Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

THE COUNTERFEIT OPPOSITION: David Podvin reminds you of all you need to know about the next ambitious clone of John Kerry. Read the whole thing at Clueless Joe:
Delaware Senator Joseph Biden has declared his intention to seek the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. For decades, the senator has been the prototypical establishment Democrat, a weak man who possesses a liberal façade in lieu of liberal principles. By offering to be its standard bearer, Biden is presenting his party with the opportunity to self-destruct.

Clarence Thomas sits on the Supreme Court because Joe Biden is a coward. ...

Biden justified his vote to authorize conquering Iraq by citing Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The senator also warned of the link between Hussein and al Qaida. When these pretenses were debunked, Biden dismissed the relevance of the lies and effusively praised George W. Bush for defying anti-war critics.

Following the revelations of systematic torture at Abu Ghraib, Biden defended Bush by saying that the level of abuse was being grossly exaggerated. He emphasized that American torture is significantly more humane than the torture inflicted during the Hussein regime. He lauded Alberto Gonzales, the author of the administration memo that posited torturing prisoners is permissible under the Geneva Conventions. ...

Biden defended Bush’s authoritarian USA Patriot Act against criticism from liberals, falsely declaring that the legislation safeguarded individual liberties. He has consistently voted to help Bush stock the federal judiciary with extremists like D. Brooks Smith, a right wing jurist who disputes the relevance and constitutionality of the Violence Against Women Act. ...

Rather than drawing clear distinctions between the parties, Biden blurs the divide. The senator insists on referring to conservative failures as “our” failures while he futilely pursues a unilateral end to partisanship. He values “unity” over principle, as demonstrated when he said John McCain should be the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee even though McCain is more conservative than Zell Miller. And while Biden is highly intolerant of flaws in his Democratic allies, he does not apply similar harsh standards to Republicans.
May I venture to predict that the Senator from Delaware, with his head being turned by praise as "responsible" and "statesmanlike" whenever he attacks other Democrats or raises trivial nitpicks instead of principled moral condemnations of the lying torturers and murderers on the other side, never liked this old poem. I'm sure he would have found it too uncompromising, and that woundn't be prudent:
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
--Edna St. Vincent Millay

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

(this post has no title): No, not this post, but the one you need to go read. I can't tell you what it's called, but it's the orginal stage script for Bush's speech tonight. Now, if he'd really used this, it might have been much more convincing. Fortunately, his writers are not as creative as The Editors at The Poor Man. You can read this nameless masterpiece at THIS LINK. Here's a tease therefrom:
Towheaded Boy: Boy, it sure is spooky around here. I wish my mom was here.

From above, in an Air Force pilot flight suit with harness pulled suggestively snug, "parachutes" President Bush, lowered by ropes from the rafters.

THB: President Bush! Thank God you're here!

President Bush: That's right, I'm here. There's nothing to be afraid of any more. Here, have some apple pie. ...

PB: Well, Slugger, the Iraqi Freedom Fairy can only live where people believe in freedom, like Iraq. If people stop believing in her, she can get ill … she might even die!

THB: Oh, no! Iraqi Freedom Fairy, don't die! I believe in you! President Bush believes in you! Oh Iraqi Freedom Fairy, you've just gotta get better! [Turns to the audience.] Come on, everybody, don't you believe in freedom? Show her you believe! Everybody, clap if you believe in freedom and the President!
WELL SAID: Like many, I have pondered the secrecy of reporters' sources being a valuable protection for a free press, and all the virtues that entails. This writer convinces me that the outing of the CIA agent by the Bu'ushists is something else completely:
It's not a question of protecting sources, though. They’re protecting thugs who used their megaphone to commit a very serious crime. ...

If you want to protect the freedom of the press, you need to stand up against goons working for the White House who plant misleading, fake, or in this case illegal information in the press.

During Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein protected their sources to uncover government corruption. During Plamegate the sources are the corruption. Revealing them breaches no ethical line nor breaks any journalistic pact.
You can read it at Miller and Cooper. Of course, I'm radical enough to believe laws prohibiting the revealing of a spy's secret identity are an un-Constitutional prior restraint of speech, but that's just me....

