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Archive for the ‘Bush Family Evil Empire’ Category

Those who forget the past… [The Bush AWOL story]

Posted by Charles II on November 3, 2015

James DiEugenio, Consortium News:

In spring 2004, CBS news producer Mary Mapes was doing what journalists are supposed to do – dig up facts that help the public understand important events and often make the powers-that-be squirm. She and Dan Rather, her colleague at the “60 Minutes” offspring “60 Minutes II,” had just exposed the U.S. military’s bizarre mistreatment of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison.

Mapes had done other compelling stories for “60 Minutes” and its spinoff, including coverage of Karla Faye Tucker’s execution. The young woman was convicted of murder, but, in prison, became a born-again Christian and asked for a commutation from then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush. But Bush was eyeing political advancement and refused to grant it, letting her execution go forward.

In another powerful human-interest story, Mapes found the child of segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond, a child he had fathered with a black woman.

In other words, Mapes was the kind of producer who delivered hard-hitting stories that news organizations claim that they crave, the sort of reporting that not only makes for good journalism but good TV.

But Mary Mapes ran into a buzz saw of career-destroying trouble on Sept. 8, 2004, when she and her colleagues at “60 Minutes II” broadcast a segment on Bush’s spotty service in the Texas Air National Guard, the route that the Bush Family scion took to avoid the Vietnam War.

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Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire | Comments Off on Those who forget the past… [The Bush AWOL story]

In the toljaso what justain’tso column… [Bush AWOL story]

Posted by Charles II on May 25, 2012

(Thanks to Norwegianity-in-exile for providing the link to this story)

So, we all know the facts. Dan Rather, working with information provided by Lt. Col. Bill Burkett through 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes, aired a sensational story that there was definitive proof that George W Bush had at best been casual about his National Guard service. But brilliant and courageous right-wing bloggers quickly (like, so quickly that they had to have been supplied some assistance from the Bush White House) unraveled the truth: the documents were forgeries, proven by the fact that no typewriter of that era could possibly have typed them and that they could be reproduced by Microsoft Word.

The Washington Post in particular rushed the bloggers’ conclusions into print. Amid all the breathless talk about kerning, fonts, and proportional spacing, and cries of “Rathergate” from the right, official harrumphing about journalistic standards gave way to a commission which promptly found… well, not exactly anything except that Mapes and Rather had to go. There wasn’t any arguing from any quarter that they had rushed the story onto the air without properly vetting the documents, relying instead on the reputation of Lt. Col. Burkett. Alas, Burkett had not verified their provenance. Mapes and Rather were left to (metaphorically) swing.

But, of course, everything other than the fact that the source of the documents had not been established wasn’t true. The documents, if they were forgeries, were much better forgeries than the right-wing gave credit for. They could indeed have been produced by a typewriter of that vintage. That, in fact, was a more likely explanation than what the right-wing claimed.

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Posted in blogs and blogging, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, Flying Monkey Right | 5 Comments »

Cheaters actually do prosper: the Bush AWOL story

Posted by Charles II on April 16, 2012

Via Barry Ritholtz, An article from Joe Hagan of The Texas Monthly reviews the Bush AWOL story and “Rathergate,” in which Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes were driven from their jobs and blacklisted for daring to question whether George W. Bush served honorably in the Air National Guard.

While it won’t settle many controversies, it does definitively show how the right-wing attack machine, willing to tell any lie to protect their candidates, successfully shouted down people who tried to tell the truth about the memos used in Dan Rather’s report:

the man officially credited with inspiring a fusillade of blog attacks was Harry MacDougald, known on message boards as Buckhead, a GOP lawyer in Atlanta who missed the segment but downloaded the Killian documents from the CBS website later that night. He specifically claimed that the memos used proportional spacing and superscripts that didn’t exist on typewriters of the early seventies.\

MacDougald’s arguments about the documents turned out to be inaccurate. He acknowledged as much in an interview with me in 2008. And in a speech given that same year, Mike Missal, a lawyer for the firm that CBS hired to investigate its own report, said, “It’s ironic that the blogs were actually wrong. . . . We actually did find typewriters that did have the superscript, did have proportional spacing. And on the fonts, given that these are copies, it’s really hard to say, but there were some typewriters that looked like they could have some similar fonts there. So the initial concerns didn’t seem as though they would hold up.”

So the memos could have been real. Yes, Mapes and Rather failed to vet them adequately. But if making that kind of mistake were the criterion for who could work in news, how does that compare to FOX News posting an Onion story as a legitimate news story?

Mahabarb, one of the few sane voices at the time, stands vindicated. The Washington Post, which abused its standing to protect Bush, stands indicted. The right-wing simply does not care if the man they put in the White House is a drunk, a liar, and a coward, as long as he doesn’t raise their taxes. They are willing to kill this country for a dollar.

