August 23, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
August 23, 2008
I got my text at 3:31am. How about you? I don't think a middle-of-the-night massive text alert was in the plan (although Keith Olbermann prophetically mentioned it), but it seems the AP reported the Obama campaign plane was sent to Delaware, hence 2 + 2= Biden.
There was also a report on MSNBC that a "Democratic official" stated that Biden was Obama's VP choice. Given the fact that the Obama camp really wanted to make the whole text messaging thing work - under threat of firing if it were to be leaked we're to understand - I wonder who said "Democratic official" was?
Ultimately, I'm glad it's Biden. For all of his perceived shortcomings, he's definitely no milquetoast. Wouldn't a Biden-Romney vice presidential debate be something you'd tune in to watch? Biden tells it like it is, warts and all, and doesn't hesitate to call bullshit when he hears it.
Bayh was too centrist for my taste and one, big, long yawn. Tim Kaine seems like he's got his head on straight, but the perceived combination of inexperience between he and Obama would have been too much fodder for the GOP.
Biden did vote for the resolution to authorize using force in Iraq which some say is a problem, but if that were the case, you'd eliminate ½ the Democratic Senate at the outset - you'll find a flaw with any possible candidate if you searched long enough. Biden's foreign policy experience makes him an excellent choice. I had hoped Wesley Clark might be in the running - Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Europe is a helluva title to have on your resume, and he seemed like a straight shooter as well, although the Face The Nation appearance probably hurt his chances.
So congratulations to Senator Joe Biden of Delaware for being chosen as Vice Presidential running mate to Barack Obama for the Democratic Party. Now it's on to Denver, then on to the White House!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
[Updated below.] WHITE HOUSE '08 - GOP CITES RICHEST COUNTY IN AMERICA AS PROOF ECONOMY IS GREAT
When asked how many houses he owned, John McCain said, "I think — I'll have my staff get to you," McCain told Politico in Las Cruces, N.M. "It's condominiums where — I'll have them get to you."
The answer from the staff: at least four. At least four? Is it five? Is it six?
Yet this is the man that claims Obama is the elitist. A man that thinks a $5 million annual salary would be considered rich and doesn't know how many homes he owns is supposed to be the candidate in touch with the common man.
Now obviously McCain was trying to avoid the question in an attempt to squirm out of the "rich, old man" mode, but only dug himself in deeper by "not being sure." And in my opinion, his staff didn't do him any favors by avoiding the question with a vague "at least four" answer. Isn't it easy enough to find out? Or did they just stop counting at four? By the way, the answer is seven. John and Cindy McCain own seven homes. Or should I say, "At least seven"? And you know what? Good for them! But don't try to weasel your way out of what you are.
It didn't take long for Barack Obama to let the public know how out of touch and disconnected John McCain really is.
And it looks like the national Republican Party isn't doing McCain any favors on the economy front either. Here's David Sirota:
The Roanoke Times reports that as Barack Obama convened a discussion about unfair trade policies in economically ravaged regions of Virginia, the national Republican Party countered by citing Fairfax County as proof the economy is doing just fine. "It doesn't take a lot of courage to go to Martinsville and talk about trade," said U.S. Rep. Tom Davis (R) said in a Tuesday conference call arranged by McCain's campaign. "What would be courageous is to come to Fairfax County, where you have 362 foreign-owned companies and tens of thousands of employees with foreign-owned firms...and take the same stand up here."
Besides the tone deafness of holding up foreign-owned firms as proof of a solid domestic economy, Davis forgot to mention that according to Forbes magazine, Fairfax County has long been the wealthiest county in the United States - a place where the median (the median!) household income is over $100,000 a year. The county is home to many of the millionaire corporate lobbyists that have been instrumental in the passage of rigged trade deals. Davis citing Fairfax County today as proof that trade policies are working for the vast majority of the country would be like FDR citing the Rockefeller family during the Great Depression as proof that the economy was working for most Americans.
