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Jack Ohman / Portland Oregonian Edition
By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2004 1:14pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2004 12:27pm PT  

(Brad still blogging from the road...)

Updating the recent embarrassing Bush "sovereignty" quote as blogged a few days ago. Alert BB commenter Corey has sent a link to the video of the quote.

If you thought reading the quote itself was either troubling or funny, take a look at the actual video! (Listen for the tittering in the background from the impressed crowd).

Then try to tell us how it's just a slip of the tongue versus a guy who doesn't know what the hell he's actually talking about.

Then tell us how you could possibly feel good about this guy being the leader of your country, much less the free world.

Then tell us what drugs you're taking, which grade you were able to complete in elementary school before dropping out or what it's like being married to your own sister...or what county in Texas you're actually from.

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Bush/Cheney '04 Reaching New Heights in Lows!
By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2004 12:09pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

Ya know, when I started this blog, it wasn't really meant as a Bash Bush Blog. But the stakes are so high now, and he makes it so damn easy...I look forward to turning on Kerry after the current resident of 1600 gets the boot. But for now...there's a democracy to save...

First loyalty oaths must be signed to see Cheney at a rally in a public high school, then journalists are forced to give their nationalities to the campaign before being given credentials to cover events.

Now, wearing a Kerry-Edwards T-shirt will get you tossed out of a Bush event all together. From Richard Leiby's piece in The Washington Post:

The question: Which presidential campaign better tolerates dissent?

The experiment: A college professor wears a Kerry-Edwards shirt to a rally for President Bush, then a Bush for President shirt to a John Kerry rally.

Result: Bush people make the subject remove his shirt, then give him the boot. The Kerry people don't make a peep.

John Prather (pictured at right), a mild-mannered math prof at Ohio University's Eastern Campus, says he carried out this one-man study a couple of weeks ago, attending both rallies in one day. "It really was to satisfy my own curiosity," Prather, 38, told us. "It's been my opinion that George Bush has stifled dissent . . . I think John Kerry doesn't. In neither event was I a threat to anyone." Yet, he says, at the Bush rally, "I was tailed the whole time."

Welcome to George W. Bush's Amerka.

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Bored yet?
By Brad Friedman on 8/19/2004 2:43am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

While Bush has not only refused to condemn the ads of the ironically named "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth", he's using them to his advantage wherever possible.

Consider this exchange brought to my attention by a must-read Josh Marshall piece as Bush took this question at an "Ask the President" session in Oregon last week:

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir.

Q On behalf of Vietnam veterans --- and I served six tours over there --- we do support the President. I only have one concern, and that's on the Purple Heart, and that is, is that there are over 200,000 Vietnam vets that died from Agent Orange and were never --- no Purple Heart has ever been awarded to a Vietnam veteran because of Agent Orange because it's never been changed in the regulations. Yet, we've got a candidate for President out here with two self-inflicted scratches, and I take that as an insult. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that. Thank you. Thank you for your service. Six tours? Whew. That's a lot of tours.

Let's see, who've we got here? You got a question?

In the words of former Congressman Dan Burton in reference to a previous President, what a "scumbag".

Anyway, the SBVT stories are beginning to unravel hard, as reported in this morning's Washington Post. But read Josh's article for a fine summation and analysis of the entire ugly mess that has become become the Bush/Cheney '04 campaign's only pathetic and shameful hope.

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A 'Photo of the Moment' Special Series...
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2004 1:37pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)


What? A tool!


Cheese Wiz!


"Nice gouda, m'am"
Dubya delights the workers! Smiles everyone! Smiles!


The sun sets on the Bush "Presidency"

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Born in the U.S.A.
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2004 1:23pm PT  

This article posted on Drudge from Rupert Murdoch's newspaper The NY Post about a woman running an anti-Bruce ad on Rupert Murdoch's "news" station Fox News in a limited area, but hoping to run it more if only she can somehow receive more funds to do so, is, in and of itself, an object lesson in how the Conservative Echo Chamber works. Anyone have a feeling that that 3-pronged pop today alone will get her the funds she's looking for? I haven't been listening to Rush or Sean today, but I have no doubt that both are covering the "story" (since they essentially repeat Drudge and/or Fox all day long, and so it goes), and Sean no doubt will soon be featuring his "exclusive" interview with the woman behind the ad.