Posted in Bush Family Evil Empire, Busheviks, GOP bullying | Comments Off on Cheaters actually do prosper: the Bush AWOL story

From here to impunity: Greenwald on the connection between Nixon and the current crisis

Posted by Charles II on October 26, 2011

(The image above from Drug Policy Alliance. Since Nixon also started the drug war or, at least, escalated a low intensity conflict into a full fledged war, it’s particularly apt)

Glenn Greenwald has a book out, With Liberty and Justice for Some which explains the evolution of impunity in the US. While I think that it’s self-evident that the US has always had a two-tiered legal system (for almost 200 years, there was explicitly or implicitly one legal system for whites and one for everyone else), it’s true that official lawbreaking was not so readily tolerated. Overlooking the stray Wilbur Mills/Argentine Firecracker incident and Teapot Dome scandal, the Roosevelt cousins ushered in an expectation that the law would apply to rich and poor alike.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

As multiple episodes demonstrate, a belief that elite immunity is both necessary and justified became the prevailing ethos in the nation’s most influential circles. In countless instances over recent years, prominent political and media figures have insisted that serious crimes by the most powerful should be overlooked— either in the name of the common good, or in the name of a warped conception of fairness according to which those with the greatest power are the most entitled to deference and understanding.

This is what makes the contemporary form of American lawlessness new and unprecedented. It is now perfectly common, and perfectly acceptable, to openly advocate elite immunity. And this advocacy has had its intended effect: the United States has become a nation that does not apply the rule of law to its elite class, which is another way of saying that the United States does not apply the rule of law. . . .

If the threat of real punishment for criminality is removed, for many rational people there will be little incentive to abide by the law and much incentive to break it. Alexander Hamilton, in Federalist 15, explained why.

It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience. If there be no penalty annexed to disobedience, the resolutions or commands which pretend to be laws will, in fact, amount to nothing more than advice or recommendation.

For the nation’s most powerful elites, the law has indeed been whittled down to “nothing more than advice or recommendation.” Although there have been episodes of unpunished elite malfeasance throughout American history, the explicit, systematic embrace of the notion that such malfeasance should be shielded from legal consequences begins with the Watergate scandal— one of the clearest cases of widespread, deliberate criminality at the highest level of the U.S. government.

By the scandal’s conclusion, few contested that not only Nixon’s top aides but Nixon himself had committed serious felonies— either in authorizing the break-in and related illegalities, or in obstructing the ensuing investigation. Nonetheless, Nixon was ultimately shielded from all legal consequences thanks to the pardon granted by his handpicked vice president, Gerald Ford— who, it was widely believed, secured his appointment by agreeing to protect Nixon from prosecution.

The crisis on Wall Street did indeed begin with Richard Nixon, was amplified by the pass that Congress gave Reagan on Iran-Contra, was amplified again (paradoxically) by the persecution of Bill Clinton, where the law was used as a weapon against a public official, and was been decisively implanted into the American system of law with Election 2000, unprosecuted wiretapping and torture, and the failure of Obama to prosecute criminals from the Bush Administration and from Wall Street.

Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, election theft, impunity, President Obama, Republicans as cancer, Rule of Law | 8 Comments »

You’re crooks. And besides, you’re not paying us enough.

Posted by Charles II on April 18, 2011

That would probably be the Culture of Truth distillation of a news story involving Tenet Healthcare and Community Healthcare, had he come across it. Don Jeffrey of Bloomberg:

Tenet Healthcare Corp. (THC), after rejecting Community Health Systems Inc. (CYH)’s unsolicited buyout offer, said it sued that company for allegedly overbilling Medicare in admitting patients to its hospitals. Community Health Systems shares plunged.

Tenet seeks to compel Community Health Systems to disclose how it admits patients to hospitals for “financial rather than clinical purposes,” according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing today in which Tenet said it filed the lawsuit in federal court in Texas.

Community Health, the largest publicly traded hospital company in the U.S., bid $6 a share in cash and stock, or $7.3 billion, in November to acquire Tenet. Tenet rejected the offer in December, saying it wasn’t “remotely fair.”

As Jonathan Weil, also on Bloomberg says, this is like Snooki of Jersey Shore calling someone else on the cast a trashy boozer:

Grand acts of self-immolation aside, what makes this lawsuit comical is Tenet’s own history of ripping off the government, as well as its own shareholders.

Here’s a company that paid more than $900 million as part of a 2006 settlement with the Justice Department, after the government accused Tenet of fraudulently overbilling the nation’s Medicare and Medicaid programs. (The settlement was structured so there would be no formal finding that Tenet had engaged in illegal behavior.)

Tenet paid a $10 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2007 to settle accounting fraud claims. That was about a year after the company agreed to a $216.5 million class-action settlement with Tenet investors.

[…]

And yet Tenet, the third-largest publicly traded U.S. hospital operator, has the audacity to accuse the second-largest chain of running a crooked outfit.

Tenet Healthcare’s board includes that paragon of virtue, Jeb Bush (and, as if to show that the corruption is bipartisan, former Sen. Bob Kerrey). The crooks at Community Health Systems are less well known.

