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Cool speech site shows Bush knows how to have fun
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | May 2, 2003 | NEIL STEINBERG

Posted on 05/02/2003 3:06:35 AM PDT by FairOpinion

We are a cynical, image-conscious, media-savvy society. If Jesus Christ returned to Earth tomorrow, and was floating over Grant Park delivering a sermon, newscasters would talk over his words to comment on the awe-inspiring quality of the moment and the dramatic power of his airborne delivery. Thus, even before President Bush's S3 Viking jet landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln Thursday, TV pundits were warbling about the obvious leadership symbolism (if it's so obvious, why remark on it?), and the critics were crying "cowboy!'' and offering up their tired perspectives.

I view it differently. When I saw the president take off his helmet, smile broadly and greet the assembled servicemen and women, I thought: That looks fun.

How could it not be? The thrill of landing on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Of allowing servicemen who have been at sea for nearly 10 months a welcome home visit by their leader? (Fun for the president, at least--I'm sure the sailors were hot to get to port).

Fun for the president, in fact, might even have been the motivating factor. Bush doesn't really need to underline his commander-in-chief chops--the Iraq War did that nicely. Rather, I believe, he chose to arrive on the Abraham Lincoln the way he did because it seemed like a hoot. And whether Bush himself cooked up the idea of being the first president to land in a plane aboard a carrier, or merely approved the suggestion of some handler, you still have to credit him. It takes guts to have fun nowadays, in our all-business environment. Particularly leaders, who are supposed to be shaving pennies and grappling with problems.

But that gets old. We shouldn't underestimate the value of leaders who have fun from time to time. Who wants some lemon-faced Jimmy Carter-type always lecturing and complaining and turning down the thermostat? Life is tough enough without watching those you've elected grind through life.

Contrast Bush with our own Mayor Daley, a man who seems to be truly suffering under the weight of office. Long before the frightening, Captain Queeg-like justification of his midnight ruin of Meigs Field, I was struck by how much he didn't seem to enjoy himself. He seems so irked. You never see him at a baseball game, happy and relaxed, chatting with the players. No. He's always got his hands locked in a white-knuckle grip at a podium, his eyes darting around as if he just can't wait to bolt home and go crawl under the bed.

Sure, it's risky to have fun. The president served a slow pitch to his critics by going to that aircraft carrier. But so what? They hate him anyway. The visit was a welcome break from the news cycle of SARS and woes in Iraq. A big chunk of Thursday afternoon TV news was devoted to a rare exploration of naval hardware, of the awesome might of the aircraft carrier, of the specifications of the various planes that land there. It was cool stuff, and Bush obviously reveled in it.

"It's a good day to be president,'' gushed one CNN talking head, getting into the spirit of the thing.

Really, how can you not marvel at military hardware? Yes, it kills people, sometimes, then so do automobiles--another Vietnam War's worth of casualties every 16 months in this country. But we still go guiltlessly to the Auto Show.

I don't think I'm unique here. Most guys I know retain their little boy fascination with things military. True, I'm the only person I know who dragged his wife aboard a Navy ship on their honeymoon. In my defense, it was a complete accident. We were working our way through bed-and-breakfasts in New England, and we stopped at Bar Harbor, Maine. There was an enormous ship in the harbor, the USS Farion, a missile frigate, and as we gazed at her profile, the thought crossed my mind that it might be a romantic outing if my bride and I rented a canoe and paddled out to look at the vessel.

But even in those pre-9/11 days, I worried that they might turn the deck guns on us. So I went over to a group of sailors in whites, standing on the pier, and asked if they thought it would be OK if we canoed around the ship.

They told us we probably could, but if we wanted a closer look, there was a tour at 1 p.m. So we caught a running boat over and joined about two dozen people taken through the ship. The tour took two hours, and was a jaw-dropping tribute to modern military power. The weapon that stood out for me was the domed Phalanx anti-missile gun that fired depleted-uranium bullets. The guide said the gun--and I'm groping into memory here--fired 600 rounds a second and held 2,000 shells. I stuck my hand up. "Didn't that mean it would run out of ammo in a little over three seconds?'' The guide paused, smiling, as if he gets that question every time, and answered that the computer tracked each shot, comparing it with the radar profile of what was coming their way, that it not only would knock out a missile streaking toward the ship, but then blow up the fragments before they hit the water. It fires exactly the number of bullets it needs, and then stops.

