Thursday, February 12, 2004

White House truth offensive:

White House spokesman Scott McClellan holds up a copy of the
Beaux Tapestry indicating U.S. President George W. Bush
fulfilled his military obligation at the Battle of Hastings.

NOTE: The image above has been Photoshopped.


A weblog we like:

Our attention has been drawn to the weblog, JUSIPER, which has a detailed examination of Bush's National Guard service: points earned, military procedure, veracity of documents, etc.

The author led George Magazine's investigation into Bush's military record back in 2000. Check it out.


What's this then?

On Tuesday, the New York Times had a story about the release of Bush's National Guard pay records. Accompanying the story, was a pop-up window that displayed a timeline of Bush's service. But look closely at what's listed for May-July of 1973:

Since when is "works at inner-city poverty programs" a part of National Guard service? Back in 2000, there were rumors that Bush had to do some inner-city work as part of a drug-rehab program. Is that true? Was it related to National Guard service? What's the story?

UPDATE: Calpundit has more on the mysteries of Bush's service record.


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

54 years and 1 day apart:

McCarthy speech (PDF) from 9 February 1950. McClellan press briefing for 10 February 2004.

(It sure would have been sweet if it was exactly 54 years apart, but it's still kinda spooky anyway.)


Tuesday, February 10, 2004


This is the head and sub-head of today's Los Angeles Times story:
Bush Supports Shift of Jobs Overseas
The loss of work to other countries, while painful in the short term, will enrich the economy eventually, his report to Congress says
Excerpt: (emphasis added)
The movement of American factory jobs and white-collar work to other countries is part of a positive transformation that will enrich the U.S. economy over time, even if it causes short-term pain and dislocation, the Bush administration said Monday.

The embrace of foreign outsourcing, an accelerating trend that has contributed to U.S. job losses in recent years and has become an issue in the 2004 elections, is contained in the president's annual report to Congress on the health of the economy.

"Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," said N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, which prepared the report. "More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that's a good thing."
The report devotes an entire chapter to an issue that has become increasingly troublesome for the administration: the loss of 2.8 million manufacturing jobs since Bush took office, and critics' claims that his trade policies are partly to blame.

His advisors acknowledge that international trade and foreign outsourcing have contributed to the job slump. But the report argues that technological progress and rising productivity — the ability to produce more goods with fewer workers — have played a bigger role than the flight of production to China and other low-wage countries.

Although trade expansion inevitably hurts some domestic workers, the benefits eventually will outweigh the costs as Americans are able to buy cheaper goods and services and as new jobs are created in growing sectors of the economy, the report said.

The president's report endorses the relatively new phenomenon of outsourcing high-end, white-collar work to India and other countries, a trend that has stirred concern within such affected occupations as computer programming and medical diagnostics.

"Maybe we will outsource a few radiologists," Mankiw told reporters. "What does that mean? Well, maybe the next generation of doctors will train fewer radiologists and will train more general practitioners or surgeons…. Maybe we've learned that we don't have a comparative advantage in radiologists."
This story should be reprinted by the Democratic National Committee and distributed to everybody in the nation.

OBSERVATIONS: It's one thing to try to fight job movement or even be indifferent to it. But to support it? Amazing.

So much for getting a good education (e.g. becoming a radiologist).

If this doesn't cause Bush to lose the election, nothing will.


Torn document:

You've probably already read about it, but the infamous "torn document" appears to be genuinely associated with Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. Still, there is much more to be learned about it. Your best place for following the nitty-gritty details are over at Calpundit, who has several posts on the subject. But perhaps it's best to start with the current posting which is here.

Other commentary can be found at the Daily Howler and at Talking Points Memo.



The president spoke at a factory in Springfield Missouri about economics and taxes. One thing that caught our eye was this that Bush said: (emphasis added)
We want less regulation. We need an energy plan. We need to be less dependent on foreign sources of energy. If you're a business, you need to have reliable sources of energy available. But I don't know if you know this or not, but the tax relief we passed is set to expire, parts of it. And some of it's going to expire next year in 2005. In other words, the child credit is going down in 2005 unless Congress acts. The marriage penalty is going back up in 2005 unless Congress acts. And that's going to be an interesting part of the national dialogue. I believe we need to make the tax cuts permanent.

There are some in Washington and they're going to say, let's not make the tax cuts permanent. That means it's going to raise your taxes. When you hear people say, we're not going to make this permanent, that means tax increase. Now is not the time to raise taxes on the American people. This economy is getting better. We're showing good growth, good strong growth. Yet, some in Washington want to raise your taxes. Make no mistake about it -- let me tell you what's going to happen when they raise them. They're going to say, oh, we've got to raise it so we can pay down the deficit. No. They're going to raise the taxes and increase the size of the federal government, which would be bad for the United States economy.

People have got to understand and listen to the rhetoric carefully. When they say, we're going to repeal Bush's tax cuts, that means they're going to raise your taxes, and that's wrong, and that's bad economics.

Less regulation? Is that a winning theme in '04?

As Bush himself says, the tax relief "we passed" is set to expire. And Bush doesn't like that. But it's their legislation. Is Bush saying "we passed" bad tax law. Apparently so.

"Now" is not the time to raise taxes - Bush says. But "now" is 2004, and the tax code is not changing. Next year, maybe. But not "now". (A technical point, but still...)

"[They] are going to repeal ... tax cuts" No. Nobody is repealing anything. It's the law's own sunset provision.

Finally, Bush asserts that those who claim to want to eliminate the deficit and pay down the debt are being untruthful. That's a strong charge, and one that impugns the reputation of the Concord Coalition - among others.


Monday, February 09, 2004

Two questions:

Tim Russert should have asked George Bush a couple of questions:
  • Why were you, a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard, suspended and grounded from flying duty - two years before your service ended?

  • Why didn't you take your scheduled physical in August 1972?


Sunday, February 08, 2004

Every 90 seconds:

In the Meet the Press interview, Bush used the word "war" 35 times (3 of them in reference to the Vietnam War). Total mentions (Bush+Russert) = 51.

There's a war on, don't you know?

Other words used by Bush:

"peace" = 4
"madman" (i.e. Saddam) = 6