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Internet Gossip Monger Hits New Low
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 6:28pm PT  

The ad to the left, is currently running on the Drudge Report website. Clicking on the ad, as if the text isn't bad enough, reveals even more: "After all whom would Osama vote for?"

BRAD BLOGGERS likely understand that the answer to the above question is perhaps not what these despicable "Authentic GOP" folks would like their target audience to believe, but we're clearly not dealing with brain surgeons over there. At least not in their target audience.

With stuff like that (and other examples of same that we've shown previously, here and here for example) coming out of the Right, it's safe to say that this is a party in big trouble. The final 9/11 Commission Report comes out shortly, and early word is that it doesn't look good for Bush. Not to mention the plummetted poll numbers in the "battleground" states right now for Dubya.

So, it's desperation time, I guess. What other excuse could there be for such atrocious rhetoric comparing a war hero, decades long civil servant and Presidential nominee like John Kerry to Osama bin Laden? No matter what side of the political spectrum you come from!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 6:01pm PT  

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Ridiculed, Petitioned and Trounced
(Reaping what he's sown?)
By Brad Friedman on 7/20/2004 5:45pm PT  

First he's made to look like a boob in the new documentary, OutFoxed, which outs the Republican Fox News channel and it's Number #1 Republican for what they really are.

Then MoveOn.org collects signatures to send to the FTC to complain about the false and misleading labelling of the Fox news product as "fair and balanced". They use an hysterical clip from OutFoxed to help make their case. (Feel free to join that petition, by the way)

And then comes the news, as reported by Drudge, that O'Reilly's greatest nemesis (one of 'em, anyway) Al Franken trounced po' po' O'Reilly on the radio in New York City. Yes, Al's little-bitty show that "nobody wants to listen to", as so many frightened and silly Right-wingers will tell you, and indeed have posted here, cleaned O'Reilly's clock in the largest market where they actually go head to head.

I guess nobody's looking out for Bill O'Reilly.

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Not a moment too soon for the GOP!
Yet July is on track to be one of the bloodiest months so far.
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 2:12pm PT  

Don't be fooled by the Administration lap dogs, on and in the Mainstream and Extremist Media, when you hear that "things are finally cooling down in Iraq since the handover of 'sovereignty'". It's not so much that things have cooled down, but that the Media has - as is their pattern - begun to grow weary of the story.

The facts on the ground, as this Boston Globe piece demonstrates, are likely very different from the perceptions you're being peddle by the bulk of the Mainstream Media:

Nearly as many US soldiers lost their lives in Iraq in the first half of July as in all of June, even as Iraqi insurgents seem to have shifted focus from attacking US targets to aiming instead at Iraqi security forces and government officials.

The relatively high rate of US military casualties has dimmed hope that the handover of power to the Iraqi government would help stabilize the country and reduce pressure on US soldiers.
...
Since the June 28 handover of power, the 160,000 coalition forces have averaged more than two deaths a day, among the highest rate of losses since the war began 15 months ago. By Saturday, 36 US soldiers had died this month, compared with 42 last month, according to a Globe analysis of official statistics.

Looks like I'll have to begin reporting more of the real numbers here, since the "Liberal" Media seems to be moving on from the story as is their tendency. Lest I be guilty of the same short attention span I accuse them of having.

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Iraq Politicized
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 12:30pm PT  

It happened long ago, of course, but the chart at left clearly shows how much one's opinions of the Iraq War are likely based in political ideology. There is a stunning divide in this country, as if you didn't know already. The one sided opinion of the Republican's shown here, is extraordinary. Though so is the Democrat's response (if not quite as much). The telling numbers here, however, are from the "Independents", of whom a majority see the war as a mistake. It is their response that is likely less politically based than either of the other two groups, and they are, after all, the ones who will be deciding the election this year. It's a good sign that the majority of those folks now seem to be "getting it".

You can fool some of the people, some of the time...

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A Splash of Cold Privately Owned Water
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 12:08pm PT  

Hope to blog more about it later, but time is somewhat short today. Saw The Corporation last night, another excellent documentary in this --- apparently --- Year of the Documentary!

It's perhaps an overly-long, but overly-fascinating look at the Corporation in today's American/Worldwide Global Marketplace. Their history, from how they were established to be "a person" for all legal intents and purposes, through their modern day presence in every facet of our lives (realistically, legally and emotionally), through their current and future place as a force more powerful even than the Nation States that once regulated them.

The framework for the film, examining The Corporation as the legal entity of "a person" with all the rights thereof, but without any of the moral or ethical considerations or obligations, makes the case that if, in fact, the Corporation were "a person" it could well be considered --- in most cases --- to have the psychopathic tendencies of a serial killer.