The Phalanx is a great symbol for the war we just fought--overwhelming force calibrated finely to do the job. As are the depleted-uranium bullets, used because they're heavier than lead, so pack more punch. You have to admire a technology so advanced that lead isn't heavy enough. Or I do, anyway.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bush; carrier; carrierbush; iraq; navyone; speech; ussabrahamlincoln
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I think this is a nice way of looking at it.
1 posted on 05/02/2003 3:06:36 AM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
I think President Bush was having a ball and I loved watching it....all of it before and after.(except the pundits who failed to enjoy it.)
2 posted on 05/02/2003 3:16:34 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: FairOpinion
Great article. Especially liked the phrase "lemon-faced Jimmy Carter-type." Nails that creep.
3 posted on 05/02/2003 3:46:18 AM PDT by ricpic
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To: MEG33
I first heard (and saw) about this on German-language television. I don't remember what the newscaster said, but I was really proud. He may have been having fun, but he sent a resounding message with that landing.

It kind of reminds me of the strike he threw after 9/11.

4 posted on 05/02/2003 3:47:19 AM PDT by Schnucki
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To: FairOpinion
A REAL Commander 'n Chief comes riding on a jet makes a carrier landing on the open sea among his troops he meets them where they are...the press cries "foul"

When a foul phony C n C does the same thing only riding on a pig ..in the white house..during a war operation...the press cries "foul" when the creep is caught...

Pretty much show me how usefull the press is....just wondering who or what exactly it is the American (interntional) press does serve..certainly not truth, or right, its either mammon or some other god -imo
5 posted on 05/02/2003 3:50:57 AM PDT by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: FairOpinion
"We shouldn't underestimate the value of leaders who have fun from time to time."

That depends on what the meaning of fun is.


6 posted on 05/02/2003 4:03:14 AM PDT by Jaxter (Proud Republican voter since 1972.)
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To: joesnuffy
mammon
I find that journalism is borring (unless there's a war on). But, hey!--I'm a mature man, and superficiality and negativity bother me.

The superficiality and negativity do however tend to grab the attention of the bored and/or unwary, which is why the frontpage of the newspaper is the way it is. Survival of the fittest theory applies--the only newspapers that make money are the ones which are superficial and negative enough to grab your attention.

Fox News is an interesting case, noted for not being as liberal as the others. But it is just as superficial as the rest of the news outlets--the very term "news" tells you that--but it is not as systematically biased to be negative towards the people/things which make the country work. It is, consequently, more watchable when there is actual significant news to think about.


7 posted on 05/02/2003 4:21:20 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: FairOpinion
Call him a cowboy it they want. I'll take a decent, honest, hard working cowboy, OVER a lying, woman chasing, thief any day.

Claude King's new release Cowboy in the White House

8 posted on 05/02/2003 4:23:06 AM PDT by GailA (Millington Rally for America after action http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/872519/posts)
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To: AbsoluteJustice; BillyBoy; Barnacle; cfrels; chicagolady; Cletus.D.Yokel; Dengar01; facedown; ...
CHICAGOLAND PING

Hey, spintreebob: What's with Steinberg lately?
It looks like he may have returned from the Dark Side after all these years!
9 posted on 05/02/2003 4:34:40 AM PDT by Chi-townChief
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To: MEG33
I think President Bush was having a ball
. . . sorta makes you nostalgic for Mike Dukakis and his tank helment, doesn't it? ;)

IMHO the question the Democrats should be asked during each presidential campaign is,

"Who is the last successful Democratic Secretary of Defense?"
That's a pointed question in the sense that Cohen was a Republican senator, and Clinton's first choice--Les Aspen--resigned after the Black Hawk Down incident demonstrated his incompetence to his own satisfaction.

Reagan/Cap Weinberger built DoD budgets UP dramatically as part of a markedly successful foreign policy which ended the Energy Crisis and won the Cold War--so the idea that Carter/Harold Brown had good defense policy is a pretty slender reed. And the last Democratic SecDef before that was Robert McNamara--who in later life basically disavowed Vietnam--was at the time its cheerleader . . .

There's a pretty good case that the Democrats haven't had a good SecDef in half a century!


10 posted on 05/02/2003 4:52:29 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Defense is the area Republicans are most trusted by the majority of Americans..They seem to have noticed a pattern.
11 posted on 05/02/2003 5:05:28 AM PDT by MEG33
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[...] the depleted-uranium bullets, used because they're heavier than lead, so pack more punch. You have to admire a technology so advanced that lead isn't heavy enough. Or I do, anyway.

