Republican National Convention Schedule

(via email)

6:00pmOpening prayer
6:15pmSupplementary opening prayer
6:30pmPrayer in thanks of first two prayers
6:45pmSummary of administration’s energy policy (presented by Exxon)
7:00pmCanonization of Reagan
7:15pmAdditional prayers
7:30pmOpening remarks (presented by Halliburton)
8:00pmPrayer for the safety and well-being of Ken “Kenny-boy” Lay
8:15pmAdditional remarks (presented by Halliburton)
8:30pmStoning of the first homosexual
8:45pmNew healthcare polices (presented by HMO leader, Kaiser Permanente)
9:00pmInvasion of Iran or North Korea (TBA)
9:15pmHalliburton contributes 1.4 billion to Republican party
9:30pmReagan elevated to savior, Holy Trinity now referred to as “the quads”
9:45pmBush undergoes plastic surgery to look more like Reagan
10:00pmCheney runs into Ron Reagan, Jr., tells him to go f*ck himself
10:15pmRecall of troops from accidental invasion of South Korea (Bush: “Damn, the SOUTH is our ally.)
10:30pmBurning at the stake of 16 year-old Jenny Williams, who had an illegal abortion after being raped by her cousin
10:45pmDancing around the golden calf
11:00pmStoning of the partner of the first homosexual
11:15pmNew forestry policy (presented by Weyerhauser)
11:45pmThanking God for his wisdom in choosing Bush as president
12:00pmClosing prayers (lasting until 2:00am)
2:00amHookers arrive for all delegates

Can’t fence?

Why would anyone think a Canadian would want to fence 50,000 cans of beer?

(from Reuters)

TORONTO (Reuters) – Somewhere in Canada there are thieves with nearly 50,000 cans of beer they will have a hard time selling, although police said on Thursday the truck driver who disappeared with the loot has been arrested.

The shipment of Moosehead beer, worth over C$75,000 ($57,000), was on its way to Mexico from an East Coast brewery when it went missing, along with the driver.

The transport truck was recovered last week — still running — in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, but with most of its cargo missing.

The 30-year-old driver was picked up in Lindsay, Ontario, about 1,000 miles from Grand Falls. He has been charged with theft but police reported he did not have any beer with him.

The shipment of Moosehead was labeled in English and Spanish for export to Mexico, so it could not be sold in Canada. Nor could it be shipped into or through the United States without proper documentation.

“Its one of these classic, dumb-crook stories,” said Joel Levesque, a spokesman for Moosehead.

“They can’t sell it anywhere in Canada without giving away the immediate fact that it’s been stolen… So we have crooks stuck with 50,000 plus cans of beer that basically they can’t fence.”

Liberals love America like grown-ups

(stolen from Musings of a Philosophical Scrivener….)

They don’t get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America the way a four-year loves her mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a four-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad, and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world.
— Al Franken


(via Eschaton)

Cowards All Around

And the larger story here is clear: John Kerry volunteered for the Navy, volunteered to go to Vietnam, and then, when he was sitting around Cam Ranh Bay bored with nothing to do, requested the most dangerous duty a Naval officer could be given. He saved a man’s life. He risked his own every time he went up into the Mekong Delta. He did more than his country asked. In fact he didn’t even wait for his country to ask.

George W. Bush spent those same years in a state of dissolution at Yale, and would go on, as we know, to plot how to get out of going to Southeast Asia. On that subject, here’s a choice quote. “I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment,” Bush told the Dallas Morning News in 1990. “Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.”

Let’s parse that quotation phrase for phrase. We do not, of course, know the full context of the conversation he was having with the reporter, and we don’t know exactly what question Bush was asked. But his words begin from the presumption that actually going to Vietnam was absolutely not an option. The quote is entirely about how to avoid going. He wasn’t prepared to damage his hearing intentionally for the sake of securing a deferment (he probably meant a 4-F classification and confused the two). And he wasn’t willing to go to Canada. So he took the third option, the Air National Guard. And note how the choice was about bettering himself, not about thinking of a way to best render service that this child of privilege might — had he been possessed of the moral fiber and sense of duty of, say, John Kerry — have considered his obligation, especially considering that, on paper at least, he supported the war.

