Thursday, November 30, 2006

More People Have Notice, We Have Lost

Iraq.

The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.


Bush is still in denial, pretending that 'staying the course' will lead to victory. The truth is Bush has now taken the very Nixionan position of not wanting to lose a war on his watch. He will now spend billions of US dollars and thousands of US lives to make sure that the war he started, the war he lost, is still being fought when he leaves the White House.


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A Day Of Sorrow

For the Preschool set everywhere. An illness has forced Greg Wiggle to retire.

I don't think I will break this news to my little man (age 4) until I have to.


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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

United States Marine Corps Says

we have lost

The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report that set off debate in recent months about the military's mission in Anbar province.

The Marines recently filed an updated version of that assessment that stood by its conclusions and stated that, as of mid-November, the problems in troubled Anbar province have not improved, a senior U.S. intelligence official said yesterday. "The fundamental questions of lack of control, growth of the insurgency and criminality" remain the same, the official said.


What has happened here, is like what happens when you try to fight an infection with a quarter dose of antibiotics. For a while it may look like the infection is winning, but as time passes, the infection get stronger, and eventually kills the fool who failed to take all their medications.

I think that there are about 100,000,000 citizens of the United States that the President of the United States needs to make an apology to, starting with the high ranking officers of the US military who said we needed far more men than they were given.



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Monday, November 27, 2006

We Had A Wonderful Thanksgiving

at my house. We were kept busy, and on the road, but it was very nice

We hosted an out of town guest. They wanted to see the Biltmore House, so we took them up on Wednesday. We went to visit the In-laws on Sullivans Island for Thanksgiving lunch, then came home for dinner. Friday was the empty the attic day for Christmas decorating, and Saturday was spent watching a little football and doing a little local sightseeing with our guest.

All in all a pleasant 5 day holiday.

While I did work to avoid watching the news, I do understand that in Iraq (and other parts of SW Asia), it wasn't quite as lovely.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

It's Thanksgiving Week

I will be trying to cram 5 days of work into a 2 1/2 day work week, so I don't expect to post much.

Plus, lets face it, not much is happening right now.

Iraq is a total mess with no viable solution.

Afghanistan, due to 2 years of neglect, is fast becoming a total mess with no viable solution.

and

hundreds more die every week while we try to figure out how to un-wet the bed we have made for ourselves.


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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Wisdom, I Like That







Which Animal Spirit Totem Are You?




Your soul is bound to the Fourth Totem, Solomon: The Owl.Solomon appears as an azure feathered owl. He embodies wisdom, judgement, reason, and stability. He is associated with the color azure, the season of autumn, and the element of water. His downfall is farsightedness.You are most compatible with Ravens and Monkeys.
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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Well, Some Of Them Are Interesting

You scored as A college textbook. You're an authority on something, you just know it. Everyone else does, too, but that doesn't mean they like you. Since you think very highly of everything you say, you charge a pretty penny to entertain your listeners. Those forced to pay do so grudgingly and try to defray the costs of learning from you by selling portions of their access to your charms to others. As a result of this speedy dissemination of your knowledge, you constantly add to your repertoire--and then hike your price. Despite your usefullness, which is rarely in doubt, nobody likes you. They find you didactic, boring and irrelevant--but still necessary.

A college textbook

75%

A classic novel

64%

Poetry

57%

A coloring book

57%

A paperback romance novel

54%

The back of a froot loops box

43%

An electronics user's manual

39%

Your Literary Personality
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Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday, A List Or Worthy Links

I have focused of 3 options for the US in Iraq, Chris Floyd at Empire Burlesque says there are 8. We both agree the likely result, no matter what, will very likely lead to full-blown civil war.


A very good look at terrorism, definitions and causes can be found at American Entropy.


Skippy has discovered who is at fault for the defeat in Iraq, it is the Iraqi's fault.


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When They Stand Up, We Stand Down

In one part of Iraq where we expect the Iraqis to stand up, four American mercenaries have been captured.

Five civilian security contractors, including four Americans and one Austrian, were being held hostage Friday morning after gunmen masquerading as policemen stopped their convoy and abducted them in southern Iraq, a U.S. Embassy official in Baghdad said.



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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Disgusting 'Christian' Behavior

Another Christian fundamentalist displays just how un-Christlike so many of them are.

