w/ Brad & Desi
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
You know things are turning ugly for Republicans when they drop their usually unshakable lock-step support and start turning on each other --- and in the middle of an Election Year none the less! That seems to be happening with ever increasing momentum in Conservative/Republican circles now as Bush's re-elect support plummets to near Jimmy Carter-like numbers.
Last week I blogged about the ultra-con New Republic turning hard against Bush in "With Friends Like These...Who needs Democrats?" Two days later more evidence emerged as stalwart Conservatives George Will and then Richard Rahn in The Washington Times were also turning against Bush as blogged in "The Bottom Continues to Drop".
Now the dominos are tumbling as the outlook from Iraq to the Re-Elect effort is looking bleeker and bleeker.
Today, Conservative Prince of Darkness, Bob Novak reports on the "nearly one out of five Republicans [who] cannot flatly say they support Bush, [which] could spell defeat in a closely contested election.":
What most bothers Devine and other conservatives is steady growth of government under this Republican president....he feels betrayed that Bush has outstripped his liberal predecessors in domestic spending.
But it's not just the commentators and would-be Bush "supporters" now turning on him. Republican Legislators are also getting into the act.
House Republicans are turning on Senate Republicans as seen in this dust-up between House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Senator John McCain reported today by AP:
"Throughout our history, wartime has been a time of sacrifice. ... What have we sacrificed?" McCain said. "As mind-boggling as expanding Medicare has been, nothing tops my confusion for cutting taxes during wartime. I don't remember ever in the history of warfare when we cut taxes."
Asked Wednesday about McCain's remarks, Hastert, who was rejected for military service because of a bad shoulder...said "If you want to see sacrifice, John McCain ought to visit our young men and women at Walter Reed and Bethesda (two Washington area military hospitals). There's the sacrifice in this country."...
McCain stood fast in his reply to Hastert.
"The speaker is correct in that nothing we are called upon to do comes close to matching the heroism of our troops," he said. "All we're called upon to do is not spend our nation into bankruptcy while our soldiers risk their lives. I fondly remember a time when real Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility."
For his part, Bush himself is turning inward to find someone else to blame for the mess he's in. As reported by AFP, he may be finally realizing how they've been played from Day One by Ahmad Chalabi (the one man they hung their WMD case against Saddam, who assured our gullible Commander-in-Chief that we'd be greeted as liberators with candy and flowers and who they expected would be the next Iraqi President).
Two days ago, they finally wised-up and cut off Chalabi's $340,000 monthly stipend, and last night, apparently, they even invaded his house in an overnight raid in Baghdad:
The former Pentagon favourite also called on US President George W. Bush to hand over sovereignty to the Iraqi people without delay.
"My message to the CPA is let my people go, let my people be free. We are grateful to President Bush for liberating Iraq but it is time for the Iraqi people to run their affairs," he told a press conference.
Intra-Partisan wrangling is not all that uncommon when a President is in full command of his power. During Clinton it was the Liberals versus the Moderates in the Democratic Party for example. But this is an Election Year, when Republicans traditionally close ranks behind their man. They seem now to be doing the very opposite, begging the question; Does George W. Bush have any real friends left?
The mounting evidence would indicate otherwise, as his "friends" are looking more and more every day like rats from a sinking ship of state.
Remember when Dubya promised a $20 Billion aid package to NYC after 9/11? Well, it never got there.
Neither did the promised $90 Million to NYC Firefighters to monitor the long-term health impact of breathing all that shit for months while they cleaned up for us. Dubya was just kiddin', I guess.
The smoke and mirror deceptions from the man hoping he can fool you into believing he's "tough on terror" so that you'll re-up him for four more years continues.
Yesterday NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg testified for 15 minutes to the 9/11 Commission. AP reports...
"This is pork-barrel politics at its worst," the mayor said. "It also, unfortunately, has the effect of aiding and abetting those who hate us and plot against us."
1010 Wins went into a bit more detail...
He told the panel that while New York received $5.47 per capita in Homeland Security grants allocated by Congress in fiscal year 2004, Nebraska got $14.33 per capita and American Samoa $101.43.
