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One or two Republicans have a rare brush with Intellectual Honesty!
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2004 4:42pm PT  

We spend a lot of time here at the BRAD BLOG discussing the seemingly endless hypocrisy of (usually) the Right.

So it's only fair, on those rare occasions when someone on the Right displays a penchant - accidentally or otherwise - for Intellectual Honesty, that we make a point of giving credit where credit's due.

Doug McIntyre, usually the Far Right overnight talk radio host here on KABC was sitting in for Larry Elder on his syndicated show and --- as is the fashion these days --- the talk was of course Fahrenheit 9/11.

To McIntyre's credit however, and unlike most of his other brethren, he actually went to see the film yesterday and therefore was able to acknowledge some of the film's important issues without simply dismissing it, lying about it, and making "Moore is a pig" jokes like most of the voices you'll hear.

Though he had his wife pay, so that he could say he "didn't give a dime" to Moore, and he found the film to be in no small part "demagogic and agenda-driven" he was honest enough about it to hold a discussion on several of the "troubling issues that the film raised".

And as if that isn't good news enough, joining him was Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch (yes, that Larry Klayman! Of Paula Jones Mania fame!) Klayman again displayed the rare Republican trait of Intellectual Honesty recently as it was his Judicial Watch that brought Dick "Fucking" Cheney to the Supreme Court in order to get the Accountable-to-No-One Veep to disclose who was involved in his ultra-super-secret (and ultimately pointless) "Energy Task Force".

Their honest discussion of the real troubling issues that the film raises was a refreshing break from all the lying liars that have been documented frequently here (Rush, O'Reilly, Al Rantel - as Jaime mentioned yesterday in a comment, etc.).

On the "Bush family being in bed with the Saudi's", Klayman, who is running for a US Senate seat in Florida, confirmed that that was true, acknowledging as well that he finds it appalling that Saudi Arabia has still not been placed on our list of Terrorist Nations.

On allowing Bin Laden family members to escape the country scot-free without interview in the days following 9/11, and the FBI's claim that all necessary interviews were made, despite denying the existance of those very flights for years, Klayman added "If you believe the FBI about that, then you are in Alice in Wonderland."

McIntyre also took the time to point to Colin Powell and Condi Rice's statements prior to 9/11 (as seen in the film) that Iraq was no threat whatsoever, and no longer had the capacity to develop Chemical, Biological or Nuclear WMD's. They were notable comments that I'll try to get around to quoting specifically here later.

He also concurred with the movie's suggestion that we should never be sending our troops to war unless our country is in real danger or unless there is a verifiable urgent threat. Not the made up "danger" and "threat" that the Bushies sold us prior to going to war.

As mentioned in my F9/11 review (still not published here, but hopefully will be shortly), the issues of the film are much bigger than any single piece of disputed information that most of the Rightwing is wasting the bulk of their time trying --- but being unable --- to disprove. Most of them continue nattering about it in some sad attempt to save some part of their political asses somehow.

So hopefully as the unsupported and unsubstantiated cases of the chattering heads against Moore subside, the real issues of concern raised by F9/11 will begin to emerge and we can begin to discuss them. That would actually be good for America.

McIntyre and Klayman's discussion today was encouraging in that regard, and wins them the very rare Not Entirely Hypocritical Republican Windbags Award!

Hopefully we won't go so many weeks from here on out without awarding another...but I'm not yet all that hopeful.

ReddIt this story!



Going, going...
By Brad Friedman on 6/29/2004 12:40pm PT  

New NY Times / CBS Poll:

Bush Job Approval: 42%
Country on Wrong Track: 57%
Disapproval on Iraq: 60%
War not worth it: 60%
Bush statements on Iraq: Hiding something (59%) Mostly lying (20%)
Entirely Truthful about Abu Ghraib: 15%(!)
Involvment in Iraq creating more Terrorists: 55%
Divider or Uniter?: Divider (51%) Uniter (32%)

So why is Kerry still (essentially) tied with Bush? This number may tell the story...

Respondents Opinion of John Kerry: Undecided/Not Heard Enough (36%)

Bring 'em on.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2004 10:46pm PT  

The Supreme Court finally gets one right! The US Constitution and the Essence of a Free Society finally trump an Unconstrained Executive Branch. Perhaps they felt they felt they owed us one. Even Scalia and Renquist got it right! (Though Thomas, alone, continued his sad unbroken streak.)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2004 10:05pm PT  

I never voted for him. But in retrospect, if I had to chose between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush today it would be like choosing for dinner between a nice piece of medium-rare prime rib and a big hot steaming plate of poo. But maybe that's just me.

