service to country meant more than partisan politics. i can see i was wrong.

you have lowered yourself into the mud-slinging, coarse lying that has become american politics, and now that you are stained with the taint of truth-bending for votes, you will never again be able to go to sleep at nights as a just and honorable man.

the accusations of the swift boat veterans have been thoroughly and effective argued against, not only by those that were there, but by their own admissions by several that they themselves were not.

for you to side with these smear-mongers makes you ignoble, and small-minded, and souless.

i pity you and your lack of self-worth, having sold your good name first for viagra and then pepsi, now apparently to the highest bidder of those who would traffic in gossip and hatred, rather than issues and truth.

i pity you sir. you dishonor the flag you once fought for, and every veteran who served this country.

posted by skippy at 12:07 AM | 0 comments

usatoady: awol still awol

imagine our surprise and pleasure to see usatoady reminding everyone that it's not john kerry who should be answering for his actions during the viet nam war:

at a time when democratic presidential candidate john kerry has come under fire from a group of retired naval officers who say he lied about his combat record in vietnam, questions about president bush's 1968-73 stint in the texas air national guard remain unresolved:

• why did bush, described by some of his fellow officers as a talented and enthusiastic pilot, stop flying fighter jets in the spring of 1972 and fail to take an annual physical exam required of all pilots?

• what explains the apparent gap in the president's guard service in 1972-73, a period when commanders in texas and alabama say they never saw him report for duty and records show no pay to bush when he was supposed to be on duty in alabama?

• did bush receive preferential treatment in getting into the guard and securing a coveted pilot slot despite poor qualifying scores and arrests, but no convictions, for stealing a christmas wreath and rowdiness at a football game during his college years?
the white house has released hundreds of pages of records, but the files released so far haven't answered those questions. since the documents were released in february, at least a half-dozen news organizations, including usa today, have filed new requests for bush's military records under the freedom of information act.
we're glad to see that a major news organization is keeping their eyes on the real ball here.

the issue isn't what did kerry do in viet nam. the issue is, why didn't awol do anything in viet nam, those same years?
posted by skippy at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Monday, August 23, 2004

say hello

to spontaneous arising (one of the few, if not only, blog to correctly drop to the end any instance of the word "the" when alphabetizing the blog roll, ie, "the majority report" should be filed under "m," and not "t").
posted by skippy at 11:47 PM | 0 comments

pot admits kettles black

cbs has reprinted an op-ed from the american prospect questioning if media coverage of john kerry isn't biased towards the conservative:

so now we're having a debate about whether the man who did the honorable thing may have embellished his record a little (although nothing in the documentary record suggests he did this), while we have two cowards who did everything they could to stay miles away from the place kerry demanded he be sent. this is the fundamental truth. and while yes, kerry has made his war service a centerpiece in a way that bush and cheney for obvious reasons did not, is it really kerry who deserves scrutiny for how he behaved in 1968 and 1969? why shouldn't the major media be doing comparisons of how kerry, bush, and cheney passed those years? why shouldn't the washington post be devoting 2,700 words to a comprehensive look at cheney's deferments? nichols identifies three young men from casper who did die in vietnam: robert cardenas, walter elmer handy, and douglas tyrone patrick. did one of them die because cheney had "other priorities"?
(thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to winger's daily kos diary for the link!)
posted by skippy at 3:53 PM | 0 comments

the bronx is up and the battery's down

any protesters in nyc this week would want to check out the just law cause collective's legal briefing for activists at the rnc.
posted by skippy at 11:25 AM | 0 comments

will dick cheney debate lewis black?

rumor has it that john kerry will be on the daily show tomorrow night.
posted by skippy at 11:18 AM | 0 comments

the ol' skippy mailbag

we got some missive in the inbox this morning...

reader and contributor rose sends us this washpost story detailing the report from the inspector general's office analyzing gen. "i never met a heathen i didn't hate" boykin's bigoted remarks in the last year, and how that report fails to address the actual meat of the issue, ie, should the dod condone religious bigotry in its name?

the daily cookie linked us to this bbc news piece which has the text of a letter to tony blair from a young glasgow girl whose brother died in the iraqi invasion.

the cookie also sent us this devastating story from the all spin zone.

and finally, mr. sun has filed as a 527 for his new organization alien-abductee bloggers for truth!


