Wednesday, September 29, 2004



On January 24th, 2001, Richard Clarke "wrote a memo to Condoleezza Rice asking for, urgently -- underlined urgently -- a Cabinet-level meeting to deal with the impending al Qaeda attack. And that urgent memo-- wasn't acted on." According to a Bush administration security official, Clarke "was the guy pushing hardest, saying again and again that something big was going to happen, including possibly here in the U.S." The official added that Clarke was likely sidelined because he had served in the previous (Clinton) administration. Clark also served under Bush Sr. and Ronald Reagan.

In face-to-face meetings, CIA Director George Tenet warned President Bush repeatedly in the months before 9/11 that an attack was coming. According to Clarke, Tenet told the President that "A major al-Qaeda attack is going to happen against the United States somewhere in the world in the weeks and months ahead."

On August 6th, 2001, Bush was given a classified memo entitled, "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US." The memo stated that,

"FBI information since [1998] indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York" and also noted "a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May [2001] saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives."

It is a simple fact of history that Bush did nothing with this information. Didn’t call the CIA or FBI for further information or clarification. Didn’t call John Ashcroft with instructions for the Justice Department. Didn’t call Dick Cheney. Didn’t…do…anything. He either didn’t read the memo or took on faith Condoleeza Rice’s incomprehensible interpretation of the memo as "historical" and not urgent.

As the Sept. 11 Commission’s final report put it, "In the face of dire warnings in the summer of 2001, Bush failed to direct his government to work together to prevent attacks."

2. BUSH ON 911

On September 11th, George Bush was reading "My Pet Goat" with some Florida school children. Camera’s were rolling because this was a photo op. After the second hijacked plane hit the World Trade Center, Bush’s Chief of Staff Andrew Card walked up to him and whispered in his ear "America is under attack." Bush sat there for another seven minutes doing nothing. Judge the expression on his face for yourself – to me it seemed like a pure and child-like fear.

More importantly, if you are at all on the fence about George W. Bush, I implore you to ask yourself this question and be completely honest with yourself: Would you have sat there, as President of the United States and done nothing for seven minutes? Wouldn’t you, naturally, have gotten up immediately and gotten more information immediately? Wouldn’t Franklin Roosevelt have excused himself from the reading circle? Wouldn’t Truman and Eisenhower have gotten up? Wouldn’t Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, wouldn’t Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Clinton have gotten up? Wouldn’t John Kerry have gotten up from that chair? Be honest, fence-sitters. And then ask yourself what this says about the president’s mettle and character.

Bush did not immediately return to Washington or fly to New York. After a stop in Louisiana, the presidential jet flew to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska where Bush stayed in Offutt's deep underground bunker until late afternoon. Top Bush political adviser Karl Rove told members of the press that Air Froce One had been threatened with attack. Bush returned to Washington at 7pm.

Days after the attacks, Dick Cheney had said word of the threat to Air Force One had been passed to him by Secret Service agents. But in interviews, two former senior Secret Service agents on duty that day denied that their agency played any role in receiving or passing on a threat to the presidential jet. Later, the President’s Press Secretary Dan Bartlett admitted there had been no threat and chalked it all up to "confusion." The Wall Street Journal reported that Bush had been told the skies were clear at 1pm.

In his address to the nation from the Oval Office on the night of Sept. 11, Mr. Bush said that "immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency-response plans." But in interviews, federal officials said that, in fact, lower-level government employees activated the Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan. The so-called "Con Plan" (developed by President Clinton) goes into affect automatically in an emergency, without any input from the president.


On September 12, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld pushed to bomb Iraq even though they knew that al Qaeda was in Afghanistan. "Rumsfeld was saying that we needed to bomb Iraq," Richard Clarke said. "And we all said ... no, no. Al-Qaeda is in Afghanistan. We need to bomb Afghanistan. And Rumsfeld said there aren't any good targets in Afghanistan. And there are lots of good targets in Iraq. I said, 'Well, there are lots of good targets in lots of places, but Iraq had nothing to do with it.'"

Also on September 12, 2001, President Bush personally pushed Clarke to find evidence that Iraq was behind the attacks. From the New York Times: "I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything," Mr. Clarke writes that Mr. Bush told him. "See if Saddam did this. See if he’s linked in any way." When Mr. Clarke protested that the culprit was Al Qaeda, not Iraq, Mr. Bush testily ordered him, he writes, to "look into Iraq, Saddam," and then left the room. Clarke’s testimony was confirmed by White House deputy Roger Cressey. Cressey served as chief of staff to the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board from November 2001 to September 2002. He began his career in Bush Sr.’s State Department. Creesey and Clarke were soon gone from the White House. In April 2003, Rand Beers, a key National Security Council member for every president since Reagan, also resigned, citing the Bush administration’s total ineptitude in fighting terrorism and their totally ill-conceived decision to start the Iraq War.

Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush "did know better," Clarke insists, "They did know better. They did know better. We told them, the CIA told them, the FBI told them. They did know better. And the tragedy here is that Americans went to their death in Iraq thinking that they were avenging September 11th, when Iraq had nothing to do with September 11th."

Now, I can not stress this enough: Richard Clarke, Cressey and Beers were *lifetime staffers*, experts in counter-terrorism who had served Republican and Democrat presidents with distinction and without tension for over 20 years. All three of them left the Bush administration in complete frustration.

Later, in December 2002 the President fired Lawrence Lindsey after Lindsey offered a guess that the total cost of an Iraq War might be $100 billion to $200 billion. Lindsey's controversial estimate held up very well.

On September 11, 2001 Bush’s own State Department had a list of 43 countries where al Qaeda was operating. Iraq was not on that list. Iraq HAD NOTHING TO DO with September 11th. Every single investigation by government agencies and news organizations has confirmed this. Even Bush has been forced to admit it on several occassions. Anyone who tells you different is a liar or has been fooled by liars. A recent poll showing that 42% of Americans believe Iraq -- not Osama bin Laden – attacked us on September 11th, a sign of just how good the Bush political machine is at spreading a lie without having to use the president himself to do it.

4. 2002, "THE LOST YEAR"

James Fallows in the October 2004 isue of Atlantic Monthly has a very thorough and objective analysis of the devastating mistakes Bush has made in the War on Terrorism. Fallows came to this conclusion after long discussions with "a group of people at the working level of America's anti-terrorism efforts" who have "no partisan ax to grind with the Administration." Here is what he concluded:

[To govern is to choose, and the choices made in 2002 were fateful. The United States began that year with tremendous strategic advantages. World opinion was strongly sympathetic. Longtime allies were eager to help; longtime antagonists were silent. The federal budget was nearly in balance, making ambitious projects feasible. The U.S. military was superbly equipped, trained, and prepared. An immediate foe was evident—and vulnerable—in Afghanistan. For the longer-term effort against Islamic extremism the Administration could draw on a mature school of thought from academics, regional specialists, and its own intelligence agencies. All that was required was to think broadly about the threats to the country, and creatively about the responses.