I wonder if the hundred thousand or more Gulf War One veterans who are suffering from the dust of those depleted-uranium munitions, now crawling through their urinary tracts and lymph nodes, feel as you do. And who are, nearly all, most cruelly neglected by a Veterans Affairs medical system that ought to be beholden to them.

We could wonder about the several hundred thousand Iraqis that have also been affected, in both wars -- and will, as generations of children ingest the dust, for centuries to come. We could, but we won't. We are the World Hegemon, and those disposable Islamic peons' lives therefore don't matter, do they?

Not when a demonstration of Empire, with footage being shot for campaign commercials to come, can be so "cool."

12 posted on 05/02/2003 5:16:28 AM PDT by Greybird ("War is the health of the State." -- Randolph Bourne)
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To: Greybird
Hey,did you hear the good news about the looted antiquities? I know you were happy to hear the military wasn't responsible for the greatest loss ever in the history of man.The information about depleted uranium is contradictory.
13 posted on 05/02/2003 5:32:32 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: Greybird
Empire?
14 posted on 05/02/2003 5:34:47 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: FairOpinion
"I thought: That looks fun. "

This is like fingernails on a blackboard to me...it should be: That looks LIKE fun!!
15 posted on 05/02/2003 5:37:23 AM PDT by Betteboop
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To: MEG33
Americans . . . seem to have noticed a pattern.
Well, it never hurt to play to your strength!

16 posted on 05/02/2003 5:58:40 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: FairOpinion
I can't believe that Stinkberg would write anything good about the President.
17 posted on 05/02/2003 6:11:19 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: FairOpinion
I have noticed in the newspapers an absense of photos of GW on the carrier with the crewmembers. Gee I wonder why?

Maybe someone can post all of the photos showing a real hero!
18 posted on 05/02/2003 6:11:41 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
I will save this one for the next election!!

IMHO the question the Democrats should be asked during each presidential campaign is,

"Who is the last successful Democratic Secretary of Defense?"
19 posted on 05/02/2003 6:16:38 AM PDT by votelife (FREE MIGUEL ESTRADA!)
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To: FairOpinion
Long before the frightening, Captain Queeg-like justification of his midnight ruin of Meigs Field

This guy sounds like a Mark Steyn in the making! I love it! And that's what everyone was saying yesterday- wouldn't that be FUN to ride a plane onto a carrier? I mean, the man is the CIC- why doesn't he get to play a little bit? I am so glad it came off all right.

20 posted on 05/02/2003 6:19:47 AM PDT by lawgirl (God's divine and all-knowing punishment for the Clintons: American loves George W. Bush)
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To: Greybird
Considering that the Phalinx system is mounted on a ship, is only fired at sea, has never been used for real since the only time a missle was fired at a U.S. Navy ship, ciws was turned off (USS Stark). It has been fired just for testing far out to sea, I really don't think too many Gulf war vets were affected.
And they really ARE neat, sounds like a very loud fart when firing.
Jack
21 posted on 05/02/2003 6:23:23 AM PDT by btcusn
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To: FairOpinion
"The president's going out to an aircraft carrier to give a speech far out at sea ... while countless numbers of Americans are frightened stiff about the economy at home," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, who is seeking his party's presidential nomination.

Translation: Waah, how come I didn't get to go on an aircraft carrier?
22 posted on 05/02/2003 6:51:12 AM PDT by Flightdeck
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To: FairOpinion
We shouldn't underestimate the value of leaders who have fun from time to time.

Especially leaders who have fun that you can explain to your kids without wincing...

I loved the lettering on the side of the jet -- "George W. Bush Commander-in-Chief."

Anyone else think he took the stick at some point during the flight in?

MD

23 posted on 05/02/2003 6:52:32 AM PDT by MikeD (Why yes, I AM a rocket scientist!)
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To: MikeD
I saw the pilot interviewed..yes President Bush flew the plane ..the pilot was so happy with the experience although he said he was a bit nervous at first.He then forgot about it and just did his job.
24 posted on 05/02/2003 6:59:34 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: MikeD
"Anyone else think he took the stick at some point during the flight in?"

The pilot told the media that The Dubya "had the airplane" for about 1/3 of the trip out. Said that the Prez "still had it" from his days flying the F-102.

Michael

25 posted on 05/02/2003 7:00:02 AM PDT by Wright is right! (Have a profitable day!)
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To: Greybird
Uhhhhh...Greybird?

No illness has been linked to DU munitions. Not in servicemen, not in civilians, not anywhere. Deep breath.

You'll get no disagreement from me about the VA, but the tinfiol hat stuff is ridiculous.