posted by skippy at 10:48 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, August 22, 2004

someday we want to be able to buy "skippy: the cast recording"

to take a bit of time off of our political diatribes, we are passing on a petition sent to us by a friend who teaches theater to middle school kids. this petition is calling for the continuation of recording original casts of broadway shows. as the "keep broadway on record" page tells us:

for many theater lovers, cast recordings have been the bridge to broadway, giving the listener a glimpse of a first class production, no matter what the actual distance to new york. and although shows open and close, the cst recordings have remained, documenting the evolving history of musical theater and inspiring new generations of theater lovers across the world.

but original cast recordings are on the verge of extinction. more and more record executives consider cast recordings a waste of time and money, and have made it clear that the days of recording broadway shows are numbered. robert hurwitz, president of nonesuch records, told a journalist in march 2003 that he will now be recording only two musical theater compers – stephen sondheim and adam guettel.
please consider signing the petition.
posted by skippy at 7:24 PM | 0 comments

washtimes: ex-awol supporter apparently doing arithmetic for kerry

a washtimes headline reports that former air force general merrill mcpeak, who endorsed awol in the 2000 election, is seen in an "add" (sic) for kerry.

as any good speller knows, "add" is 2 + 2, whereas "ad" with one "d" is short for "advertisement."

now, snarikiness aside (or at least as far aside as we at skippy international can possibly push it), the real story is as follows:

the ad features mcpeak explaining why he has chosen to support kerry for president in 2004 event though he backed george w. bush for president in 2000.

"nothing is more important to me than protecting america. john kerry has the strength and common sense we need in a commander in chief. and something more -- a real strategy to make america safer," mcpeak says in the ad.

the u.s. air force chief of staff from 1990 to 1994, mcpeak has argued for some time that retired u.s. military personnel should play a greater role in u.s. politics.
you can see the add, and probably the subtract, at the dnc webpage.
posted by skippy at 1:07 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, August 21, 2004

where was this policy when we were doing stand up?

we'd like to know exactly what the heckle was, but apparently a man was fired for heckling awol during a rally. reader susan sends us a link to the cnn story:

a man who heckled president bush at a political rally was fired from his job at an advertising and design company for offending a client who provided tickets to the event…

hiller was ushered out of hedgesville high school on tuesday after shouting his disagreement with bush's comments about the war in iraq and the search for weapons of mass destruction. the crowd had easily drowned out hiller with its chant: "four more years."

"he surrounds himself with people who support him," hiller said of bush. "your opinion ... is viewed as right or wrong."

when he showed up for work at octavo designs of frederick, maryland, the following morning, he said he was told he'd embarrassed and offended a client who provided tickets to the event -- and that he was fired.

the client was a public relations worker who represents the berkeley county school district, he said. "it's just bizarre that you disagree with them and it all turns evil," hiller said.
personally, one of our favorite heckler's lines is "don't be embarrassed, we remember when we had our first beer after pretending to be on the wagon, too!"
posted by skippy at 4:53 PM | 0 comments

shifty boat debunked

eveyone else in blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!) is doing such a good job of debunking the shifty boat liars that we've decided just to link to their work, instead of doing it ourselves.

knight ridder cites military records supporting kerry's version of the events.

chicago tribune editor william rood, himself a swift boat captain during the same event, gives his version, and denounces the shifty boat liars (you may have to register!)

david corn deconstructs larry thurlow's contention that kerry presented his own evidence to get his medal.

oliver willis does a great job keeping up on all the debunking.

the seattle times profiles bob perry, the repubbb contributor bankrolling the shifty boat efforts.

digby discovers that one of the shifty boat veterans on the anti-kerry ad actively works for the awol-dick 04 campaign.

the latimes reports that kerry is filing a complaint with the fec that awol is coordinating with the shifty boat boys, which is against federal election laws.

addendum: thanks to pacific john at the gropinator, we also direct your attention to the eriposte page with a far more comprehensive listing of debunking links and articles.
posted by skippy at 11:41 AM | 0 comments

blogging around

liberal oasis gives a recounting of the town hall meeting on cnn in the battleground buckeye state of ohio.

left i on the news brings us up to date on what's happening in venezuelan elections.

roger ailes points out alan keyes is losing badly in the polls.

the democratic veteran tells us about ted kennedy's problems with homeland security while trying to get an airline ticket.

annie's annals gives her on-the-ground view of a kerry rally in oregon.

blah 3 prints a letter from a real swift boat veteran.

talkleft tells us colorado is considering splitting that state's electoral votes.

winning argument gives us the winning argument proving that awol does not support the troops.

