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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Who can keep up?!
By Brad Friedman on 6/18/2004 11:56am PT  

Along with too many other things that are currently keeping me from blogging as much as I'd like of late, the pace of lies, distortions and expository evidence of same is now coming out of Bushville at such an alarming pace, it'd be nearly impossible to keep up. Even if I wasn't otherwise distracted by several pressing items.

So here, without much editorial comment, are just a few of those items that I hope you are all taking note of:


Ron Reagan Jr. on Administration officials who keep invoking Reagan to support their Iraq War: "My father never felt the need to wrap himself in anybody else's mantle or pretend to be anybody else. I don't know what's wrong with these people --- they have to keep invoking him. It is their administration, their war. If they can't stand on their own two feet, they're no Ronald Reagans, for sure."
All mentioned above continue to wonder where oh where the citizens of the United States might have gotten the idea that Saddam had something to do with 9/11. This item might be to explain it for the Bush Dead-enders.

Got an item/link of your own you think BRAD BLOG readers should know about? Add it to the Comments...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2004 10:43pm PT  

Republicans are doing anything to get Ronald Reagan's name anywhere they can. As if displaying the name or face of a Republican who wasn't hated by everybody might make them feel better about themselves. Or something. Who can explain a jackass like Grover Norquist, head of The Reagan Lunacy Legacy Foundation and his life quest to build a monument to Reagan in every county in America?

Unfortunately for the self-esteem of Mr. Norquist, the idea of a new Reagan Memorial in DC is out for now, since Ronald Reagan himself signed the law that requires a person be dead for 25 years before such a non-military commemorative work can be built. Then there's the other law signed by George W. Bush recently that declared the Mall "complete", and thus, no more memorials there period. Darn the luck.

Then there's the idea of, ironically, putting Reagan's mug on money!

Perhaps a new $3 bill to commemorate all of Reagan's fine work in battling AIDS?

No, Norquist, with an assist from Senator Mitch McConnell, is working to replace Alexandar Hamilton on the $10 bill. That lame Revolutionary War hero, Founding Father, signer of the US Constitution, author of the Federalist Papers, founder of the US Marines, the US Navy and the US Naval Academy and --- still more irony --- the first Secretary of the Treasury (among many other contributions).

On Norquist's very own website to promote this "most honorable cause", you'll find this in the archives:

What Mr. Norquist really looks forward to is embarrassing his opposite numbers. "Can you imagine," Mr. Norquist asked, "how petty those little partisan Democrats would look opposing a bill" honoring Reagan?

Oh, yes, they will look petty, Mr. Norquist.

Though not nearly as petty and stupid as you looked last night when The Daily Show showed a clip of him of you on CNN informing us that "Hamilton was a nice guy and all, but he's the only non-President featured on US currency."

To which The Daily's Lewis Black set the record straight:

Really, Mr. Norquist? Hamilton's the only non-President featured on US currency?! Wanna bet a hundred bucks?!!!

This too shall pass.

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By Brad Friedman on 6/17/2004 12:25pm PT  

Message to John Kerry: Please, please, pleeeeeease don't pick the lame, pathetic, useless Richard Gephardt as your running mate! If you even want a chance of getting the vote of folks like myself, you will disabuse yourself of the idea that Gephardt would get you anything but nothing, and very quickly.

I still scratch my head as to why Dubya isn't currently down in the polls with numbers more like 75%-25% quite frankly. The only reason I can come up with, is the public's uncertainly, unfamiliarity with you. But that's a hurdle you can climb. Add Gephardt to your ticket, and your mountain will only get still higher, and again you will certify the beliefs of folks like myself that the Democratic Party is bound and determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of what should be the easiest victory in decades!

On a more positive note, I see that someone out there is floating perhaps the only good idea I've heard since McCain made clear that he's not gonna play along and you foolishly dropped the idea of holding off on accepting the nomination so you could still recieve donations while Bush was busy buying a second term. That would be the idea of Joe Biden, the firebrand, and incredibly smart (nice change of pace) and well spoken Senator from Delaware. GET HIM! He's your VEEP!