The Bush Administration chose another path. Implicitly at the beginning of 2002, and as a matter of formal policy by the end, it placed all other considerations second to regime change in Iraq. It hampered the campaign in Afghanistan before fighting began and wound it down prematurely, along the way losing the chance to capture Osama bin Laden. Iraq dictated not just the vaunted "lightness" of the invasion but also the decision to designate allies for crucial tasks: the Northern Alliance for initial combat, and the Pakistanis for closing the border so that al-Qaeda leaders would not escape. In the end neither ally performed its duty the way the Administration had hoped. Delegating the real work to less motivated allies seems to have been the uncorrectable error. Meawhile, the Administration turned a blind eye to misdeeds in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, and to WMD threats from North Korea and Iran far more serious than any posed by Saddam Hussein, all in the name of moving toward a showdown with Iraq. It overused and wore out its army in invading Iraq—without committing enough troops for a successful occupation. It saddled the United States with ongoing costs that dwarf its spending for domestic security. And by every available measure it only worsened the risk of future terrorism. In every sense 2002 was a lost year.

"Are we better off in basic security than before we invaded Iraq?" asks Jeffrey Record, a professor of strategy at the Air War College. "The answer is no. An unnecessary war has consumed American Army and other ground resources, to the point where we have nothing left in the cupboard for another contingency—for instance, should the North Koreans decide that with the Americans completely absorbed in Iraq, now is the time to do something."

"We're really in dire straits with resourcing," [an army officer] said. "There's not enough armor for Humvees. There's not enough fifty-caliber machine guns for the Hundred and First Airborne or the Tenth Mountain Division. A country that can't field heavy machine guns for its army—there's something wrong with the way we're doing business."

"Let me tell you my gut feeling," a senior figure at one of America's military-sponsored think tanks told me recently, after we had talked for twenty minutes about details of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. "If I can be blunt, the Administration is full of shit. In my view we are much, much worse off now than when we went into Iraq. That is not a partisan position. I voted for these guys. But I think they are incompetent, and I have had a very close perspective on what is happening. Certainly in the long run we have harmed ourselves. We are playing to the enemy's political advantage. Whatever tactical victories we may gain along the way, this will prove to be a strategic blunder."]

These are lifetime military officers talking.

5. 2004

Bush, who fought against the appointment of both the 9/11 Commission and The Department of Homeland Security before flip-flopping and supporting them now says (in the minute details of his latest budget projections) that he will cut the budget for the Department of Homeland Security by 3% next year. He has never funded the department at anything close to the level he originally promised.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies, in London, reported that al-Qaeda was galvanized by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As of mid-2004 it had at least 18,000 operatives in sixty countries. "Al Qaeda has fully reconstituted [and] set its sights firmly on the USA and its closest Western allies in Europe."

Ayman al-Zawahri, second in command in al Qaeda, said in March 2004: "If you have 30 million dollars, go to the black market in central Asia, contact any disgruntled Soviet scientist, a lot of dozens of smart briefcase bombs are available…They have contacted us, we sent our people to Moscow, to Tashkent, to other central Asian states and they negotiated and we purchased some suitcase bombs."

In the ultra-conservative National Review, Andrew Stuttaford recently wrote, "Sorry to return to this depressing topic, but the two greatest threats to the US are almost certainly nuclear proliferation and the large amounts of nuclear material still held under worryingly insecure conditions in worryingly insecure countries. Seen in this light, the apparent failure of the administration to make enough use of [Republican Senator Richard Lugar’s] program on ex-Soviet missiles is disturbing."

Meanwhile, as one former intelligence officer who maintains contact with CIA officials told The Washingtn Post recently, Iraq is "a disaster, and they’re digging the hole deeper and deeper and deeper," "There’s no obvious way to fix it. The best we can hope for is a semi-failed state hobbling along with terrorists and a succession of weak governments."

American Deaths in Iraq

Since war began (3/19/03): 1053
Since "Mission Accomplished" (5/1/03): 914
Since Capture of Saddam (12/13/03): 593
Since Handover (6/29/04): 195
Total Wounded: 7290

Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri are still at large and have now had three years to reconstitute al Qaeda and ensure that the terrorist organization outlives them.

Everyone needs to do an honest accounting of themselves and of the state of the nation. Ask yourself: what will America and the world be like if we give George Bush another four years of rope to hang us with?

Monday, September 20, 2004


SEPT 20 -- The ceiling in your first floor bathroom is cracked from an old leak. The floor tiles could stand replacing. You need a contractor. You’re not committed to anyone in particular and a friend told you about a guy named George Bush. "He’s a good guy," your friend said, so you ask him to give you an estimate. Arriving at your house, Mr. Bush is very friendly, patting you on the back, "Call me George," he says. As soon has he sees your bathroom, he says, "This is gonna look great! I can do it for $5000." "That seems a bit high," you say. "Well, what if I told you it’ll increase the value of your house by twenty thousand?" he ventures. This seems pretty unrealistic but he’s very confident and convincing and, besides, what do you know about contracting and real estate? You hire him.

The next day George Bush arrives to work at your house with a small team. While you’re having coffee and watching Katie Couric, one of his workers drives a back hoe through the side of your house and into that first floor bathroom, ripping the sink and toilet out of the floor. "What are you doing?" you yell. "Well, look," he says, "whoever designed this bathroom left us with a real mess. We knew we had to take an aggressive approach. The boys and me talked about it last night and decided to come through the outside wall instead of the door. I gotta admit, when I woke up this morning I wondered whether that was such a good idea but by then there was really no looking back. But listen, don’t worry! We’re gonna re-do the whole bathroom now and it’s gonna look great." "But how much is that going to cost?" you ask. "Well," says Bush, "it’s gonna cost $50,000, but honest to God it’s gonna trans-form this house. The house will be worth twice what you bought it for. Think of it as an investment in a beautiful future."

By this time you’re a bit unnerved by what Mr. Bush and his team are doing and you decide you better get a second opinion. Another friend says he used a guy named John Kerry. He’s methodical and he likes to talk through the project with you, so he takes a bit longer than your average contractor, but he does excellent work. You invite Mr. Kerry to have a look. When he sees the bathroom he says, "Holy shit. You said you were just doing the ceiling and the floor tiles." You reply, " Right, and you said that sounded like a good idea." "Yes," Kerry says, "but this is a total disaster now. I mean, if you had done it the right way from the beginning everything would have been fine, but you need a completely new plan to deal with this." Well, you say, can you give me a sense for what you’d do and how much it might cost? "Sure," says Mr. Kerry, "but I’d like to think it through for a day or so. And at this point I really need to talk to my electrician and my plumber –– and you may have real architectural issues to deal with now" –– pointing –– "I think that’s a load-bearing wall." This Kerry is very grim and serious. You’re not getting that warm feeling you got from Bush the first time you met him. And Bush makes you feel like you were part of a big exciting project whereas Kerry seems to just want to fix the problem and move onto his next job. Not very inspiring, you think.

You decide to call Mr. Bush to let him know that you’re weighing your options. "John Kerry?!?" he exclaims on the phone, "That boy’ll say anything to get a job –– he’s just a pessimist and an opportunist! He can’t make up his mind, he’ll just talk your ear off and never get anything done. Stick with me, now. Nobody said this was gonna be easy but there is gold at the end of this rainbow, I promise you! It’s called own-er-ship. It’s called e-quit-y. I’m telling you, you put two hundred thousand dollars into this house, you’re gonna make four hundred thousand." "Alright," you say to yourself, "I’m going to be steady and stick with my original choice, my original plan."

Later that day, you catch Mr. Bush’s plumber snooping around in your underwear drawer. Bush himself is giving neighborhood children rides to the cul-de-sac on his back-hoe. You run out of the house to chase down Mr. Bush. Meanwhile his electrician (unlicensed, it turns out) has accidentally started a fire. Turning around, you see that your kitchen is engulfed in flames.