UPDATE I (10pm):
What the fuck? The McCainstream Media comes to the rescue of poor, befuddled ol' John "P.O.W" McCain and his "houses" gaffe.
– Marc Ambider, The Atlantic: “[T]he word ‘John McCain’ means a lot of different things, but rich isn’t one of them.”No, I suppose owning seven properties worth $13 million and being married to a beer distributor heiress worth at least $100 million (we'll never know because she won't release her tax returns) who owns a private jet isn't considered rich. At least compared to their REALLY rich friends.
– Howard Kurtz, Washington Post: The “assumption” that “McCain’s personal wealth makes him insensitive to the struggling economy…is highly debatable.”
Of course! Just because he believes a $5 million annual salary is what he would consider rich is no reason to believe that he's out of touch and insensitive to the personal struggles of others.
The best damage control quote had to come form the McCain campaign's Brian Rogers:
"The reality is they have some investment properties and stuff. It's not as if he lives in ten houses. That's just not the case," Rogers said. "The reality is they have four that actually could be considered houses they could use."
Those four include an apartment in Arlington, a ranch in Sedona, and two condos, in California and Phoenix, he said. The others include "some investment properties and things like that."
He also added: "This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years -- in prison," referring to the prisoner of war camp that McCain was in during the Vietnam War.
Yeah, that's right. McCain's wealth is off limits because he was a P.O.W.! So what if he cheated on his first disabled wife to shack up with a sexy beer forune heiress that bankrolled his political career? He deserves it because he's a war hero!
UPDATE II (10:40pm):
Elvis Dingeldein: "So there you have it: Either Senator McCain is too senile to remember the number of physical buildings he owns and all the expensive things inside them, or he’s too rich to give a shit. Which should come as no surprise to those that watched him defy the Cone Of Silence at Pastor Rick’s Mega-Spiritual Bargain Warehouse Evangelicathon and Corn Feed, where McCain accidentally let it slip that you can’t join his country club if you make less than $5 million a year. “He’s down-to-earth, he’s funny, he’s just like me!” gushed a woman that attends one of Warren’s Fast-Jesus Franchises because she can’t have a personal relationship with The God™ without being in a room with 22,000 other hysterical nutcases. “And Lord he’s right, $5 million a year, that’s rich! He’s so smart!”
Also read: Sam Stein: McCain Camp Plays POW Card on House Gaffe
WHITE HOUSE '08 - GOP CITES RICHEST COUNTY IN AMERICA AS PROOF ECONOMY IS GREAT
(CNN) -- Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association and a Hall of Fame guard with the Oakland Raiders, has died, the association said on its Web site Thursday. Upshaw was head of the NFL Players Association for 25 years. Upshaw had pancreatic cancer, the football league said. He was 63.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
NY Times: Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the first African-American woman elected to the House of Representatives from Ohio and a leader in the fight against predatory lending practices, died Wednesday. She was 58.
John McCain, August 18, 2008: "Behind all of these claims and positions by Senator Obama lies the ambition to be president. What's less apparent is the judgment to be commander in chief."
John McCain, from his 2002 memoir "Worth The Fighting For": "I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time."
**Helpful hint for John McCain: When accusing someone of a perceived negative, make sure that you aren't guilty of admitting to the same perceived negative in writing, you pathetic jackass!
Yeth, former New York Thity Mayor and current athwipe Rudy Giuliani hath been chothen ath the keynote thpeaker for the Republican National Convention in Minneapolith nexth month.
Frank Rich: The Candidate We Still Don’t Know
What is widely known is the skin-deep, out-of-date McCain image. As this fairy tale has it, the hero who survived the Hanoi Hilton has stood up as rebelliously in Washington as he did to his Vietnamese captors. He strenuously opposed the execution of the Iraq war; he slammed the president’s response to Katrina; he fought the “agents of intolerance” of the religious right; he crusaded against the G.O.P. House leader Tom DeLay, the criminal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and their coterie of influence-peddlers.
With the exception of McCain’s imprisonment in Vietnam, every aspect of this profile in courage is inaccurate or defunct.
