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America Under Attack
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2004 12:13pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

In 1942 the U.S. Government forced some 150,000 Americans of Japanese descent, two-thirds of them actually born in America, to leave their communities, sell their houses (if they were able to in the two weeks time they were given) and relocate to one of 10 "relocation" or "internment" camps here in the United States of America.

A few days ago, while on the road, we had the occasion to stop by and spend a few hours at what is left of the Manzanar Relocation Camp between Lone Pine and (ironically, enough) Independence, California. The remains of the camp are found on a quiet dusty stretch of lonely Highway 395 as it runs along the Eastern Sierras near Mt Whitney (at 14,000+ feet it's the tallest peak in the contiguous 48).

On the desert floor at the foot of the mountain range, lies the remains of Manzanar, shamelessly razed after 1945 as if to wipe out all memory of it's existence.

Some 10,000 Japanese-Americans, citizens, business owners, doctors, professionals, Army veterans and their families and thousands of children, were relocated into makeshift barracks in blockhouse rows here during WWII after the attack at Pearl Harbor. None of the interned were ever officially accused or convicted of "sabotage" against the United States.

This was our second time at Manzanar following the guided auto-tour along the ruins, imagining the life there for those four years. It was again a moving and troubling experience. In 1997 the area was taken over and protected by the National Park Service and finally, in April of 2004 --- over half a century after the camp was finally shut down --- a terrifically designed and very educational Interpretive Center has been opened in what had been the High School auditorium building, the only building still standing on the 800 acre site. The Center is chock full of information and artifacts which bring the place back to life after it has so shamelessly been relegated to the dustbin of Americas Forgotten History.

If you find yourself near Manzanar, set aside a few hours to learn and/or remember one of the shameful chapters in our country when we last panicked in the face of fear and gave in to our worst instincts in the name of "self protection". Last time it was under a Democratic President, this time it's under a Republican "President". Apparently, we haven't learned all that much from the last time we were attacked by an enemy we didn't understand and found ourselves willing to sacrifice much of what this country stands for in the name of giving in to our most base and unfounded fears.

The US Constitution, like our Tax Laws and our Welfare System has many flaws and loopholes to be exploited by those who care to for political or personal gain. It's our job, as Americans, to see to it that the spirit of that Constitution is upheld, no matter who the charlatans are who may wish to use our fears against what that document stands for.

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One from the Road...
By Brad Friedman on 8/5/2004 2:17am PT  

This one caught my eye, and while I've got some wireless net access from the road, I thought I'd drop it by...

Brought to my attention by AMERICAblog...

Here's the full story (courtesy of Knight-Ridder who, by the way, deserve some praise!) in case the story didn't make it at all onto Drudge or Fox.

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On the road again...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2004 11:46am PT  

I'll be out battling the forces of evil on the road for the next week or two. I hope to check in here when and if possible, but in the meantime, please welcome first-time Guest Bloggers, Jaime, Johnhp and Bryan to the BRAD BLOG! See their items as they roll in below this one. I'll leave it to them if they wish to introduce themselves, or just pick up where I left off, saving the world, and causing mayhem however possible. Keep 'em honest. Thanks as always for your support, and keep spreading the good word (the "Email it to Someone!" link at the bottom of each item works great!)

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These White Men in Blue Suits will Protect You!
We are 'a safer nation in danger'!
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2004 11:33am PT  

See this previous item. Then read this:

"We are a nation in danger," Bush said as he announced his position during an appearance with top administration national security figures in the White House Rose Garden.
...
He said he had no plans to summon Congress back into a special session this summer. "They can think about them over August and come back and act on them in September," he said.

Just so you're not confused...remember, "America is safer now" and yet "We are a nation in danger". Threats are "imminent and real", but think about that during your August vacation. Also..."I am a war President" and "I am a peace President".

Got that? Confused? Good, that's just where we want you. Happy and not afraid and angry and terrified.

Now go out, enjoy the summer by vacationing with your families and shop, and buy duct tape and be aware of your surroundings at all times. The threat is real though the terror alert color will not be changed. Have a nice/horrible day.

(We're Bush-Cheney '04, and we approve of this mixed message.)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 4:18pm PT  

The Democratic radio address Saturday was given by a Retired General and Bush 2000 supporter...

A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.

When both the "Solid South" and the Military are falling away from a Republican "President", one needn't be Miss Cleo in order to connect the dots.