Many corporate CEO's are interviewed throughout the film and not all are portrayed as villians. In fact, the argument is well-made that the CEO's are doing largely what we ask of them, and what they are legally bound to do in the wake of an Industrial Revolution that may have been ill-conceived from the start. Or at best, an Industrial Revolution run amok in an unsustainable chase for ever-increasing profits despite the costs to humanity, privacy and/or the limits of the environment. Several (though not all) of the CEO's interviewed are clearly wrestling with their corporate responsibilities versus their conscience as human beings on this planet. The revelations are sometimes encouraging, there are some clear heroes here, though frequently rather troubling.

It's an eye-opener worth seeing for anybody who has lived through the late part of the last century, and early part of the current one. There have been some stunning changes in the way Corporations effect every facet of our lives, especially over the last thirty years or so --- from marketing to parents via their infants, to the commercialization/privatization of Public schools, land, water and precious resources --- and most of it has been so insidiously gradual that it often has gone largely unnoticed by those of us who have accepted the encroachment of the Corporate culture into our every day lives without much notice or regard to the larger implications.

For those of you (like myself) who frequently wonder what all the hub-bub is about every time demonstrations and riots break out at a WTO conference or a meeting of the IMF, this film may provide some very specific answers.

It'll likely send a chill down your spine when you hear how the corporate powerhouses of Rupert Murdoch, Fox and Monsanto colluded to keep you from learning of the cancerous dangers from synthetic bovine hormones in the milk you drink and other machinations that are undoubtedly in the interest of short-term profit-making, if not in your best interests for a long and healthy life.

There are too many notable and fascinating segments to go into much detail for the time being. But I highly recommend you give it a look yourself. The Corporation is playing, or coming to a theater near you this summer. You can view trailers and clips online here.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2004 11:20am PT  

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In Pictures & Song!
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2004 8:21pm PT  

The best summary of this year's campaign that I've seen so far. (At least as set to music). Well worth the download. Sound definitely required.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2004 2:51pm PT  

First they compare Democrats to Hitler in a campaign video on the Official Bush-Cheney website. (They edited the version of the ad they now have up to include a limp disclaimer at the front, and buried the ad itself deep into the website.)

And now, the Jefferson County, Kentucky Republican Party is handing out "Kerry is bin Laden's Man/Bush is My Man" signs at their rallies, just like the one hanging in the window of their headquarters in Louisville!

Their chairman, Jack Richardon IV, told Josh Marhsall (in a short blog item worth reading so you can see that this is no joke) that he makes "no apologies for it" and thinks "it's funny how the truth not only can be amusing but also make a point."

If you have any points, amusing or otherwise, to make to Jack, feel free to let him know at (502) 584-7111 or jcreppty@bellsouth.net.

Kudos to the BlueGrassRoots blog for the find and the good blogging in the name of a country that may someday again find itself truly united instead of divided by the likes of these sorts of people.

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More Political Tit-for-Tat
(Sorry.)
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2004 1:34pm PT  

Kurt Kurowski at Democratic Underground outlines just a few of Dubya's many Flip-Flops.

As Kurowski points out, however, it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who sagely called consistency "the hob-goblin of little minds."

None the less, in the interest of "a silly little round of political pat-a-cake", since the bulk of his piece outlines indeed how the "flip-flopping" charge, as the GOP Talking Points put it, is little more than rhetorical sleight-of-hand, political expediency and shamless opportunism.

But in this season, I suppose, the unanswered shot can be the fatal one. Yes, we've covered some of the many George W. Bush "Flip-Flops" before, but it's always nice to have a well-bulleted list as a refreshing reminder/reference tool when met with the robotic-like parrotted Rush-rhetoric of your Fake-Conservative-Beyond-Any-Reason Brother-in-Law at this year's Labor Day BBQ.

I present to you George W. Bush, running for his first term as president and second term as White House flip-flopper:

• Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it.
• Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it.
• Bush is against a WMD investigation; then he's for it.
• Bush is against nation building; then he's for it. (Even before 9/11 it was part of his foreign policy, PNAC. So drop the "everything changed after 9/11" malarky.)
• Bush said he'll provide money for first responders (emergency services); then he doesn't.
• Bush is against deficits; then he's for them.
• Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again.
• Bush said he'll reduce Greenhouse gases; then doesn't do it.
• Bush is for a patient's bill of rights then; then he fights against it.
• Bush say that "help is on the way" to the military; then he cuts benefits.
• Bush talks about helping education; then he cuts funding.
• Bush says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea; then he says we will.
• Bush campaigns at racist Bob Jones University; then says he shouldn't have.
• Bush says he will demand a U.N. Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq; then he announces he won't call for a vote.
• Bush says the "mission accomplished" banner was put up by the Navy; then he admits it was his advance team.
• Bush is for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the US; then he's against it.
• Bush is for a state's right to decide on gay marriage; then he's for amending the constitution to prevent it. (Cheney, whose daughter is a lesbian, shared this flippety-flop big time. "Gee thanks, dad." "Don't fret, hon, daddy's only playing up to the rubes!")