Nonetheless, while the Clinton detractors have come out from under their rocks as the ex-Prez barnstorms the country on his book tour, Ron Brownstein took a look in today's LA Times at a few of the items that Bubba's detractors seem to be conveniently over-looking.

As Brownstein says, in a piece that doesn't give Clinton a completely free ride, the critics who would dismiss so many of his accomplishments as "'trivial' says more about the critics than about Clinton."

The most notable of accomplishments, obviously, were on the economy. Read the full article for his thoughts on Foreign Policy and Domestic Politics, etc. But here's some of Clinton's notable numbers (all according to Census Bureau figures):

During Clinton's two terms, the median income for American families increased by 15% after inflation.
It rose even faster for African Americans (33%) and Hispanics (24%) than it did for whites (14%).
The growth was so widely shared that from 1993 through 1999, families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution saw their incomes increase faster than those in the top 5%.
By comparison, under President Reagan in the 1980s, those in the top 5% increased their income more than five times faster than the bottom 20%.
The poverty rate under Clinton fell 25%, the biggest eight-year decline since the 1960s. (It fell even faster for blacks, Hispanics and children.)
In two terms, the number of Americans in poverty fell by...
77,000 under Reagan.
8.1 million under Clinton!
In two terms, the number of children in poverty fell by...
50,000 under Reagan.
4.1 million under Clinton! (a ratio of 80 to 1!)

That's just a few of things that a Democrat in the White House has recently given to America. Ponder it.

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Grosses $24 Million in first weekend of release!
By Brad Friedman on 6/28/2004 4:24pm PT  

Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 has become, in just three short days of nationwide release, the #1 Documentary film of all time, grossing $24 Million at this weekend's box office.

It has outpaced the lifetime totals all of Moore's previous docs (Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine, etc.) in that time, as well as trouncing the #2 film of the weekend (White Chicks) by some $4.5 million, despite the latter being shown on a full 2,726 screens, while Moore's film was available on only 868 nationwide.

F9/11 in that same short time, has also, incidentally, become the most lied about film in Internet and Talk Radio history! As everyone from Slate's Christopher Hitchens, to O'Reilly (who only saw the first part of the film), to Rush (who hasn't seen it all) to the rest of the local Talkers out here in Los Angeles (ditto) have attempted in their panic --- and without success --- to describe "lies" in the film and/or discredit the filmmaker as fat, or a bad man, or a traitor, or any number of desperate rallying cries.

I've given you links above to a number of those breathless lies, distortions and misrepresentation. But let's take a look at just one. Here's just a snippet from Rush dissembling today:

The fact of the matter is that some of the lies there are in this movie are profound. One of them is that Bush authorized the bin Laden family to fly out when all the airports were closed after 9/11 because he's in bed with the Saudi royal family, he and his dad are, and it's all about oil, and therefore the attempt by Moore is to say that Bush knew that bin Laden's family was here and they let them go. Well, it wasn't Bush that authorized the bin Laden people in this country to leave. It was Richard Clarke, and he says so in his own book --- and Richard Clarke is held up as a hero in the Michael Moore movie.

Unfortunately, that paragraph --- despite going out to what Rush describes as "more people in a 15 minute period than saw the Michael Moore movie over the weekend" --- contains virtually nothing that one could call "truthful".

Moore does not claim that the flights described occurred when "all the airports were closed after 9/11", so that's just an out and out lie on Rush's part (or perhaps just an accident since he didn't actually see the film he was speaking of?). As well, surely Rush knows that even if Clarke signed the approval for those planes to leave, he was at the time, WORKING ON BEHALF OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION! The part about being "held up as a hero" in the movie is just an exaggeration in that yes, Clarke appears briefly in the movie as he gives some testimony to the 9/11 Commission, but the "hero" part is pure fabricated Rush Spin.

Rush is also telling his (apparently?) gullible listeners today...:

The one thing about this movie, about Fahrenheit 411 or whatever it is, this Michael Moore movie. This just cannot be allowed to stand. The publicity in this movie is it's the biggest movie of the weekend. It's the biggest movie ever. Really, they're saying that.

Really, Rush? Who's saying that? Because I haven't heard a one. I have heard it says it's the biggest movie of the weekend. I have heard it said it's the biggest documentary film of all time. Both of which are undisputable. But I've yet to hear anyone say that "It's the biggest movie ever". I welcome all Ditto Heads to show me such an instance. From anybody. Liar.

