Morning Report 8/8/05
Come Out and Play … President

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, a dead soldier's mom

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Still life with Bush: Part of the National Guard's "Presidential Series" of crummy paintings of all the U.S. presidents who served in the National Guard. Not shown in the Bush portrait is Winton "Red" Blount, the Alabama pal of Nixon's for whom Bush ditched his National Guard service in 1972 so he could work on his political campaign. With Bush as "political director," Blount lost.

At last report, Cindy Sheehan was still outside the Prairie Chapel Ranch, waiting for George W. Bush to come out and play president. Sheehan wants to talk to Bush about her son, Casey Sheehan, a soldier killed in Iraq in April 2004 by a homemade bomb. Nathan Diebenow of the Lone Star Iconoclast has more:

    The mother of a U.S. soldier slain in Iraq was denied a face-to-face meeting with President Bush here Saturday after she walked through a ditch-like path in the August heat to the President's Prairie Chapel Ranch.

    "I didn't come all this way from California to stand here in a ditch," said Cindy Sheehan, 48, co-founder of Gold Star Families for Peace, attempting to continue her trek to the ranch.

Bush knows about ditches (see his National Guard portrait above). But he keeps talking about Iraq as a "noble cause," and that's what pisses people off.

On August 3, speaking to his conservative pals at the American Legislative Exchange Council, Bush posed with a bust of Thomas Jefferson and told the crowd:

    "Our men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and in this war on terror have died in a noble cause, in a selfless cause. Their families can know that American citizens pray for them. And the families can know that we will honor their loved one's sacrifice by completing the mission, by laying the foundations for peace for generations to come."

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Paul Morse/White House

Two busts: Bush posing with Jefferson at the right-wing dinner August 3

Sheehan, who had been at a Veterans for Peace convention in Dallas, came right over to Crawford to talk to Bush about his remarks. She arrived in a bus bearing the slogan "Impeachment Tour." As a CNN story put it:

    "I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What did my son die for?' " she said, her voice cracking with emotion. "Last week, you said my son died for a 'noble cause' and I want to ask him what that noble cause is."

Sheehan and other peace activists, accompanied by press corpses, were stopped well short of the ranch on Saturday:

    The group marched about a half-mile before local law enforcement officials stopped them at a bend in the road, still four to five miles from the ranch's entrance. Capt. Kenneth Vanek of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office said the group was stopped because some marchers ignored instructions to walk in the ditch beside the road, not on the road.

They need advice on ditches? Just another reason to talk to Bush.

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