Junior Matthew LaClair, 16, said history teacher David Paszkiewicz, who is also a Baptist preacher in town, spent the first week of class lecturing students more about heaven and hell than the colonies and the Constitution.


not only did he force his religious views on these kids, he also displayed is lack of fitness to work as a teacher.

Paszkiewicz didn't limit his religious observations to personal salvation, according to the tapes.

Paszkiewicz shot down the theories of evolution and the "Big Bang" in favor of creationism. He also told his class that dinosaurs were on Noah's ark, LaClair said.


So, what is the most unchristian aspect of his behavior?

At first, Paszkiewicz denied he mixed in religion with his history lesson, and the adults in the room appeared to be buying it, LaClair said. But then he reached into his backpack and produced the CDs.


When caught, he tried to lie about it and blame the kid.


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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

McCain's (R-Az) Iraq Position is Annoying Me

It is clearly based on political posturing and has little to do with reality.

He has stated that he wants to add about 100,000 men to the Army and Marines, and then send 20,000 more troops into Iraq. McCain thinks that these extra troops may be what we need to win in Iraq. While he is promoting this idea he is also stressing that Iraq may be won or lost in the next ninety days.

There are a number of contradictions in his pronouncements that make you question his intelligence or honesty.

First, 20,000 men will not make any real difference. Prior to our attack of Iraq, war games studies and at least one very senior army officer stated that we would need over 400,000 troops to secure Iraq. The current security situation in Iraq is now far worse than it was in 2002. We have about 150,000 men in place, and to have any real impact we need at least 300,000 more. All putting 20,000 more men into Iraq will do is give the insurgents more targets.

The next point that I find highly questionable is the timing. McCain want to grow the Armed forces by 100,000 ground combat troops. This new growth is where the new men are suppose to come from.

The obvious contradiction comes from the fact that he is claiming that the next 90 days are critical to our success, then proposing a plan to meet out goals that will take far longer than three months to work. Right now we are just are meeting our recruiting needs. To do this we have lowered standards, lied to recruits and raised the age limits to the point that grandparents can now join the army as privates.

It is fantasy to pretend that we can find 100,000 new recruits, we are already having to pull out all the stops to get the 70,000 we need each year.

Even if we are able to find an extra 100,000 recruits, there is no chance that we can get them trained up and into the field within the time frame that he is claiming is critical.

It appears that the man who claimed to be leading the straight talk express, has switched trains to the double talk circle route. The end effect is to leave me wondering if the man who would be President is lying to me, or just stupid.


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Faux News, Your Bias Is (Again) Showing

You look a lot more like Pravda of the 1970s than a real news network.

It seems that your VP of news has had one of his memo's go public, and it's political agenda is made very clear.

I have to wonder what type of outrage would be displayed from the right if any of the 'liberal' media outlets ever displayed such a calculated effort to pimp the news for one political party over another. What would happen if the head of NBC news, or PBS referred to Mel Martinez (R-Fl.) as a political hack.

In light of the past history of the Republican party, and their dealings with Armstrong Williams and other members of the media, you are left to wonder how much cash Fox news is getting for their propaganda efforts.

By the way, Fox did cover the Allen concession speech. The broadcast almost every second of the over thirty minute long event. Webb's victory speech, the covered it for ninety seconds, with no audio.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Right Wing Terrorist Arrested

The Republican terrorist who is suspected of mailing fake anthrax letters to democratic politicians and left leaning comedians has been arrested.

Investigators identified Chad Castagana, 39, of Woodland Hills, California, as the person suspected of sending more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets and the homes of public figures in various cities, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday evening.

According to a federal search warrant, among those who received threatening letters were Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show;" talk show host David Letterman; Keith Olbermann of MSNBC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, both Democrats.


In what should not be a surprise to anyone, this nut-job also appears to have been an poster on the free republic forums and other right wing blogs.


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John McCain (R-Az) And His Pet Poodle

Joe Liberman (I-Ct) have opted to support plan B, and send more troops into Iraq.

If they are serious, I hope they mean a real infusion of troops and not just a symbolic gesture. Prior to the war, Pentagon experts and war games called for between 400,000 and 500,000 men to do the job. With the current security situation, those numbers may be a little low. A reasonable goal would be to add about 300,000 with a reserve of another 100,000 if they are needed.

Now, I just what to know where Sen. McCain plans on finding almost half a million troops.

