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The Weekly S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Among Yourselves

Here is our weekly discussion thread, where comments on the general topics of the day are very welcome.

But please remember to post and comment on specific news items in the ‘Reader Selected News’ thread below or via the ‘News Selected By Our Readers’ link found in the sidebar.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, August 1st, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “The Weekly S&L ‘Hive’ – Please Talk Among Yourselves”

  1. captstubby says:

    This Day In History

    Aug 1, 1972:
    Bush is suspended from flying with the Air National Guard.

    On this day in 1972, future President George Walker Bush, son of former president George Herbert Walker Bush, is suspended from flying with the Texas Air National Guard for missing an annual medical examination.

    Bush’s military-service record became a source of controversy during the 2000 and 2004 elections, and underwent further scrutiny when he launched a controversial war in Iraq in 2003. Although Bush served in the National Guard, many opponents of the war, including veterans, criticized the president for a sketchy military record, which, it was alleged, contained extended and inexplicable absences of six months to a year at a time. Bush defended his military record by saying he satisfactorily completed all of his military obligations.

    Bush was given an honorable discharge from the Air National Guard in 1973 to attend Harvard Business School. Still, some veterans and war opponents equated Bush’s stint in the National Guard and his subsequent Harvard attendance as tantamount to a Vietnam War draft deferment procured by his politically influential father. Bush’s harshest critics went even further, claiming that Bush’s military records may have been tampered with or forged to create a positive military-service record. According to analyses by historians and investigators, however, Bush’s military records do not substantiate this or some critics’ claims that Bush ever went AWOL (absent without leave).

    Truth or Consequences
    Eight years ago, Dan Rather broadcast an explosive report on the Air National Guard service of President George W. Bush. It was supposed to be the legendary newsman’s finest hour. Instead, it blew up in his face, tarnishing his career forever and casting a dark cloud of doubt and suspicion over his reporting—and that of every other journalist on the case.

    the botched 60 Minutes segment in 2004 on George W. Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service. The report, which lasted fifteen minutes, forever damaged Rather’s reputation and ended his network TV career after forty years. Its claims were potentially explosive—that Bush had received preferential treatment to enter the National Guard in 1968 in order to avoid the Vietnam draft and that he had then shirked his duty without repercussion. As evidence, Rather produced six documents that described the alleged political pressure Bush’s commanding officer was under to “sugarcoat” possibly embarrassing moments in Bush’s record, specifically his failure to show up for a flight physical and his loss of flight status. In a presidential campaign that had become a referendum on who had the credibility to take control of the quagmire in Iraq, Rather’s report could have seriously damaged Bush’s reelection effort. But he went at the king—and he missed.
    Rather’s documents, claiming their typeface and spacing was inconsistent with any known typewriter of the early seventies. Within days CBS was reeling as Bush allies accused Rather and his longtime producer, Mary Mapes, of using forgeries to tip a presidential election in favor of the Democrats. Twelve days after the story aired, CBS backed down, forced Rather to apologize, and established a special panel to investigate what went wrong. Forty-three days later, Bush was reelected, beating Senator John Kerry by a two-point margin in the pivotal swing state of Ohio. By the time Mapes and three other producers were ousted by CBS, the Bush National Guard story was dead and buried, with Rather’s reputation as the tombstone.
    “The story we reported has never been denied by George W. Bush, by anyone in his close circles, including his family,” says Rather. “They have never denied the bulwark of the story, the spine of the story, the thrust of the story.” (In fact, Bush officials have indeed denied it, repeatedly. In a conversation I had with former White House director of communications Dan Bartlett in 2007, he told me, “We believe the story is inaccurate, both the general thrust of it and the questionable sources they used.”)
    Rather tried making his case in a 2007 lawsuit against his former bosses, but it was thrown out of court two years later. Nonetheless, he remains convinced that he did nothing wrong. “I believed at the time that the documents were genuine,” Rather says, “and I’ve never ceased believing that they are genuine.”

    Aug 1, 1943:
    PT-109 sinks; Lieutenant Kennedy is instrumental in saving crew.
    On this day in 1943, a Japanese destroyer rams an American PT (patrol torpedo) boat, No. 109, slicing it in two. The destruction is so massive other American PT boats in the area assume the crew is dead. Two crewmen were, in fact, killed, but 11 survived, including Lt. John F. Kennedy.
    PT-109, a film dramatizing this story, starring Clift Robertson as Kennedy, opened in 1963.

    The most famous collision in U.S. Navy history occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on August 2, 1943, a hot, moonless night in the Pacific. Patrol Torpedo boat 109 was idling in Blackett Strait in the Solomon Islands. The 80-foot craft had orders to attack enemy ships on a resupply mission. With virtually no warning, a Japanese destroyer emerged from the black night and smashed into PT-109, slicing it in two and igniting its fuel tanks. The collision was part of a wild night of blunders by 109 and other boats that one historian later described as “the most screwed up PT boat action of World War II.” Yet American newspapers and magazines reported the PT-109 mishap as a triumph. Eleven of the 13 men aboard survived, and their tale, declared the Boston Globe, “was one of the great stories of heroism in this war.” Crew members who were initially ashamed of the accident found themselves depicted as patriots of the first order, their behavior a model of valor.
    The PT-109 disaster made JFK a hero. But his fury and grief at the loss of two men sent him on a dangerous quest to get even
    The Globe story and others heaped praise on Lieutenant (j.g.) John F. Kennedy, commander of the 109 and son of the millionaire and former diplomat Joseph Kennedy. KENNEDY’S SON IS HERO IN PACIFIC AS DESTROYER SPLITS HIS PT BOAT, declared a New York Times headline. It was Kennedy’s presence, of course, that made the collision big news. And it was his father’s media savvy that helped turn an embarrassing disaster into a tale worthy of Homer.
    Airbrushed from this PR confection was Lieutenant Ken­nedy’s reaction to the accident. The young officer was deeply pained by the death of two of his men in the collision. Returning to duty in command of a new breed of PT boat, he lobbied for dangerous assignments and displayed a recklessness that worried fellow officers. Kennedy, they said, was hell-bent on redeeming himself and getting revenge on the Japanese.
    Kennedy would later embrace the myths of PT-109 and ride them into the White House.

