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Marking Memorial Day and over 800 Americans now killed in Iraq...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2004 12:28pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2004 12:24pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2004 12:13pm PT  

So late last night / early this morning, while listening to Air America, I was alerted to a web poll being run over on Hannity.com asking "Who should be President of the United States?"

I stopped by, voiced my opinion, and saw that the results of the unscientific web poll to that point --- with some 11,000+ votes cast --- was about 65% Kerry, 33% Bush, 2% Nader.

This morning when I woke up, I checked it again. It was then at 75% Kerry, 22% Bush, 3% Nader.

Checked back about 20 minutes later to find that "This poll has been disabled."

So presumably, there's a kink in the well-oiled GOP Media Spin Machine. Was the poll taken down because it was soiled after Air America alerted listeners to it's existance? Presumably, Hannity either did, or would have told his 10 million or so (largely Republican) listeners to stop by and vote on his web poll and then reported the Fair and Balanced results later on his show.

Yet the "inconsequential", "failing", "nobody listens to it" Air America informs it's American listeners about the poll which resulted in numbers --- I guess --- that Sean didn't care for. So the poll comes down.

It's a rather small point, nothing as outrageous as repeatedly playing the uncut audio of an American screaming in horrific agony as his head is sawed off "live" on the air (as I reported in "Sean Hannity: American Shame") but it does serve to illustrate the desperate and deceptive Anti-American nature of the #2 GOP Spokesperson who is given free reign on the Public Airwaves coast-to-coast across the nation.

Perhaps it's time for another look at the FCC's "Equal Time Rule" which is seemingly now wholly ignored as it applies to the political propoganda being shovelled out under the guise of "entertainment" on America's Public Airwaves. I'm not holding my breath.

UPDATE: After listening to the first two and a half hours of Hannity's show today, he has not made one mention of his aborted poll. Down the memory hole, I guess...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2004 11:49pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2004 10:23pm PT  

In case you still wonder how anybody could suspect the Bush Administration of being less than honest...I mean, enormous liars...Take a look at this snippet from the press briefing aboard Airforce One on the afternoon of September 11, 2001:

Q Had there been any warnings that the President knew of?

MR. FLEISCHER: No warnings.

Remind me again why we should believe them about anything at this point? And isn't that lack of credibility alone --- both here and worldwide --- reason enough to remove them from office immediately? How effective can they be when nobody in the world trusts them? And they said nobody trusted Clinton?!

(Thanks to ProudLiberals.com for the find!)

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How the Faux Conservatives (like frequent BRAD BLOG commenter, "Paul") avoid having to think too hard.
By Brad Friedman on 5/27/2004 9:57pm PT  

Remember when Dubya was arguing for those Tax Cuts during the 2000 election because the economy was so good that "folks deserved some of their money back"? (He stated during the debates that he refused to believe there would be a downturn in the economy - It's the judgement, Stupid!...but I digress before I've even begun)...And then after he was "elected' and the economy went south he again argued for Tax Cuts this time because they were needed to jumpstart the slumping economy.

That's the GOP Win-Win Spin-Spin. Same set of plans no matter what the circumstances. Just find any appropriate justification for what you wanted to do in the first place.

It's ideology in place of reality. Only the policy matters. Not the reasons for them. They want what they want, and it has nothing to do with you or me, or the "problem" they claim to be trying to solve.

Such reckless behavior is, of course, at work in Iraq where the plan moves ahead and the people who implemented them stay in place no matter how different circumstances on the ground may be from what they actually assumed to begin with. The architects of the plan stay in place no matter the results. Full steam ahead. Critics are just unpatriotic or partisan or insane (Gore enjoyed that honor this week) or otherwise enemies of the state or freedom or whatever the GOP Attacking Point of the Week is.

And now let's bring it back home.

If you're having trouble following along (and I know there are a lot of Rightwingers who follow this blog) I'll type slowly, so pay attention:

I'm certain you've heard by now what a terrific job George W. Bush is doing to fight Terrorism because "there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11" (never mind the anthrax thing, we don't know who did it, so it doesn't count or something I guess, and there I go digressing again). I'm sure you've either hard someone selling you the line, or in the case of the Rightwingers, you've likely tried to sell it yourself on numerous occasions.