This is a choose your own adventure.

To fire Bush and hire John Kerry, turn to page 2004.
To keep George Bush on the job, turn to page 2005.


42 Americans died in Iraq in June -- the month before the handover. But 54 died in July -- 66 in August and already 54 halfway through September.

And more than 1,100 Americans were wounded in August -- more than in any other month since the invasion.

We are fighting a growing insurgency in an ever widening war-zone. In March, insurgents attacked our forces 700 times. In August, they attacked 2,700 times -- a 400% increase.

Falluja, Ramadi, Samarra, even parts of Baghdad -- are now "no go zones" -- breeding grounds for terrorists who are free to plot and launch attacks against our soldiers. The radical Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who is accused of complicity in the murder of Americans, holds more sway in the suburbs of Baghdad.

Violence against Iraqis from bombings to kidnappings to intimidation is on the rise.

Basic living conditions are also deteriorating.

Residents of Baghdad are suffering electricity blackouts lasting up to 14 hours a day.

Raw sewage fills the streets, rising above the hubcaps of our Humvees. Children wade through garbage on their way to school.

Unemployment is over 50 percent. Insurgents are able to find plenty of people willing to take $150 for tossing grenades at passing U.S. convoys.

Mission Accomplished?

Thursday, September 16, 2004


SEPT 16 -- A couple of updates here regarding BushWatch #s 6 and 7

1. For those of you still hearing in the mainstream media that Bush got a “convention bounce” or has a lead in the polls, here are the 5 most recent polls:

Harris Poll: Kerry 48 Bush 47
Investor’s Business Daily: Kerry 47 Bush 47
Pew Poll: Bush 47 Kerry 46
Rasmussen: Bush 47 Kerry 46.5
Democracy Corps: Bush 49 Kerry 48

The first 3 are from non-partisan outlets. The second 2 are by a republican and a democrat pollster respectively. They all show the exact same thing, a dead heat.

I had said in my post on The Polls that I didn’t think talk of a big Bush “bounce” actually helped Bush, that it might even hurt him by rousing the Democrats to go out and vote in larger numbers. But yesterday I heard media expert Kathleen Hall Jameson make a good point: that when the media insists that you’re behind, you have a very hard time getting your message out. For instance, if you release a proposal on healthcare, the media doesn’t ask, “Is this a good proposal?” Instead they ask, “How is this proposal going to save candidate X’s sinking ship?” This happened to Bob Dole in 1996. The Autumn polls showed him down by 15 points and made everything he said look shrill. (And in fact it made Dole himself shrill because he believed the polls.) But the truth was we was only down about 6 points, and might have gotten a lot closer if the media hadn’t made him the defacto loser. Something to think about.

2. One more update: as you’ve probably noticed the debate rages on regarding the memos relating to Bush’s National Guard service. My original point on this dust-up stands: the “proof” offered up that these memos are forgeries is not proof at all. The most obvious example is this nonsense about old typewriters not being able to type a superscripted “th”. I had the pleasure this week of watching an old professor and colleague of mine type a superscripted “th” on an IBM Selectric Composer he’d owned since 1969. Sheesh!

Now the documents may indeed turn out to be *not original* memos. But yesterday “the secretary for Bush’s squadron commander in the Texas Guard told The New York Times that, although she did not think these documents were the actual original memos, the information in the disputed memos is correct. As The Times reported today:

"It looks like someone may have read the originals and put that together,'' said a lucid 86-year-old Marian Carr Knox.

Her boss, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, wrote a "cover-your-back file,'' a "personal journal'' to keep a record about the politically connected Bush in his charge. She said the contents of that mirrored the CBS documents, but she said those documents were not on the right forms and contained Army terms rather than Air National Guard argot. She confirmed that young Bush had disobeyed a direct order from Colonel Killian to take a physical.

"It was a big no-no to not follow orders,'' she said, adding that the Bush scion's above-the-rules attitude caused some snickers and resentment among fellow officers.

So, the basic contours of this story are completely clear. Bush got preferential treatment, skipping a long waiting list to get into the Texas Air National Guard in 1968. Around 1971 his performance lapsed. In 1972 he disobeyed a direct order and skipped a required physical. In 1973 he missed 6 months of Guard duty and did not have permission to do so (because by law and Guard regulations no one was allowed to give him such permission.) These latter two offenses should have (again by law and regulations) resulted in his being sent to Vietnam. Instead he was sent to Harvard Business School –– which, though vicious in its own way, is not a place where one is likely to be shot and killed.

The latest news organization to report these undisputable facts is the very middle-of-the-road US News and World Report, which has done its own investigative reporting and does *not* rely on the controversial memos.

3. Lastly, I would highly recommend that you read this NY Times article from today, which reports that “A classified National Intelligence Estimate prepared for President Bush in late July spells out a dark assessment of prospects for Iraq, government officials said Wednesday. The estimate outlines three possibilities for Iraq through the end of 2005, with the worst case being developments that could lead to civil war, the officials said. The most favorable outcome described is an Iraq whose stability would remain tenuous in political, economic and security terms.” Bush’s own National Security team is telling him Iraq is unwinnable. And he’s not telling you.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


SEPT 11 -- I can’t believe I’m having so much trouble getting to a discussion of policy here but something demands clarification. I imagine some of you watched 60 Minutes this past Wednesday after I mentioned it in my last newsletter. And I imagine most of you heard that 60 Minutes revealed that a) Bush did indeed get a sweetheart invitation into the Texas Air National Guard to avoid Vietnam service; and b) that his superiors were getting serious pressure from above to "sugarcoat" his dishonorable record of service in 1972 and 1973. That record, as has been widely reported in the last week, *should* have gotten him either 6 months in the stockade or a ticket to Vietnam. Instead Bush got a trip to Alabama and an honorable discharge.

This second revelation was backed by memos written by Bush’s commanding officer Jerry Killian. Within minutes of CBS’s airing of their expose, a number of right wing groups (especially the juvenile lunatics who run a site called "Little Green Footballs" and Matt Drudge’s Drudge Report) began to question the authenticity of the memos, suggesting they were forgeries and really bad forgeries at that. They made a huge number of claims about the font and layout of the memos, suggesting that they were made on Microsoft Word. Despite the fact that this seemed illogical (you would have to be a total idiot to make a forgery of a 1972 document in Microsoft Word when a million typewriters from that era are readily available) they made these claims forcefully and with audacious confidence. Not surprisingly, every major conservative media outlet repeated these claims, with Rush Limbaugh leading the way. What *was* incredibly surprising though was that media outlets that pride themselves on factual analysis and cautious journalism (such as the New York Times and Washington Post) also reported that these documents might be forgeries.

I call this surprising because – and I can’t stress this enough – EVERY SINGLE point of argument suggesting these documents are forgeries has now been answered. It is now absolutely clear that 1) the memos obtained by CBS are consistent with ALL the type characteristics of an IBM Selectric Composer; and 2) that the Air Force purchased large numbers of such devices as early as 1969. Instead of waiting a few minutes for this to be made clear, the mainstream media entered the political echo chamber and sowed the seeds of doubt for no reason. It now seems rather obvious that a number of groups on the Right *knew* this would happen – that if they could just make the public doubt the authenticity of the memos for a few minutes it would take the emphasis off the facts *behind* the memos (facts, by the way, that are backed up by official documents released by the White House and several eye witnesses.) But if the media does its job and reports that these memos now appear to be indeed quite authentic, then these Right Wing bloggers and radio men have done Bush a real disservice by giving this story more legs than it probably would have had otherwise.