Monday, June 27, 2005

But to some Capitol Hill Republicans there is a dark cloud on the Nats' horizon: the potential that their newly adopted home team could be purchased by billionaire financier George Soros. ... In addition to being a well-known currency speculator and philanthropist, Soros is also known in political circles for having pumped more than $20 million in the last cycle into groups seeking to unseat President Bush and elect Democrats. ...

Davis, whose panel also oversees District of Columbia issues, said that if a Soros sale went through, "I don't think it's the Nats that get hurt. I think it's Major League Baseball that gets hurt. They enjoy all sorts of exemptions" from anti-trust laws.

Indeed, Hill Republicans could potentially make life difficult for MLB in a variety of ways. In addition to being exempt from anti-trust rules, baseball is still under scrutiny over the steroid issue. The Nats, meanwhile, hope to have a publicly-funded stadium built soon....
Does Mr. Sweeney also object to Bush pioneer William O. DeWitt, Jr., owning the Cardinals? Or Bush pioneer Carl Lindner owning the Cincinnati Reds? Or Bush pioneer Tom Hicks -- who also made W a rich man -- owning the Texas Rangers? (In fact, thirteen current or former owners and their family members are Bush Rangers or Pioneers.)

But it gets worse. How about George Steinbrenner III, convicted of making illegal contributions to the Nixon campaign and obstruction of justice, owning the Yankees? How about Fred Malek -- Deputy Director of Richard Nixon's Committee to Re-Elect the President (CREEP) who compiled a list of high-ranking Jews in government for Richard Nixon and senior advisor to George H.W. Bush's presidential campaign -- owning part of the Texas Rangers in the 1990s along with George W. Bush?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

It's fine and indeed required to respond to propaganda speeches such as the reprehensible one Karl Rove gave this past week — although I would respectfully suggest that if a loud demand for an apology is the greatest demonstration of political bravery and loyalty to principle that you can muster, you might be in more than a little bit of trouble. ...

But the Democrats undercut their opposition in many ways. One notable method of self-destruction is the hawkishness of many Democrats themselves: since so many Democrats join in the Bush chorus insisting that "failure is not an option," that we cannot "cut and run," and that we must "stay the course," they are hardly presenting a meaningful alternative. ...

The world may be on the edge of a disaster of a kind we have never before witnessed, and everyone in Washington is lying at worst, or avoiding the truth at best. It would be a blessing to have a government which is simply worthless. But given that we have an administration which may well unleash destruction across large parts of the world, while the nominal opposition fiddles about comparatively meaningless issues, I can come to only one conclusion:
There're a couple things you learn in a war tour.

First, combat sucks. ...

Second, you absolutely need your buddies. ...

Third, as long as your buddy is there for you, you couldn't care less if this buddy is gay, black, female, islamic, stupid, liberal, ...

Fourth, you're well aware that some of the people you are defending hate you and what you represent.

These are four lessons that our Republican leadership have never learned.

Because Republicans don't volunteer.
This and several equally pointed letters from veterans or those currently serving are at Take it to Karl. (Found at The Sideshow.)
WHAT'S GOING ON?: As I write this, the post I just put up here shows the date, then a huge gap until after the bottom of my right-hand sidebar before any text of the post itself. This is brand new, and wasn't happening when I last posted on Wednesday. Is this glitch happening to anyone else? I know I didn't change the template myself.

UPDATE: On the other hand, now Blogger allows posting images. I ran a test with a picture of a galaxy from the ever-fascinating Astronomy Picture of the Day and it looked beautiful. I dropped that (it was copyrighted), but now creative juices are stirring....

BUT: is this new feature from Blogger what caused that huge blank space on my home page?
FROM HIS MOUTH TO YOUR BACK: The only Governor Texas has got is now immortalized for his recent elevation of political discourse by being quoted on tee-shirts. Go see various designs to remind the voters our state is empty at the top at PinkDome's CafePress page. (Thanks to A Little Pollyanna for the tip.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

IT HURTS TOO MUCH TO LAUGH: But go do it anyway. This is too short to quote from, but you really should read "The Torturers Accept Your Apology."