So George W. Bush is The Man for Us because he's kept the "homeland" safe from Terror. Okay, keep following...

Yesterday Ashcroft (apparently unbeknownst to Ridge, but let's not digress yet again) announced the latest Terror Threat that is supposed to scare the crap out of us!!!! He told us an attack is coming --- "90% ready" in fact --- and we should get prepared for it or look out for it or whatever the hell we're supposed to do about it.

Now, should this "spectacular attack" occur prior to the Elections, does anybody --- on any side of the political fence --- think for a second that such an attack wouldn't be the newest reason for why "we need to re-elect George W. Bush as President"? He will, no doubt, be then spun as "the tough man we need in these difficult times in wake of this horrible attack."

Got it?

He deserves to be re-elected because we haven't had an attack since 9/11. Unless we get attacked again. In which case, he deserves to be re-elected because we need him to keep us safe.

The GOP Win-Win Spin-Spin! Brought to you by the Freedom Loving GOP! A solution for every problem! It's simple, because it's the same solution for every problem!

It's easier to keep things straight that way anyway. And frankly, given the folks left that could possible think George W. Bush deserves re-election at this point, they better keep things nice and simple, Stupid.

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And Spanky the Clown!
By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2004 5:18pm PT  

Not enough SEX on this blog! So while I've been too busy of late to do as much blogging as I'd like, go read WaPo's article about a Blogging/Sex scandal in DC.

Then go read the actual DC Sex Blog!

Hopefully you'll be nice and relaxed by the time you get back, and I'll be back in the game with a bit more time...

It's particularly frustrating since there is so much to blog about at this very moment! It's almost impossible to keep up!...

The NY Times admits what a patsy it was for Bush and Iraq (finally, but just about 800 dead Americans too late!)
Tom Clancy denounces the war and the "President" (and when a Republican Prez has lost Tom Clancy, well, that should tell ya something).
Al Gore kicked some ass today in NYC ('bout time!) calling for the immediate resignations of Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Cabone, Feif and Tenet ('bout time!)
Kerry's one good idea floated so far --- to delay accepting the nomination --- seems to be falling through. I knew it was too hopeful to last.
And Barnum & Bailey's Spanky the Clown (yes, Spanky!) gets arrested for child pornography! Who woulda guessed it?!

...Just to name a few. Oh, well. Can't save the world all in one day. Go read and enjoy...

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By Brad Friedman on 5/26/2004 1:46pm PT  

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I wonder why.
Perhaps he can rely on Democrat support instead!
By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2004 6:02pm PT  

More from the "Whoda Thunk It?" department...this time courtesy of today's lead story from my new favorite Rightwing rag, the inimitable World Net Daily:

Muslim support for Bush plummets
Though most voted for 'W' in 2000, polls show 10% sticking with him
...
"I think President Bush is going to have a hard time making his case to the American Muslim community," Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, is quoted as saying. "It's not good from what we're hearing."

And the Understatement-of-the-Year Award goes to...(drumroll)...Ibrahim Hooper of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations!

Congratulations Ibraham, please don't forget to have your cavities searched on the way out.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2004 3:43pm PT  

At this point, apparently, the Bushies are unable to tell the truth about anything it would seem.

Courtesy of Kos:

Here's the official story line from Crawford:

President Bush took a spill during a Saturday afternoon bike ride on his ranch, suffering bruises and cuts that were visible later on his face just two days before he was to deliver a major prime-time speech on his Iraq policy.

The president was nearing the end of a 17-mile ride on his mountain bike, accompanied by a Secret Service agent, a military aide and his personal physician, Richard Tubb, who treated him at the scene, said White House spokesman Trent Duffy.

"It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," Duffy said. "You know this president. He likes to go all-out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes."