If you want an extremely detailed analysis of the memos’ authenticity, go here:

and here:

For the simple journalistic report on why these documents apppear to be authentic, see:


I hope to finally report on Bush’s abysmal record fighting terrorism later this week. Stay tuned!

Friday, September 10, 2004


SEPT 10 -- Although I’d rather be talking about specific issues important to all of us, I thought I’d just take a minute to discuss polling. I do believe that polls sway voters, though I don’t pretend to know which way they sway them. As you probably heard last week’s polls published by Newsweek and Time showed Bush with a roughly 10 point Lead over Kerry. As you may NOT have heard, both of these polls were absolutely terrible and inaccurate – the methods used to come up with these numbers were highly flawed: in a nutshell, both polls overcounted Republicans. Whether this was accidental or purposeful, your guess is as good as mine. But one thing’s for sure, they both gave an xtraordinarily inaccurate picture of where Americans stand on these two candidates.

Now, some of you may be thinking that I’m making a case for John Kerry here. I am not. In fact, I tend to think that it would help John Kerry if people believed he was down 10 points, by energizing Democrats to get to the polls. The criticism of the Time and Newsweek polls comes from the two most respected non-partisan pollsters in the world: Rasmussen and Zogby. Both of them explained the problems with these polls in detail on their websites:

In the meantime, there are some very recent polls out which suggest that the race remains essentially a dead heat. It is relatively easy to poll Registered Voters and notoriously difficult to poll "Likely Voters" since no one knows exactly what a likely voter looks like. Below are some polls of both registered and likely voters. As you can see, none other than FOX News has Kerry up by 4 pts among registered voters. In every presidential election of the last 20 years, registered Democracts have gone to the polls in greater numbers than registered Republicans. Make of that what you will. Here are the recent polls:

FOX/Opinion Dynamics 9/8 Among Registered Voters:
Kerry 46 Bush 42

CNN/Gallup 9/5 Among Likely Voters
Bush 52 Kerry 45

ICR 9/5 Among Registered Voters
Kerry 45 Bush 43

Rasmussen 9/9 Among Likely Voters
Bush 48 Kerry 46

If you want two reasonably accurate projections (one Dem one Repub) of what the electoral college map looks like at this point (i.e. who will win what states) you can find them here:

Most importantly, keep tuned in to the issues and vote!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


SEPT 2 -- For the last three days, and last night in particular, the speakers at Bush’s convention have been eviscerating John Kerry, suggesting time and time again that Kerry is some sort of peacenik who would role over and die in the face of a touch foreign battle. The distortions of Kerry’s record are extraordinary. Many of the speakers have expressed complete indignance at how John Kerry handled his service in Vietnam and his protests of the War afterward. They have suggested that somehow the U.S. Navy was so stupid and misinformed that it mistakenly gave Kerry the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and Three Purple Hearts. They have suggested that a decorated Veteran like Kerry was being unpatriotic when he told Congress in 1971 that the civilian leaders of the military – Nixon, Kissinger, and their underlings – were selling his fellow soldiers down the river in Vietnam and Cambodia. And they have suggested, over and over (as Karl Rove did yesterday on CNN) that Kerry claimed to have witnessed the list of atrocities he quoted to Congress in 1971, a list featured prominently and totally out of context in the latest “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” ad. This last suggestion is a bold-faced lie. The full footage of that testimony shows Kerry reporting to congress that these were the atrocities related to him by other Veterans at a veterans meeting in Detroit; it further shows him imploring Congress not to scapegoat veterans (as the Pentagon has recently done in the case of Abu Graib) but to hold the Civilian Leadership responsible for putting its young men in a completely untenable position in an unwinnable war. “How do you ask a man,” Kerry asked poignantly of Congress, “to be the last man to die for a mistake?”

Now, I don’t begrudge George W. Bush his decision to dodge the draft – I certainly would have. But in releasing the hounds on John Kerry he has certainly welcomed a comparative analysis. As Bush himself was forced to say recently, John Kerry’s service was obviously “more heroic.” But that is not the end of the story. Here is some further news:

A closer examination of a photograph included in President George W. Bush’s Air Force records, released by the White House earlier this year, shows then-Second Lieutenant Bush wearing an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award which he never earned.

Additionally, Lieutenant Bush would not have been authorized to wear the ribbon temporarily, the Air Force Personnel Center said in an email.

American media, having focused for more than three weeks on Swift Boat veterans’ attacks on Sen. John Kerry’s Vietnam service, has yet to report the story.

Punishment for wearing an award one hasn’t earned is punishable by bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and/or confinement for 6 months under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


Additionally, a new, remarkably damning and credible article in Salon magazine sheds light on why Bush left the Texas Air National Guard in the Spring of 1972. The Widow of George H.W. Bush’s closest political confidant during the 60s and 70s, Jim Allison (he was Bush Sr.’s Karl Rove) says, “The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family, and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston and under Jimmy’s wing.” She also reveals that Bush never wore an Alabama National Guard uniform, and that she saw Bush urinate on a car after the wake of the failed Senate campaign he sporadically worked on. Allison’s account corroborates a Washington Post investigation in February that found no credible witnesses to the service in the Alabama National Guard that Bush maintains he performed, despite a lack of documentary evidence. Asked if she’d ever seen Bush in a uniform, Allison said: “Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way.” Allison also confirmed previously published accounts that Bush often showed up in the Blount campaign offices around noon, boasting about how much alcohol he had consumed the night before. Bush left the house he’d rented in Montgomery Alabama trashed – the furniture broken, walls damaged and a chandelier destroyed, the Birmingham News reported in February. “He was just a rich kid who had no respect for other people’s possessions,” Mary Smith, a member of the family who rented the house, told the newspaper, adding that a bill sent to Bush for repairs was never paid.

These are the Vietnam ear experiences of our president. His conventioneers have spent the last three days ridiculing John Kerry’s war service in Vietnam, wearing “purple heart bandaids” on their cheeks. His closest advisers, including Dick Cheney and Karl Rove, have given credence and support to the accusations of the so-called “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” that John McCain has called “dishonest and dishonorable,” that the U.S. Navy disputes tooth and nail, that are not supported by a single piece of documented evidence, and that have been exposed time and again as politically motivated lies. Today, we have verifiable reports that this group has been forging the signatures of Swift Boat veterans -- who never signed up for their organization and don’t believe their accusations – on their accusatory letters. The forged signatures may account for up to 25% of their “membership.”

You can read the entire story of Bush’s dubious use of National Guard money and time here (Just click on “free day pass” at the bottom of the page to read the whole article):


SEPT 1 -- One of the chief claims mounted by the Bush White House against John Kerry is that he is a "flip-flopper" – meaning, he changes his political positions according to the political climate. Personally, I believe that changing one’s position is often a sign of necessarily complex thinking and a willingness to change one’s approach as the circumstances themselves change. So, I myself don’t, as a matter of principle, hold it against John Kerry that he sometimes changes his mind. Instead I try to look at the particulars of each case and decide what his logic was and what his motives were. I think we should all give George Bush the same courtesy in regard to the 26 factually verifiable "flip-flops" listed below. It may be that George W. Bush had very good reasons for changing his position on the issues so much.