After the mayor had departed, commissioner John Lehman, former Navy secretary under President Reagan, called the funding "a terrible misallocation," and added, "it has been a complete turnover almost of this essential national defense funding to pork barrel."
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge agreed.
I guess Bush musta voted for the NYC Homeland Security spending before he voted against it?
While the supposed "Liberal Media" continues to carry the water for the Bush Campaign's "Kerry is a Flip-Flopper" scam, occasionally, if you look really closely, you'll find a reporter, like Jack Newfeld in The Nation who offers the real story. But you gotta look damn hard to find it.
From Harper's Index...
Number of the five tax-cut questions asked the president on Meet the Press last winter that concerned the cuts' inequity : 0
Average amount a Bush Cabinet member will save this year due to cuts in capital-gains and dividend taxes : $42,000
Median U.S. household income in 2002 : $42,409
Associated Press Television News obtained videotape showing a truck containing bodies of those allegedly killed.
About a dozen bodies, one without a head, could be clearly seen. but it appeared that bodies were piled on top of each other and a clear count was not possible. [emphasis added for Sean Hannity]
And they thought Gay Weddings were bad for the institution of marriage? The story concludes...
Turns out that the U.S. Army Brigadier General overseeing all U.S. Army operations in Iraq and Afghanistan tells us that the U.S. Army's Inspector General who is investigating U.S. Army abuse of prisoners at U.S. Army prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan says that there is no wide-spread pattern of abuse by the U.S. Army!
I'm glad that's all cleared up! Looks like the charges of a cover-up by the U.S. Army and a Pentagon Report on the deaths of prisoners in custody at four different U.S. Army prisons in Iraq and charges of U.S. Army abuse of journalists at a different prison in Iraq and U.S. Army abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan are wholly unfounded. For a while I was worried!
When I set out to look into what was going on at the "Andy Kaufman - Dead or Alive?" 20th Anniversary event after midnight last Sunday, little did I know I'd be sucked into it's vortex. I'd wished I'd brought a camera or a tape-recorder, but hadn't. Fortunately, I found this picture of me behind "Tony Clifton" over on Wally Wingert's website. He's the guy who setup the Andy Kaufman memorabilia in Andy's old apartment which was opened for viewing in "Act 4" of this bizarre and wonderful "event" around 2am or so that night / Monday morning.
Full details on my experience and how I ended up at this "event" here. Pointers to all the BRAD BLOG "Andy Kaufman Dead or Alive?" investigative articles here. Original photo on the web from which the above is taken here (for all those Photoshop cynics!)
UPDATE (4/25/04): The photo above (sans the red circle) is now also on the Official Tony Clifton website in the "Sightings" section. And hence, Brad ignominiously ends up, if only in the most insignificant way possible, as part of the annals of Andy Kaufman / Tony Clifton historical folklore. Sigh.
Having for a couple of weeks inhabited his spirit, if not his body, for an Odd Couple spoof of sorts a few years back (Brad in OddFellas), the news of his passing was all the more sad to me. Good god was he funny. And a genius.
One of his last jokes, caught by Paul B., from the AP obituary:
The finale episodes begin tonight on BRAVO (9/8p with repeats later) and end tomorrow. If you haven't watched up till now, they are still worth checking into even this late in the game. That is, if you feel you can enjoy witnessing four completely twisted families in the midst of undoubtedly screwing up their children's lives for years to come.
Of the five sets of parent(s)/child(ren) on the show, only one pairing comes close to not being worthy of a call to Child Protective Services.
I'd have to turn away completely, if they hadn't gone ahead and put it on television for me to watch.
I hate piling on. Really, I do. It's one of the reasons I haven't had much to say in the last coupla days about Bush, Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Rumsfeld, and all the other collective --- yet seemingly now very obvious --- disasters in this Whitehouse and besetting America.
Then comes a fresh perspective on something I (and probably you) have been pondering for years, yet that has been set aside lately in favor of more pressing and in-your-face catastrophes.