...Most Americans still don’t know, as [Josh] Marshall writes, that on the campaign trail “McCain frequently forgets key elements of policies, gets countries’ names wrong, forgets things he’s said only hours or days before and is frequently just confused.” Most Americans still don’t know it is precisely for this reason that the McCain campaign has now shut down the press’s previously unfettered access to the candidate on the Straight Talk Express.
Robert Scheer: McCain's Warped Worldview
The world according to John McCain is one in which America is triumphant at home and abroad thanks to the Bush legacy, rolling to victory internationally and mastering its domestic economic problems. If daily news, like reports of the 10 French soldiers killed by a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and the U.S. government’s imminent nationalization of much of the American mortgage-lending industry, would seem to deny such a rosy scenario, then that only shows skeptics lack the courage that sustained McCain as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
There you have it encapsulated, the McCain campaign for president, an irrational mélange of patriotic swagger and blindness to reality that is proving disturbingly successful with uninformed voters.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Thanks to Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report for this comprehensive list of McCain's flip-flops. As Steve says:
...there’s nothing offensive about a political figure changing his or her mind once in a while. Policy makers come to one conclusion, they gain more information, and then they reach a different conclusion. That is, to be sure, a good thing — it reflects a politician with an open mind and a healthy intellectual curiosity. Better to have a leader who changes his or her mind based on new information than one who stubbornly sticks to outmoded policy positions, regardless of facts or circumstances.
So why do McCain’s flip-flops matter? Because all available evidence suggests his reversals aren’t sincere, they’re cynically calculated for political gain. This isn’t indicative of an open mind; it’s actually indicative of a character flaw. And given the premise of McCain’s presidential campaign, it’s an area in desperate need of scrutiny.
So here is a list of 74, yes - SEVENTY FOUR - McCain flip-flops put together by Benen complete with researchable links for verification. If you see one he's missed, contact him and let him know.
National Security Policy
1. McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite.
2. McCain insisted that everyone, even “terrible killers,” “the worst kind of scum of humanity,” and detainees at Guantanamo Bay, “deserve to have some adjudication of their cases,” even if that means “releasing some of them.” McCain now believes the opposite.
3. He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion, he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.”
4. In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding.
5. McCain was for closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before he was against it.
6. When Barack Obama talked about going after terrorists in Pakistani mountains with predators, McCain criticized him for it. He’s since come to the opposite conclusion.
7. McCain was for kicking Russia out of the G8 before he was against it. Now, he’s for it again.
8. McCain supported moving “towards normalization of relations” with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite.
9. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite.
10. McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite.
11. McCain is both for and against a “rogue state rollback” as a focus of his foreign policy vision.
12. McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it.
13. McCain was against divestment from South Africa before he was for it.
14. McCain recently claimed that he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as “a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.” In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.”
15. McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions, concluding, on multiple occasions, that a Korea-like presence is both a good and a bad idea.
16. McCain was against additional U.S. forces in Afghanistan before he was for it.
17. McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.”
18. McCain has repeatedly said it’s a dangerous mistake to tell the “enemy” when U.S. troops would be out of Iraq. In May, McCain announced that most American troops would be home from Iraq by 2013.
19. McCain was against expanding the GI Bill before he was for it.
20. McCain staunchly opposed Obama’s Iraq withdrawal timetable, and even blasted Mitt Romney for having referenced the word during the GOP primaries. In July, after Iraqi officials endorsed Obama’s policy, McCain said a 16-month calendar sounds like “a pretty good timetable.”
21. McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.)
22. On Social Security, McCain said he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Soon after, asked about a possible increase in the payroll tax, McCain said there’s “nothing that’s off the table.”
23. McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t.
24. McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite.
25. He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party’s policy making. Now he believes the opposite.
26. In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won’t commit to supporting a regulation bill he’s co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris’ former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser.
27. McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona.
28. McCain’s first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting “irresponsibly.” His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position.
29. McCain went from saying gay marriage should be allowed, to saying gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed.
30. McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it.
31. McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.
32. McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.
33. In 2005, McCain endorsed intelligent design creationism, a year later he said the opposite, and a few months after that, he was both for and against creationism at the same time.
34. And on gay adoption, McCain initially said he’d rather let orphans go without families, then his campaign reversed course, and soon after, McCain reversed back.
35. In the Senate, McCain opposed a variety of measures on equal pay for women, and endorsed the Supreme Court’s Ledbetter decision. In July, however, McCain said, “I’m committed to making sure that there’s equal pay for equal work. That …is my record and you can count on it.”
36. McCain was against fully funding the No Child Left Behind Act before he was for it.
37. McCain was for affirmative action before he was against it.
38. McCain was against Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy before he was for them.
39. John McCain initially argued that economics is not an area of expertise for him, saying, “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues; I still need to be educated,” and “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.” He now falsely denies ever having made these remarks and insists that he has a “very strong” understanding of economics.
40. McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. And soon after that, McCain abandoned his second position and went back to his first.
41. McCain said in 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and falsely argued that he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending.
42. McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite.
43. McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a “‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded. Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.”
44. McCain has changed his entire economic worldview on multiple occasions.
45. McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off economically than they were before Bush took office.
46. McCain supported the moratorium on coastal drilling ; now he’s against it.
47. McCain recently announced his strong opposition to a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea.
48. McCain endorsed a cap-and-trade policy with a mandatory emissions cap. In mid-June, McCain announced he wants the caps to voluntary.
49. McCain explained his belief that a temporary suspension of the federal gas tax would provide an immediate economic stimulus. Shortly thereafter, he argued the exact opposite.
50. McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn’t.
51. McCain was for national auto emissions standards before he was against them.
52. McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. In 2007, he announced his opposition to the bill. In 2008, McCain switched back.
53. On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own bill.
54. In April, McCain promised voters that he would secure the borders “before proceeding to other reform measures.” Two months later, he abandoned his public pledge, pretended that he’d never made the promise in the first place, and vowed that a comprehensive immigration reform policy has always been, and would always be, his “top priority.”
Judicial Policy and the Rule of Law
55. McCain said he would “not impose a litmus test on any nominee.” He used to promise the opposite.
56. McCain’s position was that the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration’s warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite.
57. McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite.
58. In June, McCain rejected the idea of a trial for Osama bin Laden, and thought Obama’s reference to Nuremberg was a misread of history. A month later, McCain argued the exact opposite position.
59. In June, McCain described the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush was “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” In August, he reversed course.
Campaign, Ethics, and Lobbying Reform
60. McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn’t.
61. In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving “feedback” on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.
62. McCain supported a campaign-finance bill, which bore his name, on strengthening the public-financing system. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation.
63. In May 2008, McCain approved a ban on lobbyists working for his campaign. In July 2008, his campaign reversed course and said lobbyists could work for his campaign.
Politics and Associations
64. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist John Hagee. Now he doesn’t. (He also believes his endorsement from Hagee was both a good and bad idea.)
65. McCain wanted political support from radical televangelist Rod Parsley. Now he doesn’t.
66. McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry’s Democratic ticket in 2004.
67. McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church.
68. McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.
69. In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.
70. McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.
71. McCain decided in 2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the ‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York.
72. McCain believed powerful right-wing activist/lobbyist Grover Norquist was “corrupt, a shill for dictators, and (with just a dose of sarcasm) Jack Abramoff’s gay lover.” McCain now considers Norquist a key political ally.
73. McCain was for presidential candidates giving speeches in foreign countries before he was against it.
74. McCain has been both for and against considering a pro-choice running mate for the Republican presidential ticket.
(H/T Kiko's House for the pic.)
New York Times: KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban insurgents mounted their most serious attacks in six years of fighting, one a complex attack with multiple suicide bombers on an American military base on Monday night, and another by some 100 insurgents on French forces in a district east of the capital, killing 10 French soldiers and wounding 21 others, military officials said Tuesday.
