s skippy the bush kangaroo: February 2004

skippy the bush kangaroo



Saturday, February 28, 2004

polls not awol on siflay hraka

bigwig lets us know he has a poll going on silflay hraka asking who will be sworn in next january. why not go cast a vote?

and, speaking of polls, don't forget out own poll asking about ralph nader at the bottom of our right hand sidebar!
posted by skippy at 11:27 PM | 0 comments

ayn clouter not awol with dick

our arch enemy ayn clouter writes a brief essay on the wisdom of keeping dick cheney on the repubbb ticket in 'o4.
posted by skippy at 11:26 PM | 0 comments

reader not awol on harken energy

reader dennis greenia thinks that one aspect of awol's life that has gotten even less scrutiny than the national guard years are his doings at harken energy. and dennis graciously provides a link to the center for cooperative research and an article and timeline detailing awol's shenanigans at that energy company.
posted by skippy at 11:24 PM | 0 comments

awol not awol (at least for an hour) on 9/11 comission

two things happened to the 9/11 comission, one good, one laughable, but we'll take it.

the good thing: house speaker dennis hastert has given up his fight to block the two-month extension for the comission to finish its report. he had earlier vowed to block the extension in the house of representatives. cbsnews says:

hastert's decision to give the commission until july 26 to complete its work clears the way for congress to approve the extension and could resolve a dispute that has held up action on an unrelated highway bill.

hastert, r-ill., in a letter to the two chairmen of the commission, former new jersey republican gov. thomas h. kean and former rep. lee hamilton, d-ind., acknowledged that he had been “reluctant to support this extension” because of the need for congress to move quickly on the findings of the report.
the funny thing that happened is that awol deemed to appear before the comission to answer its question...for a whole hour! reuters:

the panel investigating the sept. 11 attacks on the united states will get one hour to ask president bush what he knew about events leading up to the suicide airline hijackings, the white house said on friday.

"they are looking at an hour as you pointed out," white house spokesman scott mcclellan said when asked by a reporter whether he could confirm reports that bush was limiting the meeting to an hour.

rather than sitting down with all 10 members of the so-called 9/11 commission, bush and vice president dick cheney have only agreed to meet privately with its chairman, thomas kean, and the vice chairman, lee hamilton.

the panel would prefer that bush meet with all of the members.
rather than assume devious motivations to the shortness of the time period he will give to the comission, we can think of two perfectly innocent and logical reasons for the move.

(a) he don't know that much; or

(b) he doesn't have that long of an attention span.

we're betting on (b).
posted by skippy at 12:03 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 27, 2004

texas reporter not awol in stating facts awol about awol

mimi swartz, executive editor of texas monthly, writes on op-ed piece for the nytimes, examining in detail how little everyone examined in detail awol's military service whenever he runs for office:

according to mr. bush, reporters conducted a thorough investigation of his time in the texas national guard when he ran against ann richards for governor in 1994, and again when he ran against al gore in 2000. the complete guard records, the president told tim russert on "meet the press," were "scoured."

this came as news to me, as i lived in and reported from texas during those times and feel that questions about the story — mr. bush's life story — linger 10 years after his first political victory. why they linger is a more complicated question, one that has as much to do with the press as it does with the president.
ms. swartz states that during awol's first run for governor, ann richards' campaign backed off this issue because, after all, awol was not the only privileged son in that guard unit:

as patrick woodson, one of ms. richards's campaign consultants, told me earlier this month, "we were unofficially told that because of [sen. lloyd] bentsen's kid the guard thing was not on the table."
ms. swartz conjectures that al gore's people didn't want to press the issue too hard because gore's military service was less than stellar, and any talk of the vietnam war would remind people of bill clinton's total lack of involvement. and, more to the point:
some reporters got their information from time-consuming freedom of information act requests, others took what they were handed by opposition researchers — in my experience, the unfortunate norm in most modern campaigns. if there was a release of documents comparable to the one made by the administration earlier this month, no one around here recalls it.
after giving walter robinson of the bosglobe credit for being the first to really investigate this story, ms. swartz states wistfully (we can only project our own feelings here as to exactly how she would state it):

perhaps 2004 will be the year that details of george w. bush's time in the national guard — indeed, his life in the early 1970's — finally get filled in. this time around, there are certain factors that might put added pressure on reporters, editors and news organizations to complete the story. after all, the questions about mr. bush's service are being raised while we are at war and while the president is facing a genuine war hero as a potential opponent. maybe this year, 10 years after mr. bush's first political victory, the lingering questions will finally disappear.
posted by skippy at 12:19 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 26, 2004

good stuff not awol on cursor

if you don't read cursor on a daily basis, you miss out on some of the most important news items available. to wit:

the center for american progress fact checking awol's speech to the governors;

the democracy now interview with paul harris, who wrote the article about the secret pentagon paper warning of impending ecological disaster;

andrew sullivan finally having enough of awol, thanks to the proposed defense of marriage amendment;

ralph nader telling chris matthews "no wonder they parody you on saturday night live";

the lawsuit against the salvation army for creating a hostile work environment;

and much much more! cursor! it's what's for dinner!
posted by skippy at 12:23 PM | 0 comments

resurrection awol from witchita screening of the passion of the christ

in one of those instances where no punchline would be considered either (a) tasteful or (b) funnier than the truth itself, a movie goer suffered a heart attack at a screening of mel gibson's the passion of the christ and died during the crucifiction scene. the kansas city channel tells us:

fifty-six-year-old peggy law collapsed during the first public showing at the warren theater in east wichita. she suffered a heart attack during a climactic scene in the film, kmbc reported.

"it was during the time that they were crucifying christ, and putting the nails in his hands and feet," one witness said.
not a good endorsement. we can only assume she's in heaven, pestering st. peter for her money back.

[ed. note: we warned you the punchline wouldn't be tasteful or funny].
posted by skippy at 12:08 AM | 0 comments

real veteran not awol about feelings on war

writing in the csmonitor, gregory d. foster admits that the recent brouhaha about politician's military service made him wax nostalgic about a veterans reunion he attended a while ago:

the growing furor over president bush's vietnam-era national guard service - or lack thereof - is fraught with consequence and should be of more than passing concern to all veterans. i'm reminded why by my experience at a veterans reunion two years ago.

…most of those who go to war, draftee and volunteer alike, are average folks, of average (or below average) means, from average backgrounds. they make it possible for society's political and social elite to continue being elite. despite that, i'm proud to have been one of those average guys. by the same token, i don't take kindly - and i would hope other veterans don't take kindly - to those in power who didn't answer the call when it was their turn, but who thereafter have no compunctions or pangs of conscience about sending average sons, daughters, husbands, and wives off to die for ulterior political motives.
posted by skippy at 12:06 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

horse not awol

lately the horse has been an "on again off again" proposition...not that we can claim any better of a record. but we bring it up because (a) we love the horse and everything it reports and (b) we are happy to tell you that the horse seems to be back - at least there's a new page since the last time we checked.

we know blogging for free is time consuming and often becomes rather discouraging (don't get us started about mrs. skippy's opinions of the time we spend on this site), so we can't really complain when the horse takes time off. suffice to say that we are always happy to the horse back in the saddle, if we can mix metaphors successfully.

and, never awol, always informative and erudite, the lovely talkleft links us to billmon's great idea as to how to use awol's money against him.

posted by skippy at 5:03 PM | 0 comments

don't be awol freeping broward county!

there's a poll on the florida sun-sentinel's web page (right hand side bar) asking if broward county should issue same sex marriage licenses. why not go let them know how you feel?
posted by skippy at 12:40 PM | 0 comments

jesus not awol from skippy

skippy does not subscribe to the jesus christ story, but does not disparage anyone who does.

we have no problem with christians. the problems we have are with jesus freaks.