Thank you. Here endeth the message.

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The poll they took...and didn't tell you about.
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2004 12:51pm PT  

"Ninety-two percent of the Iraqis said they considered coalition troops occupiers, while just 2 percent called them liberators."

So much for the candy and flowers. And so much for Bush's claims that the Iraqi people, contrary to the claims of the "Liberal" Media, are glad we're there.

From AP:

The poll, requested by the Coalition Provisional Authority last month but not released to the American public, found more than half of Iraqis surveyed believed both that they'd be safer without U.S. forces and that all Americans behave like the military prison guards pictured in the Abu Ghraib abuse photos. [emphasis added]

The survey, obtained by The Associated Press, also found radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is surging in popularity as he leads an insurrection against U.S.-led forces...

The numbers, frankly, are remarkable. Astoundingly one sided against the US and the CPA. (Perhaps Iraqi's really did vote 99.9% in favor Saddam in that last election!) Anway, read the whole thing to get a better idea.

George W. Bush: Misleading America. 24 Hours a day. Is there nothing he can get right?

ReddIt this story!



Good Morning in America
By Brad Friedman on 6/16/2004 9:43am PT  

Rude awakenings. This morning, as my 8am alarm went off with the radio tuned to 790am KABC, I hear "Our first contestant this morning is Brad Friedman..."

Apparently, my 3-minute submission to the KABC "Talk Radio Idol" contest made the cut to be played on the air this morning, to compete with two other submissions for consideration towards the next round (which would lead to a one-hour talk show this Saturday, after which, one of those three finalists will be given their own Talk Radio show contract on KABC, one of LA's oldest and biggest News/Talk Radio outlets. Local home to my friends O'Reilly and Sean and Larry Elder, etc.)

The submission process for this contest had included the information that I'd be notified beforehand if my piece was selected to be played on air. Well, so much for truth in advertising. In anycase, I was lucky enough to have been listening anyway.

My piece was the first of three competing this morning, and I got good marks all around from the two call-in judges and the one "talk radio professional judge" (had I known in advance - AS THEY PROMISED! - I could have recorded the whole thing and made it available here...Oh, well.)

After a commercial break, they then returned to play the other two contestants of the morning. The second entry was a woman who sounded, shall we say, a bit too Public Affairs --- and then finally, the third guy who went on about hitting people over the head with hammers when they say they don't like the war on terror, or something like that. Angry, hostile, far rightwing. You get it.

He was funny, the third guy, to a certain extent. In the brutal and violent way that the harshest rightwing talk radio folks are these days (see Michael Savage), but as he clearly sounded like he was reading his piece, and seemed to have only one "gimmick", I'm not sure how he'd be able to fill an hour with that schtick, much less a three hour weekly show.

Nonetheless, in a split decision, the vote went to him, not me, sadly enough. The host of the show however, LA Talk Radio Legend Ken Minyard of "Ken & Company", who's unable to vote in this round, clearly seemed to indicate that I would have been his favorite, going so far as to mention he "might like to include Brad Friedman as a wildcard".

What that means, and if he can actually do that, I'm not sure. So we'll see. (Feel free to let Ken know you'd like Brad Friedman added as a Wildcard to the finalists in the Talk Radio Idol Contest via email to KenAndCompany@kabc.com if you are so inclined!)

In any case, waking up to "Brad Friedman" this morning is undoubtedly as frightening as clicking on your link to this blog each day, so you have my sympathies.

Here, for the record, is my full 3-minute submission to the "Talk Radio Idol" contest, based on an earlier blog piece here from some weeks ago, and most of which aired this morning on 790am KABC in Los Angeles.

RealPlayer Version...
MS Media Player Version...
MP3 Version...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2004 3:44pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2004 2:58pm PT  

Sadly, I was on appointments during the afternoon and evening of Reagan's funeral (the final one) back at the Library, and only caught pieces of it later in various recaps.