Each of us will have to make up our own minds. Bush’s most recent reversal came this week. In an interview with Matt Lauer of NBC, recorded Saturday and run on Monday, Mr. Bush was asked about the war on terrorism and replied, "I don't think you can win it." On Tuesday, in an address to veterans, Bush said of the war on terrorism, "make no mistake about it, we are winning, and we will win." One can only imagine the avalanche of abuse John Kerry would have taken for such a "flip-flop." But, again, I don’t personally believe that changing one’s mind is a bad thing in every case. Here are the other 25 Bush flip-flops so that you can decide for yourself whether they suggest anything about Bush as a leader.

1. Social Security Surplus

BUSH PLEDGES NOT TO TOUCH SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS... "We're going to keep the promise of Social Security and keep the government from raiding the Social Security surplus." [President Bush, 3/3/01]

...BUSH SPENDS SOCIAL SECURITY SURPLUS The New York Times reported that "the president's new budget uses Social Security surpluses to pay for other programs every year through 2013, ultimately diverting more than $1.4 trillion in Social Security funds to other purposes." [The New York Times, 2/6/02]

2. Patient's Right to Sue

GOVERNOR BUSH VETOES PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "Despite his campaign rhetoric in favor of a patients' bill of rights, Bush fought such a bill tooth and nail as Texas governor, vetoing a bill coauthored by Republican state Rep. John Smithee in 1995. He... constantly opposed a patient's right to sue an HMO over coverage denied that resulted in adverse health effects." [Salon, 2/7/01]

...CANDIDATE BUSH PRAISES TEXAS PATIENTS' RIGHT TO SUE... "We're one of the first states that said you can sue an HMO for denying you proper coverage... It's time for our nation to come together and do what's right for the people. And I think this is right for the people. You know, I support a national patients' bill of rights, Mr. Vice President. And I want all people covered. I don't want the law to supersede good law like we've got in Texas." [Governor Bush, 10/17/00]

...PRESIDENT BUSH'S ADMINISTRATION ARGUES AGAINST RIGHT TO SUE "To let two Texas consumers, Juan Davila and Ruby R. Calad, sue their managed-care companies for wrongful denials of medical benefits ‘would be to completely undermine' federal law regulating employee benefits, Assistant Solicitor General James A. Feldman said at oral argument March 23. Moreover, the administration's brief attacked the policy rationale for Texas's law, which is similar to statutes on the books in nine other states." [Washington Post, 4/5/04]

3. Tobacco Buyout

BUSH SUPPORTS CURRENT TOBACCO FARMERS' QUOTA SYSTEM... "They've got the quota system in place -- the allotment system -- and I don't think that needs to be changed." [President Bush, 5/04]

...BUSH ADMINISTRATION WILL SUPPORT FEDERAL BUYOUT OF TOBACCO QUOTAS "The administration is open to a buyout." [White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo, 6/18/04]

4. North Korea

BUSH WILL NOT OFFER NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA INCENTIVES TO DISARM... "We developed a bold approach under which, if the North addressed our long-standing concerns, the United States was prepared to take important steps that would have significantly improved the lives of the North Korean people. Now that North Korea's covert nuclear weapons program has come to light, we are unable to pursue this approach." [President's Statement, 11/15/02]

...BUSH ADMINISTRATION OFFERS NORTH KOREA INCENTIVES TO DISARM…"Well, we will work to take steps to ease their political and economic isolation. So there would be -- what you would see would be some provisional or temporary proposals that would only lead to lasting benefit after North Korea dismantles its nuclear programs. So there would be some provisional or temporary efforts of that nature." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 6/23/04]

5. Abortion

BUSH SUPPORTS A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE... "Bush said he...favors leaving up to a woman and her doctor the abortion question." [The Nation, 6/15/00, quoting the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 5/78]

...BUSH OPPOSES A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE "I am pro-life." [Governor Bush, 10/3/00]


BUSH PROMISES TO FORCE OPEC TO LOWER PRICES... "What I think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price." [President Bush, 1/26/00]

...BUSH REFUSES TO LOBBY OPEC LEADERS …With gas prices soaring in the United States at the beginning of 2004, the Miami Herald reported the president refused to "personally lobby oil cartel leaders to change their minds." [Miami Herald, 4/1/04]

7. Iraq Funding

BUSH SPOKESMAN DENIES NEED FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR THE REST OF 2004... "We do not anticipate requesting supplemental funding for '04" [White House Budget Director Joshua Bolton, 2/2/04]

...BUSH REQUESTS ADDITIONAL FUNDS FOR IRAQ FOR 2004 "I am requesting that Congress establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund for the coming fiscal year to meet all commitments to our troops." [President Bush, Statement by President, 5/5/04]

8. Condoleeza Rice Testimony

BUSH SPOKESMAN SAYS RICE WON'T TESTIFY AS 'A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE'... "Again, this is not her personal preference; this goes back to a matter of principle. There is a separation of powers issue involved here. Historically, White House staffers do not testify before legislative bodies. So it's a matter of principle, not a matter of preference." [White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, 3/9/04]

...BUSH ORDERS RICE TO TESTIFY: "Today I have informed the Commission on Terrorist Attacks Against the United States that my National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, will provide public testimony." [President Bush, 3/30/04]

9. Science

BUSH PLEDGES TO ISSUE REGULATIONS BASED ON SCIENCE..."I think we ought to have high standards set by agencies that rely upon science, not by what may feel good or what sounds good." [then-Governor George W. Bush, 1/15/00]

...BUSH ADMINISTRATION REGULATIONS IGNORE SCIENCE "60 leading scientists—including Nobel laureates, leading medical experts, former federal agency directors and university chairs and presidents—issued a statement calling for regulatory and legislative action to restore scientific integrity to federal policymaking. According to the scientists, the Bush administration has, among other abuses, suppressed and distorted scientific analysis from federal agencies, and taken actions that have undermined the quality of scientific advisory panels." [Union of Concerned Scientists, 2/18/04]

10. Ahmed Chalabi

BUSH INVITES CHALABI TO STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS...President Bush also met with Chalabi during his brief trip to Iraq last Thanksgiving [White House Documents 1/20/04, 11/27/03]

...BUSH MILITARY ASSISTS IN RAID OF CHALABI'S HOUSE "U.S. soldiers raided the home of America's one-time ally Ahmad Chalabi on Thursday and seized documents and computers." [Washington Post, 5/20/04]

11. Department of Homeland Security

BUSH OPPOSES THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY..."So, creating a Cabinet office doesn't solve the problem. You still will have agencies within the federal government that have to be coordinated. So the answer is that creating a Cabinet post doesn't solve anything." [White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, 3/19/02]

...BUSH SUPPORTS THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY… "So tonight, I ask the Congress to join me in creating a single, permanent department with an overriding and urgent mission: securing the homeland of America and protecting the American people." [President Bush, Address to the Nation, 6/6/02]

12. Weapons of Mass Destruction

BUSH SAYS WE FOUND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION..."We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them." [President Bush, Interview in Poland, 5/29/03]

...BUSH SAYS WE HAVEN'T FOUND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION "David Kay has found the capacity to produce weapons. And when David Kay goes in and says we haven't found stockpiles yet, and there's theories as to where the weapons went. They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we'll find out." [President Bush, Meet the Press, 2/7/04]