Thanks to Atrios for the tip-off to Rick Perstein's Village Voice article entitled "Bush White House checked with rapture Christians before latest Israel move - The Jesus Landing Pad". It's worth the read.
It reveals one of the (undoubtedly) many direct influences in this Whitehouse from the Fundamentalist Evangelical Right. This one, with Email evidence to boot, is from the nutbags at the Apostolic Congress, "the Christian voice in our Nation's Capital" as their website informs us.
I've long tried to convince my otherwise very intelligent Jewish relatives that this Whitehouse, and in particular those on the Far Right who suggest the Defense of a Israel as the Jewish Homeland at the top of their priorities --- and who have used it to justify just about everything these days --- are in fact, no friends of the Jews. In fact, the only thing they hate more than Jews is Arabs.
Therefore, under the convenient cover of the same "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" justification that the Right often uses to justify any number of outrages, even in comments on this blog ("So what that we gave chemical weapons to Saddam to use against Iran! They were our enemy at the time!")...too many in the Jewish community have fallen for the temptation to assume that those on the Evangelical Right and in the Whitehouse are actually their friends. They are not.:
But now we know.
"Everything that you're discussing is information you're not supposed to have," barked Pentecostal minister Robert G. Upton when asked about the off-the-record briefing his delegation received on March 25. Details of that meeting appear in a confidential memo signed by Upton and obtained by the Voice.
You can, and should, read the rest of the piece over there.
It also outlines how this Apostolic Congress has "Christian Zionist" missionaries in Israel, in strict defiance of Israeli law, by the way, actively actively working towards converting Jews to Christianity.
Setting that appalling --- though too frequent even in this country --- practice aside, frankly, I don't have any real problem with anybody sharing their views with any Whitehouse --- nutcases or not --- in support of or in opposition to any matters of policy.
I am troubled, however, over the secrecy that surrounds it all, and more importantly the selectivity of it all. Does the Sierra Club get to have private Presidential audiences to discuss the Administration's Energy Policy? (Evidentally we have no legal right to know) Does the NEA get to put their personal two-cents in on "No Child Left Behind"? (It wouldn't seem so, since Education Secretary has described them as "terrorists") Does Colin Powell get to tell the President what he really thinks about Bush's Iraq Policy? (okay, bad example.)
Perhaps it's just the key constituents with the votes and bucks who get the access. Nothing really new there. But it's worth paying attention to who those folks with the influence actually are. The Jews who believe, by supporting Bush, they are supporting a Pro-Israel President should perhaps take a closer look.
Perlstein finishes with this:
"I mean, it's appalling," he rails on. "And it also shows how marginalized mainstream Christian thinking, and the majority of evangelical thought, have become."
It demonstrates, he says, "the absolute convergence of the neoconservatives with the Christian Zionists and the pro-Israel lobby, driving U.S. Mideast policy."
The problem is not that George W. Bush is discussing policy with people who press right-wing solutions to achieve peace in the Middle East, or with devout Christians. It is that he is discussing policy with Christians who might not care about peace at allat least until the rapture.
The Jewish pro-Israel lobby, in the interests of peace for those living in the present, might want to consider a disengagement.
I agree. I wonder if anybody in my family will figure that out prior to November.
(Blogged at 4am...please pardon any typos or any other rambling unreadables!)
Tonight, or more accurately yesterday, was the 20th Anniversary of Andy Kaufman's death (or "death", depending on your point of view). If this is your first time hearing about this, check this entry first.
If you're caught up on any of this, you know that I was too late to purchase the $50 SRO tickets for the "Andy Kaufman Dead or Alive?" event at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Here's a report from someone who did see the show. Well, "Act 1", anyway...apparently the only one I missed.
Orchestrated by Andy's co-writer and friend Bob Zmuda, the show was to have let out at midnight and so I was keeping on eye on some of the Message Boards and Chat Rooms where some of the folks who did have tickets (and were flying in from across the country to see the show!) were supposed to report in as soon as the "event" let out to report if, in fact, Andy had showed up.
