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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 10:15pm PT  

Well, it's a long time between tonight and the end of Rush's show tomorrow. So don't count any chickens. It's even longer between the end of Rush's show and November 2nd.

But before they figure out how to turn Bush's crushing loss tonight into a victory, here's a few words from the Wingnuts (who've been conspicuously quiet on the BRAD BLOG here tonight).

On PowerLineBlog (one of the blogs instrumental in "breaking" the CBS Document Scandal of the Millenium), their "Live Debate Blogger" was Hindrocket, who said:

9:00 --- Visually, Kerry is dominating. I'm surprised at Bush's expression when Kerry is talking. He seems irritated, flustered, not in command.

Kerry continue to attack the Iraq war effectively. Was the Bush campaign mistaken in thinking that they wanted the first debate to be on foreign policy?

...And though Hindrocket's bizarre scoring system ended in a victory for Bush somehow of "107 - 103", even he had to admit the obvious:

But, candidly, I don't think it went that well for the President. I think Kerry helped himself tonight. He came across as a credible candidate, and he was usually on the offensive. Bush's demeanor while Kerry was talking wasn't good; anything but commanding.

In Powerline's late-night item, posted an hour or so after the debate, another of their bloggers, deacon, opened his piece with this:

I've taken more than an hour to try to talk myself out of concluding that John Kerry won tonight's debate. I haven't succeeded. Senator Kerry, I think, edged President Bush on substance and, surprisingly, looked better throughout.

Meanwhile, on Rightwing Cable...even they were having a tough time spinning for Bush:

Joe Scarborough on MSNBC: "As far as the debate goes, I don't see how anybody could look at this debate and not score this a very clear win on points for John Kerry."

Mort Kondracke on Fox: “This is the President's turf, this is the place that the President is supposed to dominate, terror and the war in Iraq. I don't think he really dominated tonight. I think Kerry looked like a commander-in-chief.”

Kate O'Beirne, National Review Online's the Corner: "I thought the President was repetitive and reactive."

But as Hannity likes to say, "let not your heart be troubled", you can count on one Rightwinger to never let an intellectually honest word cross his lips:

Sean Hannity on Fox: "I never saw the President this passionate or more articulate or on his game plan!"

(Mmm....the cherry Kool-aid is extra good!)

Thanks to all who participated in tonight's Open Threads! We'll do 'em again for the next 3 debates! Next date, 5 days from tonight! The Veep Debate in Ohio on Tuesday, Oct 5th! Hope you'll join us! And you Rightwingers better show up too! In the meantime, hopefully they'll ring in on Comments to let us know how Bush didn't really lose, or how it doesn't really matter...or something. Stay tuned. Wingnuttery on it's way!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 9:09pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 7:35pm PT  

Post-Debate Thoughts and/or observations you catch from the Media!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 7:31pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 4:37pm PT  

Okay, we already know the outcome. Even if Bush loses, by tomorrow he will have "won". Nonetheless, the Dems claim they'll be doing all they can this time around to NOT ALLOW a repeat of what happened in 2000 when virtually unanimous Gore acclaim was turned into a loss vis a vis the masterful pummelling of the spin masters on the right in the subsequent 24 hours.

We're still at only about a third of our usual hit numbers here as folks learn that we're back up since yesterdays outtage. But let's go ahead and consider this an OPEN THREAD to discuss the debate as it happens here if you happen to be watching near your computer and wanna vent during, or offer any pre-thoughts now...

COMMENT AWAY! (Remember, it takes a minute or two sometimes for things to post, so only hit POST one time if you can help it!)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 4:26pm PT  

So in the first ten minutes of last night's Daily Show, Jon Stewart spent about nine minutes skewering both O'Reilly and Bush. In the last minute, he hit Kerry. (All described in a previous item here.)

At the end of every Special Report with Brit Hume on Fox, they show some cute piece of tape from somewhere or another. Today they just showed a clip from last night's Daily Show. Any idea which clip they decided to use?

That would be correct.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 2:35pm PT  

Yup, oil went over $50/barrel again today. If you missed my previous thought on this, please read it now. Before the debate.

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Look at the evidence, not the spin.
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 2:27pm PT  

Bush and the Right love to say how they were mislead by the CIA about WMD's prior to the war. They were not. They are lying. They knew prior to going in that the weapons weren't there as every one of the sites they said they "knew" had WMD's had already been inspected and turned up nothing. As well, large parts of the intelligence community had told them the same thing. They ignored them.

Recently, Bush has been ignoring another National Intelligence Estimate warning of Civil War in Iraq and has referred to it as "just guessing".

But guess what else it turns out they ignored? From a Tom Tomorrow item on a story in yesterday's NY Times:

How many times have we heard that no one could have possibly foreseen the mess in Iraq?

Well, whaddya know:

The same intelligence unit that produced a gloomy report in July about the prospect of growing instability in Iraq warned the Bush administration about the potential costly consequences of an American-led invasion two months before the war began, government officials said Monday.

The estimate came in two classified reports prepared for President Bush in January 2003 by the National Intelligence Council, an independent group that advises the director of central intelligence. The assessments predicted that an American-led invasion of Iraq would increase support for political Islam and would result in a deeply divided Iraqi society prone to violent internal conflict.

One of the reports also warned of a possible insurgency against the new Iraqi government or American-led forces, saying that rogue elements from Saddam Hussein's government could work with existing terrorist groups or act independently to wage guerrilla warfare, the officials said. The assessments also said a war would increase sympathy across the Islamic world for some terrorist objectives, at least in the short run, the officials said.

All right, so maybe someone could have seen it coming. And in fact did.