There is good reason to question Sen. McCain's understanding of the situation in Iraq. He has made repeated optimistic projections, that have all been wrong. One would hope that a man who desperately wants to be president would want to look more like great thinker and a lot less like the vapid cheerleader he appears to be.


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Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Birthday U.S.M.C.




Thank You


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Fridays Links Of Note

Click over and check them out.

Tim, at Sacraments Wholesale examins who is responsible for booting the Republicans out.


A shining example of Bush bi-partenship is displayed at AMERICAblog.

From World-O-Crap, a look at the Right's reaction to the election and what it all means.

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Fighting The Computer

And the computer is winning.


as a result, Friday's posting may be limited.


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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Speaking Of Recounts

It looks like the victories of Webb and Tester will hold up. Recounts may be an issue, how do Allen and Burns fee about recounts?

Allen, on the morning after the 2000 election as the Florida count churned on.


"we'll need to move America forward as soon as those votes are cast."


That sure sounds like he doesn't approve of them, how about Burns?

Gore "appears more and more like a man who wants to win at any cost." Burns added, "It is time, as some have said, for Vice President Gore to stop being a litigant and start being a Patriot. The good of our nation is greater than any one man, and it is time for Mr. Gore to end these challenges and bow out gracefully."


I know Allen is being now being asked to bow out, I wonder if he will apply this same wisdom to himself?

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld Is Running Away

Republican sources are saying that Sec. Of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is resigning.

I guess he wants to make sure is calendar is clear, since I suspect that in the new couple of years he will be spending a lot of time in various congressional hearing rooms, answering questions under oath.

The Democratic party promised change, and only hours after they are voted into power in the House and Senate, we are seeing it. Now, that is follow through.


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A Record Election

In the House, the Democratic party has picked up 29 Seats, and is now the majority ( and there are 13 possible pickups still out there).

In the Senate, the Democratic party has picked up 6 seats, and is now the majority

In the various Governors races, the Democratic Party has picked up 6 more Governors, and is now the majority.

In the battle to control the local state house, the Democratic party has picked up at least 9 chambers, and is now the majority.


and most amazingly, the Democratic party did not lose a single House seat, a single Senate seat, a single Governors seat, or a single state house chamber in the whole election.

WOW


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Reality, Expectations, and Success

Watching the returns last night was interesting. Early Senate wins in Ohio, Penn, and Rhode Island led to a lot of talk about Democrats taking over the Senate. Over those early hours, a sort of new conventional wisdom developed. The tone of the discussion presented by the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC created the impression that if the Democrats didn't take over the Senate, they would be the losers in the election of 2006.

That is a damn high bar that these media types had put up. If the Democrats did not win 6 Senate seats, all held by Republican incumbents, they were the losers.

It was amazing to hear, not one sitting Democrat in the US House or Senate had been defeated, yet if they did not sweep, they were the losers.

It seemed to be the goal of a few of the commentators to try to develop some sore of narrative where they could continue to talk about the Democrats as losers, and the Republicans as winners no matter the actual results.

In the end, it appears the Democrats were able to do it. Missouri came in for the Democrats, and Virginia and Montana are headed to recounts, but the Democrats both appear to have solid leads over the incumbent Republicans.

To me the results of the night, without adding in the still unfinished results in Virginia and Montana are historic. The Democrats have taken at least 30 Republican seats in the house, without losing one. The Democrats have ousted four sitting Republicans from the Senate, an almost unheard of event, again without losing one of it's own members.

And still, in the minds of some media folks, if the recount somehow breaks for Allen or Burns, and the Dems don't take over all six incumbent Republican seats, the Democrats lost this election.


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Who Has 'The' Math Now?

Just a few days before the Election Rove proudly declared that the Republicans would hold on to the House and the Senate. When challenged, he announced that he was entitled to 'the' math.

Rove claimed that the polls "add up to a Republican Senate and a Republican House."


Now that we have a Democratic House, and what appears to be a Democratic Senate, does he still have 'The' math?


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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I Have Voted


I have done my duty, now we wait to see what happens.

I also visited a couple of other precincts this morning. Early on, the Burbs seem to have moderate turnout, the downtown area was light.

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Monday, November 06, 2006

All We Have To Do





Is Vote For Change.

Found at Not Very Bright

Saddam Guilty


Wow, I am stunned (well, not really).

As I have said before, just kill him already. The show trial was a bit of a bust, but the goal remains the same.

I myself am waiting for the Bin Laden trial, now that is a verdict that I would enjoy hearing.