But then, a person who talks about an American 'empire' naturally has a certain turn of mind....
26 posted on 05/02/2003 7:48:39 AM PDT by Glock22
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To: FairOpinion
(Fun for the president, at least--I'm sure the sailors were hot to get to port).

Haven't read further yet, but I'd put money down that he's dead wrong about this.

I would wager that, to the "sailors" not overwhelmed with the faux-jaded cynicism so fashionable today, this was one of the high points of their lives, and they'll be telling their grandchildren about it. Having a President suit up, fly, land with them at sea to thank them — wow. I bet it is cool beyond words.

Dan

27 posted on 05/02/2003 7:52:01 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Glock22
Thank you for your post about depleted uranium.It was the main talking point for Iraqi propaganda and I'd read the claims were not backed by science.Greybird hits and runs.
28 posted on 05/02/2003 8:07:03 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: BibChr
(Fun for the president, at least--I'm sure the sailors were hot to get to port).
Haven't read further yet, but I'd put money down that he's dead wrong about this.

I would wager that, to the "sailors" not overwhelmed with the faux-jaded cynicism so fashionable today, this was one of the high points of their lives, and they'll be telling their grandchildren about it. Having a President suit up, fly, land with them at sea to thank them — wow. I bet it is cool beyond words.

I have to comment here about the stark dichotomy that exist between the present administration and the last under slick-willy. I agree with your comments, I'm sure the sailors were thrilled and will tell the story the rest of their lives. I'm sure they had to clean the hell out of everything on this ship, all get haircuts, and all the typical crap you have to do leading up to a VIP dog and pony show. But you get over that.

Contrast this to my experiences as a company commander in Bosnia between 95' and 97'. We were told that then president clinton would be visiting our base to meet and greet the troops, give a pep-talk etc. He also wanted to give out a few medals and promote some soldiers. % of my soldiers were picked out along with about a dozen more from the rest of the battalion to get promoted by the president. All of my soldiers came to me privately saying they didn't want to be promoted by clinton. They didn't want to shake his hand. So put yourself in my position - I had to give my soldiera a direct order to participate in the event and show respect to the CINC. I was disgusted, but I had to do it. I was dreading the fact that I would have to meet clinton and shake his hand and salute him. Contrast this to the reception that Bush got yesterday.

As it turns out, we were lucky back in 97. The weather was shitty (like it always was) so the president got diverted and we never had to meet him. Thanks god.

I'm still bitter that my 8 years of active duty as a UH-60 pilot were the same 8 years clinton was president. Any wonder why I left the military?
29 posted on 05/02/2003 8:10:56 AM PDT by strider44
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To: strider44
From my heart, THANK YOU for your service.

As much as a civilian can, I feel for you, I really do. I thought often and long about what a misery it must be to (A) be in the Nameless One's military, and (B) not be able to utter a syllable about it. And your situation was heightened pain and anguish.

You do answer some questions, confirm some suspicions, for me. I couldn't think most soldiers were happy with their CiC.

That is one of the things that, to use the corny phrase, just makes my heart swell with pride over President Bush. Sure, I'm to the right of him; sure I imagine I'd've done this and that differently than he has. But it is CLEAR BEYOND DOUBT that he respects and loves the military, and I think they know it. And what he does, he does from the heart, not as a calculation.

As a civilian, I think and say often, what a relief it is to have a President who doesn't make me cringe every time he appears or opens his mouth. More than that, this one actually makes me proud. He's REAL.

And what genius is that? President Bush — unlike the Nameless One — has not gone on and on about how terrible his predecessor was, and what a mess he left, and how he's had to clean up so much and repair so much. He just DID it. Actions, not mere words.

But those actions speak volumes, don't they?

Try not to be too bitter, if I may say so. The nation needed defending, and all the more with the Presient it had. You rose to the task. You're to be thanked.

And God (note caps, for personal pronoun) is to be thanked for the President we have.

Dan
30 posted on 05/02/2003 8:24:31 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: FairOpinion
The guide said the gun--and I'm groping into memory here--fired 600 rounds a second and held 2,000 shells. I stuck my hand up. "Didn't that mean it would run out of ammo in a little over three seconds?'' The guide paused, smiling, as if he gets that question every time, and answered that the computer tracked each shot, comparing it with the radar profile of what was coming their way, that it not only would knock out a missile streaking toward the ship, but then blow up the fragments before they hit the water. It fires exactly the number of bullets it needs, and then stops.

As much as it pains me to say it (OK not all that much really), but you were fed a load of BS.

The rate of fire of Phalanx is either 50r/sec(Block 0) or 75 r/sec (block 1) with a magazine capacity of 1000-1500 rounds.