The call is to boycott Bruce Springsteen now since he is apparently not in favor of George W. Bush.

Perhaps they've never forgiven Bruce for turning down the Reagan campaign's request in 1984 to use "Born in the U.S.A." as their theme song. Apparently, nobody in the Reagan camp ever bothered to actually listen to the lyrics of the song before making the request. But I digress.

What is it with these Rightwing Whackos (aka The Republican Party)? Apparently supporting their guy is not enough, they've got to attack --- personally, professionally and/or economically --- any American who doesn't support their guy.

I don't see Democrats calling for boycotts of Charlie Daniels or Toby Kieth or Mel Gibson or hell, even the Fox News Channel!

MEMO TO REPUBLICANS: It's America. Some people support one guy, some support the other. It's an election year. In a democracy, people are prone to express their support for one of the (sadly only) two candidates. You may wish to get used to the fact that some Americans may favor someone other than you do. You already own the Media, isn't that enough? Apparently not.

In the meantime, Bush has still failed to condemn, as John McCain has called on him to do, the "dishonest and dishonerable" TV ads of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth". But why would he? This is the mother of all smear campaigns afoot. Fasten your seatbelts. I do believe we ain't seen nothin' yet.

Cause, baby, he was born to run...

ReddIt this story!



The Bush thugs get to work.
By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2004 12:21pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

The Florida 2000 election was clearly an aberration of our Democracy on more levels than one may care to count. From the elderly Jews "voting" for Pat Buchanan on the butterfly ballot, to the grossly racist and inaccurate corporate purging of "felons" from the voter rolls, to the military absentee ballots postmarked days after the election but left unchallenged by a cowed Gore campaign, to the staged demonstrations of "angry" Republican campaign workers storming the vote counters meant to look like a voter uprising (as seen at Right, and published, without the identifying numbers in that "Liberal" paper the Washington Post - click it for more info!), to the Florida Secretary of State/Bush Campaign Co-Chair "confirming" the count of uncounted ballots, etc. etc. etc.

To put it bluntly, it was a debacle and a blight on our country's record of free, fair, honest and open elections.

And yet, I was prepared to look back at it all it as a one-time anomaly of a bitterly divided country and a virtually tied state run by the brother of the Republican nominee as he was looking to find that one foot in the door to snatch the deciding edge in a nearly evenly divided national electorate.

In other words, it sucked, it was un-American, un-Democratic and un-seemly, but it was over and it could never happen again.

Am I naive, or what?

That "one-time anomaly" was likely nothing of the sort. And it looks like the Bush Bros. may be preparing to do it again. Seeking any and all opportunities to squeeze out just enough votes to put them over again. Or more appropriately perhaps; Squeeze out enough votes to make it look as though they've won yet again.

This column from Bob Herbert in Monday's NY Times may be an ominous sign of who and what is at work in Florida again for this year's crucial Presidential election.

The elderly black vote in Florida is crucial to a Kerry win, and so the piece is particularly ominous and frightening. Since you have to subscribe to the Times (it's free, though!) to read the article, I'll post more of the column here than I usually might. It's a short piece though, and worth subscribing if only to read the whole thing:

State police officers have gone into the homes of elderly black voters in Orlando and interrogated them as part of an odd "investigation" that has frightened many voters, intimidated elderly volunteers and thrown a chill over efforts to get out the black vote in November.

The officers, from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which reports to Gov. Jeb Bush, say they are investigating allegations of voter fraud that came up during the Orlando mayoral election in March.

Officials refused to discuss details of the investigation, other than to say that absentee ballots are involved. They said they had no idea when the investigation might end, and acknowledged that it may continue right through the presidential election.

...

The state police officers, armed and in plain clothes, have questioned dozens of voters in their homes. Some of those questioned have been volunteers in get-out-the-vote campaigns.

I asked [Geo Morales, a spokesman for the Department of Law Enforcement] in a telephone conversation to tell me what criminal activity had taken place.

"I can't talk about that," he said.

I asked if all the people interrogated were black.

"Well, mainly it was a black neighborhood we were looking at - yes,'' he said.

He also said, "Most of them were elderly."

When I asked why, he said, "That's just the people we selected out of a random sample to interview."

Chilled yet?