(the difference? a christian accepts jesus christ as his or her savior. a jesus freak accepts jesus christ as your savior, whether you want it or not).

so the question becomes, is mel gibson a christian, or a jesus freak?

we really don't have an answer to that. we have not seen christian run, sorry, we mean, the passion of christ, and we don't intend to. thus, we will refrain from either reviewing or denigrating it.

we assume the people to whom it will speak will buy up all the tickets. and we assume that the people who decry the violence in today's movies (are you reading this, michael medved?) might want to rethink their stand on hypocrisy in general, if they praise this film, which we understand, is full of non-stop brutality. (david edelstein in slate called it "the jesus chainsaw masscre.")

and since we're not buying tickets to this passion play, we also can't speak to the supposed anti-semitism that some have found in its portrayal of the jewish mob (though dave neiwert has done an admirable job of researching mel's dad's holocaust denial). skippy knows many jewish people (come on, he's in show business!) so he will tactfully stay out of that fracas.

the only reason we bring it up is because we understand the 2 and half hour film is completely subtitled, with the actors speaking in aramic and some sort of street latin. now, that is the actual reason we're not going to see it. we have a friend who feels about subtitles the way we do: "hey, i don't go to the movies to read!"

but mainly, we are trying to figure out just what "street latin" could possibly be?

"yo, dawg, vini, vidi, vici! e plurbis uschizzle in the unum mizzle, homie!"

and, in an irony so convoluted that only god can understand it, carl anderson, who played judas in the film jesus christ superstar, died on monday. he was 58.
posted by skippy at 12:33 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to share alike.
posted by skippy at 12:07 PM | 0 comments

doonesbury offers money to anyone proving awol not awol

we are sure garry trudeau's tongue is planted firmly in his cheek, but all this week his comic strip, doonesbury, is offering $10,000 to anybody who can testify to having seen awol attend national guard drills during the mysterious 6 month period in '72. the atjocon tells us:

on monday, doonesbury creator garry trudeau offered a $10,000 reward in his syndicated newspaper comic strip for anyone who "personally witnessed" bush reporting for drills at dannelly air national guard base in alabama between may and november 1972. trudeau explains in strips later this week — and on his web site, doonesbury.com — that the reward money will be given to the uso in the witness's name.

"sounds like a stunt worthy of a comic strip," republican national committee spokeswoman christine iverson said monday.

trudeau, responding in an e-mail monday, said the issue matters. "how well george w. bush handled his air national guard service — and how honestly he answered questions about it — have become frequently asked questions in the 2004 presidential campaign," he said.

"it's a legitimate offer," said comics historian r.c. harvey.
we're sure that a comics historian would know about such political grandstanding. in fact, trudeau's prank is indeed reminiscent of when krazy kat offered a brickbat in the head to anybody who could get a job under hoover's administration, and of the time when blondie offered a dagwood sandwich to anyone who could prove hauptman actually kidnapped the lindbergh baby.
posted by skippy at 12:05 AM | 0 comments

kerry not awol in pointing out awol repubbbs

we had earlier written about a john kerry press conference where he did not back down from repubbb rumor-mongering. now we were able to find a similar statement sen. kerry made about specific repubbs and specific rumors.

the bosglobe tells us that last weekend sen. kerry stated that certain repubbbs had no right to question his position on national defense:

rebuking "the president and his henchmen" for their criticism of him, kerry took particular aim at republican senator saxby chambliss of georgia for his remarks earlier yesterday attacking the massachusetts senator's opposition to some missile defense systems and intelligence spending programs.

"i don't know what it is about what these republicans who didn't serve in any war have against those of us who are democrats who did," kerry told reporters upon arriving here for two campaign events in georgia today. "but i'm tired of their trying to divert attention from the real issues that confront america," kerry added.

asked if his rebuke was aimed at president bush, who has faced questions recently about his vietnam-era service in the national guard in texas and alabama, kerry said: "no, that's not what i'm saying. saxby chambliss, [vice president] dick cheney, and a whole bunch of people are very busy challenging the patriotism of democrats who question the policy in iraq, and question the course of our nation."

kerry also released a letter that he sent to bush yesterday charging that the white house was challenging the patriotism of vietnam veterans like himself and former senator max cleland, and seeking "to reopen these wounds for your own personal political gain."
the latimes tells us more about the letter he sent to awol:

in his letter, kerry wrote, "over the last week, you and your campaign have initiated a widespread attack on my service in vietnam, my decision to speak out to end that war and my commitment to the defense of this nation."

"if you want to debate the vietnam era, and the impact of our experiences on our approaches to presidential leadership, i am prepared to do so," the letter added.

the challenge from kerry is the latest indication that if he emerges as the democratic nominee, the vietnam war will figure prominently in the campaign between him and bush.
we'll file the probability of awol's response to kerry's letter under 'd' for 'don't hold your breath.'
posted by skippy at 12:01 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

mary cheney awol from public debate

a new website, dearmary.com, is attempting to make sure the openly lesbian daughter of dick "ya gotta have heart" cheney is part of the current fracas about gay marriage.

the latimes says:

cheney's openly lesbian daughter is the target of a new website urging her to use her political visibility to protect the rights of homosexual couples. the 9-day-old site, dearmary.com , features virtual postcards written by visitors exhorting her to publicly oppose a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

"we very much launched this as an effort of psychological warfare against the vice president," said john aravosis, a washington political consultant and writer who helped create the site.

"my intent was for him to wake up monday morning and see this in the newspapers, and say, 'oh my god.' this battle's gotten personal."
mr. aravosis has done this before:

this sort of online grass-roots movement is nothing new to aravosis. four years ago, he and los angeles activist and comedian robin tyler launched a successful internet advertising boycott of talk show host dr. laura schlessinger — http://www.stopdrlaura.com — in response to anti-gay comments she made on her radio show.

organizers aravosis and tyler explain on the dearmary site's home page their reasoning for leveling criticism at mary cheney: "as an open lesbian who has worked for years as a public advocate for gay civil rights, you are in a unique position to defend yourself and your community in this dire hour."
here's a look at some of the postcards already sent to mary cheney at the whitehouse.

also, here's the sister site don'tamend.com, dedicated to stopping the ridiculous idea of amending the constitution to order social structure on americans. that's right, the repubbbs don't want big government in your lives, except for when it comes to who you sleep with.
posted by skippy at 12:49 PM | 0 comments

confidence awol with consumers

the conference board's index of consumer confidence dropped sharply last month, waaaaay more than anyone expected, and everyone expected it to drop, but not this much! cnnmoney tells us:

the conference board, a business research group based in new york, said its closely watched index of consumer confidence fell to 87.3 from a revised 96.4 in january. it was the lowest level since 81.7 in october 2003.

economists had expected the confidence index, based on a survey of 5,000 households, to fall to 92 from the originally reported 96.8, according to briefing.com.

"the most important factor [in this survey] is labor market, labor market, labor market," said anthony chan, chief economist at banc one investment advisors, who had one of the lowest forecasts for tuesday's number on wall street.
well, the important thing for this election is making sure those homos dont' get married, though, right?
posted by skippy at 12:37 PM | 0 comments

don't be awol saying hello to

loaded mouth and the daily dystopian and backwards, down and to the right.
posted by skippy at 12:32 PM | 0 comments

don't be awol freeping cnn

right hand side bar at the bottom of the page, a cnn poll: should the u.s. constitution be amended to ban same sex marriages? go vote.
posted by skippy at 12:21 PM | 0 comments

spot now permanently awol

we weren't even going to mention the passing of awol's prized dog spot, because we ourselves are dog lovers, and we figure the one good thing (maybe the only good thing) about awol is that he's a dog lover too (though not very good at holding them).

however, we bring it up, because wonkette, one of our newest favs in blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!) brings it up, and incorrectly labels the dear departed spot as the "most likable member of the bush administration."

sorry, wonkette, and sorry to the memory of spot, as we do not like to speak ill of the dead. but it is safe to say that of course the most likable member of awol's administration is and always has been barney.

our proof? was it spot who, two years in a row, had their own christmas video on the official white house web site?

(although we notice, in reverent deference to spot's passing, the white house is now labeling it as "spot and barney's christmas video." we think this only proves our point, that barney is dog enough to share the spotlight with his dearly departed friend).

god rest you spot.

