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By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 7:28pm PT  

He sounds like he's answering the "platform question" at the Miss America Pagaent, no?

UPDATE: Speech just finished. Lest I be accused of unfairness (I'll leave that to Fox), it seems to me that Bush recovered somewhere around the final third of his speech from the Miss America / School Assembly delivery of the first two thirds that I mentioned above. He finished just fine. And the tear he almost squeezed out will no doubt be the tear heard round the world for the next few news cycles. More later, no doubt.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 6:55pm PT  

I should have known we were in trouble when Alan Colmes said "Senator Miller, I'd like to talk about the substance of your speech last night". He then went on to fire the only bullet that Sean allowed him, I guess, accusing Zell of having called Kerry "an authentic American hero" in 2001.

Zell said "I was wrong about that." Alan hemmed, hawwed, looked at his notes...and then...cut to commercial.

Wouldn't it be more honest if they didn't even bother to put a name at all after the "Hannity &" part?

Oh, well. Since Colmes is useless, I'll toss out another contradiction and factual inaccuracy from Zell's speech that apparently didn't occur to the hapless and completely useless Colmes.

Kerry in his acceptance speech: "I will never give any nation or international institution a veto over our national security."

Zell last night: "Senator Kerry has made it clear that he would use military force only if approved by the United Nations. Kerry would let Paris decide when America needs defending."

There ya go, Alan. Would that have been that hard?

Apparently Colmes has no memory, isn't allowed access to Google by Sean, or simply has no familiarity with what's actually going on anywhere but in the Republican National Party and/or the Fox News Channel. Not that there's any difference.

And Cheney? He said last night: "George W. Bush will never seek a permission slip to defend the American people."

I'm sure Colmes will get right on that. Sigh.

ReddIt this story!



from Arnold at the RNC
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 3:54pm PT  

There has been so many blatantly and provably incorrect statements on the RNC's podium this week, that it's becoming almost tiresome to point them out.

So forgive me if you have become as weary of it as I have, even though I've only bothered to highlight a few of them. But if folks like you and me don't take the time to point these out who will? The Mainstream Media?!

In this case, it fell to a polling organization, Gallup to be precise, to fact check where the Media has decided to nod off again this year:

Schwarzenegger was incorrect in his GOP convention speech on Tuesday when he asserted: "The president didn't go into Iraq because the polls told him it was popular. As a matter of fact, the polls said just the opposite."

A majority of Americans supported the idea of the invasion of Iraq before Bush made the decision to commence military action in March 2003. Gallup's March 14-15, 2003, poll showed that 64% of Americans favored "invading Iraq with U.S. ground troops in an attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power," and 57% agreed that the Bush administration "has made a convincing case about the need for the U.S. to take military action against Iraq." A March 17, 2003, CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll asked: "Do you approve or disapprove of Bush's decision to go to war if Saddam Hussein does not leave Iraq in the next 48 hours?" Sixty-six percent of Americans approved; 30% disapproved.

Provably and factually incorrect statements at the GOP Convention. One after another after another.

Feel free to "liberally" use the "Email it to Someone!" link at the bottom of ALL the entries here on the BRAD BLOG! It's game time, folks! And someone's gotta show up to play! How about you?!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 2:37pm PT  

Is it not possible that the Republicans knew exactly what they were doing by allowing the angry and ugly Zell Miller to be their counterpoint keynote speaker to the Democrat's hopeful and positive Barack Obama?

No doubt, they knew full well the type of poison they could get Zell to throw into the water. Surely they vetted his speech before hand, and thus must have known how almost none of it would stand up factually to even the most tepid of journalistic scrutiny.

For proof of that, see CNN's interview with Zell after the speech last night, during which CNN took a short break from business-as-usual to become, if only momentarily, journalists again who managed to trash in only just a few minutes almost everything Zell was hoping to sell last night.

So if even CNN, of all media, would be able to debunk this clown in minutes, surely the Republicans must have understood that in advance and decided nonetheless that the effort would be worthwhile.

So why would they do it? We'll have to assume at this point that they are just happy to get the trash into the public domain where it'll be unexamined red meat to the Talk Radio Nation. And then, when the predictable and simple debunking occured among the literatti, the only person who'd stand to look like a jackass would be only be a Democrat after all.

Pretty cagey. Smells precisely like classic Rovian Machinations if ever there were any.

I think, however, that they may have been overly optimistic about Zell being the only one who might get stained in this devil's bargain. But only time will tell.

ReddIt this story!



and a few other bits and pieces from last night...
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 2:06pm PT  

- Josh Marshall, on the entirety of RNC Night 3, demonstrates why he's at the top of the blogging food chain.

- Andrew Sullivan similarly, though from the Conservative side, asks the tough questions about the as yet unexplained second term for Dubya. The real and adult questions about his so far unrevealed agenda that the "real" media is too busy reporting on theatrics and horse-races to ask about.

- Zell Miller, the Republicans Great White Hope, challenges Chris Matthew to a duel on last night's Hardball. Yes, a duel! Here's the video.

ReddIt this story!