  2. captstubby says:

    This Day In History

    Aug 2, 1934:
    Hitler becomes fuhrer.

    The onset of the Great Depression in 1929 brought a new opportunity for the Nazis to solidify their power. Hitler and his followers set about reorganizing the party as a fanatical mass movement, and won financial backing from business leaders, for whom the Nazis promised an end to labor agitation. In the 1930 election, the Nazis won six million votes, making the party the second largest in Germany. Two years later, Hitler challenged Paul von Hindenburg for the presidency, but the 84-year-old president defeated Hitler with the support of an anti-Nazi coalition.

    Although the Nazis suffered a decline in votes during the November 1932 election, Hindenburg agreed to make Hitler chancellor in January 1933, hoping that Hitler could be brought to heel as a member of his cabinet. However, Hindenburg underestimated Hitler’s political audacity, and one of the new chancellor’s first acts was to exploit the burning of the Reichstag (parliament) building as a pretext for calling general elections. The police under Nazi Hermann Goering suppressed much of the party’s opposition before the election, and the Nazis won a bare majority. Shortly after, Hitler took on dictatorial power through the Enabling Acts.

    Obama: Celebrity in Chief
    Aug 2, 2008

    Argue with John McCain all you want about off-shore oil drilling and time tables for troop redeployment, but the Republican candidate is indisputably correct about one issue: Barack Obama really is “the biggest celebrity in the world.” McCain’s new attack ad (you know, the one casting Britney Spears and Paris Hilton as this election’s Willie Horton) is right on target when it points out that Obama looks as much like a pop icon as the presumptive Democratic nominee. Where McCain goes wrong, though, is mistaking this for a bad thing. Obama’s movie star style of campaigning may well be what wins him the White House this November.
    McCain complains that his opponent is too much of a glamour puss tobe President — usually while doing a badly lit photo op in the dairyaisle of a Midwestern supermarket. But Obama is merely appropriatingthe pop cultural syntax of our time, speaking to voters in the visuallanguage of our celebrity-crazed, media-saturated, consumer-driven age.Sure, it can be derided as shallow and trivial, but this is how youinfiltrate people’s head space in the 21st Century. It’s one of thereasons Obama is reaching voters who never paid much attention topolitics before (like all those kids snapping up Obama “superhero”T-shirts at Comic-Con last week). These days, when more people read People than Newsweek,when some of our best friends are celebrities — when we know more aboutBrad and Angelina’s kids than our neighbor’s and have a more intimaterelationship with Oprah than with our doctors — star power isn’t such aterrible thing to have if you happen to be running for President of theUnited States.

    Aug 2, 2008
    In Cape Canaveral, Fla., this morning, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., blasted off against the attacks coming from Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
    “This is the same thing that was done four years ago or eight years ago,” Obama said, per ABC News’ Sunlen Miller. “You guys are all familiar with this … we have seen this movie before.”
    Obama said, “The one thing we know about the team that John McCain’s assembled — because it’s a carryover from some of the folks that worked on Bush campaigns and some of the Republican campaigns in the past — is that they’re very good at negative campaigns. They’re not so good at governing. And that’s why if you think about this week, what they’ve been good at is distraction. You’ve got statistics saying we’ve lost another 50,000 jobs. That Florida’s in recession for the first time in a decade and a half. And what was being talked about were Paris and Britney.”
    Obama said he didn’t think there was a perception that he’s arrogant or presumptuous, though his Republican opponents are pushing it, most recently in the McCain campaign’s “The One” Web video, in which they paint him as a false messiah.
    “It’s not really clear exactly what it’s based on,” Obama said. “If I was presumptuous or taking this for granted, I wouldn’t be working this hard this week.
    “I’m beat,” he said, laughing.

    August 2, 2014
    Hypocrisy Alert: Obama-Media Leaks Mitt Romney’s 9th Grade Report Card; Ignores Obama

    Obama made an effort to portray John McCain as similar to George W. Bush, drawing attention to McCain’s refusal to criticize the unpopular president. McCain was particularly criticized for saying of how many years we should be willing to stay in Iraq, “Make it a hundred.”

    “ “John McCain went on television and said that there has been great progress economically over the last seven-and-a-half years. John McCain thinks our economy has made great progress under George W. Bush? How could somebody who has been traveling across this country, somebody who came to Erie, Pennsylvania, say we’ve made great progress?”
    -Barack Obama

    August 2, 2014

    White House Postpones Obamacare Penalty On Employer Mandate.

  3. Astravogel says:

    And yesterday in history, our current President and his Secretary of State found out
    just how snakes behave, when their latest cease-fire blew up. Thomas Sowel has a
    column out regarding the harm that continual cease-fires actually cause to the peace
    process. The PM of Israel essentially told the US and UN to ‘butt out’ of this situation.
    Anybody see any similiarity to the situation in 1938?

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