[ed. note: is there some way of getting in that four years of this administration is like 28 years of hell in dog years?]

(cross-posted at the american street and our daily kos diary (complete with a poll! go take it!)
posted by skippy at 12:11 AM | 0 comments

truth awol for racicot, volunteering awol for awol

thanks to calpundit, we were lead to josh marshall who deconstructs the latest lie from the repubbbs, this time the top campaign repubbb, marc racicot.

mr. racicot was interviewed on npr by juan "no really, i'm a liberal, really!" williams today, where he made the statement that awol "...volunteered to go to vietnam. he wasn’t selected to go, but nonetheless served his country very well …"

josh thought this to be pretty strange, if not downright hilarious, and did some quick research. apparently awol specifically checked a box on his txang application form volunteering to not go overseas. the washpost tells us:

among the questions bush had to answer on his application forms was whether he wanted to go overseas. bush checked the box that said: "do not volunteer."

bush said in an interview that he did not recall checking the box. two weeks later, his office provided a statement from a former, state-level air guard personnel officer, asserting that since bush "was applying for a specific position with the 147th fighter group, it would have been inappropriate for him to have volunteered for an overseas assignment and he probably was so advised by the military personnel clerk assisting him in completing the form."
yet, racicot is already lying, that's right, we said it, he's a lying liar telling lies, lying about awol's pusillanimous cowering in texas while other people actually did go to viet nam.

keep your eyes on these guys.
posted by skippy at 12:10 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 23, 2004

cnn admits own awol from press

[ed. note: this "all awol all the time thing" is getting difficult to write clever headlines for. can we hire back the crack-smoking headline writer or is he still in jail?]

a group of us at skippy international was watching cnn today, as they began to cover a press conference by john kerry. we were quite pleased to hear sen. kerry stand up to attacks by the repubbbs (as filtered through the press contingent at the conference) with a rousing "republicans who have never fought a war" when speaking about certain innuendos and rumors being bandied about.

sen. kerry stood up to the questioning, mentioning the terrible rumors thrown against sen. mccain in the repubbb primary season of 2000, and the disgusting impuning of sen. max cleland's patriotism that the repubbbs are known for tossing about.

but just as the press conference was getting good, and sen. kerry was beginning to refute another smear repeated by a reporter, cnn anchor miles o'brien blurted out over the audio:

"well, we'll let the press do their job." and the video was switched back to o'brien and kyra "how's my hair" phillips, where they began nattering on about the next story, which we think was something about johnny depp or else a hippo giving birth to a giraffe or something.

we had to laugh. not because cnn had earlier shown awol's speech to the governors' meeting in its entirety but refused to show more than one question of kerry's news conference.

no, we had to laugh, because o'brien, by pulling away from the conference while labeling the reporters who stayed to ask questions "the press," inadvertantly admitted that cnn was neither (a) the press, nor (b) doing their work. wouldn't want to interfer with people actually doing their jobs, so let's go on to the fluff!

"well, we'll let those journalists ask the questions, while we here at cnn want to bring you the latest on janet jackson's scandalous boob! kyra, what's the news on the nips?" "thanks for asking, miles, it's tit for tat in the jackson camp!"
posted by skippy at 2:30 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to marstonalia and needlenose and oops, did i say that?
posted by skippy at 2:12 PM | 0 comments

white house admits jobs look to be still awol

last week the white house backed off their earlier rosy projection that prosperity is just around the corner.

"well, it might not be literally around the corner," said treasury sec. john snow. "actually it might be around the corner and down the street a bit, and then maybe around another corner, then up the on ramp, then a couple of exits on the freeway, then take the second exit and hang a sharp right, then a left into the parking lot, up the stairs and knock on the door and tell them cheney sent you. then maybe there's a job there."

yahoo tells us the previous projection of 2.6 million jobs to be added this year was either a mistake or somebody's been drinking again:

president bush distanced himself wednesday from white house predictions that the economy will add 2.6 million jobs this year, the second embarrassing economic retreat in a week and new fuel for democratic criticism.

the jobs controversy came on the heels of white house economist n. gregory mankiw's assertion that "outsourcing" american jobs overseas was
good for the u.s. economy in the long run. bush, house speaker dennis hastert and other republicans quickly disavowed mankiw's remarks, and the economist had to apologize for a "lack of clarity."

jobs are a sensitive political issue for bush as he fights to keep his own job in a second term. the economy has lost 2.2 million payroll jobs since bush took office, the worst job-creation record of any president since herbert hoover.
let's make sure in november it's 2.2 million and one!
posted by skippy at 11:25 AM | 0 comments

polls results not awol on skippy

we've finished last week's poll, which asked "do the candidates' military records matter?" here are the results, but the majority of you who voted expressed a sure distate for those who did not think their military service was important. 33% of you voted "yes, character counts, and military service reveals character," and a whopping 35% voted "don't you mean lack of military records?"

be sure to go vote on our newest poll asking the question "will ralph nader influence the outcome of the presidential election?" (bottom of our right hand side bar under our archives)
posted by skippy at 11:09 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, February 22, 2004

nader not awol; everyone wishes he was

proving that you don't need much more than a humongous ego to get into national politics, ralph nader has announced he will run on the "nobody invited me but i'm coming anyway to your" party ticket.

four years ago nader ran on the green party ticket, and gave the presidency to awol, according to people who don't want to take responsibility themselves (see: 8,000 disenfranchised african-american voters in florida).

however, this year, ralphie boy is running as an independent, which puts him right up there with lyndon larouche in terms of people to be taken seriously.

the screeching heads are touting the idea that nader could siphon off enough voters from the democratic ticket to give the upcoming election to awol again. we are of the opinion, however, that without the patina of the green ticket, nader will be seen as a fringe candidate, and will not be a threat to whoever gets the dem nom any more than that candidate himself.

(the joke going around skippy international headquarters is, what's the difference between john kerry and george bush? one is in favor of the iraqi war, the patriot act, and no child left behind, and the other is george bush).

we can only hope that the dems keep invigorated from the shot in the arm that howard dean gave the party, and actually reaches out to its constituency. then, and only then, will they get the votes they need to beat the repubbbs. nader is a non-issue, and anyone who thinks otherwise is caught in the great echo chamber of inside the beltway cw, which, of course, has no relation to reality.
posted by skippy at 2:40 PM | 0 comments

Saturday, February 21, 2004

pelosi not awol with blogging

tom manatos, advisor to house dem. leader nancy pelosi, is looking for advice on how to incorporate blogging into rep. pelosi's agenda. go give him some ideas.

addendum erratum apologium: in our early posting of this piece, some nitwit at skippy international mispelled rep. pelosi's name several times. our spell/fact checker was out doing body shots with a christina aguilera karakoe wannabe, and so this error went uncorrected for many hours.

we apologize, not only to rep. pelosi, whom we encourage to continue reaching out to the blogging community, but mostly to our readers who kept thinking the mispelling was some sort of joke, which they didn't get. the only joke was on us.
posted by skippy at 2:11 PM | 0 comments

ampoljo readers not awol from skippy

hi kids! if you're here from ampoljo, the story you're looking for is down below, titled awol's plans to visit louisiana army base awol till last week.

the rest of you go here.
posted by skippy at 12:17 PM | 0 comments

ah-nold awol with gov. perry's marriage rights

we don't know if he's even thought about it, but if the gropinator insists that no gay marriage licenses be issued, how will (if the rumors are true) gov. rick perry of texas get married after his impending divorce?

speaking of rumors, exactly what moral standing does the gropinator have to declare what is and is not a danger to the institution of marriage?
posted by skippy at 12:08 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to airbeagle.

airbeagle has some interesting and well-written (and hilariously sardonic) thoughts about such things as the repubbbs trying to stop gay marriage, the increased suicide rate among our troops, and the hypocricy of one oklahoma repubbb lawmaker who has had a sexual battery complaint filed against him for groping women in a holiday inn lobby.

well worth the read.
posted by skippy at 11:28 AM | 0 comments

repubbb ideas not awol from democratic party

when the democrats start crying about ralph nader running for president again, they only need to look as far as the mirror to see the reason why.