And there are almost one hundred more examples, all accomplished in only three and a half years. Just imagine how proud his mother must be.

From what I understand of the Republican horror of flip-flopping and the integrity deficit it indicates, and given Mr. Bush's record as a flip-flopper, many Republicans will now be forced by conscience into a third party vote, or into not voting at all. But maybe Rush Limbaugh can give them dispensation, I dunno.

ReddIt this story!



Executions? Sure, but at least there's no Torture and Rape Rooms!
Right?
By Brad Friedman on 7/16/2004 11:46am PT  

Would anybody actually be surprised if the following story, reported in today's Sydney Morning Herald was true? The writer, Paul McGeough, was further grilled on his report late last night by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Allawi shot prisoners in cold blood: witnesses
By Paul McGeough in Baghdad
July 17, 2004

Iyad Allawi, the new Prime Minister of Iraq, pulled a pistol and executed as many as six suspected insurgents at a Baghdad police station, just days before Washington handed control of the country to his interim government, according to two people who allege they witnessed the killings.

They say the prisoners - handcuffed and blindfolded - were lined up against a wall in a courtyard adjacent to the maximum-security cell block in which they were held at the Al-Amariyah security centre, in the city's south-western suburbs.

They say Dr Allawi told onlookers the victims had each killed as many as 50 Iraqis and they "deserved worse than death".

The Prime Minister's office has denied the entirety of the witness accounts in a written statement to the Herald, saying Dr Allawi had never visited the centre and he did not carry a gun.

But the informants told the Herald that Dr Allawi shot each young man in the head as about a dozen Iraqi policemen and four Americans from the Prime Minister's personal security team watched in stunned silence.

Why do I have a feeling we won't be hearing much about this in the NY Times or CNN? (See my upcoming article shortly for more details).

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 7/15/2004 8:30pm PT  

While I'm otherwise engaged for the moment...

Fun, funny and smart game to play at BushGame.com Click on Janet Jackson's animated tit on the left to begin! (Thanks to BRAD BLOG commentor, Quinn for the pointer!)

And the "Republican Survivor" series is now complete, but you can still watch all the episodes right here.

Both links are more fun with the sound turned up. Enjoy.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2004 11:26pm PT  

Well, here's an interesting "development"...if indeed it is one...

NYT PAGE ONE THURS: BUSH TO DROP CHENEY GOSSIP
Wed Jul 14 2004 18:21:14 ET

The latest theory about Vice President Dick Cheney's future on the Republican ticket, advanced privately by prominent Democrats, including members of Congress, holds that Cheney recently dropped his personal doctor because of drug addiction so that he could hire a new one, who will conveniently tell him in August that his heart problems have made him unfit to run with Bush!

So reports the NEW YORK TIMES, in a planned Front Page story on Thursday.

Reporter Elisabeth Bumiller is set to kick the gossip into high gear with a 1,600-word speculative, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE.

Developing...

We'll see what the Times actually says on Thursday. But it's certainly an interesting, and Bush-like (Rove-like) way to dump Cheney without it seeming like they're actually dumping Cheney.

Note that the theory is said to have been advanced by "prominent Democrats" which could mean one of two things: 1) It's a lie to make the Bush Campaign appear to be in disarray and panic or 2) It's true, and by getting the word out early, the Dems hope to force a Bush denial, and in the bargain, keep it from happening.

Dumping Cheney (and putting a more centrist, moderate...dare I say "compassionate" conservative on the ticket), of course, being the best thing Dubya could do for himself. But why should he start now? Let's hope he doesn't anyway. Bush - CHENEY '04!!!

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Whatever...
By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2004 2:05pm PT  

In a short blog item on more of Dubya's latest double-talk, wherein he's on a tear to convince folks that the Iraq War made perfect sense, Josh Marshall quotes two statements taken directly from the White House website...

President Bush: "Saddam Hussein said, I'm not going to expose my weapons, I'm not going to get rid of my --- I'm not going to allow inspectors in, he said." February 26th, 2004.

President Bush: "We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power..." July 14th, 2003.

Yes, if only Saddam had let those inspectors in, we could have avoided all of this.

History Rewritten 101. Vote Bush-Cheney.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/14/2004 12:55pm PT  

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