So it's been raining a lot in Crawford, we are told. So here's the recent precipitation levels from Crawford:

May 22: 0"
May 21: 0"
May 20: 0"
May 19: 0"
May 18: 0"
May 17: 0"
May 16: 0"
May 15: 0"
May 14: 0.03"
May 13: 2.79"
May 12: 0"
May 11: 0.15"
May 10: 0"
May 9: 0"

May 13th saw some serious rain, but other than some sprinkles on the 14th, Crawford saw nothing but sun. In the last week alone, the temperature was in the high 80s the entire time.

So rain on the 13th and (barely) 14th was blamed for a Bush fall on the 22nd. As everything else, it wasn't Bush's fault. Nothing is Bush's fault.

Ever.

Liars.

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$200 Billion for nothin'...
And Osama is still smilin'...
By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2004 3:23pm PT  

From the "Whoda Thunk It?" File...Courtesy of Reuters:

Al Qaeda has more than 18,000 militants ready to strike and the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq has accelerated recruitment to the ranks of Osama bin Laden's network, a leading London think-tank said on Tuesday.

If only anybody would have thought of that before we went into Iraq! D'oh!

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By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2004 2:26pm PT  

From the LA Times:

Pentagon officials on Friday increased to 37 the number of detainee deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan that have prompted investigations, including at least eight unresolved homicides that may have involved assaults before or during interrogation.
...
"Time after time, we've said there are a few bad apples, and every day we're finding out that this apple cart is getting bigger," said Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-Fla.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee who was briefed on the cases Friday. "I'm concerned not only about getting to the bottom of this, but also getting to the top of it."

Here's just a few (but not all) of the descriptions in the full article about the deaths being investigated. Not just at Abu Ghraib, and not just in Iraq:

On June 6, 2003, Naem Sadoon Hatab was found strangled in an outdoor isolation area at the Whitehorse detention facility in Nasiriya, Iraq, according to his death certificate.

On June 13, Dilar Dababa died of a severe head injury in Iraq.

One Nov. 4, Manadel Jamadi died of blunt-force injuries complicated by "compromised respiration" at Abu Ghraib. The suspected homicide occurred while he was with Navy SEALs and other special operations troops.

On Jan. 9, Abdul Jaleel died of blunt-force injuries and asphyxiation at a prison in Al Asad, Iraq. His case is one of the suspected incidents of homicide still under investigation. Jaleel was found gagged and shackled to a cell door with his hands over his head.

On April 28, Ali Gumaa Fahin died of complications due to multiple gunshot wounds in Baghdad.

On May 12, Maj. Gen. Abid Mowhosh, former commander of Iraq's air defenses, died of asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression in Qaim, Iraq.

Three detainees were killed in Afghanistan, according to their death certificates.

Most recently, on Nov. 6, Abdul Wahid died of multiple blunt-force injuries complicated by what examiners suspect was a condition in which toxins are released to the body, sometimes due to a crushing injury or an electrical shock at a detention center in Helmand province.
...
In the third, an Iraqi drowned after he allegedly was forced to jump off a bridge by U.S. troops, officials said, confirming media reports about the fatality for the first time.

None of that, of course, includes the 11,000 Iraqi Civilians and 5600 Iraqi Military that we were apparently justified in killing.

Meanwhile, on the radio, Sean Hannity continues to remind us (as I write) that none of the prisoners who died during detention had their head or hands cut off. So what's all the fuss about?!

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By Brad Friedman on 5/25/2004 1:12pm PT  

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Time for Bush to cut and run?
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2004 2:55pm PT  

Forget my previous allusions to Jimmy Carter. It looks more like Bush is getting into LBJ's "If nominated, I will not run, if elected, I will not serve" territory at this point.

Yes, six months is still a long way away --- especially as news cycles fly these days (remember, it was just six months ago Bush's popularlity briefly soared at the capture of Saddam back in December, '03) --- but with numbers like these (41% job approval, 34% Iraq approval, 37% foreign policy, 36% economy, 30% "right track") and a myriad of pundits, politicians and partisans (on both sides) now comparing the Bush Presidency to Nixon, Carter, Bush 41 or Johnson, it may now be a good idea for Bush, as Carl Berstein suggests, to take one for the team:

The...question is whether Republicans will, Pavlov-like, continue to defend their president with ideological and partisan reflex, or remember the example of principled predecessors who pursued truth at another dark moment.