Barack Obama and John McCain met in Saddleback last Saturday evening at the behest of Dr. Rick Warren, an evangelical pastor of Saddleback Church in California to discuss faith. I really didn't give this forum too much thought. Why should I? Separation of church and state and all that. Besides the fact that Obama was sitting in front of a religious, conservative crowd (not his base, shall we say) and McCain was the odds on favorite to do well (or at least it would be perceived that way regardless) I wasn't really interested in this forum. In my mind, religion is religion and politics are politics and never the twain shall meet.
But now that the "reviews" are out and giving McCain the "victory" in the forum, many have reported that there were anomalies in the situation. For example, the McCain campaign is up in arms over the allegation that they had overheard the questions being asked of Obama which would put McCain at an advantage. That allegation was brought up by Andrea Mitchell, who accurately reported that McCain "may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama." And as the McCain campaign itself admits, McCain wasn't even in the holding location for the first segment of the forum while Obama was answering questions.
Whether that crap is true or not is completely irrelevant, in my opinion. What was important however, were the questions that were asked and how they were framed. As John Perr reports:
...there is no dispute. Despite CNN’s assurances to the contrary, Rick Warren simply asked Barack Obama and John McCain different questions.
From the very first question, Warren treated McCain with biblical kid gloves, editing out scriptural references that might have proven uncomfortable for the religiously reticent Republican:
QUESTION TO OBAMA: These first set of questions deal with your personal life as a leader and I’m not going to do this with any other segment, but as pastor I’ve got some verses that have to do with leadership. The first issue is the area of listening. There is a verse in Proverbs that says fools think they need no advice but the wise listen to other people. Who are the wisest three people you know in your life and who are you going to rely on heavily in your administration?
QUESTION TO MCCAIN: This first question deals with leadership and the personal life of leadership. First question, who were the three wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration?
...Given the very different framing of the question Warren posed, it’s no surprise that Barack Obama and John McCain produced strikingly different responses in both substance and style. Obama took Warren’s personal question personally, and cited his wife and grandmother as both “wise and honest” before moving on to a litany of political figures on both sides of the aisle... For his part, McCain responded to Warren’s political question and pointed to General David Petraeus, Obama supporter Congressman John Lewis and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.
...And so it went all night. Thanks in no small part to Pastor Warren’s biblical guidance, Barack Obama spoke in a personal, conversational style, making a point throughout to refer to the principles of his Christian faith in the misguided attempt to please an audience indifferent to him at best, downright hostile at worst. So while Barack Obama talked of “trying to do God’s work,” John McCain did the work of his campaign advisers. Despite Warren’s feeble requests not to do so, McCain just repackaged his stump speech and made purely political appeals. In so doing, John McCain probably had the best night of the campaign.
UPDATE (9:55pm): The Rude Pundit has more on the subject - Riding Rick Warren's Saddleback
And an e-mailer sent this to Bob Cesca regarding McCain's answer to the "greatest moral failing" question:
How is it that McCain gets to answer the good pastor Warren as to his greatest moral failing with "the failure of his first marriage"? Marriages sometimes fail, and for a variety of reasons, but the failure of a marriage is, in and of itself, NOT a moral failing, let alone a personal one inasmuch as there were two people in the marriage.
This answer is just a shuck and jive of his real moral failure, which was his disloyalty and infidelity WITHIN that marriage, purportedly while his first wife was particularly vulnerable and in need of support of various stripes, none of which included perfidy or ostensible turpitude, nor by implication including her in the moral failure because she was his wife and that marriage failed!