One woman who was questioned is quoted in the column as asking "Am I going to go to jail now because I voted by absentee ballot?"

Joseph Egan, an attorney for one of the 73 year old vote workers being "investigated", speaks of the blanket of fear and intimidation that is beginning to emanate through the community:

According to Mr. Egan, "People who have voted by absentee ballot for years are refusing to allow campaign workers to come to their homes. And volunteers who have participated for years in assisting people, particularly the elderly or handicapped, are scared and don't want to risk a criminal investigation."

If this is the one story that has been picked up by the media about possible chicanery in the Sunshine State, imagine what may be going on that we don't yet know about down there.

When I received an Email last night asking me to join as an "Election Protection Volunteer", it seemed perhaps to be a bit of overkill. This morning however, I'm beginning to think differently. If the people won't step up to ensure a free and fair election this time around, who will? Jeb's thugs? James Baker? The Supreme Court?

And with the margin of victory as close as it could be, how na�ve would we be to make the assumption that BushCo won't do anything and everything again this time to "win" the election once more.

As it's been said..."Fool me once ... shame on ... shame on you ... ... ... if ya fool me, ya can't get fooled again."

Pay attention.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2004 11:02am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

Still trolling the great Pacific Northwest in search of those elusive "swing voters". And combing the local papers when I came across this in the obit section of The Olympian...

Robert A. Wenz, 78, of Tumwater, died August 14, 2004 at home. Born in Elma, he graduated from South Kitsap High School and from the University of Washington. He served in the U.S. Army, and was stationed in Japan. Robert was as ardent a Seattle Mariners fan as could be found. He will be missed by his many friends, including the squirrels and cats of his neighborhood. He is survived by his sister, Shirley, and close friends, Charles, Ronald, and Todd. His final wishes --- vote Democratic in 2004.

You wouldn't want to betray a dead patriot and Mariners fan's "final wishes" now would you?! I didn't think so.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 8/18/2004 10:50am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2004 3:01pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

The RNC thought they had a winner when they came up with the Bush/Cheney "Sloganator" on their official website.

Bush supporters were invited to enter a slogan for the Bush/Cheney campaign, which would be added to the top of a Bush/Cheney '04 poster that the user could then print out and display proudly...wherever someone might wish to display such a thing.

Funny thing is, the opposition found out about it, and started leaving slogans that were...shall we say...somewhat less than supportive of Bush/Cheney for others to chance upon as the previous slogan was left for the next user to view.

They tried to fix it (as if it was an election, perhaps) by disallowing words such as "Dictator" and "War", etc., but somehow those pesky lovers of free speech (and those with vocabularies larger than the average Republican Webmaster) were able to work around even those restrictions.

Eventually, they gave up, and the Sloganator was finally put out to pasture. But not before some clever folks were able to capture some of the favorites.

I was recently reminded of this when confused "conservative" BRAD BLOG commentor Ed recently emailed me the graphic one the right.

And so, for your enjoyment, I link you to the touching sites and sounds of the Bush/Cheney '04 Sloganator Memorial. (NOTE: Most moving with sound turned up!)

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 8/17/2004 1:37pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

Naked Ladies, The Bush Record, and one great visual metaphor at the end!

Warning! Nudity! Enjoy!

ReddIt this story!



For a few days anyway.
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2004 11:34am PT  

Still roaming around the Pacific Northwest, and will continue to do so for the next few weeks, but delightfully tethered to broadband access for the next few days atleast.

Thanks again to Guest Bloggers Johnhp, Jaime and Bryan for covering things here over the last couple of weeks when I was unplugged. No doubt they will be returning shortly to cover things again when I next find myself outside of net range...Until then, I'm back on the job for the next few days...albeit in more limited than usual capacity (so Guest Bloggers, please feel free to plug in anything you like!)

ReddIt this story!



And it's only gonna get worse.
Kerry better figure that out, because the Corporate Media ain't gonna help him!
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2004 11:21am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

Despite the postive poll numbers that I spoke about in the previous item, the Kerry Camp needs to get their act together when it comes to responding to the scumballs in Team BushCo.

Last week's "Sensitivity" issue is a very good example (I touched on it previously here as well).

The Kerry response to the Bush/Cheney smarminess, as pointed out by Atrios, needs to be much sharper and much better. They are up against professional smear merchants, so unfortunately (for the country) they've got to be just as agile in spinning the spin back towards the truth.

