weekend news dump

According to this op-ed piece at the CBS news site, the men of the Bush family really know how to keep their hands clean. From the Willie Horton ad that helped Bush the Senior defeat Dukakis, to the recent Flotilla of Douche Bags ads against Kerry, the men of the Bush family know how to throw dirt without leaving evidence of their involvment. Theyve gotten it down to a science. (I guess it comes in handy to have a dad who ran the CIA.) Heres a little clip:

The ancestral origin of Bush family gut fighting came in George H. W. Bushs 1988 campaign against Michael Dukakis in the form of the infamous Willie Horton ad. (Historical footnote: Horton actually went by William, not Willie, and is referred as William in all legal documents; the ad makers thought Willie sounded scarier and blacker.)

That ad was produced by an outfit allegedly independent of the official campaign. It wasnt aired on TV much but got most of its play in the press. Papa Bush and his official staff maintained they knew nothing about such d�lass�skullduggery. There was nothing blatantly untrue about the ad, but it was hugely misleading and subtly racist.

The ad also attacked Dukakis right where he was supposed to be strongest. If the Duke had a strength (a big if), it was as a highly competent government CEO who led the Massachusetts Miracle. The ad gave an emotional snapshot of a guy whose incompetence let a killer out of jail so he could commit assault and rape. It worked.

The mantle passed to Bush the Younger in 1994 when he ran for governor of Texas against Ann Richards. She was a salty, strong, unmarried woman. And guess what? A whispering campaign got rolling in East Texas that she was gay and so were some of her staffers. Then one of the Bush campaign’s local chairmen told a reporter that Richards’ appointment of “avowed homosexuals” might become a campaign issue. In the twisted way the press legitimizes talking about questionable issues, that remark made the whole deal fair game.

In 2000, McCain had George W. on the ropes and South Carolina was the do-or-die state. Flyers appeared from thin air alleging that McCain had a black child (he and his wife had adopted a Bangladeshi daughter from an orphanage there). Other fliers said McCain was the “fag candidate.” Rumors swirled that McCains time in a North Vietnamese prison camp had left him unstable and downright crazy – again, hitting at the opponent’s greatest strength. Other rumors were that his wife was a drug addict. Nice stuff, and none of it had Bushs inky fingerprints on it.

At an event with Bush, a vet from some fringe group accused McCain of abandoning veterans. That really set McCain off and he demanded an apology from Bush. Bush simply said that he believed McCain “served our country nobly.” Thats what he says about Kerry now. Above the fray, clean hands, patrician.

I found a great piece of video over at my friend Steves site. Its of a man named Ben Barnes, a fellow who, while serving as Lieutenant Governor of Texas, claims to have pulled some stings for the Bush family and gotten their lay-about son George into the National Guard. (They apparenlty didn’t want their son to to die in this particular war that they happened to be supporting.) Barnes, of course, feels bad about it now, and hes willing to talk, but it remains to be seen if any of the major news outlets will pick up the story. They are, after all, still busy trying to figure out how many bullets were actually shot at Kerry during the day he won one of his six citations for bravery in Vietnam.

Oh, and I just learned from the RNC Watch site that 200 cops in New York will be equipped with special helmets that will allow them to broadcast live video. The video, they claim, will allow their superiors, who will be watching from a fortified location elsewhere, to better command the officers. (Can we start requesting tapes now under the Freedom of Information Act?) I dont know that Im really against the idea, although it does move us one giant step closer to a future of police-bots, but I think that if they are going to do it, they should web-cast it live so that we can all see whats really taking place.

Oh, and if youre interested in seeing whats really taking place at Ground Zero, you may want to check out the NYC IndyMedia site Right now theyre looking for volunteers with digital cameras to cover the 3-mile long unemployment line that will be forming tomorrow between Wall Street and Broadway, and trading information as to where the Republican delegates are spending their time. (Of course, Bush, when he gets to NY will be keeping a low profile. He says hell be watching the proceedings on TV, from a downtown fire station. (Yeah, Im sure Karl Rove wont want to get any shots of that out on the evening news, Bush with his shirtsleeves rolled up, sharing grub with the heros of 9-11.)

Oh, I dont have a link, but I also heard somewhere tonight that some conservative pundits are claiming that Democrats with AIDS are out to seduce and infect members of the Republican party while in New York Stay tuned.

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2 Comments

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