jon's mind points out the iraqi olympic soccer team doesn't want to be grist for awol's publicity mill.

our arch enemy, ayn clouter, tells us about the latest sitcom on al jazeera tv.

the daily cookie keeps us up on the awol campaign official who resigned because of questions about his alleged affair with a student while he was teaching at fordham university.
posted by skippy at 11:08 AM | 0 comments

meanwhile, on the other side of town...

if you're in nycity and want to participate in any of the protests, you might want to check out counter convention - prnc protest tools and resources.

of course, we intend to tune into the same place we go for any and all protest news...the indy media center, this time specifically the nyc imc home.

independent media has long been a favorite of ours, because it's grassroots real time journalism, and you can read (and often, thanks to audio streaming, hear) all about what's happening in any given demonstration in any given city.

be sure to utilize both sites next week!
posted by skippy at 10:48 AM | 0 comments

Friday, August 20, 2004

freep cnn

right hand side bar, down at the bottom. you know what to do!

(thanks to reader catherine in durham, nc, for the heads up!)
posted by skippy at 3:40 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to notes in samsara and life or something like it and rodger a. payne's blog.
posted by skippy at 3:33 PM | 0 comments

he puts the "coarse" in "political discourse"

paul waldman, editor in chief of the progressive netzine gadflyer, appeared on the bill o'lielly show along with brent bozell of the we hate liberals media institute.

the real fireworks, apparently, weren't on the faux news program at all, but rather afterwards in the make up room. paul writes:

after we finished, both of us returned to the green room to remove our makeup. upon my arrival there, my feeling – as it usually is in this kind of situation – was that it wouldn't do much good for either of us to continue our argument off the air…perhaps a little naïvely, i thought bozell would feel the same way; we'd wipe our faces, wish each other good evening, and be on our separate ways.

but alas, it was not to be. the moment i walked in, bozell looked at me angrily and said, "that was horseshit, what you said!" i reconstruct here the rest of the discussion as best i can recall. although i wrote it down on the way home, a word here or there may be less than precise. rest assured, though, the nasty parts from bozell are verbatim:

waldman: what part of it?

bozell: you're a liar!

waldman: what are you talking about?

bozell: that stuff about kerry!

waldman: what, about atrocities?

bozell: he called them war criminals!

waldman: he didn't accuse any individuals of anything.

bozell: you're a liar!

waldman: he never accused those guys of anything.

bozell: john kerry is a liar, and you're a liar!

waldman: what are you talking about?

bozell: fuck you!
that's right, bozell used the cheney word.
posted by skippy at 12:18 PM | 0 comments

freep chris matthews

right hand side bar! you know what to do!
posted by skippy at 9:44 AM | 0 comments

happy hawaiian admission day from the bush economic team

the good news, if you can call people out of work good news, is that initial unemployment claims fell a tick last week. bloomberg:

the number of americans filing first- time claims for unemployment insurance unexpectedly fell for a third week as companies continued to hold on to workers, a government report showed.

initial jobless claims fell by 3,000 to 331,000 from a revised 334,000 the week before, the labor department said in washington. it was the lowest level since 309,000 the week ended july 3. the four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, fell 2,500 to 337,000.
the bad news is, so did a leading economic indicator. asspress:

the conference board said thursday that its composite index of leading economic indicators dropped by 0.3 percent in july to 116.0, following a revised decline of 0.1 percent in june. last month was the first time in more than a year that the index had lost ground, and the july decline was larger than the 0.1 percent dip forecast by analysts.

"the latest decline in the leading index reflects a loss of forward momentum," goldstein said. "there are growing concerns about the high cost of gasoline and milk, as well as worries about where economic growth will come from now that tax refunds have been spent and short-term interest rates are rising."
posted by skippy at 9:32 AM | 0 comments

sorry!

the kids at the daily cookie sent us this piece from wired about a new electronic game that lets you play campaign manager.
posted by skippy at 9:27 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, August 19, 2004

flowchart of the felchers

courtesy of the nytimes, here's a handy chart highlighting the connections and relations between large money repubbb donors from texas, karl rove and the shifty boat veterans for 15 seconds of fame.

be sure to read the ntyimes piece deconstructing the various lies and contradictions the shifty boat veterans have spewed forth in recent weeks:

records show that the group received the bulk of its initial financing from two men with ties to the president and his family - one a longtime political associate of mr. rove's, the other a trustee of the foundation for mr. bush's father's presidential library. a texas publicist who once helped prepare mr. bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice. and the group's television commercial was produced by the same team that made the devastating ad mocking michael s. dukakis in an oversized tank helmet when he and mr. bush's father faced off in the 1988 presidential election...