Dick Cheney is another who, on paper at least, supported the war. But we know Cheney’s story: A series of deferments going back to 1963, when he was a student at Casper College in Wyoming. As Tim Noah reported in Slate, Cheney went on to marry — as fate would have it, right after the Gulf of Tonkin incident, when it was clear that young single men would be called up in larger numbers than before. And then he went on to have a child, Elizabeth, born precisely nine months and two days after the Selective Service ended the proscription on the drafting of married but childless men. What a happily timed burst of passion he and Lynn were consumed by! So, while Kerry was plying the Mekong Delta, Cheney was safe and dry stateside, dropping out of Yale because his grades weren’t sufficient to maintain the scholarship the school had offered him.

Everyone knows Cheney’s quote, delivered to the Senate committee that was vetting him for service as George H.W. Bush’s Defense Secretary, that he “had other priorities” than going to fight for his country. But he made another comment at that hearing that’s less known and more damning: He said he “would have obviously been happy to serve had I been called.” That, as John Nichols notes in his recent book Dick, is not just an obfuscation or a tap dance; it’s a lie. He was called, and he ducked.

So now we’re having a debate about whether the man who did the honorable thing may have embellished his record a little (although nothing in the documentary record suggests he did this), while we have two cowards who did everything they could to stay miles away from the place Kerry demanded he be sent. This is the fundamental truth. And while yes, Kerry has made his war service a centerpiece in a way that Bush and Cheney for obvious reasons did not, is it really Kerry who deserves scrutiny for how he behaved in 1968 and 1969? Why shouldn’t the major media be doing comparisons of how Kerry, Bush, and Cheney passed those years? Why shouldn’t The Washington Post be devoting 2,700 words to a comprehensive look at Cheney’s deferments? Nichols identifies three young men from Casper who did die in Vietnam: Robert Cardenas, Walter Elmer Handy, and Douglas Tyrone Patrick. Did one of them die because Cheney had “other priorities”?

‘Those who fail to learn from history…’

The people of England have been led in Mesopotamia into a trap from which it will be hard to escape with dignity and honour. They have been tricked into it by a steady withholding of information. The Baghdad communiques are belated, insincere, incomplete. Things have been far worse than we have been told, our administration more bloody and inefficient than the public knows. It is a disgrace to our imperial record, and may soon be too inflamed for any ordinary cure. We are to-day not far from a disaster.
— Ex.-Lieut.-Col. T.E. Lawrence (The Sunday Times, 22 August 1920)

Underestanding the Threats

(via Eschaton)

Kerry vs. Bush:

“Despite this administration’s near obsession with missile defense, the greatest threat facing our homeland comes from terrorists who would do us harm. In the months preceding 9/11 George W. Bush and his closest advisors were preoccupied with missile defense and their misunderstanding about the threats we face continues to this day. John Kerry believes an effective missile defense is crucial to our national security strategy. But John Kerry also understands the importance of facing our most pressing national security threats while continuing to develop and deploy a national missile defense which we know will work,” said Kerry National Security Adviser Rand Beers.


May 2001 — Bush Said “Most Urgent Threat” Was Ballistic Missiles.

Bush: “Most troubling of all, the list of these countries includes some of the World’s least responsible states. Unlike the Cold War, today’s most urgent threat stems not from thousands of ballistic missiles in the Soviet hands, but from a small number of missiles in the hands of these states, states for whom terror and blackmail are a way of life. They seek weapons of mass destruction to intimidate their neighbors, and to keep the United States and other responsible nations from helping allies and friends in strategic parts of the world.” (Bush, Address at the National Defense University, 5/1/01)

May 2001 – Kerry Said “Immediate Threat” was From Terrorists and “Non-State Actors.”

Kerry: “But let me underscore that missile defense will do nothing to address what the Pentagon itself considers a much more likely and immediate threat to the American homeland from terrorists and from nonstate actors, who can quietly slip explosives into a building, unleash chemical weapons into a crowded subway, or send a crude nuclear weapon into a busy harbor.” (Kerry, Speech on Senate Floor, 5/2/01)

Before 9-11, Bush Administration Didn’t Focus on Terrorist Threat, Highlighted Missile Defense

Bush’s Pre-9/11 Focus on Missile Defense Over Terrorism is Widely Recognized. A Washington Post editorial noted that “By now it’s common knowledge that before Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration’s attention was focused not on terrorism but on other national security priorities — most notably missile defense.” (Washington Post, 4/26/04)

Rumsfeld Threatened Veto Of Plan To Divert Money From Missile Defense to Terrorism. On September 9, 2001, Donald Rumsfeld threatened to urge a presidential veto of a Senate plan to divert $600 million from missile defense systems to counterterrorism. Instead of anti-terror planning, “the whole Bush national- security team was obsessed with setting up a national system of missile defense.” (Time, 8/12/02)

See also: Pre 9-11: All about missile defense