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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hurricane Ivan II

Here in southwestern Pennsylvania, it has been a perfectly beautiful late summer day. It's hard to imagine that only a few hundred miles away, Hurricane Ivan is bearing down on the southern coast. Let us continue to keep in our prayers everybody in the path of this hurricane, especially emergency personnel who put their own safety, health, and lives on the line in the service of the community. And thank you for remembering especially in your prayers my relatives & friends in central Florida: it seems that they have been spared this time.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 06:42:57 PM
Categorized as Religious.


A Proud Member of The Jammies Brigade

Today, I changed the main-column header on the main page.

It used to be this:

The Weblog at The View from the Core

Now it's this:

A Proud Member of The Jammies Brigade

'Jammies Brigade,' Graphic Copyright 2004, Susan Elizabeth (Suzy) Rice.
"Jammies Brigade," Graphic Copyright 2004, Susan Elizabeth (Suzy) Rice.

(Thanks, Hindrocket.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 06:23:54 PM
Categorized as Blog Stuff.


Beldar Drops The Bomb

Dan Rather was complicit in defrauding the American public in an attempt to defeat a sitting President. Rather must be fired now. Congress should subpoena CBS News' lawyers and all documentation of their advice....


(Thanks, Susanna.)

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 06:14:42 PM
Categorized as Media.


The Latest on CBSgate III

The saga of Daniel Milhous Rather continues.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 05:53:09 PM
Categorized as Media.


Out of His Head

Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CCCLXXV

Oh, my.

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I have friends who refused to watch, listen to or even read Bush's speech to the RNC last week — but I just had to see it. I was working that night, so I set my VCR and came home to the tape at around 1 a.m.

It's hard to describe the mixture of nausea and fear that gripped me as I watched this speech. I was offended at the use of the tragedy of 9/11 as political leverage — but, in a strange way, it was almost a relief. The Republicans have finally fully embraced the position they've been hinting at for months: "A vote for Kerry is a vote to dig up 9/11's victims, spit in their hearts and stomp on their brains."

This all turns my stomach — but what scares me is how effective this tact has been. Who would have dreamed that attacking the war record of a Vietnam hero who protested upon his return, trotting out the most moderate members of your party while adopting a right wing platform and all but ignoring the country's economic crisis would actually work? But — here we are, running neck and neck with a little less than two months left to go.

If I were Bill Clinton, I'd take to a hospital bed and recover for a month too.

Of course, the greatest strength of the Bush campaign is the weakness of the Kerry campaign. Yesterday I watched Kerry stumping on C-Span and noticed the dead silence when he came to an obvious laugh line. He can't seem to communicate to the audience when they're supposed to laugh, and though he's trying his damnedest to be charming his every smile looks exhausted, shy and desperate. The consequence: though he's making good arguments, calling the president on his record and presenting his own plan for the country, we're still made to feel as though he's not quite sure of himself, even not quite behind his own campaign.

Bush on the other hand is ignoring the economy, embracing his arrogance, spouting ideological catchphrases without anything to back it all up - but he does it in that charming, rakish frat boy sort of way. You almost want to pinch his cheeks and say, "You scamp! I want to boot your sorry ass out of office for dividing this country, costing us 1,000 lives in Iraq and trying to make us all march lockstep in your parade of Born Again Christians — but you're just so cute!"

I feel this way about our College Republicans sometimes. Even when they say things that disgust me, I can't quite believe they're serious. Recently one of them said to me, when I asked if he hated the moderates dominating the convention: "Well, they may not pass all the acid tests of being a republican, but they all agree on the most important thing: they don't mind the sight of dead Arabs."

This is the kind of awful, racist joke that you can imagine Bush sharing with Cheney as they watch Arnold and Rudy take the stage. But the awful truth is that it isn't a joke — it's the darkest and most awful part of this man reaching out to the darkest, most awful part of America. It's a campaign built on fear and hatred disguised as patriotism and piety — and I'm scared to death it's going to work.

I read recently that more than million people the world over take their lives every year — more than are murdered or killed in wars. The latest World Health Organization figures suggest a suicide takes place every forty seconds, somewhere in the world.

And so it's not hard to imagine that on November 3rd, if the election can be called by then, there might be a sort of grim mass exodus from this sad planet should Bush pull this election out. My generation may be particularly vulnerable to the urge to lay back in a warm bath and open up their veins as chants of "Four More Years" echo horribly from every 24 hour cable news station.