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Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Couldn't Resist







Which Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Are You?



YOU ARE RULE 8(a)!You are Rule 8, the most laid back of all the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. While your forefather in the Federal Rules may have been a stickler for details and particularity, you have clearly rebelled by being pleasant and easy-going. Rule 8 only requires that a plaintiff provide a short and plain statement of a claim on which a court can grant relief. While there is much to be lauded in your approach, your good nature sometimes gets you in trouble, and you often have to rely on your good friend, Rule 56, to bail you out.
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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday's Links

Take the time to check them out.

Sacraments Wholesale welcomes us all to screwedville


Lies, Damn Lies, and Stem Cell Research are the focus of Sunbeams From Cucumbers.


At Seeing The Forest, a reminder that corporate astroturf groups are alive, well and working hard to pervert the vote.

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A Hard Choice For Republicans

Is their leader dumb or dishonest?

On Monday George was working for votes in Georgia and his theme, Those who oppose him and vote for a democrat, want the terrorist to win.

On Tuesday George runs to the shelter of Fox news to whine about how ugly the tone of politics has gotten.

Monday he is calling half the nation traitors and terrorist, and Tuesday he is crying because people call him dishonest and dumb. The amazing thing is some of the Faux News views would agree with him. They echo the concept that left is just plain mean and nasty, without ever considering or condemning the behavior of the right.

For the rest of us we are left to wonder, is George as dumb as a post, or just a piece of lying scum.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

SC, For These Folks, Is Fertile Soil

I love my home state, despite it's many flaws.

We are, as a state, undereducated, poor, myopic and often illogical. We have more that our fair share of racist (but there are racist everywhere, it is not only a southern blessing), and dislike intellectualism.

That is why we have become a magnet for groups that no one else in the US wants.

It started when the Christian Exodus announced plans to relocate from Texas to South Carolina.

A Texas group wants conservative Christians to move to South Carolina -- 12,000 at a time -- to form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States. Decrying a national tolerance of abortion and gay marriage, and the teaching of evolution, ChristianExodus.org hopes to achieve a majority of like-minded Christians in the state by 2016, the planned year of secession.


But the Christian exodus group is not the only group in the US who see the potential of finding a new home in South Carolina. The unique nature of our population is also proving a lure to even more disreputable groups.

In the past few months South Carolina has hosted a couple of self proclaimed major meetings of white supremacist groups. Lexington got to host the Aryans Nations World Congress this summer, and Luarens hosted a fall meeting.

The Aryan Nation, just as the Christian Exodus, see in South Carolina, fertile ground for their growth

For years, Aryan Nations aspired to have an uprising in the Northwest, and turn five states into, literally, The Aryan Nation. With the group staggering from the double whammy of litigation and factionalism, the new goal is more modest: South Carolina.

Aryan Nations' Washington leader, who gave only his first name, Paul, is 60-ish and has a British accent from 25 years in England. Paul outlined possible strategies for the group: establishing a state in Alaska ("few minorities," he said), or a wholesale "South will rise again." Both of those he discounted as impractical, although certainly worthy.

In the end, Paul observed, the best option is to "look at the secession of South Carolina. Start with this state."


What is the attraction of South Carolina?

It's not just that a few ignorant rednecks believe, in their illiterate confusion, that they're somehow "superior." Rather, it's that we still make laws based on such assumptions. The Republican Party since 1964 has consciously made a "racism is OK" pitch to unreconstructed Southerners.

Even scarier, millions of Americans go to churches where racism is part of the catechism, whether blatantly stated or masked by theological mumbo-jumbo.

And, as he observes at the end, this hate is being fomented at the elite media level by so-called "conservatives":

The New York Times commented last month on similar national voter ID legislation: "The actual reason for this bill is the political calculus that certain kinds of people -- the poor, minorities, disabled people and the elderly -- are less likely to have valid ID."

Bushite bomb-thrower Ann Coulter arrogantly conceded the point, writing this month: "Way too many people vote. We should have fewer people voting. There ought to be a poll tax to take the literacy test before voting."


If you think this is to harsh on the south, or southerners (or South Carolinians), consider a couple of points. In races where a black Candidate is running against a white candidate in an area with a majority white population, when looking at his poll numbers is it considered wise to take a few points off his total. People will lie about their support, to hide their racism. And now consider the Tennessee Senate Race. This race has been very tight, and Coker has not been able to get much traction in his effort. Neither man really dominating, and Corkers corruption questions kept Ford in play.