several of those now declaring mr. kerry "unfit" had lavished praise on him, some as recently as last year.

in an unpublished interview in march 2003 with mr. kerry's authorized biographer, douglas brinkley, provided by mr. brinkley to the new york times, roy f. hoffmann, a retired rear admiral and a leader of the group, allowed that he had disagreed with mr. kerry's antiwar positions but said, "i am not going to say anything negative about him." he added, "he's a good man."

in a profile of the candidate that ran in the boston globe in june 2003, mr. hoffmann approvingly recalled the actions that led to mr. kerry's silver star: "it took guts, and i admire that."

george elliott, one of the vietnam veterans in the group, flew from his home in delaware to boston in 1996 to stand up for mr. kerry during a tough re-election fight, declaring at a news conference that the action that won mr. kerry a silver star was "an act of courage." at that same event, adrian l. lonsdale, another vietnam veteran now speaking out against mr. kerry, supported him with a statement about the "bravado and courage of the young officers that ran the swift boats."

"senator kerry was no exception," mr. lonsdale told the reporters and cameras assembled at the charlestown navy yard. "he was among the finest of those swift boat drivers."

those comments echoed the official record. in an evaluation of mr. kerry in 1969, mr. elliott, who was one of his commanders, ranked him as "not exceeded" in 11 categories, including moral courage, judgment and decisiveness, and "one of the top few" - the second-highest distinction - in the remaining five. in written comments, he called mr. kerry "unsurpassed," "beyond reproach" and "the acknowledged leader in his peer group."
a big tip of the bush kangaroo hat to daily kos for the links!
posted by skippy at 11:38 PM | 0 comments

we're stuck on bandaids...

hammerdown has some interesting compare and contrast photos.
posted by skippy at 11:31 PM | 0 comments

are you now, or have you ever considered being a member of the protesting party?

expecting a melee to rival tianamen square, the fbi is pre-emptively and agressively questioning people who might know people who are room mates with other people who might have heard about someone that maybe once read the village voice, in an attempt to thwart chaos in the streets and dogs marrying cats during the repubbblican convention next week. the bosglobe:

with the republican national convention less than two weeks away, federal agents and city police are keeping tabs on activists and others they believe might try to cause trouble. they are making unannounced visits to people's homes, conducting interviews, and monitoring websites and meetings.

the effort has been overshadowed by far-reaching counterterrorism measures planned for the aug. 30 to sept. 2 convention. officials will not discuss it in detail, other than to say investigators always act within the law.
monitoring websites? in that case:

hey, fbi! skippy international thinks that j. edgar was well within his constitutional rights to cross-dress on his own time! and it's nobody's business!
the denver post thinks this is not a particularly good way to build the public's trust:

people associated with three activist groups in colorado have been questioned by fbi agents. fbi spokesman joe parris in washington says the bureau is interviewing people "that we have reason to think are in a position to have knowledge of plans to commit disruptive acts of a criminal nature."

but the inquiries don't really seem designed to root out criminals. would-be protesters in denver, fort collins and elsewhere who have been questioned say they feel the fbi is trying to cow them into not demonstrating. a 21-year-old intern with the american friends service committee, a quaker public service group that once won the nobel peace prize, says she and her friends were questioned even though they have no plans to go to new york…

ironically, denver recently settled a lawsuit accusing the police of unlawfully keeping intelligence files on people and organizations involved in legal protests. denver agreed to keep such files only where there was a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. silverstein said two denver police officers are involved in the federal joint terrorism task force questioning.

despite the fbi effort, protests will surely go on, and some demonstrators will be arrested. but the damage will come in the longer run as trust in the government erodes and as people silence themselves just so they won't become part of an fbi spy file.
and knight ridder also believes this is veering into abuse-of-power territory:

federal scrutiny is appropriate where agents have specific information that people are planning violent or otherwise illegal activity. but fbi harassment of nonviolent protest interferes with first amendment rights.

two years ago, when mr. ashcroft expanded the fbi's power to snoop, he pledged not to repeat j. edgar hoover's abuses. mr. ashcroft hasn't kept that promise. surveillance of antiwar protesters was ordered by an fbi intelligence bulletin last october. it asked local police to watch out for protest tactics including internet use, fund-raising activities, videotaping of events and "peaceful techniques (that) can create a climate of disorder."