Friday, June 17, 2005

MIND YOUR S'S AND E'S: A minor quibble over public spirits, from the Corrections & Clarifications box of the Dallas Morning News on June 16:
In Wednesday's Metro section, Norma Adams-Wade's column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite.
Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged time gap between when her husband found her and when he called 911.
--Associated Press
I will follow your casket
In the pale afternoon
And I'll watch while you're lowered
Down to your deathbed
And I'll stand o'er your grave
'Til I'm sure that you're dead
--Bob Dylan, Masters of War, 1963

Thursday, June 16, 2005

MORE GUARDIANS WHO WON'T BE GUARDED: Since the Startlegram has adopted the hubristic attitude of the DMN and the NYT, requiring intrusive sign-ins to see stories, I'll just quote the report from Grits for Breakfast:
Nine of Texas' 36 crime labs may shut down rather than undergo a professional accreditation process mandated by the 79th Legislature, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports.

A slew of innocents convicted based on false analyses from Houston, Fort Worth, and DPS crime labs led the Legislature to require the accreditation, which many including this author considered a minimalist solution compared to other proposals that didn't make it out of the process. It's surprising so many facilities feel they can't operate under the higher standards.

Then again, maybe that's why Texas has had so many problems at crime labs in the first place.
(Found at Texas Politics.)
A GANG WITH BADGES: Most Dallas police are like most anywhere, basically timekeepers doing a thankless and occasionally dangerous job which keeps trying to drown them in paperwork. A few are very good concerned citizens making an extra effort to help the community. (Some of those get tired of fighting their own bureaucracy and retire to the private sector, where there is more freedom of action, and no resentment from fellow officers who don't want the burden of such pro-active role models in uniform.)

A few, hopefully a very few, are just plain bad eggs. Now and then a scandal breaks about willful or inexcusably negligent use of phony evidence for big drug busts or something of the sort. The real problem is those who are alleged to abuse their badges for personal gain, directly through what are in effect extortion scams against bars (grease their palm if you want a quick response to a trouble call), or to help some politician or friends thereof in running off some business competition.

The latest tale to break the alternative media (good luck in ever finding this in the Dallas Morning Nothing) deals with just such a charge. True? Maybe. Read for yourself about how Dallas may have been oppressing with both hands for very dirty reasons, to the extent that even the Republican state legislature was horrified and sought to ban them, and how Dallas is trying to ignore the law, at "Dallas City Hall thumbs nose, gives Bronx cheer to Legislature".

Monday, June 13, 2005

TESTING THE WATERS: I just hung up from a conference call between several bloggers and possible Democratic candidate for Texas Governor Chris Bell. He seems impressive, and these calls (this is not his first; just the first one I had free time to be in on) do help give candidates the pulse of the activist web. More candidates should do this.

He declined to denounce outright the recent Republican-bashing by Howard Dean, though he said other words might have been chosen on reflection. The real hot item was his refusal to be afraid of Kay Hutchison running for Governor, because "I don't think she can win". He believes the radical right has become so dominant in the primary that Rick's strategy of pandering to them may win him the primary, and so Kay won't be the most likely opponent in NOvember.

Bell should polish up his rhetoric about immigration, or he may suffer from Hispanic (and liberal) voters. He gave credit to Bush for putting the issue on the agenda, and said we should all be able to work together with a goal of having "fewer people coming into the US and Texas" and of acting to "incentivize them to going back". He said some businesses today depend on cheap immigrant labor, and as long as laws are being enforced in a lax fashion, that will go on. He also opposed private anti-immigratiion patrols by militias or such, and denounced those trying to stir up hatred. This was more muddled than mean-spirited, but he needs to straighten up his stands or his statements about them.

The most fun bit was the last question, when someone asked what he thought about Pink Floyd getting back together. His response was that he hoped, since he had quoted them before, that made them feel that they were still relevant in some way. I give him lots of extra points for handling that one on the fly. This man could do very well in debate against Ricky or Kay.

UPDATE: More on this call from In the Pink Texas and from Panhandle Truth Squad.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

TERROR STALKS THE WEB: No, I do't mean Microsoft's banning the words "freedom" and "democracy" from its Chinese portal. It's The Poor Man's latest take on showing us the concentrated essence of the clueless morons writing for the National Review Online's Corner. The terrible image which made me hide under the desk was this frightening thought, supposedly in a column by Jonah Goldberg:
...I would suggest that Krugman take a look at Adam Smith’s "Wealth of Nations", in a new annotated translation by Donald Luskin.
Go laugh at the entire hilarious thing at "Return to the Valley of The Cornhole".

