Haley must not have worked too hard to save "our" military bases. Naval Station Pascagoula was closed on Barbour's watch. The base officially closed November 15, 2006.
Of course, what would Republican propaganda be without the ol' ellipsis gambit. One Barbour quote on the mailer is printed this way:
"...to take the lead role, we'll relish it and take it on with dogged determination." Clarion-Ledger 1/19/04
Now, Barbour said this not quite a week after his inauguration (on January 13, 2004). Well he didn't quite say it like that. Here's the full quote, according to the Clarion-Ledger:
"If the Legislature sees fit for us to take the lead role, we'll relish it and take it on with dogged determination," Barbour said last week.
See anything different in the two quotes? Barbour acknowledges that saving "our" military bases is not something he can do by himself--he must work with the legislature. So apparently Barbour, unlike Dumbya, realizes he's not "The Decider."
So Barbour not only is "weak" according to Republican principles, he couldn't save Naval Station Pascagoula. Yet he's trying to turn this weakness into a strength, another classic Rove-ian Republican gambit.
He seems to think that a picture of himself hauling his fat ass onto a military Jeep in front of a few hundred assembled soldiers will make the public forget that we actually lost a military base--and the jobs that go along with it--during his time in office.
Unfortunately, he's probably right...
Ever heard of Vieques?
I had not, until I got this mailer from Whaley. I'll let Wikipedia give us the background:
From 1941 to May 1, 2003, the United States used Vieques, Puerto Rico, for naval training and testing. Some current studies show drastic increases in health problems which may or may not be related to toxic materials left on Vieques from the Navy’s occupation. The people of Vieques demand the U.S. clean up the toxic materials they left behind; but the Navy argues that residents of Vieques have not been negatively affected by the 60-year occupation, and that data showing high cancer rates, high infant mortality, vibroacoustic disease, and radiation contamination is misguided . Whether or not the U.S. should be forced to further clean up the island still remains an issue.
Sounds like pretty nasty business, and unfortunately, pretty standard operating procedure.
Here's how the Barbour campaign frames the same facts surrounding Eaves' involvement in Vieques:
Haley's mailer has had the complete opposite effect on me of what he surely intended. I learned that John Arthur Eaves stands up for the little guy against the military-industrial complex. That probably means that Eaves will stand up for the little guy in Mississippi, which is exactly the opposite of what Whaley and his corporate, lobbyist buddies want.
Read what Eaves had to say about Vieques:
“Simply put,” adds Eaves, “everything that our military has used—with the exception of the nuclear bomb—has been first tested on Vieques.”
A researcher quoted in the same article describes the horrors visited upon Vieques this way:
“They started bombing the island in 1941, so the weapons they’ve used have evolved over time,” says Browning. “They’ve used everything from [small] bombs—50 pounds to 100 pounds—up to 3,000 and 5,000-pound bombs. Just the sheer size of the bombs would do damage to the island and shake it and damage the structure of the house and cause a lot of nervous problems in the children.” He compares the effects of the largest bombs to earthquakes.
From the 1950s through the 70s, Browning says, Vieques was also the main chemical weapons testing ground.“We know by the navy’s admission
that they’ve used depleted uranium here. They’ve used napalm. They’ve done all kinds of electronic and radiological testing. They’ve have dispersed chemical sprays [and] defoliants, possibly Agent Orange. This island for 60-plus years has been in a state of war.”
Puerto Ricans are Americans!
Now keep in mind that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. So Barbour is trying to take Eaves to task for defending American citizens! Is there anything more outrageous? Why should Barbour try to use Eaves' defense of American citizens against him?
Clearly, it's because Barbour doesn't want American citizens to be defended. He wants them to be servile, sick, and poor. Do us all a favor and vote his fat ass out of office. Please--for the sake of all Mississippians, who, after all--are also American citizens.