all of those activities are protected by the first amendment. but the fbi's office of legal counsel upheld the legality of the investigative techniques. the times reported that the legal counsel concluded that "given the limited nature of such public monitoring, any possible `chilling' effect caused by the bulletins would be quite minimal and substantially outweighed by the public interest in maintaining safety and order during large-scale demonstrations."

by using valuable fbi resources to snoop on antiwar protesters, mr. ashcroft's justice department displays a troubling lack of balance and perspective that puts american freedom and security at risk.
but luckily the democrats are (for once) getting out in front of this issue. the nytimes reports that three congressional democrats are calling for an investigation into these investigations:

several democratic lawmakers called on tuesday for a justice department investigation into the federal bureau of investigation's questioning of would-be demonstrators about possible violence at the political conventions, saying the questioning may have violated the first amendment.

in a letter to the department's inspector general seeking an investigation, the three lawmakers said the f.b.i. inquiries appeared to represent "systematic political harassment and intimidation of legitimate antiwar protesters."

signing the letter, which was prompted by an article on monday in the new york times, were representative john conyers jr. of michigan, the ranking democrat on the house judiciary committee, and two other democrats on the panel, jerrold nadler of new york and robert c. scott of virginia.
stay tuned...
posted by skippy at 9:27 PM | 0 comments

bringing it on

thanks to atrios, here's john kerry's speech to the international association of fire fighters, in which he discusses the shifty boat liars. an excerpt:

over the last week or so, a group called swift boat veterans for truth has been attacking me. of course, this group isn’t interested in the truth – and they’re not telling the truth. they didn’t even exist until i won the nomination for president.

but here’s what you really need to know about them. they’re funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a republican contributor out of texas. they’re a front for the bush campaign. and the fact that the president won’t denounce what they’re up to tells you everything you need to know—he wants them to do his dirty work.

thirty years ago, official navy reports documented my service in vietnam and awarded me the silver star, the bronze star and three purple hearts. thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. it still is. and i still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in vietnam.

as firefighters you risk your lives everyday. you know what it’s like to see the truth in the moment. you’re proud of what you’ve done—and so am i.

of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. instead, he watches as a republican-funded attack group does just that. well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in vietnam, here is my answer: “bring it on.”
posted by skippy at 5:08 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to jenn arbuste: ma page d'accueil. we received notice of this new blog via email with a note that said

bien, ce n'est pas exactement wim wenders, mais voilà.

notes de paris par une première fille

--jenn arbuste
(for those of you who don't speak french, here's the babelfish translation:

well, this n'est not exactly wim wenders, but here. notes of paris by the first girl -- jenna shrub

posted by skippy at 4:46 PM | 0 comments

i'm rubber and you're glue and anytime you say "bring it on" it bounces off me and sticks to you

as amazed that the swift boat liars have lasted beyond one news cycle as we are, john kerry challenged awol today to "bring it on." the asspress:

sen. john kerry accused president bush on thursday of relying on front groups to challenge his record of valor in vietnam, asserting, “he wants them to do his dirty work.”

defending his record, the democratic presidential candidate said, “thirty years ago, official navy reports documented my service in vietnam and awarded me the silver star, the bronze star and three purple hearts.”

“thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. it still is. and i still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in vietnam”…

bush and the white house have refused to condemn the ads, despite calls to do so — from sen. john mccain, r-ariz., a former vietnam prisoner of war, as well as from democrats…

speaking of the organization airing the ads that challenge his war record, kerry said, “of course, this group isn’t interested in the truth and they’re not telling the truth...

“but here’s what you really need to know about them. they’re funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a republican contributor out of texas. they’re a front for the bush campaign. and the fact that the president won’t denounce what they’re up to tells you everything you need to know. he wants them to do his dirty work”…

kerry said, “of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. instead, he watches as a republican-funded attack group does just that. well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in vietnam, here is my answer: ‘bring it on.”
while you're at this msnbc page reading the asspress story, be sure to freep the poll in the right hand sidebar
posted by skippy at 10:05 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

congratulations!

you are the 550,000th visitor to skippy!
posted by skippy at 7:51 PM | 0 comments

but, we're sure the protesters will bring plenty of their own grass

the protesters coming to new york for the repubbb convention next week have filed suit to get the city to allow them to assemble in central park. the asspress:

lawyers for the group, united for peace and justice, filed a lawsuit in state supreme court in manhattan seeking an order prohibiting the city from denying the group use of the park and finding that the denial violated the state constitution.