Can we stop blaming the CIA now and start blaming the folks who deserve the blame?! Including the guy with whom the buck is supposed to stop?

Tomorrow adds one more thought:

But hey, at least they've got schools now, right?

Indeed they do. And according to NBC news tonight, the schools which have been rehabilitated at great expense to the American taxpayer are mostly being run by--yes, you guessed it--hardline Islamic fundamentalists.

Listen to the thunder.

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The Best Coverage of the 2004 Elections. Period.
America and the rest of the Media should be ashamed.
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 1:48pm PT  

Last night's Daily Show was as good as it has ever been. From top to bottom. The ball was hit out of the park.

Jon Stewart's opening monogolue answered to the continuous "stoned slackers" charge that O'Reilly made during his pompous interview with Stewart last week. Funny story...As it turns out, two different studies rebut O'Reilly's self-serving claims. One shows that Daily Show viewers are actually more educated than O'Reilly viewers. The second study, from the University of Pennsylvania shows that Daily Show viewers are better versed on current events than those who only watch news channels! Hopefully those will be the "stoned slackers" that save this country.

The opening "news story" then was about O'Reilly's (barely hyped) three-day interview with Bush. Amongst the highlights, the segment from O'Reilly's 'Talking Points' where No-Spin Boy lauded Bush for doing the interview:

O'REILLY (on tape): You have to admire his willingness to discuss the issues in a venue like this.

STEWART: You have to respect the President of the United States for doing an interview on the most conservative TV network in the country?!!

...

O'REILLY (on tape): The President did not recieve any of the questions in advance, nor were there any restrictions on what I could ask. Again, that's impressive.

STEWART: No! No it's NOT! It's not impressive!!! It's the least you can do and still qualify as an interview!!!

Yup. That would be the President's JOB! And it should be the MEDIA'S job, as well!

Most of O'Reilly's "not-stoned, not-slackers" apparently bought O'Reilly's "courage" spin and the notion that Bush faced "hardball" questions. Also they failed to notice that O'Reilly didn't press Bush on the several answers on which Bush was obviously prevaricating. Stewart drove it home.

I look forward to O'Reilly's appearance on The Daily on Oct. 7th, I believe. Stewart ripped him a new one last night, so I'll look forward to his response.

Stewart was equally on the money in his critique of Kerry's Diane Sawyer appearance yesterday. Once they release any of the video from last night's show, I'll try and link to it here.

There was much more in the body of the show including an Ed Helms report on how the "reviews" of tonight's debate are already written by the Media days in advance, and an amazing interview with Seymour Hersh, author of Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib, detailing the extraordinary missteps, incompetence, and arrogance of the nine or so Neo-Cons who have hijacked virtually every facet of our Government (from the Congress to the Defense Dept. to the White House to the CIA) and the country itself in the bargain. All while Americans have simply stood by and allowed it to happen. He referred to this period, and specific situations like the Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib prison atrocities, as something that we will look back on as one of the most "shameful" periods of our history.

Frankly, it made me think of how we now look back at the shame of Japanese internment during WWII or McCarthy's Un-American Activities Committee in historical retrospect. It seems we've done it again. And the only question now is whether Americans will figure that out before or after November 2nd.

A tremendous show. I've said it before, but hands down --- and yes, also shamefully --- The Daily Show has indeed offered the best and most accurate and incisive coverage of "Indecision 2004" anywhere on television. Period.

UPDATE: Video of the Seymore Hersh interview here.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 12:26pm PT  

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...And keeping it to just ten was no small order!
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 12:22pm PT  

Just one of Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops...

On March 19, 2003, Mr. Bush said, “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

On May 29, 2003, Mr. Bush said, “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...For those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

On Sept. 9, 2004, Mr. Bush said, “I recognize we didn't find the stockpiles [of weapons] we all thought were there.”

Read the rest.

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...And keeping it to just ten was no small order!
By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 12:21pm PT  

Just one of Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops...

On March 19, 2003, Mr. Bush said, “Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

On May 29, 2003, Mr. Bush said, “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories...For those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."

On Sept. 9, 2004, Mr. Bush said, “I recognize we didn't find the stockpiles [of weapons] we all thought were there.”

Read the rest.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/30/2004 12:08pm PT  

The Debate exchange that hasn't happened. Yet.

LEHRER: "Mr. President, you stated that Saddam Hussein was a clear threat to the United States because he had WMDs. Now you state that he "could" have developed into a threat. Was your reason for war invalid?"

BUSH: "Ummm...ahhh...well...you're asking if we would be better off today if Saddam were in power? No. I reject that. See, Saddam was a threat. Remember he attacked his neighbors. He killed his own people. He tried to kill my daddy. No. If I have to choose between the word of Hans Blix and the word of a madman, I'll choose the madman any time."

LEHRER: (confused) "Mr. President?"

BUSH: "When you're the president, you don't have to explain what you do. That's the nice thing about being president. It would be easier if this were a dictatorship, I wouldn't even have to campaign. (snickers) But what you're asking is this --- the UN and Saddam are saying that Saddam doesn't have weapons. Am I gonna trust Saddam to lie about his weapons? You bet I am.

(From comments by 'Sage Vanden Heuvel' in reply to "The 5 Stages of Bushism" at The Talent Show.)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2004 10:15pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/29/2004 8:43pm PT  

"And the question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many. So I think we got it right, both when we decided to expel him from Kuwait, but also when the president made the decision that we'd achieved our objectives and we were not going to go get bogged down in the problems of trying to take over and govern Iraq." -- Dick "Flip-Flopping" Cheney, 1992

(Via Andrew Sullivan)

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