As of 12:15pm, nothing...and I mentioned to someone in the Chat Room that I should just drive over there and see what's going on. Suffice to say, I was then harranged by the folks in the room to do just that.
Despite having just taken a coupla Exedrin P.M., my curiosity got the worst of me, and I headed over.
The street in front of the House of Blues was quiet, but I found one person who had just gotten out of the show. He said they moved across the street for "Act 2" - Milk and Cookies at the Comedy Store (Andy had done the same thing for his audience after his famous Carnegie Hall show). He also told me there was a wrestling ring set up.
I found a place to park, and walked right in to the "After Party" at the Comedy Store.
There were girls in the first room, which was mostly empty, offering Milk and Cookies. The crowd was in the next room where Tony Clifton was introducing some wrestlers.
After 15 minutes of three guys in chicken suits wrestling a couple of hispanic queens, four women came in and finished them all off. Somehow the chickens came back, however, and so Jerry Lawler (famously having pile-drived Kaufman many years ago) came out and finished off all the chickens to much approval by the Kaufman fans assembled.
Clifton then came back out and told folks that Andy not only brought the Carnegie audience out for Milk and Cookies after the show, but he then invited anybody who wanted to show up at 8am the next morning for a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. About 30 folks showed up, and Andy bought them Chocolate Cake.
Clifton would out do him, he told the crowd, as he announced "Act 3"...wherein the legendary porn star Ron Jeremy came out with a sign, also held by Dennis Hof, who is apparently the owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Act 3 will be tomorrow night (actually tonight, I guess) for anybody who can make it to the Bunny Ranch for free....whatever you like...between 8pm and Midnight.
Before you run up there, please note, you'll need to show your ticket stub to receive your freebie. (I don't have one, since I didn't get to the actual show, so it looks like I'm outta luck). A few Bunny Ranch denizens then took off their top and invited everyone to come on up tomorrow night for all they could eat.
Clifton then thanked everyone for coming and wished everybody a good night.
10 minutes or so later, as the crowd had thinned to about a third of it's original Act 2 size, Clifton once again took the mic, and said that "now that all the loooosers...who hadda go to be had left"...he was pleased to announce "Act 4"! Right now.
Whoever would like to join was invited to grab a candle for a vigil on the sidewalk. And then, anyone interested was invited to take the 10 minute walk down to Andy's old apartment, which is now apparently a condo. The owners were kind enough to allow folks to come on up, as long as everyone was quiet (mind you, we're now talking about 2am on a Sunday night / Monday morning).
I took the walk with the 75 folks or so who were still game down to Fountain and La Cienega. Only 20 or so could go in at a time (Suite #409 for you die-hards), where they had brought a bunch of old Andy memorabilia up there for display (original Tony Clifton costumes, original Foreign Man costumes, photos, scripts, etc.)
While waiting to go in, "Clifton" answered all questions about Kaufman and told various Andy stories. Most of which I'm too exhausted to report to you tonight. Suffice to say "Clifton" (a character played by Andy, now inhabited by Zmuda) was very generous to all who where there. (And at the prices they charged for the show, where Andy never showed up, that's the least he could be!)
Oh, yeah, Andy did show up...but it was Andy Dick, and he was trashed as he also hung around with Clifton and the crowd on the streets in the early Hollywood a.m.
Suffice to say though, it was an interesting night...especially since I was reporting on the phone much of the time to someone who was in the Chat Room that had volunteered to type away as I described what was going on. That unedited Chat Room transcript is here if you'd like to slog through it for the real blow-by-blow as "ks76r" (aka Mike) was kind enough to transcribe it all to the room from his comfortable post in Topeka, Kansas --- apparently where he was up all night folding laundry as the sun was rising
Unless he shows up at "Act 3" tomorrow night (not an unreasonable place for Andy to show up) it would appear that --- as of this hour --- Andy Kaufman is still dead.
Thanks for the memories, Uncle Andy. And for the milk and cookies.
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