Friday, June 10, 2005

Attorneys for a father and son arrested in Lodi in connection with a broad FBI terrorism probe plan to challenge the government case in court today over significantly differing versions of the affidavit used to charge the two men.

The first version of the affidavit released to media organizations by the Justice Department in Washington said potential terrorist targets included hospitals and groceries, and contained names of key individuals and statements about the international origins of "hundreds" of participants in alleged al-Qaida terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

These details — among the most alarming in the case — were widely reported in the news media, but then deleted in the final version filed with the federal court in Sacramento on Wednesday. Federal prosecutors blamed the problem on confusion inside the bureaucracy as different versions circulated between federal offices.

"An unfortunate oversight due to miscommunication," said Justice Department spokesman Bryan Sierra. ...

But defense attorney Johnny Griffin III, who represents the father, ice-cream truck driver Umer Hayat, 47, accused the government of "releasing information it knew it could not authenticate."

Attorney Wazhma Mojaddidi, who represents the son, 22-year-old Hamid Hayat, said she plans to bring up the different versions of the affidavit when she represents her client at his arraignment scheduled for this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Nowinski in Sacramento. Both father and son are accused of making false statements to federal officials.

A key deletion, Mojaddidi said, was in a paragraph claiming that Hamid Hayat had said "potential targets for attack would include hospitals and large food stores."
Remember, this is your tax dollars at work, trying to railroad these unpopular scapegoats into prison in your name. It's not to keep you safe, it is to keep you scared. This kind of willful oppression is simply disgusting. The people who released the phony fear-mongering story should be fired, and their supervisors, and their own supervisors, and then the head of the FBI should be fired too, just to make the point crystal clear to these jerks. They've been screwing up cases for years by these leaks of phony information to prejudice jurors. Throw them all in jail and send a real message. They don't make me ashamed to be an American, but they make me ashamed that they are.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Criticizing the Democratic strategy is like criticizing zero for not adding up. ... What really bothers the fossils in the Democratic party is that Howard Dean is taking a stand for Democratic values and making them look pale by comparison. Since they can't compete with him on the issues, they are trying to tear him down to their low level of issue avoidance. ...

The DLC and the Corporate Democrats did everything they could to stop the grassroots movement to stop Howard Dean. They lost. The grassroots won. Howard Dean is not going to shut up, and I applaud him for that. His critics are splitting the party, not his criticism of the Republican party. ...

Democrats need to get over their minority mentality. Howard Dean is demonstrating exactly how to break out of the battered wife syndome that Kerry and the DLC are locked in to. You fight back against the aggressor.
Read it all at Seeing the Forest.
INFLUENCING PEOPLE: Glen at A Brooklyn Bridge is horrified by a report that the Pentagon will be replacing inadequately armored humvees with Chrysler minivans. In the story he links to at The Smirking Chimp is a perfectly karmic bit of synchronicity:
You think it can't get more outrageous, and then the Discovery Channel weighs in Monday with a documentary on the pilgrimage to Mecca titled "The Hajj: Journey of a Lifetime." The sponsor? A toilet bowl cleaner.
Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry on Sunday insinuated the state's lesbian, gay and bisexual war veterans should leave the state if they are unhappy with a recent anti-gay marriage amendment introduced there.

During a news conference held in a Fort Worth church, Perry was asked what he would tell Texas gay and lesbian war veterans returning home from war about the law. Governor Perry responded, according to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, by saying that "Texans made a decision about marriage and if there's a state that has more lenient views than Texas, then maybe that's a better place for them to live."
(Found at In the Pink Texas.)