More significantly the max effective engagement range is 1500m., with a desired counter to the threat of 1000+m. mv is c.1000m/s. So at initial engagement there will 1½ sec of ammo in the air (75-100 rds) before the first reaches the target. It will be another 1¼ sec before the effectiveness of the intial burst can be evaluated.

There can be no tracking, targeting, and strike evaluation of individual shells. At best it's burst fire, check to see if target is still there, if so a second burst. If that doesn't work, it's damage control.

31 posted on 05/02/2003 8:26:15 AM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Paging Nehemiah Scudder:The Crazy Years are peaking. America is ready for you.)
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To: FairOpinion; Freepin in Florida
Thanks for posting!
32 posted on 05/02/2003 8:26:35 AM PDT by proud American in Canada ("We are a peaceful people. Yet we are not a fragile people.")
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To: MikeD
Nice touch, eh???


33 posted on 05/02/2003 8:31:47 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: BibChr
Thanks for the kind words. It was a tough nut to swallow, believe me. On more than one occasion I had battalion commanders order us to keep the anti-clinton comments to ourselves. As much as you hate the guy, you had to hold your tongue. I can only imagine the abject horror if Hillary ever gets elected pres. The poor guys on active duty that would be forced to meet her...it turns my stomach.
34 posted on 05/02/2003 8:32:48 AM PDT by strider44
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To: strider44
The phrase "cruel and unusual punishment" does come to mind.

Mmm... a Constitutional "out" for the military?

Dan
(c;
35 posted on 05/02/2003 8:59:56 AM PDT by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: FairOpinion
He looks like he had fun, but he also looked like a very strong leader to those nations in the world that only value strength. One picture is worth a thousand words, especially to an enemy.
36 posted on 05/02/2003 9:53:45 AM PDT by Lopeover
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To: FairOpinion
Love the article and clearly The Pres was having fun.

This reporter was apparently just doing his JOB:

Drama intended in Bush's jet flight - (Barf Alert)

37 posted on 05/04/2003 11:50:29 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: FairOpinion
Great article. And he's correct about the President's visit bringing notice to the military. About time! What a bunch of smart, brave, compassionate Americans. It makes me proud.
38 posted on 05/04/2003 11:57:07 AM PDT by Libertina
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To: FairOpinion
Got a photo I borrowed from another thread:

Notice how well the commander is doing!

39 posted on 05/04/2003 12:04:51 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: humblegunner; Grampa Dave; MeeknMing
Humblegunner


Your photo is out of date!
40 posted on 05/04/2003 12:09:09 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Great Picture! I hope he keeps adding more donkeys, and we'll end up with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, so he can really get his agenda through.
41 posted on 05/04/2003 12:09:34 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
I borrowed it from MeeknMing!

I am sure it will get some play here!
42 posted on 05/04/2003 12:12:59 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
hehe!
43 posted on 05/04/2003 12:13:14 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (Bu-bye Dixie Chimps! / Check out my Freeper site !: http://home.attbi.com/~freeper/wsb/index.html)
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To: KeyLargo

44 posted on 05/04/2003 12:24:02 PM PDT by annyokie (provacative yet educational reading alert)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
We're on the same page, Ernest!
45 posted on 05/04/2003 12:25:38 PM PDT by annyokie (provacative yet educational reading alert)
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To: KeyLargo
Here is a link to Jeff Head's site with photos from the carrier!

Bush on Deck, USS Abraham Lincoln, declares major combat over.

46 posted on 05/04/2003 12:43:14 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Where is Saddam? and where is Tom Daschle?)
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To: Schnucki
"he sent a resounding message with that landing"

Can you expound on what "resounding message" you think he sent ...??
47 posted on 05/04/2003 12:46:45 PM PDT by The Final Harvest ( America - You Are The Greatest!!)
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To: FairOpinion
It's nice to have a President whose idea of fun is flying an aircraft onto a carrier to meet the troops rather than one whose idea of fun is boinking interns off the Oval Office.
48 posted on 05/04/2003 12:48:28 PM PDT by Gritty
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Your photo is out of date!

What can I say, the man moves decisively!

49 posted on 05/04/2003 12:58:24 PM PDT by humblegunner (right click, properties, background, set as, APPLY!)
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To: Glock22
Re:But then, a person who talks about an American 'empire' naturally has a certain turn of mind....

So very true.

50 posted on 05/04/2003 1:01:35 PM PDT by ChadGore (Freedom is as natural as a drawn breath.)
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