Today, the issue may not be high crimes and misdemeanors, but rather Bush's failure, or inability, to lead competently and honestly.

"You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror," Bush told Rumsfeld in a Wizard-of-Oz moment May 10, as Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and senior generals looked on. "You are a strong secretary of Defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude." The scene recalled another Oz moment: Nixon praising his enablers, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, as "two of the finest public servants I've ever known."
...
It was Barry Goldwater, the revered conservative, who convinced Nixon that he must resign or face certain conviction by the Senate and perhaps jail. Goldwater delivered his message in person, at the White House, accompanied by Republican congressional leaders.

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee likewise put principle above party to cast votes for articles of impeachment. On the eve of his mission, Goldwater told his wife that it might cost him his Senate seat on Election Day. Instead, the courage of Republicans willing to dissociate their party from Nixon helped Ronald Reagan win the presidency six years later, unencumbered by Watergate.

Another precedent is apt: In 1968, a few Democratic senators J. William Fulbright, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Robert F. Kennedy challenged their party's torpor and insisted that President Lyndon Johnson be held accountable for his disastrous and disingenuous conduct of the Vietnam War, adding weight to public pressure, which, eventually, forced Johnson not to seek re-election.

Much to think about for the Right.

While Bush's numbers continue to sink, Kerry's are still soft-ish. True, the country hasn't yet seen Kerry's stuff, and seems to mostly be basing their opinions of him on the Bush-Cheney / Republican Echo Chamber spin job being rather effectively and expensively played out now. But negative advertising and propoganda can only go so far. It can keep Kerry numbers down if it continues to work, but at this rate, even Kerry's low numbers beat Bush's. Add to that "undecideds" generally fall to the challenger as well.

Presumably Bush feels the country is better off with Republicans in charge than with Democrats. So if it begins to look like Dubya on the ticket might mean the loss of the Whitehouse, the Senate, and --- at this rate --- possibly even the House (though he can thank Tom DeLay's re-districting chicanery for almost assuring the House stays Republican) will Dubya really prove to care enough about his country to step aside in favor of someone who might be able to close the deal against a so far soft-ish Democratic Challenger and keep the "power" for the Republicans?

We know he loves his country, right? Does he love it more than he loves his own power?

To pick up Bernstein's Oz theme, I'll add this..."People sure do come and go quickly around here...I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore..."

Guilliani/McCain ticket anyone? Stay tuned.

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(Good riddance!)
By Brad Friedman on 5/24/2004 1:51pm PT  

No...this story isn't from The Onion! And I checked the calendar, it's not April 1.

This is actually the lead story from the front page of WorldNetDaily! The far right "news" site that, I guess, expects us to take their views seriously. Or expects their regular readers to do so. Or expects "Christians" to do so. Or something...

Christians look to form 'new nation' within U.S.
Same-sex marriage called last straw prompting plan for 1 state to secede

By Joe Kovacs
2004 WorldNetDaily.com

Calling the approval of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts "the straw that broke the camel's back," a group of Christian activists is in the beginning stages of an effort to have one state secede from the United States to become its own sovereign nation.

"Our Christian republic has declined into a pagan democracy," says Cory Burnell, president of ChristianExodus.org, a non-profit corporation based in Tyler, Texas. "There are some issues people just can't take anymore, and [same-sex marriage] might finally wake up the complacent Christians."

Burnell is leading the charge for a peaceful secession of one state from the union, and after originally considering Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina due to their relatively small populations, coastal access, and the Christian nature of the electorate, Burnell says South Carolina has been selected as the target location.

What a surprise this group would come out of Texas?! And Texans had such an unblemished reputation up till now!

There's more to the story than what I quoted...Go read it. It's short, and doesn't have too many big words.

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