Friday, June 03, 2005

CELEBRITY CORRUPTS: And absolute celebrity corrupts .... Not financially, or even ethically, just in making a person self-assuredly unaware of their own ignorance about a subject. Kevin Drum, a kind and delightful person, is now drenched in the DC mentality that assumes they understand everything about all. His corpus may be in California, but his brain is in the Beltway. I see no way to improve on doing just as Jesse at In Search of Telford, and quoting this entire post from alternative hippopotamus:
Compare and Contrast

Kevin Drum, Washington Monthly blogger:

Increasing production mainly means investing more in "frontier oil" and — in the U.S. — drilling in ANWR. As Jared Diamond points out in Collapse, it's perfectly possible to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive ways, and the fact is that Prudhoe Bay has been relatively trouble free for such a large-scale operation.

Rosemary Ahtuangaruak, mayor of the arctic village of Nuiqsut:

"Air pollution is visible over the North Slope in winter as a yellowish haze. Nitrogen oxide emissions from the oil fields are more than twice the total emitted in Washington, D.C. During winter there are many natural gas flares that occur, which caused me to have many busy nights on call responding to community members' complaints about respiratory illnesses. I remember when I began as a health aide there was only one asthmatic patient, and when I quit in 1999 there were 60 people who had to use respiratory medications. There are also increased numbers of thyroid disorders. For this village of more than 400 people, a 600 percent increase in respiratory patients should get some type of response. Our voices are not being heard."

Perhaps, Mayor Ahtuangaruak, the problem is that some people hear just what they want to believe.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

THERE'S A HIGH-FLYING BIRD: Be very moved by the irrepressibility of the human spirit. Go look at the pictures (scan down to the last item on the page) that illustrate "Flying Free":
Imamzadeh Hashem, in the Alborz mountains two hours' drive from Tehran, is where a group of women paragliders - modern women living in an Islamic state - gather. Even though they are far from Tehran's morality squad vigilantes and the main road, they stick to strict dress codes (chador, maghnae'h and manto) in case of intruders and, to be doubly sure, prop their image of the Ayatollah against the van and unfurl their flag. Fatemeh Asgharpoor, a mother of three, told me: "In addition to all that has already been said about women's lives in Tehran, add the summer heat. The hejab gets really annoying - Tehran is hot and polluted, and we feel boxed in. Any spare time I find, I come to the mountain and I feel free, away from the ordinary weight of being a woman in Iranian society. Flying through the air reduces my frustrations."
But then the President revealed the terrifying news that our enemy has learned to disassemble. This requires a paradigm shift not unlike that brought on by 9/11. Terror now has a new face, and it’s detachable.

Think about it. An enemy that can disassemble can pack himself into the smallest of spaces, places where one wouldn’t think to look for a terrorist. An attache case. Under a silver serving tray. Inside a janitor’s locker at a nuclear power plant. In a public official’s glove compartment. If such individuals have the ability to reassemble themselves quickly - and we have to assume that they can, good lord, we can’t afford to assume otherwise! - then the amount of damage that can be done is incalculable.
Laugh at it all at "Shoebox of Terror!"
Bigwigs in the Rhode Island Democratic party backed Jim Langevin, an anti-abortion Democrat, in the primary race to run against pro-choice incumbent Republican Lincoln Chafee. NARAL made it clear that it would strongly support Langevin’s pro-choice opponents in the primary race, and Langevin dropped out. NARAL then endorsed the pro-choice Republican for the general election.

In response, Kos and Ezra, among others, threw a shit-fit. Both of them take the position that NARAL should have supported the pro-life Democrat. ...

True, it’s in NARAL’s interest to have Democratic majority in the Senate. It’s also in NARAL’s interest for Bill Frist to suddenly become a pregnant single mother. Unfortunately, neither of these things will happen soon. Until Democrats demonstrate an ability to win elections, NARAL would be reckless to put all its eggs in the Dem-majority basket.
--Alas, a blog
In fact, if they behave as a partisan arm, they actually do damage to their credibility, and thus their effectiveness. And, most importantly, that goes for all issue/labor/progressive ideological groups. Why?

Simple - because if an issue/labor/progressive-ideology group reflexively and exclusively backs only one party all the time, they are taken for granted and thus lose their power to move the agenda. Consider, for instance, Democrats, labor and trade. There is a credible argument to be made that more and more Democrats have been permitted to stiff American workers by supporting corporate-written trade deals because labor hasn't been willing to punish them ... There is an argument to be made that if more Democrats felt some sort of pain for screwing over the labor movement, they wouldn't screw over the labor movement as much as some of them do.
In 2003, the U.S. Congress passed a similar ban on "partial-birth" abortion. Like the Rhode Island ban, the legislation did not contain an exception for the health of the mother. And so far, it's met the same fate as the Rhode Island law; three judges have found it unconstitutional.