The fact that this is the Vice-President of the United States purposely misleading the country about what Kerry actually said is particularly disgusting, but the Kerry folks better get used to it, and figure out how to counter such skuzzy tactics.

For the record, here's the general exchange (as summarized by AMERICAblog):

What Kerry said:
"I believe I can fight a more effective, more thoughtful, more strategic, more proactive, more sensitive war on terror that reaches out to other nations and brings them to our side and lives up to American values in history."

What Cheney says Kerry said:

"As our opponents see it, the problem isn't the thugs and murderers that we face, but our attitude. Well, the American people know better. ... Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed."

So the VEEP doesn't mind twisting Kerry's words to an entirely new meaning and politicizing the War on Tara itself if it gives them a better chance of retaining power. He's willing to make a laugh of it, and the Corporate Media is happy to echo the bullshit.

Never mind in the meanwhile, all the previous --- almost identical --- references to "sensitivity" from all sorts of Adminstration Hawks.

But here is Cheney himself last Thursday on Hugh Hewitt's show (again courtesy of Atrios):

HH: Today you brought attention to John Kerry's plan to wage a more 'sensitive'
war on terror. What do you think John Kerry meant when he said 'sensitive,' Mr.
Vice President?

VP: Well, I'm not sure what he meant (laughing). Ah, it strikes me the two words
don't really go together, sensitive and war. If you look at our history, I don't
think any of the wars we've won, were won by us being quote sensitive
. I think
of Abraham Lincoln and General Grant, they didn't wage sensitive war. Neither
did Roosevelt, neither did Eisenhower or MacArthur in World War II. A sensitive
war will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans, and who seek
chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more....

...[later]...

HH: Will the Najaf offensive continue until that city is subdued even if that
means a siege of the Imam Ali shrine?

VP: Well, from the standpoint of the shrine, obviously it is a sensitive area,
and we are very much aware of its sensitivity. On the other hand, a lot of
people who worship there feel like Moqtada Sadr is the one who has defiled the
shrine, if you will, and I would expect folks on the scene there, including U.S.
commanders, will work very carefully with the Iraqis so that we minimize the
extent to which the U.S. is involved in any operation that might involve the
shrine itself.

What a tool. Anything to win.

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More Good News for Kerry
Not that you would know that from watching MSNBCNNFOXABCBS
By Brad Friedman on 8/16/2004 10:47am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

Interesting numbers from the latest Zogby poll (Zogby being the "Official Pollster" for the BRAD BLOG seeing as how they were the only polling organization to get the last two Presidential elections almost exactly right.)

Currently, they've got Kerry over Bush in the head to heads 50% to 43%. When all the other nominees (Nader, Libertarians, Greens, etc.) are factored in, Kerry's lead is 47% to 43%.

Those are national numbers, but as I've pointed out before, it's the Battlegrounds that actually matter. Zogby's previous battleground numbers showed Kerry leading in 13 out of 16 states.

There are a bunch of interesting numbers in the poll's internals, so I suggest you check out the page linked above. Here's a couple items of note that caught my eye:

"Voters with active passports prefer Kerry 58% to 35%, while those without a passport are for Bush 48% to 39%....

"The two candidates are in a dead heat among self-identified members of the investor class Kerry 45% to Bush's 44%. Bush won this group by double digits in 2000. Not only has this group shrunk from almost half of all voters to only 31%, but Bush is now tied among a group he will need for victory.

Bush leads among men 46% to 43%, while Kerry leads among women 50% to 39%....

Big city voters favor Kerry 58% to 36%, as do Suburban voters 49% to 41%, while small city voters are with Bush 52% to 38%. Bush leads Kerry among rural voters 42% to 39%.

I think it's notable that voters without Passports prefer Bush. As you'll recall, Bush had never spent a single day overseas until after becoming "President". So it seems to make some sense that those who have no idea what the rest of the world is like would end up supporting Bush. As well, those in rural areas, who are similarly insular in the way they live their lives, also end up supporting the former Governor of Texas.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 8/15/2004 11:35pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

BONUS TOM TOMORROW PANEL!
From his "The very nice Democratic convention" toon. I just liked this panel in particular...

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