The Stupid Discourse Goes Stupider


Ultimately, the latest right wing blog attempt at fact checking rests upon the notion that there is no possible way that genealogy records could be wrong. 

I’ll let those who have ever done such research stop laughing.  The proof that Obama must be wrong was that the genealogy records were for Charles W.  Payne, not Charles T. Payne. 


Although we were not able to reach Payne directly, Payne’s son, Richard Payne, said his father "definitely served in the 89th Infantry Division" and confirmed that Obama’s account was substantially accurate, except for identifying the wrong concentration camp. Richard Payne declined to say anything further.

Mark Kitchell, who maintains a Web site dedicated to the 89th Infantry Division, said he was able to locate a list of servicemen that includes a Pfc. C. T. Payne who served in the K Company of the 355th Infantry Regiment of the 89th Infantry Division. The list included only the initials for first names.

The 355th Infantry Regimen was the one that liberated Ohrdruf, Kitchell said. Kitchell, the son of 89th veteran Raymond E. Kitchell, obtained the list from the official Division History book, written shortly after the war.

Finally, the National Personnel Records Center, an operation of the federal government’s National Archives and Records Administration, put this question to rest.

Researchers confirmed to PolitiFact that Army personnel records for Payne would have been destroyed in a 1973 fire that consumed many such archives, but they dug up a "Morning Report" dated April 11, 1945, showing Pfc. Charles T. Payne was assigned to the 355th Regiment Infantry, Company K. The Records Center provided a copy of the report. A faxed copy provided to PolitiFact was legible enough for us to make out Payne’s information, but the faxed photocopy of the record is too grainy to be of use if posted here.

There’s no question Obama misspoke when he said his uncle helped to liberate the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

But even with this error in locations, Obama’s statement was substantially correct in that he had an uncle — albeit a great uncle — who served with troops who helped to liberate the Ohrdruf concentration/work camp and saw, firsthand, the horrors of the Holocaust. We rate the statement Mostly True.

Charles Payne is 83, lives in Chicago and apparently never talks about the liberation of the camp.  It’s too bad it had to be brought up again because of a bunch of slobbering children who think they’ve found a conspiracy afoot because a wrong initial in records. 

Today’s Tosser: I Love America Too


Atrios loves it and points out why and links to Sadly No!:


—– Original Message —–
From: Steve Gilbert
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 6:14 AM
Subject: Any Record Of Charles W Payne?

Mr. Kitchell,

As you may have heard by now, Barack Obama has claimed that his great uncle Charlie Payne was a member of the 89th Div that liberated Buchenwald.

According to records his full name is either Charles W Payne or Charles T Payne (most likely the former), and he was born in 1924 — and he is still alive today.

He most likely was from Kansas at the time of enlistment.

Do you have any record of this gentleman?

Thank you,

Steve Gilbert

PS – If you go to my website, you will see that I was probably the first to note the error in Mr. Obama’s first claims about his “uncle.”

Obama Claims His Uncle Liberated Auschwitz | Sweetness & Light

The reply was quick and to the point:

Please crawl back under the rock you came out from.

Good day

Raymond Kitchell, veteran 89th Inf Div

Not to leave it at that,

From: Mark Kitchell []
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:47 AM
To: Steve Gilbert
Subject: Re: Any Record Of Charles W Payne?

I don’t claim to represent anyone. You are the one who came to my son and I asking for information.

Please spend ample time chasing down the lies fed to you by chickenhawks Bush & Co. Like 90% of this administration, they don’t have the foggiest idea what we went through or what we saw at Ohrdruf.

I wonder how many people who visit the 89th Infantry site and support Mr. Kitchell’s work realize his politics are those of Cindy Sheehan?

Kitchell helped liberate Ohrdruf, but he hates America.  Obviously.  And because some genealogy sites have a different middle initial, Obama must be lying and there must be a witch hunt.  Our discourse can get lower after all. 




As I Get Into Cycling Season with the Giro


Trust but Verify is still doing bang up work on the mess created by the incompetence of WADA and UCI in regards to the Floyd Landis case.  Landis is set to learn the result of his final appeal in June.  The problem with the case, as I’ve long maintained, is that the lab work was so shoddy that one is unable to determine if Landis doped.  This is the worst possible outcome because one cannot clear Landis and one cannot condemn Landis leaving no sense of justice or finality. 


My guess is that the appeal will be denied given the bias against athletes in the process, but that only creates a terribly unsatisfying result for fans. 

And worse, Dick Pound no longer heads WADA and that was a fine name to make fun of–and he was a huge incompetent ass so I didn’t feel guilty. 

Frank Burns of the Illinois Blogosphere has Vapors Again

He always has vapors, but for a clown who claims to be a lawyer, he’s really quite funny in how clueless he is about the law.

Carl, that misses the point just a bit, don’t you think? Buying ads to influence voters seeks to do it by reason, or emotion, or both-but there’s no material benefit to the recipient of the message. It’s not a quid pro quo like giving them something of value (like discounted gas) in an attempt to curry favor with the voter.

This interpretation would apply to beer, food and anything of value according to this interpretation. I’ll be heading out of country to avoid the inevitable prosecution from Patrick Fitzgerald regarding the vast amounts of beer I have dranken over the years paid for by campaigns.

Iraq Is Getting Better! Kirk Declares

Almost like 2006–smell the progress!

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So, how long? It appears to be as long as it takes to ‘win.’