The clips I saw from Ron Reagan Jr's moving eulogy to his father, however, certainly jumped out at me, and I had intended to try and review the transcript in full before posting to make certain that what I thought I'd heard, I actually did hear.

And it seems I heard correctly. Ronny took a not-in-anyway veiled shot at the current "President" in this passage:

"Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man, but he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians - wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference."

Message received.

As the story on the controversy stirred by his remarks in today's NY Times points out, young Reagan has been much more pointed in the past, as he was when he referred to the boy Bush after a Reagan Tribute at the 2000 Republican Convention when he said: "What's his accomplishment? That he's no longer an obnoxious drunk?"

Ouch. And then again in a Salon.com interview a few years ago:

"The Bush people have no right to speak for my father, particularly because of the position he's in now. Yes, some of the current policies are an extension of the 80's. But the overall thrust of this administration is not my father's - these people are overly reaching, overly aggressive, overly secretive and just plain corrupt. I don't trust these people."

Reagan's daughter Patti was equally unequivocal about the mis-comparisons between Reagan and Bush Jr. when she opined to Newsweek:

"A messy, horrible war that has spun out of control could very well determine the next election," Ms. Davis wrote before her father's death. "So should the miracle of stem-cell research - a miracle the Bush White House thinks it can block."

None the less, it won't stop the Right from doing whatever they can to gain personal political benefit from the dead man they claim to admire, as Newt Gingrich made clear in the Times piece:

"Ronald Reagan has to be looking down from heaven and smiling at the way the current president, generally speaking, stands and the things he's doing, even though they might well disagree on some specifics."

There has been no explanation so far for Newt's ability to receive Divine Messages from his dead hero. None the less, let the piranhic scavenging press on...

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 6/15/2004 1:38pm PT  

In the unlikely event that my earlier stories here and here didn't convince you of the fact that Ashcroft is not just a bad attorney general, but a disgraceful and failed one particularly in this time of "war", take a look at Fake Conservative's scourge, Paul Krugman's take on Ashcroft in todays NY Times.

It begins with: "No question: John Ashcroft is the worst attorney general in history." And goes on to make a compelling case from there. It's well worth reviewing!

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By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2004 3:05pm PT  

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Like...yourself, for example?
Don't blame ya one bit.
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2004 12:23pm PT  

After replacing their main page entirely for the last week with an All-Reagan Tribute Page instead, the Bush-Cheney campaign website has finally restored their site.

Amusingly enough, however, there is still not a single picture of George W. Bush on the main page. There are, however, 4 pictures of John Kerry.

Any clues there on what they may be running on this year?

Meanwhile, John Kerry's official campaign website also features 4 pictures of John Kerry and not a single George W. Bush picture.

ReddIt this story!



Abu Ghraib abuses not just 'a few bad apples'?
No!
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2004 11:57am PT  

"Interrogation abuses were 'approved at highest levels'" according to this story in the Telegraph.

Really? Whoda thunkit?! Never could have seen this one coming!

As the growing scandal threatens to undermine President Bush's re-election campaign, senior aides have acknowledged for the first time that the abuse of detainees can no longer be presented as the isolated acts of a handful of soldiers at the Abu Ghraib.

"It's now clear to everyone that there was a debate in the administration about how far interrogators could go," said a legal adviser to the Pentagon. "And the answer they came up with was 'pretty far'. Now that it's in the open, the administration is having to change that answer somewhat."

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Artist or Terrorist? Same thing! Lock 'em up, Ashcroft!
By Brad Friedman on 6/14/2004 11:08am PT  

Due to various deadlines I've been working on, I've been a bit slow getting to this (and too many others). But now that it's made it's way to Drudge, I guess it's "official" enough.

In case you haven't heard, eight Artists in New York are now being subpoenaed towards the indictment of the artist who's exhibit / performance art at a gallery in Buffalo has been confiscated by the FBI via claims of "BioTerrorism" as allowed in the dangerous and mis-enacted "USA Patriot Act".