the democratic party has co-opted one of awol's nastiest ideas: putting protesters blocks away from the event in a holding pen known as a "free speech zone." the bosglobe tells us:

protesters at this summer's democratic national convention in boston may be confined to a cozy triangle of land off haymarket square, blocked off from the fleetcenter and convention delegates by a maze of central artery service roads, mbta train tracks, and a temporary parking lot holding scores of buses and media trucks.

under a preliminary plan floated by convention organizers, the "free-speech zone" would be a small plot bounded by green line tracks and north washington street, in an area that until recently was given over to the elevated artery. the zone would hold as few as 400 of the several thousand protesters who are expected in boston in late july.
luckily, some people formerly known as democrats are challenging the proposal: the atjocon says:

attorneys are challenging a preliminary security plan for this summer's democratic national convention that would limit protesters to a small patch of land virtually out of sight of the convention hall…

if protesters are restricted only to the small pen without fear of arrest or harassment, attorneys will take their challenge to court, said carol rose, executive director of the american civil liberties union of massachusetts. the aclu has joined with the lawyers guild to ask police to change the plan so delegates will have to walk past protesters…

a similar situation arose during the 2000 democratic national convention in los angeles, where protesters were initially restricted to an area blocks from delegates. a federal judge ruled the protest area was unconstitutional and ordered that protesters be allowed to demonstrate in a parking lot across the street from the convention's entrance.
skippy was actually at the protest in 2000, and it was pretty depressing. nothing but a huge concrete parking lot, and the convention, though in reality a few hundred yards off, seemed like it was miles away.

the ruling class is getting good at separating democracy from the people.


posted by skippy at 10:05 AM | 0 comments

Friday, February 20, 2004

obvious punchlines not awol on skippy

tom delay predicts that homosexual marriages will be a "central issue" in the upcoming election. the knoxnews local reports:

"i think it will be central," delay, r-texas, told reporters before addressing the knox county republican party's annual lincoln day dinner at rothchild's. "every now and then, an issue that is central to who you are and what your world view is comes along."

americans "have been tolerant of homosexuality for years, but now it's being stuffed down their throats and they don't like it," delay said.
wait for it...

learn to breathe through your nose, tom.

thank you! we're here all week! try the veal, and remember to tip your waitresses! good night!
posted by skippy at 5:58 PM | 0 comments

jobs awol from super tuesday states

pundits (read: jerks without real jobs) will be watching super tuesday to see how much job loss affects the voting. according to scripps "don't call me moe" howard news service, two of the super tuesday primary states are way up there on recent jobs lost (fifth item down):

california and new york, two of the 10 march 2 super tuesday states, were no. 1 and 2, respectively, for the last three years, with 549,717 jobs lost in california and 481,684 in new york, according to job-placement firm challenger, gray & christmas. illinois, which votes march 16, ranks third with 411,431 layoffs. texas, which has a march 9 primary, ranks fourth with 324,111 jobs lost over the last three years.


posted by skippy at 12:56 PM | 0 comments

koopersmith not awol on awol issue

jeff koopersmith, writing on ampoljo, points out the ultimate irony in the whole awol cover-up mess:

it appears that karl rove and karen hughes, as far back as mr. bush's first governor's race in texas, did not have faith in the neoconservative right's ability to forgive the young george w. for "things undone" as a younger man.

suffice it to say that this writer believes that president bush could have very well told the entire truth about his military pilot service in alabama and texas, even if it was splotchy, and would be no worse off today.

after all, the rumors about his bachelor past abound with all titillation -- including women, drugs, liquor, a possible felony gone lost, and drunk driving to boot. the mere fact that he was beneficiary of his family's influence to keep him alive might not have rendered politically impotent - even running against albert s. gore in 2000.
or as nixon could have told awol: it ain't the scandal that gets you, son...it's the cover-up!
posted by skippy at 12:52 PM | 0 comments

schorr not awol on awol issue

daniel schorr, hitting the nail on the head, writes in the csmonitor:

the real issue, painful in a society that prides itself on being egalitarian, is privilege - who got to serve in the guard's "champagne unit" as his unit was called, and who went to vietnam, perhaps to die.

it was all inside and cozy back in texas then. lloyd bentsen iii, son of a future senator, got a coveted slot in the houston-based guard unit. john connally iii, son of the former governor, got another. and in 1968, george bush, son of houston's congressman, made it after ben barnes, speaker of the texas house, talked to the head of the national guard on the young man's behalf. bush's first solo flight made headlines in the houston papers.

no one expresses himself more passionately about this kind of favoritism than colin powell, who came up from the streets of the bronx and is now president bush's secretary of state. in his 1995 memoir, "my american journey," general powell wrote: "i particularly condemn the way our political leaders supplied the manpower for that war [the vietnam war]. the policies determining who would be drafted and who would be deferred, who would serve and who would escape, who would die and who would live, were an anti-democratic disgrace.... i am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well-placed ... managed to wangle slots in reserve and national guard units. of the many tragedies of vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to our country."
posted by skippy at 12:32 AM | 0 comments

awol's plans to visit louisiana army base awol till last week

the cjr campaign desk notes that the truth in the white house's explanation of awol's visit to the ft. polk army base earlier this week was, well, kind of awol:

no white house has ever come out and bluntly said that an event on the president's schedule was a public relations ploy orchestrated for the incumbent's re-election campaign.

no one expects them to, either.

but, we do expect the press to report relevant facts that stand in contradiction to official statements made by the white house.

this is exactly what william douglas of knight ridder newspapers and maura reynolds of the los angeles times did while reporting on president bush's visit to fort polk, la.

both reporters challenged white house press secretary scott mcclellan's cookie-cutter statement -- "this event has been in the works for several weeks" -- by simply picking up the phone and calling a few military officials at fort polk.
cjr goes on to quote douglas and reynolds, who inteviewed officers at ft. polk that stated the trip by awol was a last minute arrangment. cjr also notes the big dead trees media, the washpost, nytimes and asspress took the white house at its word, and passed that word onto us, the public.

but then, what else is new? (thanks and a tip of the bush kangaroo hat to cursor for the link!)
posted by skippy at 12:28 AM | 0 comments

administration awol from reasons for war

spadehammer sends us a link to the laweekly's interview with karen kwiatkowski, who, as spade puts it,

"found herself transferred in the spring of 2002 to a post as a political/military desk officer at the defense department?s office for near east south asia (nesa)? just as war fever was spreading, or being spread as she would later argue, through the halls of washington. indeed, shortly after her arrival, a piece of nesa was broken off, expanded and re-dubbed with the orwellian name of the office of special plans. the osp?s task was, ostensibly, to help the pentagon develop policy around the iraq crisis." she was speaking out against the travesty of bu$hco's iraq adventure while still inside the machine, and since her retirement has been a most illuminating source of the truth hidden deep in the neocon forest of bullshit.
posted by skippy at 12:27 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, February 19, 2004

trolls not awol from skippy

in the last couple of weeks, we have happily noticed an increase in our hit rates on our humble blog. we assumed it was our new "all awol all the time" format (readers' score so far: one for, one against, the new format).

but something else is happening. we are getting far more angry trolls hurling unfocused invective at us in our comments section. we are not talking about people with differing opinions debating the issues. we are talking about some choice vitrol aimed squarely at our ego. to wit:

i have a novel idea - why don't you go out and get your own job. you are so pathetic that you have to look to the president for a job. i hate to break the news to you but the president doesn't have any ability to create jobs. as i said a few years ago, yes bill did a great job with the economy - bill gates that is not bill clinton who had nothing to do with it. - realistic
and:

still carrying on like a fool, aren't you?

get a life kid?

you are one ignorant son of a bitch. and, yes, you are unpatriotic... as well as just plain stupid.

look in the mirror. you don't have the iq of a potato. dumb as a brick. and proud of it, too. what a combination. you are simply too stupid to understand a man with the experience and wisdom of president bush. - stephen
we must give thanks that these kids are venting their spleen on our blog rather than putting pipe bombs in women health clinics.