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A Dark Chapter in American History
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 4:08pm PT  

I had planned a review of the various failed strategies of the Bush-Cheney Campaign, and a look at what is left for them to try. I hope to do just that before leaving town shortly.

But by way of a preview, Atrios hit upon the lynchpin of a very dark and dangerous truth. There is only one way for Bush-Cheney right now to eke out a win (short of Kerry imploding of his own volition). In the attempt to do so, I'm sad to say, they'll be manipulating and preying upon the fears of the American people between now and November in every subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, way possible.

Here's a perfect example of their only "hope". And it's a dark, cynical, and dangerous one indeed...

Playing Politics With Terror Alerts

Ridge, today:

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.

Today's "terror alert", coming as it did earlier enough to make it onto the Sunday News Programs after a universally lauded DNC Convention, along with the announced arrest in Pakistan last Thursday (on the morning of Kerry's big speech) of one of the African Embassy bombers who had been captured the previous Sunday (but the announcement waited as requested until "'twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston") shows that the Bush Leaguers are not ashamed in the least to play this card. Ridge's phrasing above demonstrates that clearly.

This is not the stuff of conspiracy theorists. This is the stuff of subtle, shrewd and cynical manipulation of the very real fears of the American people.

While such tactics should be out of bounds at all times --- and from both parties in this country --- Bush-Cheney has such a dreadful "record of achievement" to draw from, and their other hopes of dividing and conquering have amounted to little more than $100 million down the drain, this sort of insidiously subtle parasitism may well be the only prayer they have left. Clearly they are not above the moral dishonesty required to exploit such a cynical tactic for all they can.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 3:23pm PT  

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Soviet States of America?
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 12:35pm PT  

Updating a previous item on the Bush-Cheney campaign requiring a signed pledge of loyalty to George W. Bush before allowing voters to attend a Dick Cheney campaign event...

Drudge is finally running a piece on this now that it's being suggested that "some Democrats" were required to sign loyalty oaths.

Am I just a pinko, commie, terrorist Freedom Hater if I think that shouldn't really make any damn difference...here in America?! The story doesn't exactly inform us how campaign officials knew who were Democrats and who weren't, and even goes on to say that "Some Democrats who are Bush supporters were welcomed without signing anything."

The story also does not explain how the Bush campaign would know which Democrats were Bush supporters and which weren't.

But read on...

Vietnam veteran Michael Ortiz y Pino said he refused to sign the pledge and was refused tickets.

Ortiz y Pino said he was asked if he associated with veterans, pro-life, gun rights or teacher groups.

Neither man wanted to give driver's license numbers but did so.

"I said why do you need that?" Ortiz y Pino said.

A campaign worker, he said, replied: "Secret Service stuff."

PLEASE, is there any conservative out there who can explain to me how this is what you are looking for in a "conservative" nominee for President of the United States (of America!)??

Once again...here is what the "pledge" says. The one you must sign to see your Vice-President speak during a Presidential Campaign:

"I, (full name) ... do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States." It later adds that, "In signing the above endorsement you are consenting to use and release of your name by Bush-Cheney as an endorser of President Bush."

Dan Foley, of the Bush Campaign, explains...

"The endorsement pledges, he said, were for screening purposes, not for any advertisement listing names of Democrats who support Bush.

Oh, well that's a relief!

Anyway, the story is now linked on Drudge, so it should be reported by the Mainstream Media shortly. As long as it hasn't been taken it down by Monday.

UPDATE: A follow-up piece from the Albuquerque Journal would seem to defy the "some Democrats" report which claimed that it was just people who called from "a line that self-identified as ACT, America Coming Together, an activist group that supports Kerry."

As well, it quotes a Republican National Committee spokesperson, Yier Shi, explaining the policy for restricting the event --- at a public school gymnasium! --- only to the loyal ones:

Democrats, independents and others were welcome to attend the speech, he said— as long as they like Bush and Cheney.
And people should understand that Cheney is visiting New Mexico in the role of a candidate for re-election, Shi said, explaining that Republicans are treating the trip as a political campaign visit and not as an official visit of the vice president.
"The argument that you're an American and you have a right to see the vice president— you can when he comes to New Mexico on an official visit," Shi said. "On this visit, he's Dick Cheney, a candidate for vice president and he happens to also be the vice president."

Got that distinction?

This is a campaign in big --- very big --- trouble.