I remember the awful, kee-capped feeling on the day Al Gore finally conceded in 2000. What else could he do? Still — there was a feeling that we'd all, as a generation, had our first turn at bat and struck out. Or, rather, that a bad call had sent us back to the bench for four long years. We couldn't have imagined, then, how badly the game would go — or how much would be at stake when we next stepped to the plate.

But, though I finally have my own bathroom this year, you won't find me dead in my tub on November 3rd, no matter what happens. I'm casting my vote for Kerry, whether or not he makes me go weak at the knees. I'm praying to God, Jesus, the Holy Mother and whoever and whatever else is out there that it goes our way this time. But, if it doesn't, I'm going to stick around until we finally oust these bastards. And I'm going to dance in the street, drink till I'm sick and sleep for three days afterward. The thought alone will be enough to keep me going.

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Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 07:57:34 AM
Categorized as Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode.


Kerry Wrong for Catholics


Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 07:32:51 AM
Categorized as Political.


The Latest on CBSgate II

The saga of Daniel Milhous Rather continues.

All are worth quoting at length; let this summary from the last article suffice:

.... A detailed examination of the CBS documents beside authenticated Killian memos and other documents generated by Bush's 147th Fighter Interceptor Group suggests at least three areas of difference that are difficult to reconcile:
• Word-processing techniques. Of more than 100 records made available by the 147th Group and the Texas Air National Guard, none used the proportional spacing techniques characteristic of the CBS documents. Nor did they use a superscripted "th" in expressions such as "147th Group" and or "111th Fighter Intercept Squadron."
In a CBS News broadcast Friday night rebutting allegations that the documents had been forged, Rather displayed an authenticated Bush document from 1968 that included a small "th" next to the numbers "111" as proof that Guard typewriters were capable of producing superscripts. In fact, say Newcomer and other experts, the document aired by CBS News does not contain a superscript, because the top of the "th" character is at the same level as the rest of the type. Superscripts rise above the level of the type.
• Factual problems. A CBS document purportedly from Killian ordering Bush to report for his annual physical, dated May 4, 1972, gives Bush's address as "5000 Longmont #8, Houston." This address was used for many years by Bush's father, George H.W. Bush. National Guard documents suggest that the younger Bush stopped using that address in 1970 when he moved into an apartment, and did not use it again until late 1973 or 1974, when he moved to Cambridge, Mass., to attend Harvard Business School.
One CBS memo cites pressure allegedly being put on Killian by "Staudt," a reference to Col. Walter B. "Buck" Staudt, one of Bush's early commanders. But the memo is dated Aug. 18, 1973, nearly a year and a half after Staudt retired from the Guard. Questioned about the discrepancy over the weekend, CBS officials said that Staudt was a "mythic figure" in the Guard who exercised influence from behind the scenes even after his retirement.
• Stylistic differences. To outsiders, how an officer wrote his name and rank or referred to his military unit may seem arcane and unimportant. Within the military, however, such details are regulated by rules and tradition, and can be of great significance. The CBS memos contain several stylistic examples at odds with standard Guard procedures, as reflected in authenticated documents.
In memos previously released by the Pentagon or the White House, Killian signed his rank "Lt Col" or "Lt Colonel, TexANG," in a single line after his name without periods. In the CBS memos, the "Lt Colonel" is on the next line, sometimes with a period but without the customary reference to TexANG, for Texas Air National Guard.
An ex-Guard commander, retired Col. Bobby W. Hodges, whom CBS originally cited as a key source in authenticating its documents, pointed to discrepancies in military abbreviations as evidence that the CBS memos are forgeries. The Guard, he said, never used the abbreviation "grp" for "group" or "OETR" for an officer evaluation review, as in the CBS documents. The correct terminology, he said, is "gp" and "OER." ....

And, this most remarkable conclusion:

.... Prominent conservatives such as Rush Limbaugh are insisting the documents are forged. New York Times columnist William Safire said yesterday that CBS should agree to an independent investigation. Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, called on the network to apologize, saying: "The CBS story is a hoax and a fraud, and a cheap and sloppy one at that. It boggles the mind that Dan Rather and CBS continue to defend it."

How often does WaPo give the last word to conservatives?

The! Washington! Post!

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Wed. 09/15/04 07:18:47 AM
Categorized as Media.


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