Here are the names of the Senate Democrats who voted in favor of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003: Bayh, Biden, Byrd, Carper, Conrad, Dorgan, Johnson, Landrieu, Leahy, Lincoln, Nelson, Pryor, and Reid.

I have a hunch that a comprehensive study of federal and state politics would mirror what I've shown here: Democrats do not always vote along party lines in support of abortion rights.
--The Walloper
Here’s the thing, fellas: I’m not going to back any old anti-choice Democrat because you say that strategy will ultimately protect reproductive choice. You’ll just have to forgive my skepticism – choice is the convenient boogeyman for elections, and then it’s forgotten (and compromised again and again and again) after. I’m supposed to be pretty sure that maybe they’ll sorta kinda protect abortion rights, even though they’ve done a godawful job of it so far? Guess how many Senate Democrats voted against Scalia’s appointment to the Supreme Court. That would be zero. This is the same judge they love to to scare us with – you’d better support Democrats or else we’ll lose the courts!

Yah. Ever occur to you geniuses that we lost the freaking courts when you all started approving anti-choice judges? When, in the name of bipartisanship, you sold us down the river? Hello?
Why am I quoting this current debate about a national group and another state's Senate race? Because the question may come up here in Texas next year.

Rumor has it (according to Burnt Orange Report) our U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will be announcing for Governor here next week, precipitating a bloody fight in the Republican primary. So far, only excised-by-Perrymander former Congressman Chris Bell is running on our side. If this GOP bloodbath happens, another rumor might prove true: that former Comptroller John Sharp will also run for Governor as a Democrat.

That might give us two primaries where choice could surface as an issue. Kay has notably waffled all over the map on that question, leaving it very unclear just what she does believe. Sharp was an adamant absolutist against allowing abortion as a State Senator and (quietly) even as a statewide office-holder -- until the very day that Lloyd Bentsen announced he was resigning to enter Clinton's cabinet, leaving a vacancy to be filled by appointment of very pro-choice Governor Ann Richards. By wild coincidence, that just happened to be the date he chose to announce his conversion to being pro-choice.

Right. Welcome aboard, but this sure looks, how shall we say, convenient? There was enough flack over the utter rawness of this that Richards wound up choosing someone else instead.

So we might wind up with two candidates whose views there is lots of FUD over (that's fear, uncertainty, and doubt). I'm with those who oppose nominating a Democrat for Senator unless we are sure they are pro-choice, and since I am not a party official I am free to say I won't promise to vote for a Democrat automatically for this if they are wrong, or waffling. I can always abstain in protest. More to the point, the average pro-choice voter who isn't welded to a party might well consider a Republican, if she has fuzzed her stand enough, against a Democrat with a bad record on this who can't persuade them of genuine change.

The time to make make this demand of candidates is now, before campaigns really begin in earnest. It's been a dozen years since Sharp claimed he saw the blinding light on the road to the capitol dome -- can he be more convincing now, please? Otherwise, let's check out how Bell or some other contender stands. I, at least, brook no compromises on this issue.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

HITTING CLOSE TO HOME: The Wonkette gives us the delightful "The Bush Twins Unemployment Index" (Thanks to an hilarious entry at Fact-esque, found linked at Bats Left Throws Right.)
A key reason the Department of Veterans Affairs offered recently to explain the wide disparity in veterans monthly disability checks across the country is undercut by the agency's own data. The data show that on average veterans of the same war receive vastly different payments, depending on where they live. ...

As an example, the inspector general's report pointed out that Vietnam veterans on average bring home bigger checks than those from World War II - and that "states with a high percentage of Vietnam veterans and a low percentage of World War II veterans have higher average compensation payments."

But World War II vets in New Mexico not only get more money than World War II vets in Illinois - they also get more money than Vietnam vets in Illinois. It suggests that the wide differences aren't due to what percentage of World War II vets live in a particular state but how the VA officials in those states decided claims.