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RNC Convention Website conspicuously short on info!
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2004 5:40pm PT  

It's odd, but since the DNC Convention has ended, I just can't wait for the next one! The big RNC Convention starts in a few weeks, so I was reading up on it at the official RNC Convention website!

Given the previous two items about signed loyalty oaths being required to attend a Dick Cheney rally, and the Bush-Cheney campaign's requirement for journalists to provide their race to the Bush Cheney campaign before getting security clearance, I thought I'd go and learn a little more about this Dick Cheney fellow!

I went straight to "presumptive nominee" Dick Cheney's official biography page at the site! Very impressive! Lots of interesting information! (Did you know his real name is "Richard"?! He certainly doesn't look like a Richard!)

He has a very impressive resume though! Reaching all the way back to the 60's as both a business man and public servant! But, there seems to be a gap in his resume on that page! It says nothing about what Dick Cheney was doing since he left his post as Sec. of Defense in 1993 until the time he became Vice-President in 2000.

Was he just taking a sabbatical or something during that time? Working for the Peace Corp, perhaps? (Though you'd think they would list that if he was). Spending time with his family? Writing a book? Or what? There's nothing mentioned about the years 1994 to 2001 at all!

On "presumptive nominee" George W. Bush's official biography page at the site, they speak in detail of his career in "the energy business" and as "managing general partner of the Texas Rangers" during that period. But for Cheney, during those same years, there seems to be nothing! I wonder if they forgot that part of his biography or something? Wierd.

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(And you thought a signed 'Loyalty Oath' was bad enough?!)
The news gets more frightening.
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2004 1:45pm PT  

Yesterday, I posted about the Cheney camp requiring signed oaths of loyalty for anyone hoping to come to a campaign rally in New Mexico. I also implored Bush Supporters who may read this Blog to wake the fuck up to what is happening in your country under your Administration.

I wish that was the end of the story. But it gets still worse. (And thanks again to Atrios for pointing this one out as well.)

The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the Bush Campaign is requiring that journalists (a photo journalist, in this case) supply their race before receiving security clearance to photograph the Vice-President!

Here's the first few amazing grafs:

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer
By C.J. Karamargin
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Star refused to provide the information.

Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

"It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," Hayt said later.

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.

"All the information requested of staff, volunteers and participants for the event has been done so to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the vice president of the United States," he said.

Name and Social Security number I suppose I could understand. And both were supplied to the campaign according to the rest of the story.

But race?? What the hell does the photographer's race have to do with receiving clearance? If she had been of "Arabic" race would they have denied her credentials based on that alone?

As I said before: Bush Supporters, wake the fuck up! I don't care how much you (inexplicably) like the man, or hope for Republicans to stay in power...if you can't see what's going on here, I can only imagine what sort of designs you have for this country and it's Constitution.

We seem to be well beyond the looking glass at this point, folks. And there's still three more months to go! Fasten your seatbelts.

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Signed Loyalty Oaths Required to see Veep at Campaign Rally!
(Wake up, Bush supporters! This is YOUR country too!)
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 10:04pm PT  

Sorry...one more too unbelievable not to post...

This report is from the Albuquerque Journal, incredibly enough (no, it's not from The Onion!)

Obtaining Cheney Rally Ticket Requires Signing Bush Endorsement
By Jeff Jones
Journal Staff Writer

Some would-be spectators hoping to attend Vice President Dick Cheney's rally in Rio Rancho this weekend walked out of a Republican campaign office miffed and ticketless Thursday after getting this news:

Unless you sign an endorsement for President George W. Bush, you're not getting any passes.
...
An endorsement form provided to the Journal by [an unhappy, undecided voter] says: "I, (full name) ... do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States."

What will it take for you Dubya Fans to see what has become of your country?!

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Sinking in the South...Weak amongst Undecideds.
Failing in the Jewish, Hispanic, Catholic groups as well.
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 9:16pm PT  

The latest Zogby numbers are in. (A refresher for those just joining us; Zogby is the only polling organization to get it almost exactly right in both 2000 and 1996. We keep an eye on them.)

It looks like more bad news for the Bushies with a 5 point lead for Kerry-Edwards before the Convention was even over. It's been a rough day for the Bushies (see the previous couple of items.) But at least it's a Friday!

Worse than the newly opened 5 point lead, is the rest of the story. Atrios' summary of the report will suffice at this late hour:

The most recent Zogby poll shows deeper trouble for President George W. Bush beyond just the horserace. Mr. Bush has fallen in key areas while Senator John Kerry has shored up numerous constituencies in his base. The Bush team's attempted outreach to base Democratic and swing constituency has shown to be a failure thus far, limiting his potential growth in the electorate.