He obviously is incapable of taking ANY responsibility with this answer. ...This guy McCain is a mess, war hero or not.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Ok, this is a good one. My friend sent me this email he received from a relative who was doubting its validity and forwarded it to me since he knows I've been checking these things out lately. But this one is a doooooozy! Military Losses, 1980 thru 2007
The e-mail claims that you'll be shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU!, at the statistics of US military losses by any cause. And that's the kicker. ANY CAUSE. But let's play their little game. Here's part of the e-mail:
Whatever your politics, however you lean, and however you feel about the current administration, this report should open some eyes. As tragic as the loss of any member of the US Armed Forces is, consider the following statistics: The annual fatalities of military members while actively serving in the armed forces from 1980 through 2006 - by any cause.
1980 .......... 2,392 (Carter Year)
1981 .......... 2,380 (Reagan Year)
1984 .......... 1,999 (Reagan Year)
1988 .......... 1,819 (Reagan Year)
1989 .......... 1,636 (George H W Year)
1990 .......... 1,508 (George H W Year)
1991 .......... 1,787 (George H W Year)
1992 .......... 1,293 (George H W Year)
1993 .......... 1,213 (Clinton Year)
1994 .......... 1,075 (Clinton Year)
1995 .......... 2,465 (Clinton Year)
1996 .......... 2,318 (Clinton Year)
1997 ............ 817 (Clinton Year)
1998 .......... 2,252 (Clinton Year)
1999 .......... 1,984 (Clinton Year)
2000 ...........1,983 (Clinton Year)
2001 ............ 890 (George W Year)
2002 .......... 1,007 (George W Year)
2003 .......... 1,410 (George W Year)
2004 .......... 1,887 (George W Year)
2005 ............ 919 (George W Year)
2006............. 920 (George W Year)
2007............. 899 (George W Year)
Clinton years (1993-2000): 14,107 deaths
George W years (2001-2007): 7,932 deaths
Military Losses, 1980 thru 2007
If you Google the title of the list "Military Losses 1980-2007," the first site you come to is FreeRepublic.com, a right wing website and a post titled "VERY Surprising Military Death Statistics, 1980 - 2007". The e-mail is basically a cut and paste of this webpage with a little added commentary to force a false discussion and skew it towards a neoconservative viewpoint.
What these imbeciles hope to accomplish is that all these "amazing" statistics will be so shocking to you that you'll just forward the e-mail in disbelief. After all, if they provide a link to the stats that they're using, then there's no need to double check, right? ... Right?
Take a look at the list again. Why is 1982-83, and 1985-87 missing from the list? Maybe this line in the in the e-mail will give us a clue:
"And, I was even more shocked when I read that in 1980, during the reign of President (Nobel Peace Prize winner) Jimmy Carter , there were 2,392 US military fatalities! From what? How?"
Well, as in most hazardous jobs around the country and around the world, there's a little something called "accidents" that people deal with in their daily lives. Here's the listing of the reasons for 1980's casualties:
Self inflicted: 231 (I'm guessing this one is suicide or it would be listed as accidental.)
Terrorist Attack: 1
That's how President "Nobel Peace Prize" Carter ended his "reign" - with one soldier's death caused by a terrorist attack.
Now let's look at the missing Reagan years:
1982 - 2,319 Deaths, 1,495 accidental
1983 - 2,465 Deaths, 1,413 accidental
1985 - 2,252 Deaths, 1,476 accidental
1986 - 1,984 Deaths, 1,199 accidental
1987 - 1,983 Deaths, 1,172 accidental
All these numbers show that Carter's 1980 number is not an anomaly, it's the average. But let's take a look at another breakdown - during Reagan's years the number of military deaths by hostile action was 58. The number of deaths by terrorist attack was 293.
Since the author of this e-mail took the added measure of comparing Bush's numbers to Clinton's, let's look at the ACTUAL numbers taken from the link provided by the very creator of this e-mail. Here are the discrepancies:
Clinton's years -
1993 - Author's Number 1,213
1994 - Author's Number 1,075
1995 - Author's Number 2,465 -- Actual Number 1,040
1996 - Author's Number 2,318 -- Actual Number 974
1997 - Author's Number 817
1998 - Author's Number 2,252 -- Actual Number 827
1999 - Author's Number 1,984 -- Actual Number 796
2000 - Author's Number 1,983 -- Actual Number 758
That makes Bill Clinton's grand total 7,500.