The situation in Iraq, as you know, has substantially improved in the last year.  And it gives us an opportunity to wind this up in an orderly fashion.  But also to wind it up in a way, carefully, so that we never have to go back.  The difference between what Obama wants, what Dan Seals wants and what I want is that I don’t want, I don’t think that a defeat of the United States in the Middle East leads to more peace.

Dan Seals Wants to Back the Obama Agenda

Seriously, this is a bad thing to Mark Kirk…

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So the majority of his District that will vote for Obama in the fall is out of sync with Mark Kirk. Interesting admission.

In the last two months I think we’ve seen Barack Obama has unified the Kerry-Dukakis Coalition.

I think we hit Republican bottom in 2006 and I don’t know about you, but I feel stronger now.  I feel that the country was pretty shocked by what they saw about Senator Obama lately.  Our job is to move the focus beyond just him to other things the Democratic Party stands for.

I hope you begin to decide to work on Election Day. This will be a huge one. Dan Seals will have millions of dollars from Washington coming in, wants to join up with Nancy Pelosi, wants to back the Obama agenda.

Does Anyone Doubt That George Bush Has Been a Decisive President

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According to Mark Kirk, George Bush’s problem is that he makes a lot of 51-49 percent decisions and “cheeses” off a lot of people.

Never mind that the man has the longest record of low approval in the modern Presidency, has created huge deficits, and start a war with faulty intelligence and no planning, it’s those tough choices he makes that have led to that.

Apparently the mask of moderation disappears when Kirk is talking to Republicans alone.

Does anyone doubt that George Bush has been a decisive president?  He’s absolutely been a decisive president.  But the reality of Washington is that all of the easy decisions are not made in the Oval Office.  The Oval Office is for the 51-49 issues.  That’s the whole purpose of that office.  And so, you make too many of those 51-49 decisions, you’ve got 49 percent of the country that’s cheesed off at you.  And that’s the reality of being in the White House.

We Are All Gonna Die!

And the parallels between Bush and Blagojevich continue:

“This is an emergency,” Blagojevich told reporters after the announcement. “Children are being shot and killed. And for lawmakers to say we can’t do it, that’s exactly the reason why there’s so much violence out there today and so we’re just not gonna take ‘no’ for an answer.”

No lawmakers had yet said that they couldn’t do what the governor wanted. Blagojevich briefed just a couple of them beforehand, so how would he even know how lawmakers felt? The governor hadn’t submitted legislation containing the proposal, so lawmakers hadn’t even seen it. Heck, they probably hadn’t even seen the press release at that point.

What he meant was that he would make the choice very clear to the General Assembly: “If you don’t vote for my capital plan, then you’re siding with the killers.”

As if the Statehouse atmosphere wasn’t poisoned enough with broken promises, stalled legislation, rising deficits, corruption allegations (most of them against the governor himself) and general dysfunction, now we’re going to be subjected to crud like this?

Fear-mongering doesn’t work forever. Bush’s use of the tactic isn’t producing the results it once did, partly because we’ve become almost dulled to the overuse of fear and partly because he’s been so discredited in the public’s eyes.

Blagojevich is even more discredited than Bush, if the polls are correct, so it’s doubtful that this gambit will work to persuade a skeptical General Assembly and an angry public to climb aboard. Just the opposite.

And that’s too bad because his plan is pretty good.

Many of Blagojevich’s plans are decent or at least a good place to start negotiating. The problem is that he doesn’t negotiate in good faith and he thinks any criticism is an attack on him and not a policy disagreement.  And those who disagree must be demonized.

The most bizarre thing from this proposal is that he insists it must be passed immediately, but then ties it to the Titanic of bills currently.  Blagojevich, like Bush, is quickly becoming background noise. If he loses Jones, he’ll simply be a bystandard.

Cheney is the Model of a Good Vice President


Other presidents, however, have looked more to substance and seasoning. Jimmy Carter chose Walter Mondale, Ronald Reagan went with Bush, Bill Clinton opted for Al Gore and George W. Bush selected Cheney. Each had his critics, but they had in common the most important attribute: being plausible presidents. When the prospective Democratic and Republican nominees of 2008 weigh their decisions, that quality should be first among all.

The lesson the Trib editorial page takes from the last 7 years is that Cheney would make a plausible President…


A secretive control freak who has shown nothing but contempt for the rule of law was a great choice.  A man who manipulated the country to war by fearmongering and little evidence?  A man that targeted Joe Wilson for retribution because Joe Wilson told the truth.


But it gets better.  Who would make a good Republican VP?  Condoleeza Rice, Tom Ridge, Lyndsey Graham, or Joe Lieberman.  Rice has been an incredibly ineffective Secretary of State and was bullied around by Cheney.  She has no major accomplishments as Secretary of State and has shown no ability to even deal with her supposed specialty–Russia.  Lyndsey Graham is excited that he could buy rugs in a Baghdad marketplace and now he cannot, but he swears it’s going great.  Tom Ridge apparently noticed the strange pattern of security alerts being tied to political events, but didn’t do anything about it as head of Homeland Security.

Don’t worry, it’s not about ideology, it’s about seriousness:

Pay less attention to these individuals and their ideologies than to their attributes: Every name here exemplifies the qualities of experience, substance and seriousness that are indispensable in a vice president.

They are all serious people you see. Very serious people who got us into a war based on faulty and misleading intelligence and insist that if things get better we have to stay, if things get worse we have to stay, or more simply, we have to stay.

But take the Democrats–every one of the ‘serious’ Democrats voted for the war.  Apparently, only those who didn’t see one of the biggest mistakes in American foreign policy are serious.