Spin on, Ditto Heads! Rock On, Lefties and Other Intellectually Honest Patriots who put their Country above partisan politics! November is just a few short months away! And perhaps then we can look forward to the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare!

(P.S. I've written a full review of Fahrenheit 9/11 but have not yet published it here for a number of reasons...Hopefully to be explained...and posted in full here shortly.)

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Worse even than Michael Moore makes it seem.
By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2004 4:33pm PT  

Judge for yourself. Click on the link to take a look at the uncut video of Bush's 5+ minutes in the Florida schoolroom after being informed that a second commercial airplane had hit the second World Trade Tower.

In Moore's film, it's troubling and interesting and sad.

When viewed straight through however, without any commentary, while you know the clock is ticking, it's actually a bit terrifying. Judge for yourself.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2004 4:24pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 6/27/2004 1:50pm PT  

After outgrossing the lifetime take for Roger & Me on just it's first day of nationwide release, Fahrenheit 9/11 is on track to not only outgross Bowling for Columbine's lifetime numbers, but also become the #1 Documentary film of all time after only it's first weekend of release.

Dubya won't learn the news until November 3rd (since he doesn't read the papers), Dick "Fucking" Cheney is likely in his undisclosed secure bunker cursing out Lynne, and Rush Limbaugh, no doubt, is today spinning in his oxycontin soaked third divorce settlement. Sean Hannity is waiting to hear what Rush will have to say about it in the morning. And Alan Colmes is waiting to hear what Sean Hannity will have to say about it shortly thereafter.

There will be many words in the upcoming weeks about how these numbers are fake or distorted or signifying nothing. That, along with other desperate attempts to "debunk" Moore and/or the film, all without substance or accuracy (neither of which being necessary when the Right wishes to "debunk" something).

And rest of us will be counting the days until November 2nd. It shouldn't be long now...Keep up the good work! God Bless America!

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The Dick 'Fucking' Cheney way.
By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 6:50pm PT  

"We must change the tone of Washington, D.C."
- George W. Bush, campaign speech at RNC Gala, 4/26/00

"Governor Bush and I are also absolutely determined that [we] will restore a tone of civility and decency to the debate in Washington."
- Dick Cheney, at campaign rally in Philadelphia, 8/4/00

"Go fuck yourself."
- V.P. Dick Cheney to Sen. Patrick Leahy on the floor of the U.S. Senate, 6/24/04

"It appears the vice president's previous calls for civility are now inoperative."
- Leahy spokesman, David Carle to The Washington Post, 6/26/04

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 4:13pm PT  

"If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us."
-George W. Bush, Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000


(Graphic courtesy of The Mahablog)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 3:41pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 2:56pm PT  

Some of you Bush Dead-Enders may remember that phrase, "The Rule of Law", as little more than a cloying reminder of days gone by. Some of you, perhaps, have even convinced yourself you never cared about it at all. I can certainly understand why --- at this point --- you might like to do that.

Here's an unfortunate reminder for you in neat summary form. And here's just one piece of it for those of you too frightened to look:

The War Crimes Act of 1996 (18 U.S.C. § 2441) makes it a criminal offense for U.S. military personnel and U.S. nationals to commit war crimes as specified in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. War crimes under the act include grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions. It also includes violations of common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions, which prohibits “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture; …outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.
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By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 2:13pm PT  

Fahrenheit 9/11 has earned more after one day in national release than Moore's first doc, Roger & Me earned in it's lifetime.

As of today, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com, F9/11 has brought in, $8,358,000 versus a lifetime total of $6,706,368 for Roger & Me.

It was the #1 movie in America on Friday, out-grossing it's nearest competitor (White Chicks) despite being available on less than one-third the number of screens.

Be very afraid, Bushies.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 12:14pm PT  

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Be very afraid.
By Brad Friedman on 6/26/2004 2:09am PT  

Unlike the bulk of the panicked knee-jerk Rightwing critics, I actually saw it.

And...wow...It's a remarkable film. Fox News was right! (in general).

And that from a guy who thought I knew everything that I would see. I was wrong.

As are the yutz' nattering on (and on) and blowing wind about the Saudi Flights and the Afghanistan Pipelines and anything else they are trying to come up with to try and discredit what they are so - justifiably - terrified of. For good reason. They are entirely missing the point. They might find that out if they bothered to see the film first.

More details tomorrow (later today, I guess)...

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