I realize that the Rightwing Attack Monkeys have time and again instructed us how "Liberals" decry the "Patriot Act" as being dangerous, but that --- in reality --- it hasn't proven to be dangerous at all. Think again, Attack Monkeys. It's your Federal Government that is now encroaching on citizens First Amendment rights with virtually no standards of proof whatsoever.

Such an outrage, of course, if carried out by a Democrat President (see: Waco) would be a crime worthy of Impeachment Petitions circulated by the Attack Monkeys, links to which would proudly be featured on Hannity's website, and splashed across days and weeks of coverage on Fox News.

As it's enacted by a Republican "President" on the other hand, the story has gone almost without notice. Isn't the "Liberal" media strange that way?

Read up on it for yourself. See the details and sign a letter of support for the artists on their Defense Fund website. And stop by the website of the artists...er...bio-terrorists in question.

Or sit around and do nothing because 9/11 is just so scary that you are willing to let your Federal Government, in the person of John Ashcroft, toss your US Constitution out the proverbial window and apply it to artists who's material challenges the political interests of the Bush Administration's bio-tech cronies and contributors.

(Thanks to Brenda V. for having brought this to my attention several days ago!)

ReddIt this story!



A vial of anthrax doesn't look all that bad compared to a nuclear bomb.
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2004 4:25pm PT  

Ann Coulter makes Bill O'Reilly appear - if only briefly - to not be a hideous person with an evil insidious agenda! Not all that easy to do. But if anyone can, it would be the insipid Ann Coulter.

This sample exchange, and it's "Editor's notes" come courtesy of "Left I..." as taken from the full O'Reilly Factor transcript from May 27, 2004:

O'REILLY: Why has Bush fallen in the polls?

COULTER: Well, I suppose the question is, why isn't he soaring in the polls? He's running against a nitwit, the war is going magnificently well, the economy is picking back up, why isn't he at like 80 percent?

O'REILLY: I've talked to all of our Fox News political analysts. These are not raving liberals, all right, Ann? None of them come close to telling me the war is going magnificently well. What do you know that all of the Fox News military analysts don't know?
...
COULTER: It's pretty darn safe over there.

O'REILLY: Our Fox correspondents in Baghdad won't go out of the hotel. That's not a good sign, Ann.
...
O'REILLY: The weapons of mass destruction fiasco when they couldn't find them.

COULTER: Wait. We have found weapons of mass destruction...

O'REILLY: No we didn't, not to any great extent. [Editor's note - no, not to any extent]

COULTER: That is an important point. We have found weapons of mass destruction. That is something the media is repeatedly lying about. We have not found stockpiles. We found the plants for manufacturing, we found the experiments, we found the room for human experimentation labs. We found lots of weapons of mass destruction. [Editor's note - aside from "plants" and "experiments" not being "weapons of mass destruction," no such "plants" or "experiments" have been found]

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A Sunday Non-Sequitor Double Feature!
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2004 2:29pm PT  

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Would that ours wasn't forced to crumble along with it!
By Brad Friedman on 6/13/2004 2:14pm PT  

Leading today's LA Times, a story of the 20+ former Senior Military Officials and High-Level Diplomats, many of whom served under and/or were appointed by both Reagan and Bush Sr. who will be issuing an unusual public statement this week calling for the Removal of George W. Bush from office. The group, which includes, among many others, the Admiral who was Reagan's own Joint Chief of Staff, charge that Bush's Foreign Policy; years of cooperation with important allies tossed aside and the diversion of resources from the "War on Terror" to the War on Iraq, have made the United States less secure:

A group of 26 former senior diplomats and military officials, several appointed to key positions by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, plans to issue a joint statement this week arguing that President George W. Bush has damaged America's national security and should be defeated in November.

The group, which calls itself Diplomats and Military Commanders for Change, will explicitly condemn Bush's foreign policy, according to several of those who signed the document.

"It is clear that the statement calls for the defeat of the administration," said William C. Harrop, the ambassador to Israel under President Bush's father and one of the group's principal organizers.

Nowhere to turn. But Rush...well, maybe Sean is now in a better place to make the case for George W. Bush. But it don't look good.

ReddIt this story!



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