as we've said before, the great thing about democracy is that everybody has a voice. and the terrible thing about democracy is that everybody has a voice.

addendum: no sooner had we written the above post, when we got an email response to a response to a response to our reporting of doxagora's rebuttal of ann coulter's snide remarks putting down max cleland.

we quoted the watchful babbler's rendition of sen. cleland's war heroism, and got this email, from one tjschul:

"inexperienced soldier who had incorrectly set the pin for a hair-trigger detonation."

sir,
pins on hand grenades are not set for anything, by anyone, you are a full of shit liberal. been there done that. some stupid ass in san francisco might believe it, not a veteran. do some research you won't look as dim.
now, as any regular reader of our blog knows, nobody at skippy international was in the military, so mr. tjschul could be right about the setting of pins on grenades. we only took watchful babbler's account of how sen. cleland lost his three limbs at face value, since watchful has always been heretofor erudite, scholarly and beyond reproach in his accounts of previous events.

we wonder what san francisco has to do with anything. still, we admit, we were not at our best when we mailed him back:

sir,

i didn't write that, i quoted that. you are writing to the wrong person. do some research, you won't look so dim.
not our finest hour. but tjschul did write us back, expressing a subjective but indisputable truth:

sorry, i guess its the crap you "quote", that makes you look dim.
what we want to know is, when tjschul used quotation marks around the word "quote," what kind of ronic was he being? i? or mo?

moral of the story: our blog is bringing the illogical, irrational and reactionary out of the woodwork.

we have arrived.
posted by skippy at 6:06 PM | 0 comments

jobs still awol

344,000 initial unemployment claims were filed last week according to the dol. this was a decrease of 24,000 from the week before. (don't get excited, that doesn't mean 24,000 people got jobs, it means 24,000 fewer people filed for unemployment for the first time than the previous week. so taken together, the two weeks had 712,000 people file for unemployment for the first time). even worse:

the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending feb. 7 was 3,186,000, an increase of 106,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,080,000. the 4-week moving average was 3,122,750, an increase of 16,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,106,000.
and that's just the people who are actually getting unemployment insurance. those numbers don't reflect the people who never filed, or whose benefits have long ago run out.
posted by skippy at 12:52 PM | 0 comments

facts not awol with usa toady

finally, a dead trees media says the obvious:

bush arguably has committed the greatest strategic blunder in modern memory. to put it bluntly, he attacked the wrong target. while he boasts of removing saddam hussein from power, he did far more than that. he decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the united states and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that never has known peace. our military is being forced to trade away its maneuverability in the wider war against terrorism while being placed on the defensive in a single country that never will fully accept its presence.

there is no historical precedent for taking such action when our country was not being directly threatened. the reckless course that bush and his advisers have set will affect the economic and military energy of our nation for decades. it is only the tactical competence of our military that, to this point, has protected him from the harsh judgment that he deserves.

at the same time, those around bush, many of whom came of age during vietnam and almost none of whom served, have attempted to assassinate the character and insult the patriotism of anyone who disagrees with them. some have impugned the culture, history and integrity of entire nations, particularly in europe, that have been our country's great friends for generations and, in some cases, for centuries.

bush has yet to fire a single person responsible for this strategy. nor has he reined in those who have made irresponsible comments while claiming to represent his administration. one only can conclude that he agrees with both their methods and their message.
do we get a pie chart with that?
posted by skippy at 12:14 AM | 0 comments

soldiers think awol was awol

the chitrib points out that awol's speechifying to an army base in louisiana may not have been the salve to sooth the sting of past military record snafus that the white house was hoping for.

with the controversy over his military service still simmering, president bush came to one of the army's premier training bases tuesday to declare that he will never relent until the terrorist threat to america is removed.

several thousand troops, most dressed in battle fatigues, heartily cheered bush's remarks and showed no visible signs of protest over democratic claims that he had not shown up for part of his service in the national guard.

but bush's military record was clearly a subtext to his appearance at this military base where, after his speech, he also had lunch with an arkansas national guard unit that will soon be dispatched to iraq.

many troops would not talk on the record when asked about the controversy, but some privately expressed doubt about the president's service while others supported him. after the speech, one soldier jested, "well, i guess we will all go out and vote for john kerry now."
fine with us.
posted by skippy at 12:14 AM | 0 comments

upi not awol on awol's slippage

nobody was more suprised than we to see untied press international run a story that was negative to awol...negative in that it only told the truth.

upi has heretofor been particularly conservative in their spin of awol's administration...but we guess reality sooner or later makes a dent in even the hardest of wire services' heads:

this week's newsweek cover in particular was devastating for the gop and the president. it showed bush and kerry, side by side as they were more than 30 years ago when vietnam was still raging. the inside story was not biased or unfair to the president in any way. it did not have to be.

with u.s. gis still dying by the week in iraq in a war that increasingly looks to have been unnecessary, bush's national guard record of 30 years ago has become an albatross around his neck. he served in the guard safely at home. but now he has sent thousands of guard members to danger and even death because of a war that may not have been necessary. and in kerry, he now faces a foe all too eager to take advantage of it.

this is not the campaign bush and rove planned for and expected…

as a result, bush and rove are now on the defensive. they have already been driven off their planned main theme of "the war president." now they have been forced back to "running on the record." but with all those 2.2 million plus job losses since january 2001, that is meat and drink to kerry. job creation may indeed soar over the next nine months, but it will have to do so in the most spectacular way to wipe out all those losses, and recovery has especially lagged in the manufacturing/industrial sectors, which means the president has a big and growing problem in the big industrial states where this election will likely be decided.

none of this means the president must lose in november. but for the first time since they emerged on the national scene four years ago, bush and rove are truly on the political defensive, forced to respond to an aggressive, efficient, fast-moving enemy team that is suddenly calling the shots.

their strategic offensive has always been so good the country has never had the chance to see how they play on defense when the heat is on. but it may be we are about to find out.
we can only hope.
posted by skippy at 12:13 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

say hello

to the blog of the attorney general of the untied states of america and everything's ruined and george w. bush, will you please go now?
posted by skippy at 6:31 PM | 0 comments

mr. phelps not awol with alterman

our blog buddy eric alterman (co-author of the book on bush) has an interesting observation today:

howard dean is like the old reel-to-reel tape in “mission impossible.” he gave the rest of the candidates their instructions and then self-destructed. in doing so, he may have helped save the party and the country. thanks howard.
we ourselves are rather sorry to see dr. dean's campaign ending, not with a bang but with a whimper. though we hadn't endorsed his candidacy, we were very pleased to see how he was able to make the grassroots of the democratic party get excited about being democrats again. we hadn't seen anything like that since, well, probably never.

we hope the feeling and excitement and party cohesiveness continues. we hope the party leaders will not forget that the party is made up of people, of voters, and not of money and contributors. we hope democracy thrives, and we hope american once again becomes a country of the people, by the people and for the people. but mostly we hope next week's group of contestants on american idol are better than last night's.


special bonus trivia question that has nothing to do with politics or blogging: peter graves, who played mr. phelps on "mission impossible," came to that role in the second season of the tv series. what actor played the man he replaced, and what was the character's name (and what famous current tv show featured that actor in what role for many years)?
posted by skippy at 4:32 PM | 0 comments

jesus' general not awol from our blogroll

we are happy to include the very religious and manly jesus' general in our blogroll. we don't know whether to salute or genuflect.
posted by skippy at 4:16 PM | 0 comments

scientists say facts awol from white house

taking a number, joining the club, stopping the presses, or whatever metaphor you wish to use to indicate a general "well, duh!" in response to the obvious, a group of over 60 scientists (including 20 nobel laureates) has accused (in writing) the white house of " deliberately and systematically" distorting facts in pursuit of their own agenda, reports the nytimes:

the sweeping charges were later discussed in a conference call with some of the scientists that was organized by the union of concerned scientists, an independent organization that focuses on technical issues and has often taken stands at odds with administration policy. the organization also issued a 37-page report today that it said detailed the accusations.

together, the two documents accuse the administration of repeatedly censoring and suppressing reports by its own scientists, stacking advisory committees with unqualified political appointees, disbanding government panels that provide unwanted advice, and refusing to seek any independent scientific expertise in some cases.

