LIGHTING UP BUSH. George W. Bush is starting to get another workover regarding his non-service in the National Guard. Today's essential reading: this Boston Globe Spotlight report, which shows that Bush should have signed up for Guard duty - but didn't - when he was attending Harvard Business School in 1973; and a Nicholas Kristof column in today's New York Times that contains pretty convincing evidence that Bush never showed up for duty in Alabama in 1972, as he has claimed.
Tonight at 8, former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes goes on 60 Minutes to tell Dan Rather why he now regrets having helped Bush get into the National Guard - and out of harm's way. If you haven't seen it yet, the Barnes video that's been the talk of the Web for the last few weeks is here.
More bad news for Bush: the Log Cabin Republicans have decided not to endorse Bush, after having endorsed him in 2000 and Bob Dole in 1996. Log Cabin executive director Patrick Guerriero:
Certain moments in history require that a belief in fairness and equality not be sacrificed in the name of partisan politics; this is one of those moments. The national board's vote empowers Log Cabin to maintain its integrity while furthering our goal of building a more inclusive Republican Party. Log Cabin is more committed than ever to its core mission to build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party. There is a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party, and that fight is bigger than one platform, one convention, or even one President.
One might imagine that Bush wasn't going to get much of the gay and lesbian vote anyway. But there is a fairly strong contingent of gay and lesbian political activists who are conservative on economic issues and/or foreign policy, or who hold a libertarian outlook. In a close election, every vote counts, and Log Cabin's statement gives gay Republicans permission to vote for John Kerry, or stay home.
Finally, today's outrage comes from none other than Dick Cheney, who said in Des Moines, "It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2, we make the right choice,because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."
This comes pretty close to claiming that Osama bin Laden has endorsed Kerry, don't you think? Except that the Bushies must never, ever speak the Evil One's name.