Now let's take a look at George W. Bush's numbers according to the author's own link:
2001 - Author's Number 890 -- Actual Number 891
2002 - Author's Number 1,007 -- Actual Number 999
2003 - Author's Number 1,410 -- Actual Number 1,228
2004 - Author's Number 1,887 -- Actual Number 1,874
2005 - Author's Number 919 -- Actual Number 1,942
2006 - Author's Number 920 -- Actual Number 1,858
2007 - Author's Number 899 -- Actual Number not listed in link as it ends in 2006.
The Pentagon has not released figures for 2007 yet, but according to other sources, the US casualty rate for 2007 was 1, 014.
So Clinton's EIGHT (1993-2000) year total =7,500
George W. Bush's SEVEN year (2001-2007) total = 9,804
And 2008 seems like a very long year.
By the way, here are Reagan's and GHW Bush's totals:
Reagan's EIGHT year (1981-1988) total = 17,201
George HW Bush FOUR year (1989-1992) total = 6,223
Military deaths under the eight years Clinton Administration caused by hostile action or terrorist attack = 76
Military deaths under the six years (2001-2006) GW Bush Administration caused by hostile action or terrorist attack = 2,658
Further research shows that this e-mail is not so new. It's probably been circulating for about a year and a half. Here are the Snopes.com and Urban Legends debunking of the numbers, similar to what I did above.
The kicker is one of the final statements toward the end of the e-mail:
I hope that during the time between now and November, intelligent Americans can decipher: the facts from the spin, the spinners from the leaders, those who seek even more power from those that seek justice, and the dividers from the uniters.
Over the next months let's be good listeners and see and hear who tries to divide our nation; and who wants to unite our nation. Who wants to control how our money is spent and who wants our money spent the way we would spend it. Who seeks power and who seeks justice? Who spins the facts and who is genuine.
With that statement I couldn't agree more. All that needed to be done was about 10 minutes worth of research to see that these numbers are false, skewed to favor partisan politics and ultimately and unfortunately an abomination and an insult to those that have lost their lives doing what they've been told to do and defending what they believe in.
So please, do what the author says - but don't just listen to what our candidates for President have to say, follow it up with some research of your own from credible sources. I know you'll be surprised by what you find.
I know I'm late to the party on this subject (not much blogging time lately, and also not feeling too motivated) but I couldn't let this go by without comment.
John McCain is an ass. The McCain campaign was all atwitter in its judgment of Barack Obama's presumed lack of experience when arguing he didn't know what was going on in Iraq because he hadn't been there; as if actually having feet on the ground gives you a better understanding of the clusterfuck in Iraq. They actually goaded Obama into travelling to the Middle East, and when it backfired on them as throngs of people greeted him with open arms, they and the McCainstream Media accused him of being presumptuous and acting presidential before actually being president.
Fast forward just a couple of weeks later to the Russia-Georgia conflict of these past few days and witness the audacity of McThuselah as he not only sabre rattles with harsh language toward Russia (with sabres we don't have, by the way), but then sends his pretend cabinet members Lindsey Graham and Holy Joe Lieberman to Georgia. What the fuck?!
Hey asshole, we've already got a president. Sure he's completely incompetent, but it's his job to send the real Secretary of State to the region, not you, you twit. Now, while Barack Obama was on vacation in that far off exotic locale of Hawaii (perhaps McCain doesn't remember that it's been a state since he was 23 years old) and making a "more measured" statement, McCain tried to take advantage of the situation but overstepped his bounds in trying to act presidential.
Making a statement is one thing. Sending lackeys to the region is something completely different.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Michael Moore: How The Democrats Can Blow It ...In Six Easy Steps
Paul Rieckhoff: Brain Dead Bureaucrat Watch: VA Blocks Voter Registration at Vets' Hospitals
Bob Cesca: The Exotic Candidate Is The One With Eight Houses
David Brody: Obama Gets Heated on Born Alive Infant Protection Act