"other administrations have, on occasion, engaged in such practices, but not so systematically nor on so wide a front," the statement from the scientists said, adding that they believed the administration had "misrepresented scientific knowledge and misled the public about the implications of its policies."
before you cry "partisan" (or else "havoc," and release the dogs of war), may we point out that one of the scientists involved in the accusation served under the one president that must be posthumoursly happy to see what awol is doing these days (only because it finally makes him look good): richard nixon.

"i don't see it as a partisan issue at all," said russell train, who served as administrator of the environmental protection agency under presidents richard m. nixon and gerald r. ford, and who spoke in the conference call in support of the statement. "if it becomes that way i think it's because the white house chooses to make it a partisan issue," mr. train said.
posted by skippy at 4:15 PM | 0 comments

nader not awol in run for pres

it looks like ralph nader is planning to run for president again. and mad kane has some thoughts about it.
posted by skippy at 3:56 PM | 0 comments

bizarro not awol on presidential election

dan piraro, artist behind the bizarro comic bizarro, has penned a new story called the three little pigs buy the whitehouse. why not buy a copy and stack the best seller list with lefty tomes (along with eric alterman & mark green's the book on bush)?
posted by skippy at 3:54 PM | 0 comments

gibson not awol from ayn clouter's heart

our arch enemy, ayn clouter, has the truth behind mel gibson's latest edit of his new film, the passion of christ:

gibson has now cast himself as a main character. he plays a sinful imperial (but not native roman) centurion, whose job is trying to police the desert against anti-roman jewish terrorists. (danny glover once again plays his partner, here named mvrtavgh.) mel is depressed by his wife's death, and in one scene he actually puts his own sword in his mouth and threatens to kill himself. he is stopped by the sudden appearance of a vision.
the vision, while hilarious, could be construed as so provacative and controversial as to destroy what little readership our humble blog already has. therefore, we link, we do not repeat.

posted by skippy at 3:41 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to unfair witness.
posted by skippy at 3:37 PM | 0 comments

congratulations! readers not awol from our blog!

you are the coveted 350,000th visitor to skippy!
posted by skippy at 11:55 AM | 0 comments

marine's girl and magpie not awol

we are a bit remiss in mentioning this, but marine's girl has taken her blogging abilities over to across the river, which we have added to our blog roll. we also see that marine's girl's marine might be sent back to iraq, so our prayers are with them both.

and speaking of new blogging residences, magpie has been invited by natasha and mary to join pacific views, already a fine blog in its own right. good luck, and good blogging, ladies!

and while we're at it, we'd like to point out the addition of etalkingheads blog directory to our blog roll. this directory lists blogs of all stripe, and although they say "in no particular order," we notice that "conservative" is firstin the categories section, and "liberal" is next to last, right before "humor" (although the blogs themselves are in alphabetical order, prompting us to consider renaming ours to "aardvark the bush kangaroo").
posted by skippy at 11:29 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

easy win awol for kerry

wisconsin voters sent a strong message to john kerry in their primary today. and that message is "have some cheese."

john edwards made a surprise showing, coming in at a close second with 35% of the vote, to kerry's 39%, estimates cnn.

"i've been looking forward to the time when this is a two-person race and people will focus on senator kerry and myself," edwards said. "it now appears that we're very close to that place, and maybe even there."
people powered howard dean was down in the basement with dennis "the menace" kucinich, and rev. al "make it crawl, preach" sharpton.

sen. edwards strong showing could shake things up in the democratic race, at least as far as the bored media goes, because otherwise they'd have to do some real reporting.
posted by skippy at 9:09 PM | 0 comments

koufax awards not awol to best bloggers

we at skippy international would like to offer a laurel and hearty handshake to the winners of this year's koufax awards, many of whom we have emailed personally several times in the past year.

our biggest congrats go to jeralyn merritt of talkleft, who won the coveted "best single issue blog" award. without jeralyn's support and help our blog would not be where it is today. nobody deserves this award more than jeralyn.

also a big congrats to the daily kos for best group blog, atrios for best blog overall, dave neiwert of orcinus for best series, uggabugga for best special effects, and tbogg for most humorous blog.

while we ourselves were hoping for at least a mention in the rambling explanation of who got best humorous blog, wherein dwight mentioned every other blog in the finals except ours (or so it seemed) we can quite understand our not winning this year, as we have, in the last week, converted our format to "all awol all the time," thus changing our category eligibility from "most humorous" to "best single issue blog."

if we can keep up the "all awol all the time" conceit for another year, we expect to edge out talkleft and take that award ourselves.

in the meantime, congrats to everyone who won! and to everyone who was nominated, and everyone who voted! remember, there are no losers in blogtopia! and yes! we coined that phrase!
posted by skippy at 7:06 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to the kamikaze kunquat and a very hungry catepillar.
posted by skippy at 12:36 PM | 0 comments

salon not awol on awol

salon.com (day pass required...you gotta watch a vodka ad) muses about the recently released military records of awol:

instead of answering the questions, the documents, most of which were simply duplicates of already released public records, confirmed what skeptics have been saying for some time: there's simply no data available to knock down the assertion that for months at a time bush failed to show up for required guard duty. instead, a picture continues to emerge of a trained guard pilot who in 1972, two years before his six-year commitment was up, decided to not only walk away from his flying duties completely, but to serve as little as possible in the guard, before getting permission to leave in order to enroll in harvard business school…

the most glaring omission from the stash released by the white house is bush's 1973-'74 officer effectiveness report. commanders are required to fill one out for every officer who serves. the last oer on record for bush was completed on may 2, 1973, and covered the period from may 1, 1972, to april 30, 1973. but according to bush's payroll and retirement records, he was credited for serving 38 days after may 2, 1973, which means he should have been evaluated. yet his officer rating seems to have simply disappeared.

unlike bush's routine guard pay stubs, which would have shed light on his whereabouts but seem to have also been lost sometime during the last 30 years, oer's are among the most important personnel reports generated inside the guard. "i've never met a commander in 28 years that didn't take oer's seriously," burkett told salon last week. "they review oer's in excruciating detail and probably take them more seriously than pay documents."
salon also dissects the reports of john b. calhoun, the man who recently came forward to testify that he had, indeed, seen awol on the base in alabama during the mysterious 3 month period for which no records can be found verifying such.

last week calhoun told the atlanta journal-constitution that bush asked for weekend drills. but according to the documents released by the white house one week ago, only five of the 12 days bush was credited for serving in alabama were for weekend days.

specifically, calhoun told reporters bush was assigned to his command at the 187th tactical reconnaissance group, and he saw bush serve between eight to 10 times for about eight hours each from may to october 1972. but those may-to-october dates do not correspond with the payroll records the white house released last tuesday. they indicated bush was credited for doing guard duty in alabama during the months of october, november and, presumably, january.

secondly, when bush moved to alabama to work on the blount campaign, he first asked to be transferred to the 9921st air reserve squadron (the postal unit). there's no evidence bush ever showed up at the 9921st. instead, bush in september 1972 asked to serve with a different alabama unit, calhoun's 187th tactical recon group, for the months of september, october and november. so why would calhoun have seen bush signing in at the montgomery base during may, june, july, august and september, if bush didn't even ask to be transferred there until sept. 5? and according to the recently released white house documents, bush didn't actually show up at the montgomery base until october 28-29.

like so many of the mysteries surrounding bush's guard service, the white house account and calhoun's simply do not add up, and the questions are unlikely to go away.
salon's mouth to god's ears.
posted by skippy at 12:29 PM | 0 comments

ordinary citizens not awol with opinions

from the miami herald, a few letter writers express their thoughts about awol going awol. someone thought he was honorable:

although i will vote against president bush, i will never hold his serving in the guard against him. he was honorable in exercising another service option.
but most thought otherwise:

what offends americans is not the quality of president bush's service, but that he used family connections to secure a reserve post that was extremely difficult to obtain -- with no rotc or officer candidate experience to qualify him. he then was slack in fulfilling his relatively minor obligations and has lied about taking the easy way out...