13. Free Trade

BUSH SUPPORTS FREE TRADE... "I believe strongly that if we promote trade, and when we promote trade, it will help workers on both sides of this issue." [President Bush in Peru, 3/23/02]

...BUSH SUPPORTS RESTRICTIONS ON TRADE "In a decision largely driven by his political advisers, President Bush set aside his free-trade principles last year and imposed heavy tariffs on imported steel to help out struggling mills in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two states crucial for his reelection." [Washington Post, 9/19/03]

14. Osama Bin Laden

BUSH WANTS OSAMA DEAD OR ALIVE... "I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, 'Wanted: Dead or Alive.'" [President Bush, on Osama Bin Laden, 09/17/01]

...BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT OSAMA… "I don't know where he is. You know, I just don't spend that much time on him... I truly am not that concerned about him."[President Bush, Press Conference, 3/13/02]

15. The Environment

BUSH SUPPORTS MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE... "[If elected], Governor Bush will work to...establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide." [Bush Environmental Plan, 9/29/00]

...BUSH OPPOSES MANDATORY CAPS ON CARBON DIOXIDE "I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a 'pollutant' under the Clean Air Act." [President Bush, Letter to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), 3/13/03]

16. WMD Commission

BUSH RESISTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE... "The White House immediately turned aside the calls from Kay and many Democrats for an immediate outside investigation, seeking to head off any new wide-ranging election-year inquiry that might go beyond reports already being assembled by congressional committees and the Central Intelligence Agency." [NY Times, 1/29/04]

...BUSH SUPPORTS AN OUTSIDE INVESTIGATION ON WMD INTELLIGENCE FAILURE "Today, by executive order, I am creating an independent commission, chaired by Governor and former Senator Chuck Robb, Judge Laurence Silberman, to look at American intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction." [President Bush, 2/6/04]

17. Creation of the 9/11 Commission

BUSH OPPOSES CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush took a few minutes during his trip to Europe Thursday to voice his opposition to establishing a special commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before Sept. 11." [CBS News, 5/23/02]

...BUSH SUPPORTS CREATION OF INDEPENDENT 9/11 COMMISSION "President Bush said today he now supports establishing an independent commission to investigate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks." [ABC News, 09/20/02]

18. Time Extension for 9/11 Commission

BUSH OPPOSES TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION... "President Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) have decided to oppose granting more time to an independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks." [Washington Post, 1/19/04]

...BUSH SUPPORTS TIME EXTENSION FOR 9/11 COMMISSION "The White House announced Wednesday its support for a request from the commission investigating the September 11, 2001 attacks for more time to complete its work." [CNN, 2/4/04]

19. One Hour Limit for 9/11 Commission Testimony

BUSH LIMITS TESTIMONY IN FRONT OF 9/11 COMMISSION TO ONE HOUR... "President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning, commission members said Wednesday." [NY Times, 2/26/04]

...BUSH SETS NO TIMELIMIT FOR TESTIMONY "The president's going to answer all of the questions they want to raise. Nobody's watching the clock." [White House spokesman Scott McClellan, 3/10/04]

20. Gay Marriage

BUSH SAYS GAY MARRIAGE IS A STATE ISSUE... "The state can do what they want to do. Don't try to trap me in this state's issue like you're trying to get me into." [Gov. George W. Bush on Gay Marriage, Larry King Live, 2/15/00]

...BUSH SUPPORTS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BANNING GAY MARRIAGE "Today I call upon the Congress to promptly pass, and to send to the states for ratification, an amendment to our Constitution defining and protecting marriage as a union of man and woman as husband and wife." [President Bush, 2/24/04]

21. Nation Building

BUSH OPPOSES NATION BUILDING... "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road." [Gov. George W. Bush, 10/3/00]

...BUSH SUPPORTS NATION BUILDING "We will be changing the regime of Iraq, for the good of the Iraqi people." [President Bush, 3/6/03]

22. Saddam/al Qaeda Link

BUSH SAYS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEEN AL QAEDA AND SADDAM... "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror." [President Bush, 9/25/02]

...BUSH SAYS SADDAM HAD NO ROLE IN AL QAEDA PLOT "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in Sept. 11." [President Bush, 9/17/03]

23. U.N. Resolution

BUSH VOWS TO HAVE A UN VOTE NO MATTER WHAT... "No matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote. We want to see people stand up and say what their opinion is about Saddam Hussein and the utility of the United Nations Security Council. And so, you bet. It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand when it comes to Saddam." [President Bush 3/6/03]

...BUSH WITHDRAWS REQUEST FOR VOTE "At a National Security Council meeting convened at the White House at 8:55 a.m., Bush finalized the decision to withdraw the resolution from consideration and prepared to deliver an address to the nation that had already been written." [Washington Post, 3/18/03]

24. Involvement in the Palestinian Conflict

BUSH OPPOSES SUMMITS... "Well, we've tried summits in the past, as you may remember. It wasn't all that long ago where a summit was called and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intifada in the area." [President Bush, 04/05/02]

...BUSH SUPPORTS SUMMITS "If a meeting advances progress toward two states living side by side in peace, I will strongly consider such a meeting. I'm committed to working toward peace in the Middle East." [President Bush, 5/23/03]

25. Campaign Finance

BUSH OPPOSES MCCAIN-FEINGOLD... "George W. Bush opposes an infringement on free expression." [Washington Post, 3/28/2000]

...BUSH SIGNS MCCAIN-FEINGOLD INTO LAW "[T]his bill improves the current system of financing for Federal campaigns, and therefore I have signed it into law." [President Bush, at the McCain-Feingold signing ceremony, 03/27/02]


AUG 27 -- This week, the federal government’s non-partisan Census Bureau found that the number of uninsured Americans rose by 1.4 million last year.

Since George Bush took office, Healthcare premiums have increased $2,630 and 5 million Americans have lost their insurance. There are now a staggering 45 million Americans without health insurance.

Paul Krugman explains why this has a major effect not just on Americans’ health but also on their ability to get jobs:

"In America the government offers insurance only if you're elderly (Medicare) or poor (Medicaid). Otherwise, you're expected to get private health insurance, usually through your job. But insurance premiums are exploding, and the system of employment-linked insurance is falling apart.

Some employers have dropped their health plans. Others have maintained benefits for current workers, but are finding ways to avoid paying benefits to new hires - for example, by using temporary workers. And some businesses, while continuing to provide health benefits, are refusing to hire more workers.

In other words, rising health care costs aren't just causing a rapid rise in the ranks of the uninsured (confirmed by yesterday's Census Bureau report); they're also, because of their link to employment, a major reason why this economic recovery has generated fewer jobs than any previous economic expansion."

You can read a succinct version of John Kerry’s comprehensive Healthcare plan here:


AUG 17 -- I thought I’d send something along about Bush’s Social Security plan –– something he proposed in 2000. Pushing the plan through congress is, according to Bush and his advisers, a *major* priority if he receives a second term in office. First, a few facts about Social Security:

*45.4 million people – 1 in 6 Americans – receive benefits.
*Social Security keeps 89% of our senior citizens out of poverty.
*One-third of beneficiaries – 14 million people – are disabled workers and their families, or survivors of deceased workers.
*98% of kids are protected by disability and survivors insurance – they'll receive Social Security until they're 18 if a parent dies or becomes disabled. Four million children today receive Social Security benefits.