The ugly details-

Among Hispanic Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

Among Southern Voters:
Kerry 48%
Bush 46%

Viewed Favorably in the South:
Kerry 55%
Bush 55%

Approve of Bush's Job Performance in the South: 44%

US Headed in the Right Direction in the South: 43%

Among Young Voters (18-29) :
Kerry 53%
Bush 33%

Among Single Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

In the Red States:
Kerry 46%
Bush 48%

In the Blue States:
Kerry 50%
Bush 38%

Among People Who Did Not Vote in 2000:
Kerry 50%
Bush 25%

Bush is leading only by 2 points in the Red states?!

I know you Lefties don't want me to jinx ya, and you Righties like to point to the "dead heat" National Polls (and overlook the only ones that matter: The Battleground Polls), but unless Kerry or Edwards screw the pooch between now and November (perfectly possible), or they take Bin Laden out of cold storage (even more possible), I'm starting to smell a Kerry Landslide. I'm just sayin'.

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"Liberal" Media Fails to Report it.
So does Drudge.
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 8:38pm PT  

Wall Street Journal reports that Sandy Berger has been cleared of all wrongdoing. Their site is subscription only, so the link to their story "Berger Cleared of Withholding Material From 9/11 Commission" will only work if you have a subscription.

So here's a report instead from KYW NewsRadio:

Clinton Adviser Berger Cleared of Document Theft (07/30/04)

President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger --- who'd been accused of stealing classified material from the National Archives --- has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

The National Archives and the Justice Department have concluded nothing is missing and nothing in the Clinton administration's record was withheld from the 9-11 Commission.

The Wall Street Journal reports archives staff have accounted for all classified documents Berger looked at.

Late last year they asked investigators to see if the former national security adviser removed materials during his visits.

Berger's lawyers said his client had inadvertently removed several photocopies of reports, but later returned them.

Where does Mr. Berger go to get his reputation back? I'm sure apologies from Rush, Sean, O'Reilly, Scarborough, Matthews, Fox, CNN, MSNBC and Drudge etc. will be forthcoming. Not.

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Another Record for the Bush Administration!
(or, Polishing a Turd.)
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 7:42pm PT  

Congratulations to the fiscal "conservatives" of the Bush Administration!

While it seemed nearly impossible to beat last years record setting $375 Billion defecit, "the party of smaller government" has done it again!

The numbers are in, and this year...It's another record deficit! $445 Billion! The largest in the history of mankind as a matter of fact!

Sadly, the numbers were released today instead of the more tradition July 15th date. Which is a shame, because they really could have embarrased those Democrats at their convention with this terrific news, which came out just one day too late! Darn the luck!

It's also a shame, because it was late on a Friday before the White House was able to release the numbers, and most of the press had already shut down for the weekend! Curses!

Still...it didn't keep the White House from crowing about this terrific news! As reported by AP:

Administration officials hailed the budget figures as a solid improvement over the deficits analysts forecast early this year, and said they were on their way to their goal of halving this year's shortfall in five years. The White House estimated a $521 billion budget gap for 2004 in February, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted a $477 billion deficit.

"This improved budget outlook is the direct result of the strong economic growth the president's tax relief has fueled," said White House budget director Joshua Bolten.

Mr. Bolten didn't explain how this year's record deficit came about when Mr. Bush had previously told Americans in 2001, that if his tax cuts were passed that we'd have a $262 Billion surplus this year instead.

But never mind that! A record is a record!

So congratulations George W. Bush! And to all of you fiscal conservatives who helped put him into office! Your tax cuts and keen grasp of economics is certainly paying off!

Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

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By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 2:52pm PT  

Uh, oh. Looks like another bad day in Bushville.

The widow of former President, and Republican icon, Ronald Reagan has told the GOP she wants nothing to do with their upcoming national convention or the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.

Nancy Reagan turned down numerous invitations to appear at the Republican National Convention and has warned the Bush campaign she will not tolerate any use of her or her late husbands words or images in the President's re-election effort. [emphasis added]

“Mrs. Reagan does not support President Bush's re-election and neither do most members of the President's family,” says a spokesman for the former First Lady.

(First one to catch the inevitable "Nancy Reagan has clearly lost her mind since the death of her husband" line from the Attack Monkeys, be sure to let us know!)

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