it would be an affront to worthy military men to be commanded by a man without honor...

regardless of the alleged time gaps in president bush's guard service, the real issue is that his father used political connections to keep him out of harm's way.
posted by skippy at 12:22 PM | 0 comments

comics not awol on national guard fracas

the asspress quotes some comedians (no, not nedra pickler) who are commenting on the awol issue. jay leno:

"the white house finally found one guy who says he remembers serving with president bush on national guard duty in alabama. isn't that amazing? now if they can find someone who remember bush working on an economic plan!"
posted by skippy at 12:18 PM | 0 comments

awol finally shows up to the national guard

you gotta give the guy points for moxie.

awol showed up to an army base to meet with some national guard members in louisiana today, apparently unconcerned about (or unaware of, and our money's on the latter) the big brouhaha over his own national guard service, says abc news.

after trying to quell stories about his vietnam-era military record, bush sought tuesday to put that controversy behind him by meeting with members of the national guard. twelve soldiers assigned to fort polk have died in iraq, including two soldiers killed by a roadside bomb last week, according to paula schlag, a base spokeswoman.

bush was to meet privately with the relatives of fallen soldiers, then have lunch with guard members.

white house officials said bush was reaching out to guard members here because nearly 40 percent of the troops heading to iraq in the next rotation will be guardsmen.
but not him.
posted by skippy at 12:15 PM | 0 comments

skippy not awol with polls

we are starting a new feature here at skippy: the weekly poll. every week you can find a new poll question directly underneath our archives section at the bottom of the right hand side bar.

this week's question: do a candidate's military records matter? go vote, but only once a day, mind you!
posted by skippy at 12:06 AM | 0 comments

trr awol from blogtopia*

we are very sorry to learn that our good blogging buddy jim capazzola has decided to wrap up production of his humor blog, trr.

we can't blame him. jim does a bang-up job on his political blog, the rittenhouse review, and we ourselves know how difficult and time-consuming it is to blog daily, let alone blog enough for two on a daily basis.

it was nice while it lasted, jim, and keep up the good work on rittenhouse!


*yes! we coined that phrase!
posted by skippy at 12:03 AM | 0 comments

Monday, February 16, 2004

alterman not awol at liberal oasis

bill scher of liberal oasis has a great interview with eric alterman, co-author of the book on bush: how george w. (mis)leads america. some highlights:

-- it’s hard to fathom just what an extreme group of people [they] are, how little regard they have for what we think of as the public interest, until you examine the details. and in this case, the devil really is in the details.

-- i think there’s a real healthy understanding among all sensible people right now that there is only one hope for the future of this country and that is to get rid of this man, no matter who replaces him. i would be very happy to vote for bob dole or george herbert walker bush. he is the most dangerous man ever to occupy the american presidency in the past 100 years.

-- the one bright spot of the complete and total lack of responsible planning for the entirely predictable aftermath of the invasion of iraq is that they’re not in a strong position to take this show on the road.
hell, we'd vote for libby dole!
posted by skippy at 8:50 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to an old soul and the great divide and mostly links and sortapundit.
posted by skippy at 8:44 PM | 0 comments

truth awol with drudge

we have been following the swirling rumors, stoked by matt drudge, of a supposed affair john kerry had with an intern. thanks to our buddy talkeft, we find this link putting the rumor to bed, and drudge to shame. yahoo news sez:

a woman who has been the subject of rumors linking her to sen. john kerry denied monday that she ever had an affair with the democratic presidential candidate.

breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the internet, alexandra polier issued a statement to the associated press, saying, "i have never had a relationship with senator kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."…

"whoever is spreading these rumors and allegations does not know me," polier said, appealing to the media to respect her privacy and the privacy of her fiance and his family.

polier also took issue with reports that referred to her as a former kerry intern.

"i never interned or worked for john kerry," she told ap over the phone.
for the record, we find it intolerable that any blogger would make stories up about national figures, especially our leaders.

in a related story, click here for pictures of karl rove having sex with chickens.
posted by skippy at 8:41 PM | 0 comments

our bad jokes not awol with blogamy

we have been working in our new format "all awol all the time" for about a week now, ever since the national guard story began to heat up.

we were actually wondering when and if anyone else in blogtopia (y!wctp!) was even going to notice our format, let alone comment on it. we were seriously considering switching to an all valerie plame affair format ("dean plames kerry for loss of campaign manager"), when one of our favorite (and we think cutest) bloggers, blogamy, did indeed notice and report on our obsession.

thanks, amy! a joke is not a joke until someone actually responds to it, even if only with a groan. we appreciate your kind words. and we also recommend that our readers stop by amy's blog regularly, as she does a fine job reporting that which dares not speak its name...the news.
posted by skippy at 7:50 PM | 0 comments

time not on awol's side

in a long and detailed article, time magazine wonders aloud how well did he serve? in reference to awol and the national guard. their conclusions are not particularly flattering to awol.

c. murphy archibald, a nephew of [senate candidate winton] blount's who worked on the campaign that fall, told time that bush "was good at schmoozing the county chairs, but there wasn't a lot of follow-up." archibald, now a trial attorney in north carolina, remembers that a group of older alabama socialites, who were volunteering their time, gave bush a nickname because they thought he "looked good on the outside but was full of hot air." they called him the texas soufflé.
and now, the egg's on his face!
posted by skippy at 6:53 PM | 0 comments

alterman and green not awol with facts

we are quite happy to have received today a copy of the book on bush: how george w. (mis)leads america, by our good blogging buddy eric alterman and his co-author mark green.

while we haven't read it yet, a cursory look tells us the book promises to be full of actual facts and figures to back up the premise, rather than just a screed against awol (we would expect no less from eric, one of the more erudite and scholarly of the bloggers in blogtopia, and, as dr. carol reminds us all: yes! we coined that phrase!).

don't take our word for it. why not buy it now, and put it up there at the top of the best sellar list?
posted by skippy at 6:45 PM | 0 comments

dreams not awol for bad singer

thanks to the hamster, we learn that will hung, the incredibly bad applicant to this year's american idol, was so unfazed by his failure at the auditions, he still dreams of being a pop star. the sfchron reports:

hung -- who is ambitious, sincere and achingly naive -- doesn't want to be a clown. he wants to be a pop star.

"i see this as a learning experience of how to succeed if i was to become an american pop star someday," hung, pausing to choose his words carefully, said over coffee this week in san francisco's japantown, where he was returning a rented cd.

hung said he knows he has a lot of work to do as a vocalist. his spirited, chinese-accented rendition of ricky martin's "she bangs" was aired jan. 27 by producers who clearly coveted hung's entertainment value -- not his pipes ... meanwhile, hung said he has been invited to perform at events from a philadelphia 76ers basketball game to the mtv asia awards in singapore, and he has appeared on several television shows.

on monday night, hung performed at an open mike at the clark kerr dormitories where he used to live and work in the dining commons. this time he was greeted by more than 400 students armed with cameras and camcorders.

"it's the pop-culture fad right now. and its berkeley's own," said sophomore alex bollfrass in explaining his attendance.

"you have to respect his genuineness," said fifth-year student whitney brechwald. "he tries so hard."
we saw that episode where will tried his best, and was still obviously the worst. but we had to admire the guy's guts, ambition and persistance (and, we must say, paula, randy and even simon seemed to admire these qualities about will themselves). here's will's own web site, as professional and media-savvy as will himself.

will hung represents to us all that is magical about being a human being. the utmost 1000% sincere belief in yourself, that you can do anything you want to, if only you work hard enough and believe hard enough, regardless of what the entire rest of the world thinks about you, and regardless of talent and ability.