To cover the cost of his tax cuts, Bush will have to spend the entire projected Social Security surplus of $2.4 trillion from 2005 through 2014. That’s not a Democrat’s statistic, that’s a statistic from Bush’s own Office of Management and Budget. In order to make up for this stunning depreciation of the surplus Bush’s plan calls for the partial privatization of Social Security, allowing a certain percentage of benefits to be played in the stock market. (For those counting at home, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen in the last four years from 11,722.98 to about 9800. The Nasdaq has fallen from 5048.62 to about 1750. Those are drops of 17% and 66% respectively. Ouch!)

The Princeton economist and NY Times opinion writer Paul Krugman explains the implications of Bush’s Social Security plan this way:

Right now, the ownership of stocks and bonds is highly concentrated. Conservatives like to point out that a majority of American families now own stock, but that's a misleading statistic because most of those "investors" have only a small stake in the market. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that more than half of corporate profits ultimately accrue to the wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers, while only about 8 percent go to the bottom 60 percent. If the "ownership society" means anything, it means spreading investment income more widely - a laudable goal, if achievable.

But does Mr. Bush have a way to get us there?

There's a section on his campaign blog about the ownership society, but it's short on specifics. Much of the space is devoted to new types of tax-sheltered savings accounts. People who have looked into plans for such accounts know, however, that they would provide more tax shelters for the wealthy, but would be irrelevant to most families, who already have access to 401(k)'s. Their ability to invest more is limited not by taxes but by the fact that they aren't earning enough to save more.

The one seemingly substantive proposal is a blast from the past: a renewed call for the partial privatization of Social Security, which would divert payroll taxes into personal accounts. Mr. Bush campaigned on that issue in 2000, but he never acted on it. And there was a reason the idea went nowhere: it didn't make sense.

Social Security is, basically, a system in which each generation pays for the previous generation's retirement. If the payroll taxes of younger workers are diverted into private accounts, there will be a gaping financial hole: who will pay benefits to older Americans, who have spent their working lives paying into the current system? Unless you have a way to fill that multitrillion-dollar hole, privatization is an empty slogan, not a real proposal.

In 2001, Mr. Bush's handpicked commission on Social Security was unable to agree on a plan to create private accounts because there was no way to make the arithmetic work. Undaunted, this year the Bush campaign once again insists that privatization will lead to a "permanently strengthened Social Security system, without changing benefits for those now in or near retirement, and without raising payroll taxes on workers." In other words, 2 - 1 = 4.

Four years ago, Mr. Bush got a free pass from the press on his Social Security "plan," either because reporters didn't understand the arithmetic, or because they assumed that after the election he would come up with a plan that actually added up. Will the same thing happen again? Let's hope not.

As Mr. Bush has said: "Fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - can't get fooled again.

Some of you on this list are approaching retirement age. The rest of you will get there some day. And beyond our personal difficulties there are clearly millions of citizens whose lives would be catastrophically effected by a shortage in Social Security benefits. Bush is completely serious about pushing his plan through Congress. Worth thinking about.


AUG 10 -- At my cousin Christie’s wonderful wedding this past weekend, few family members asked me whether I’d be reviving my "Bush Watch" emails of 2000 for this upcoming election – and I said that it’d be a lot harder this time around with two little daughters tugging at me, plus it seemed like the word was out on Dubya this time around and there’d be a lot fewer minds that weren’t already made up beyond the point of no return. BUT then I got to thinking that when the mainstream media does a lousy job of reporting something it still might be worth setting the record straight as time allows. SO…

The first installment of Bush Watch 2004 is copied below this personal note. You may have seen all those Swift Boat Veterans who "served" with John Kerry and are now attacking him mercilessly. You may also have heard that NONE of them served on Kerry’s swifts boats and that the soldiers who DID serve on Kerry’s boats have refuted every single one of the spurious charges leveled at Kerry in the book "Unfit for Command." But that’s not the whole story. Below are the facts about the actual authors of the book. For more information you can check out

While much has been written about the identity and history of John E. O'Neill -- one of the authors of the forthcoming book Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry (O’Neill’s links in the GOP go back to his days as "protégé of Nixon-era dirty trickster Charles Colson") -- little has been said about his co-author, Jerome R. Corsi, PhD.

o Corsi on Islam: "a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion"
o Corsi on Catholicism: "Boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press"
o Corsi on Muslims: "RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together"
o Corsi on "John F*ing Commie Kerry": "After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm? He also has paternal grandparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry?"
o Corsi on Senator "FAT HOG" Clinton: "Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she?"

Unfit for Command has received wide media coverage recently, in part because of hype on The Drudge Report and the website Human Events Online, which is offering a sample chapter via e-mail, and in part as a result of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth's new attack ad on Kerry's service in Vietnam. The book has skyrocketed to the top of the "Top Sellers" list, as of August 6.

Corsi received his PhD in political science from Harvard University in 1972; his dissertation was titled Prior Restraint, Prior Punishment, and Political Dissent; a Moral and Legal Evaluation. Previously, he co-authored a report on the 1967 riots in Cleveland, titled "Shoot-out in Cleveland: Black Militants and the Police," published in 1968 by the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.

In addition to Unfit for Command, Corsi has written books on a variety of subjects, and is currently the vice president of development and senior editor of U.S. Financial Marketing Group. Recently, he has been contributing articles to the website on the subject of Senator John Kerry's record as an anti-war activist following his service in the Vietnam War.

In this series of articles, Corsi has accused Kerry of "violating the legal provision against negotiating with foreign powers (18 U.S.C. 953) and the constitutional prohibition against giving support to our nation's enemies during wartime (Article III, Section 3)"; asserted that Kerry's actions as an anti-war activist amounted to treason; and claimed that "Kerry and the VVAW consistently coordinated their efforts with Communists." Corsi asserted that, in 1971, Kerry's anti-war activism amounted to a proclamation by him that "Communists were right in maintaining that American values were corrupt and that the only solution was for America to capitulate so Communism could continue to spread." As Media Matters for America has noted, Kerry was quoted expressing exactly the opposite sentiment in a December 12, 1971, Boston Globe article: "I don't like Communists," Kerry said. "In fact, I hate them. I hate all totalitarians. I'm totally dedicated to representative, pluralistic, free democracy."

On August 6,'s Joe Conason documented links between Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the conservative online forum Conason noted that the designer of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth website is Robert A. Hahn, a director of the Free Republic Network, a conservative activist organization affiliated with Scott Swett, who is listed as the webmaster of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth website,, also appeared on FOX News Channel host Sean Hannity's August 5 radio show to discuss the group. Swett posts frequently to, using the pseudonym "Interesting Times," and is also a director of the Free Republic Network. The website to which Swett has contributed articles is a project of the Free Republic Network.

Corsi is also a frequent participant in's online forums, posting under the pseudonym "jrlc" since 2001. (Click here to read a full set of Corsi's posts; click here to read the post in which "jrlc" admits to being Jerome Corsi.)

On, Corsi has, among other things, said that "ragheads" are "boy buggers"; referred to "John F*ing Kerry"; called Senator Hillary Clinton a "Fat Hog"; referred to her daughter as "Chubby Chelsie" Clinton; referred to Janet Reno as "Janet Rhino"; called Katie Couric "Little Katie Communist"; suggested Kerry was "practicing Judaism"; and expressed the wish that a small plane that had crashed into a building in Los Angeles had instead crashed into the set of NBC'S The West Wing, thereby killing actor Martin Sheen.