(note: I edited out of Weil’s otherwise reasonable rant a comment that attempted to characterize the euthanasia of patients in New Orleans during Katrina as an example of Tenet corporate culture. The medical staff acted in what they believed was the best interest of the patients. That is precisely not the kind of attitude that Tenet’s corporate culture represents)

Posted in Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, corruption, health care | 2 Comments »

Ah, those wily WilE Wylys

Posted by Charles II on July 29, 2010

LunkHead at DK beat me to it. Justin Baer and Brooke Masters, FT:

The Wyly brothers, Sam and Charles, have been charged with over a half a billion dollars in insider trading by the SEC. They created sham subsidiaries and trusts to trade on “Michaels Stores, Sterling Software, Sterling Commerce and Scottish Annuity & Life Holdings” on whose boards they sit. They made their [added: initial] money selling Bonanza steaks.

Needless to say, they are Bush cronies and Swiftboaters.

Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, Busheviks, corruption, stock market | 3 Comments »

The strange fruit of the Bush presidency

Posted by Charles II on November 27, 2009

Robert Koehler, SC:

In the cradle of civilization, young women have become terrified about having children.

This is the news I take with me into Thanksgiving and the season of gratitude and family togetherness: that doctors in Fallujah, the Iraqi city we devastated in two military assaults in 2004, have begun documenting a startling rise in birth defects — about 15 times the pre-invasion occurrence of early-life cancers and brain and nervous-system abnormalities, according to the U.K.’s Guardian.

A group of British and Iraqi doctors have petitioned the United Nations to investigate the situation, which is clearly related to the U.S. invasion and occupation. According to their letter: “In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital had 170 newborn babies, 24 percent of whom were dead within the first seven days (and) a staggering 75 percent of the dead babies were classified as deformed.” In comparison, the letter said, in August 2002 — before the invasion — 530 babies were born; six of them died within the first week, with a single birth defect reported.

Young women in Fallujah, the doctors wrote, “are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs.”

What might be causing this nightmare? The most likely factors are chemical or radiation poisoning, according to the Nov. 14 Guardian article, which noted: “Abnormal clusters of infant tumors have also been repeatedly cited in Basra and Najaf — areas that have in the past also been intense battle zones where modern munitions have been heavily used.”

Posted in Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, Iraq war | 1 Comment »

In Which Secretary Clinton Bests Several Republican Clowns Without Getting Her Hair Mussed

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 22, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and ably dispatched the best — or rather, worst — the Republicans could throw at her:

I am watching SOS Hillary Clinton’s testimony to the House Foreign Affairs committee on CNN.com whereupon some Republican congressman (Dana Rohrabacher) asked about the wisdom in releasing the torture memos, and went on to quote Dick Cheney’s statement to Fox News that torture works to keep us safe. He continued with Cheney’s claim that there are memos that show that torture techniques work. Hillary abruptly cut the congressman saying acerbically:

“It won’t surprise you that I don’t consider him (Dick Cheney) a particularly reliable source of information … I believe we ought to get to the bottom of this”

It gets even better from there.

Posted in 111th Congress, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, Obama Administration, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, rightwing moral cripples, torture, transparency | 1 Comment »

GOP To Dick Cheney: Go Away, Please

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 24, 2009

Because it’s pretty damned hard to make the case that the Republican Party is no longer the party of Bush-Cheney when the nastier half of that pairing keeps flapping his gums in public, doing his best Rush Limbaugh impersonation as he all but accuses President Obama of treason:

Another House Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said he wasn’t surprised that Cheney has strongly criticized Obama early in his term, but argued that it’s not helping the GOP cause.

The legislator said Cheney, whose approval ratings were lower than President Bush’s during the last Congress, didn’t think through the political implications of going after Obama.

Cheney did “House Republicans no favors,” the lawmaker said, adding, “I could never understand him anyway.”

[…]

Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), who is running for governor, suggested that past leaders should not be seeking the spotlight at a time when the party is rebuilding and redefining itself, after “hitting bottom” in the devastating losses last November.

“Interpret it however you want to, but what I’m saying is: We should focus on the people that will lead us tomorrow, not the people who led us yesterday,” Wamp said. “With all due respect to former Vice President Cheney, he represents what’s behind us, not what’s ahead of us.”

To the delight of some Democrats, Cheney, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele have attracted headlines in recent weeks.

Asked about Cheney’s criticisms of Obama, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs last week said, “I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy so they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal.”

Zing!

Posted in 111th Congress, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Congress, Dick Cheney, eedjits, evil, President Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 6 Comments »

Oh, Andy Card…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 7, 2009

…what was that about your boss the Boy King being so respectful of the Oval Office?

karl_rove_04

And that’s over a year before he started bathing the Oval Office carpets in the blood of murdered Iraqis.

You may shut up and go away now.

Posted in Barack Obama, Bush, Bush Family Evil Empire, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, projection, propaganda, Silly Republicans, working the refs, WTF? | 1 Comment »

 
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