"i hope i've shown everyone in the world that regardless of success or failure, just keep trying. never give up," hung said. "because only then can you say to yourself that you tried your best and had no regrets."
of course, the rest of us are laughing our asses off at the guy, but like bullets off of superman, it doesn't seem to stop him. and doesn't that make him a kind of superman in his own right?

or, as rudyard kipling said in his poem "if":

if you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
but make allowance for their doubting too...
yada yada yada, long poem long poem long poem, finally, the punchline...

yours is the earth and everything that's in it,
and--which is more--you'll be a man, my son!
to that we can only say, amen.
posted by skippy at 6:30 PM | 0 comments

bloggers not awol on why the awol issue is important

dave niewert over at orcinus puts it best:

awol matters because it reveals how this administration not only has no respect for the truth, but it lies -- repeatedly, without conscience, and so far without consequence.

the awol matter is only the first consequence. once it has become clear that the president's credibility deservedly is nearly nonexistent, then a number of other issues -- plame, the economy, the environment -- come into much clearer focus.
and, to that list of issues revealing his lack of credibility, we'd add the iraq war and the wmd's.

also well stated: juan cole muses that what bothers him the most about awol's awol years, is that awol didn't seem to care passionately one way or the other about the vietnam war, which does seem pretty shallow for a man in his 20's during that time of history.


posted by skippy at 6:07 PM | 0 comments

kos not awol on new grass roots attitude

our bud the daily kos has an interesting essay on his site about the radical shift in the upper eschalons of the democratic party, ie, they are lately considering that they might want to start acting like democrats. and kos gives the credit firmly to the grass roots consituency, and specficially, us folk in blogtopia (which he wrongly labels as "the blogosphere," and no, we didn't coin that phrase!).

welcome back, daschle. we were all wondering what happened to you guys. but it's not just the senate. all across the party establishment there is a renewed energy and sense of purpose and the realization that we can, in fact, win.

and the key to all of this is us. while the party leaders in dc were lamenting their sad lot in life, democrats started turning out in droves to cast ballots in the democratic primary. even after kerry ran away with it, they still came out in record numbers. and those "fired up democrats" were also talking to their friends and neighbors and coworkers, so bush's poll numbers dropped some more.

it wasn't the party leadership that led -- it was us. it was the blogosphere. it was people who wouldn't know how to turn on a computer. it was me. it was you. we took control of this party, and they never saw it coming.

posted by skippy at 5:50 PM | 0 comments

tutu not awol in asking for apology

bishop desmond tutu said that awol and blair should both apologize for the iraq war in a recent sermon, says yahoo news:

british prime minister tony blair and us president george w. bush ought to say sorry for waging "an immoral war" against saddam hussein's iraq, according to excerpts of a speech archbishop desmond tutu was to deliver.

in an evening lecture to be delivered at church house, westminster, in central london, the nobel laureate was to say that bush and blair would reap a revival in credibility if they apologise for waging a war that left the world "a great deal less safe".

"how wonderful if politicians could bring themselves to admit they are only fallible human creatures, and not god, and thus by definition can make mistakes," according to excerpts of the speech published in monday's independent newspaper, which is sponsoring the event.
file this in the "don't hold your breath" department.

(thanks to reader chris for the link!)
posted by skippy at 5:40 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, February 15, 2004

fallen soldier's mother-in-law thinks government awol in taste

in today's letters to the latimes:

my son-in-law, evan, was killed in action in iraq in july, having served with the 101st airborne. he died a hero and so was awarded the bronze star. i pray that god lets him rest in peace. what evan did leave behind, besides his legacy, are his grieving parents, my family and, of course, my daughter, his wife.

for the last six months either my daughter or i have had to contend with the bureaucracy of the army, the u.s. government and groups, although well-meaning, that continue to bring up memories. hailing him as a hero, letters of how bravely he served and "what he did for the country" ring hollow compared with the lack of concern, compassion and assistance by the army and our politicians. let me tell all who use such words to look within.

the form letters of sorrow are wearing thin, and i wish they would remove my daughter from their lists. congressmen, senators, the president and even people from other states continue to send a barrage of their guilt toward us by way of a form letter. letters to the army by me regarding the mishandling of this entire episode have gone completely unanswered.
we hope the government is as attentive to the poor woman and her daughter when the soldier's death benefits are asked for.
posted by skippy at 9:46 PM | 0 comments

progressive blogger not awol in civic duty

we are happy and proud to report that mary beth of wampum has decided to get off her mouse and actually participate in the democratic process (as opposed to just bitch about it, like we do).

mary beth is officially running for a seat in the legislature of the state of main. we wish her lots of luck and our undying support, although we don't actually live in maine, or even know anybody who does. (unless jessica fletcher counts).

we are impressed that she is physically participating in government by for and of the people. good luck, mary bet!
posted by skippy at 8:01 PM | 0 comments

nytimes: awol not technically awol

the nytimes suggests that, based on a cursory review of recently released military recrods, the reports of awol being legally awol are "exaggerated."

on the question of whether he was ever awol, that charge appears to be exaggerated based on the balance of evidence available to date.

mr. bush's payroll records do indeed show that he missed guard training during eight months between may 1972 and may 1973. for much of that time, mr. bush was immersed in the united states senate campaign of winton blount…one issue [of the campaign] was how tough to be on draft dodgers.

but records also show that mr. bush took several steps to fulfill his guard obligation, including completing enough extra training after the campaign ended to fulfill at least the minimum annual requirements for retirement purposes.
of course, we here at skippy international knew that he was not actually awol, in terms of the legal requirement of that charge, any more than bill clinton was ever legally a draft dodger. it's just that the words "lying drunk pusillanimous over-privileged slacker" didn't have a "w" in them for our goofy nickname for the guy.

however, the times doesn't think the released records go so far as to let ldpo-ps off the hook [ed. note: stick with "awol"]. they go on:

still, one major remaining question is why mr. bush, who said he wanted to make flying "a lifetime pursuit" when he joined up, failed to take a required annual flight physical in 1972. as a result, records show, he was suspended from flying on aug. 1, 1972, an action that some guard officials have said should have set off an inquiry. no records of any such inquiry have been released…

another question is precisely how mr. bush obtained an honorable discharge from the guard on oct. 1, 1973, eight months before his six-year commitment ended.
posted by skippy at 12:12 AM | 0 comments

discipline for proselytizing pilot not awol at american airlines

thanks to corrente, we find that the pilot who told his passengers if they weren't christian, they were "crazy" has been suspended with pay. from the asspress:

[chief executive of american airlines] gerard arpey said the airline has grounded the pilot with pay while executives investigate the incident.
arpey said he apologized to anyone who was offended by the pilot's comments on a flight from los angeles to new york.

"let me assure you that we take this very seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation," arpey wrote in a letter to abraham foxman, national director of the anti-defamation league, an advocacy group that monitors anti-semitism. he said american airlines "promotes an environment of respect for the diversity of all persons, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, disability, gender, age or sexual orientation."
but if you ask us, we don't see how that's any sort of discipline at all.

"bob, you've done a terrible job here at work."

"sorry boss."

"you've done so badly, we're going to force you to not come to work anymore, for the same amount of money."

"gee, i'm devastated. i guess i'll just be at home drinking margaritas and watching tv land all day."

"well you should have thought of that before you screwed up so bad."
posted by skippy at 12:11 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, February 14, 2004

washpost not awol on mysterious 6 month absence

the washpost responds to the witness who corroborates awol's story that he was in alabama during that mysterious period in his guard duty when nobody remembers him:

only one person has come forward with recollections of serving with bush in alabama. john b. "bill" calhoun, 69, said he saw bush at dannelly air national guard base eight to 10 times from may to october 1972. but calhoun also said he recalls bush at dannelly at times in mid-1972 when the white house acknowledges bush was not even based in alabama.

may 24, 1972: bush seeks a transfer from his houston guard unit to the 9921st air reserve squadron in montgomery, ala., for an unpaid assignment while he works as political director on the senate campaign of winton m. blount, a friend of his father. the transfer is approved by the unit's commander. there is no record bush reported for duty.
[ed. note: emphasis, and rolling of eyes, ours].
posted by skippy at 9:52 PM | 0 comments