city officials say that the expected crowd at the aug. 29 rally, which could exceed 250,000 people, would damage the grass.

but the lawsuit noted that the park has been used in the past such gatherings as a paul simon concert attended by 750,000 people, a papal mass that drew 250,000 people and regular performances by the new york city opera and the new york philharmonic.

the constitution was violated "by discriminating on the basis of content in allowing cultural but not political events," the group claims.
the protesters had previously reached an agreement with the city to assemble near the west side highway. but then they backed out of the agreement when someone who actually lives in manhattan pointed out how crappy the west side highway really is.

meanwhile, mayor bloomberg is trying to entice "peaceful" protesters to attend the rallies, by encouraging discounts for hotel rooms, restaurants and broadway shows:

on tuesday, bloomberg announced a plan aimed at encouraging peaceful protest during the convention, offering discounts on meals at some restaurants, hotel rooms and broadway tickets.

"there is no reason we shouldn't welcome them in the same way we are welcoming the delegates and the press," bloomberg said.

protest groups said tuesday they were less than impressed with the city's attempts at hospitality. they said hotel rooms remain unreserved and theater tickets unsold because bloomberg has alarmed many potential visitors.
"what do we want?" "matinee tickets for avenue q!" "when do we want it?" "now!"
posted by skippy at 7:26 PM | 0 comments

what about kung fu grip?

thanks to phaedrus's daily kos diary, we find this salon.com article (you'll have to watch a powell's book store ad for a day pass, which is not so bad, except the little icon is some sort of 4 armed man with a big mouth where his genitals should be):

veterans groups for truth says gi joe not real american hero

as g.i. joe, the leader of america's daring, highly trained special missions force, celebrates his 40th anniversary this summer, a group of veterans has aired television advertisements attacking his military record. the ads, purchased by g.i. joe veterans for truth, accuse joe of lying about his war record and letting villains escape throughout the 1985-86 war against cobra, destro and the forces of evil.

in one 60-second ad, veterans of the two-year-long, completely televised war -- in which every weekday afternoon american troops fought cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world -- speak out about g.i. joe. "i served with g.i. joe," says one veteran, thomas ross. "g.i. joe is no real american hero"…

another veteran, g.i. joe air combat pilot matthew albers, noted that his squad was called in as air support when g.i. joe allowed cobra to take over fort knox. "this zartan fellow disguised himself as the general in charge of the fort," albers said, "and g.i. joe was completely fooled. we had to scramble a dozen planes to attack a united states army base, just because joe couldn't see through a dime-store mask"…

his eyes misted up as he recalled the carnage that terrible day. "eleven american soldiers suffered minor injuries at fort knox," he said. "was it worth it?"…

in a press conference today, the public faces of g.i. joe -- hawk, lady jaye, flint and sgt. slaughter -- assembled outside g.i. joe headquarters. they were flanked by much of the joe team, including the mysterious ninja snake eyes, silent and brooding, and the native american tracker spirit, feeding mice to his eagle freedom in a dignified manner. (joe himself resides in seclusion; the few glimpses the public has been offered suggest he is a giant of a man, up to four times as tall as the rest of his soldiers.)

"none of the grunts were present for g.i. joe organizational meetings," flint said. "we're grateful to them for all they've done for our country, but they simply don't understand the tough choices g.i. joe has had to make to keep america safe over the past 40 years. he kept cobra commander from carving his face on the moon with a giant laser. he shut down destro's texas dude ranch. he stopped the crimson guard from replacing all the world's money with cobra currency. g.i. joe was there."

asked about the number of times g.i. joe let major international terrorists escape, flint scoffed. "let them escape? no way. these guys have escape plans, jet packs, submarines constantly at the ready. we're just trying to foil their plans while keeping all our men safe. that's why the 1985-86 cobra war was the only war ever fought by u.s. troops in which no american or enemy soldiers died."

flint stepped back as sgt. slaughter took the microphone, shouting that two of the veterans in the tv ad bought by g.i. joe veterans for truth were obviously crimson commander twins tomax and xamot in disguise. lady jaye came to the microphone and gently dismissed slaughter's accusation. "we are, however, worried that the ads might be secretly funded by cobra," jaye added. "you reporters should remember that politically motivated advertisements aren't always what they seem. often, back in the shadows, the people pulling the strings might not be interested in telling the truth."

posted by skippy at 6:54 PM | 0 comments