Following are some examples. [Spelling and punctuation are Corsi's own.]

On Catholics and the Pope

CORSI: Maybe while he's there he can tell the UN what he's going to do about the sexual crimes committed by "priests" in his "Church" during his tenure. Or, maybe that's the connection -- boy buggering in both Islam and Catholicism is okay with the Pope as long as it isn't reported by the liberal press. (03/03/2003)

CORSI: So this is what the last days of the Catholic Church are going to look like. Buggering boys undermines the moral base and the laywers rip the gold off the Vatican altars. We may get one more Pope, when this senile one dies, but that's probably about it. (12/16/2002)

On Islam and Arabs

CORSI: Let's see exactly why it isn't the case that Islam is a worthless, dangerous Satanic religion? Where's the proof to the contrary? (04/24/2004)

CORSI: Islam is like a virus -- it affects the mind -- maybe even better as an analogy -- it is a cancer that destroys the body it infects... No doctor would hesitate to eliminate cancer cells from the body. (11/26/02)

CORSI: Islam is a peaceful religion as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered, and the infidels killed. (11/22/2002)

CORSI: How's this as an analogy -- the Koran is simply the "software" for producing deviant cancer cell political behavior and violence in human beings. (02/15/2002)

CORSI: Think the liberal press will ever let out that these 2 were lovers -- typical Islamic boy-buggering -- older man, younger man -- black Muslims? I doubt it. Not a pretty picture, but one certain to be hidden by PC media. (11/08/2002)

CORSI: Isn't the Democratic Party the official SODOMIZER PROTECTION ASSOCIATION of AMERICA -- oh, I forgot, it was just an accident that Clintoon's first act in office was to promote "gays in the military." RAGHEADS are Boy-Bumpers as clearly as they are Women-Haters -- it all goes together. (11/18/2001)

On Senator John Kerry

CORSI: First let's undermine the US in Vietnam. Then we can go for gay marriage. When you get to be Pres. JFK-lite, there will be no end to how much of America we can destroy. (05/17/2004)

CORSI: Just don't let anybody put a tablet with the Ten Commandments in front of the school where that girl wants to wear a Muslim scarf -- OH, No --- then the RATS would complain. Anti-Christian, Anti-American -- just like their Presidential Candidate -- Jean Francois Kerrie. (03/31/2004)

CORSI: After he married TerRAHsa, didn't John Kerry begin practicing Judiasm? He also has paternal gradparents that were Jewish. What religion is John Kerry? (03/04/2004)

CORSI: Kerry has a long history of Communist supporters. (03/12/2004)

CORSI: Kerry offers a clear choice. Anti-American hatred. (02/08/2004)

CORSI: John F*ing Commie Kerry and Commie Ted [Kennedy] discuss their plan to hand America over to our nation's enemies. (02/04/2004)

On former President Bill Clinton

CORSI: When is this guy going to admit he's simply an anti-American communist? Won't he and his leftist wife simply go away???? Enough already. (02/24/2002)

CORSI: Hey, Bill, didn't you steal enough when you had the chance? (02/15/2002)

CORSI: Clinton doesn't get it. Afganistan, and other Moslim countries, are not poor because they lack money. The culture itself is anti-modern. But then, maybe Slick did get it and he just wants to create another bork barrel from which he and his wife can draw slop. (02/15/2002)

CORSI: Clinton was more interested in gays in the military than going after OBL. Clinton had Janet Rhino pushing the FBI to deport a child to Castro's nondemocratic Cuba, not searching out OBL sleepers in the USA. Clinton was too busy getting BJs in the Oval Office to do more than Wag the Dog after the Cole was hit. (05/16/2002)

On Senator Hillary Clinton

CORSI: HELL-ary loves the Arabs so much (kiss, kiss Mrs. Arab*RAT) -- wonder how she would look in a Burkha? (05/21/2002)

CORSI: Mullah Ali'Gore-ah is very proud of his new Bin Laden beard and he hopes others in the Democratic Party will follow his lead. Hell-ary is disappointed she cannot grow a beard, but her press secretary reminds us she can still enroll in flight school. (01/07/02)

CORSI: Let the FAT HOG run!!! [regarding a possible presidential bid] (08/30/2003)

CORSI: Hellary should resign and go away. What ever happened to the people she ran over with her car at Westchester Airport? Can't anybody sue this b*tch? (11/17/2002)

CORSI: Anybody ask why HELLary couldn't keep BJ Bill satisfied? Not lesbo or anything, is she? (06/08/2003)

On Chelsea Clinton

CORSI: According to Talk Magazine, Chubby Chelsea had a very great adventure on 9/11 in NYC and Hell-ary had the details wrong -- oh, it was terrible. (12/07/2001)

CORSI: Did the Journalist see Chubbie Chelsea among the wives. Little Katie Communist [Katie Couric] on the NBC Today show interviewed Hillary this morning and mom is worried sick about Chelsea. She was last seen in Kandahar at a Starbucks. But now, as Little Katie Communist sighed, "Who Knows?" Even British disinformation planted reports such as this grocery crap will be useful. Anyone with information about Chubbie Chelsea's whereabouts should post it now. Mom wants to know her daughter is out of harms way. Mom also wants to be at the center of the story. (11/29/2001)

CORSI: But the real question is: WHERE IS CHUBBIE CHELSEA? Is she in Kabul in danger, looking for a Starbucks? Waldo wants to know. Please, Little Katie Communist, HELP US FIND CHELSEA. THE SITUATION MAY BE URGENT. (11/29/2001)


On former Vice President Al Gore

CORSI: Gore isn't available for television. He is growing his regulation length Bin Laden beard. Mullah Ali'Gore-ah, as he now wishes to be called, is focused on his new career as a pilot. "Want to fly like bird," he says after his stint as a professor at Columbia. "No need to learn take-off or landing, just soar like bird and look at buildings." As to Florida, Mulllah Gore-ah says, "No big buildings," dismissing the importance of the state to his future plans." (12/15/2001)

On the Media

CORSI: Time to FREEP Chris Matthews of MSNBC. MSNBC is beginning to stand for "More Sh*t, Nothing But Communism." (05/16/2002)

CORSI: I didn't realize Little Katie Communist of the NBC Today Show knew how to hack a website. Finally something impressive from the little wimp. [responding to news that USA Today's website had been hacked and that the hackers were mocking President George W. Bush's Christianity] (07/12/2002)

CORSI: COMMUNISM -- it's simple NBC = NOTHING BUT COMMUNISM. (04/19/2004)

CORSI: Susan Estrogen -- even the voice grates. But then with supporters like her and Ted Kennedy, who needs enemies. Let Susan BLAH BLAH screatch -- only Chrissy Matthews whines better. (04/13/2004)


CORSI: Perfect Liberal -- lesbian, self-absorbed, hates America, anxious to impose her values on everybody else. [on Martina Navratilova] (06/26/2002)

CORSI: And now we get Pooh-LEFTY pushed on us by the RATS as Minority Leader in the House -- here come the SanFrancisco liberals -- hope the RATS go back to focusing the debate on gay marriages and other pro-choice topics close to Pelosi's heart. (11/18/2002)

CORSI: Too bad the plane didn't crash into the TV set of the NBC show "THE LEFT WING" -- especially when Martin Sheen was "acting." (06/07/2003)