Then the RNC runs their race-bating commercial, and Ford is suddenly down in the polls.

What makes South Carolina such an attractive target for these groups?

We are a small state, we have a small population that could be easy to overwhelmed. The people of South Carolina are overwhelming Christian, and evangelical Christian at that. In addition these poll results show a real receptiveness to some of their ideas and indicate a willingness to accept others.

79 percent of those responding said religion is very important in their lives.

73.5 percent of those responding said the favor changing the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman only.

64.5 percent of those responding said they believe sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong.

73.8 percent said they feel 'the Bible is the literal word of God and without error.'

52 percent said a religiously based alternative to evolution, such as 'Intelligent Design,' should be taught in South Carolina├é’s public schools.

53 percent said they would favor "a moment of silence for contemplation or silent prayer" in public schools, while 42.4 percent would prefer a 'spoken prayer.'



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Truth In Ink



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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stop saying America is #1

, start acting like it is




New Rule: America must stop bragging that it's the greatest country on earth and start acting like it. Now, I know — I know this is uncomfortable for the faith-over-facts crowd, but the greatness of a country can, to a large degree, be measured. Here are some numbers: Infant mortality rate, America ranks 48th in the world; overall health, 72nd; freedom of the press, 44th; literacy, 55th. Do you realize there are 12-year-old kids in this country who can't spell the name of the teacher they're having sex with?

Now, America, I will admit, has done many great things: making the New World democratic comes to mind, the Marshall Plan, curing polio, beating Hitler, the deep-fried Twinkie. But what have we done for us lately? We're not the freest country. That would be Holland

{snip}

Prop 87 out here in California is about lessening our dependence on oil by using alternative fuels, and Bill Clinton comes on at the end of the ad and says, "If Brazil can do it, America can, too." Excuse me, since when did America have to buck itself up by saying we could catch up to Brazil?! We invented the airplane and the lightbulb. They invented the bikini wax, and now they're ahead?!

In most of the industrialized world, nearly everyone has health care. And hardly anyone doubts evolution. And, yes, having to live amid so many superstitious dimwits is also something that affects quality of life. It's why America isn't going to be the country that gets the inevitable patents in stem cell cures, because Jesus thinks it's too close to cloning!

Oh, and did I mention we owe China a trillion dollars? We owe everybody money. America is a debtor nation to Mexico! We're not on a bridge to the 21st century. We're on a bus to Atlantic City with a roll of quarters.

And this is why it bugs me that so many people talk like it's 1955 and we're still number one in everything. We're not. And I take no glee in saying this, because I love my country, and I wish we were. But when you're number 55 in this category and number 92 in that one, you look a little silly waving the big foam "Number One" finger.



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Leaving A Man Behind

About a week ago a US soldier was captured. The US responded quickly and has been working hard to try to find him, and those who captured him. In this effort, they surrounded a portion of Baghdad, set up check points and tried to make sure that he could not be moved from this area until he was found.

Then the Iraqi prime Minister ordered us to stop it. He told us to allow free movement, to remove the check points, in short, to allow the captured American to be moved if our search efforts got to close.

And

We did.

American soldiers rolled up their barbed-wire barricades and lifted a near siege of the largest Shiite Muslim enclave in Baghdad on Tuesday, heeding the orders of a Shiite-led Iraqi government


Now, it could be just random chance. It could be that the US military's leadership decided that the check points were no longer need, at exactly the same time the Iraqi PM demanded that they be removed. It could just be random chance that we decided to abandon this part of the search effort for our lost soldier just when the Iraqi government told us to quit.

But is sure looks like Iraq told us to leave this man behind, and we agreed.


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Just A Point Of Clarification

And it is a sad state of affairs when you have to clarify a joke.

Kerry was calling Bush an Idiot, not the troops.

Tim also pointed this out and then explained what Kerry should have said, when he had to clarify his joke.

"I did not insult the troops. I insulted their Commander in Chief - and I will go on insulting him until the day he leaves office. This president has abused the power and prestige of his office, trampled on the Constitution and sent thousands of brave men and women to be killed and maimed because of his own hubris. I apologize that I did not insult him more plainly and that I didn't clearly communicate that the insult also extends to the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense. Have a nice day."



The fact that Bush appears to fail to understand this, just confirms his stupidity.


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