Or, the Ugly Rightwing American
By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 1:29pm PT  

It's tough to wrap one's brain around what happened last night. No doubt, the Dems are rightly indignant about the vicious and fallacious smears of the GOP. And perhaps it'll spur them, and the rest of America, to step up to the plate. Bile of that sort frequently does.

The GOP, seemingly, in free fall towards doing whatever they need to do, have become a party quite willing to "win at all costs". The smears no longer take place solely amongst the shadowy dirty-tricksters, or in the last few days of the campaign. They are now quite public and, more troublingly, acceptable to an entire half of our only two viable political parties of the moment. Never mind the implications for America itself and/or the world through such vitriolic and poisonous tactics, the GOP is all in favor of them! And they're not shy about it anymore!

None other than the "Vice-President" of the United States himself is not only able, but apparently quite pleased with himself thanks for lying about and mischaracterizing his opponent in the number one national public political forum. "He talks about leading a 'more sensitive war on terror,' as though Al Qaeda will be impressed with our softer side," said the Veep, knowing full well what the war hero, 20 year public servant and Democratic Presidential Nominee John Kerry actually said on the subject. And never mind what Cheney and Bush themselves have had to say about "sensitivity" in this war.

From Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Talk Radio Nation, we'd expect it. From a sitting "Vice-President" --- at a supposed "time of war" --- it's just embarrassing, frankly, as a patriotic American.

And yet, the "America Loving" Republican Party goes wild with applause and approval for such slimy tactics and clearly (for surely, even they realize it, right?) disingenous rhetoric.

Then their was Zell, the former Dixiecrat/segregationalist who had until recently referred to John Kerry as "an authentic hero" and "strong on defense" and --- before he flipped --- characterized the Republican party as "having sold out their country". There he was, wagging his crooked finger and flapping his forked tongue for the approval of the trained seals.

He, like Cheney, is more than welcome to do so, of course, but really, is that what the Republican Party wants to reveal as their true face? Is that the "Compassionate Conservatism" we hear so much about for a few weeks every four years?

Never mind the errant and misleading substance itself of Miller's barked outrage. (The bulk of the Defense Cuts he accused Kerry of supporting were the very same ones submitted and requested by --- who else? --- Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney himself!) But, like Pat Buchanan's torching of the '92 GOP convention, it's Miller's tone here that will both enliven the already-sold-on-Bush angry base, but send the moderates and undecideds fleeing for the exit doors once the dust has settled and they come to understand what's really going on here.

It's no mistake, that the smoke-filled back rooms of the GOP bosses chose a guy like Alan Keyes (begged him, in fact, as BRAD BLOG commentor Johnhp has pointed out) to be their US Senate Nominee from Illinois. A guy who refers to his own Vice-President's daughter as a "selfish hedonist". The bosses are angry and bitter, though it's hard to understand why, since they control all branches of the U.S. Government. But hey, even eating their own young is worth it for a few more angry white votes. Their public choices tell that story painfully plainly.

At this point, with the Media itself so cowed by these vitriolic con men, it's reasonable to believe they will continue to do what they've done so far in this campaign: Dutifully stick to repeating Karl Rove's press releases and reporting the thunder of the trained seals as they beat their fins together.

But oddly enough --- and it really is odd, given the noise pitched against them --- the American People have a way of rising above such unseemly phoney-baloney when it reaches the type of fevered pitch that it now officially has. Zell and Cheney lit the fuse last night, and it's likely only going to get worse between now and November. But usually the American People end up getting it. I'd like to think they will this time as well. But if not, they will get precisely what they deserve: Four more years.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/2/2004 11:21am PT  

Is it just me? Or does it seem that even the National Weather Service has turned partisan this year?

ReddIt this story!



I mean, More on Keyes...
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 9:32pm PT  

Wow...that Alan Keyes interview where he called lesbian Veep daughter Mary Cheney a "selfish hedonist" for her lifestyle, along, presumably with any other heterosexual couple who can't, or chose not to mate, is even more astounding than just the quotes I gave you earlier.

He had more to say about loving couples that God has made incapable of having children together: "They cannot mate. They are not made to do so. Therefore the idea of marriage for two such individuals is an absurdity."

He then objected "to the notion" that we refer to two partners who cannot mate as having "sexual relations because it is nothing of the kind". Rather, he said, "It is the mutual pursuit of pleasure through the stimulation of the organs intended for procreation, but it has nothing to do with sexuality."

Here's the full transcript, and a copy of the audio, courtesy of AMERICABlog.

Wow. Finally, someone who's willing to stand up and publicly support the GOP Platform!

With that, I might have finally voted Republican, except for my fear that they might "mutually pursue pleasure through the stimulation of the organs intended for procreation" me!

ReddIt this story!



RNC Day 3
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 8:32pm PT  

FOX News Primetime Convention Speech Coverage

Courtesy of Media Matters

ReddIt this story!



Putting the 'Con' in the RNC Convention!
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 7:52pm PT  

Tonight, in Zell's wacky keynote address at the RNC, he said: "For more than 20 years, on every one of the great issues of freedom and security, John Kerry has been more wrong, more weak and more wobbly than any other national figure. As a war protester, Kerry blamed our military. As a Senator, he voted to weaken our military."

He said much more, and no doubt more on that all later.

But first, a few words from Zell about John Kerry back before "the change" that you may have missed while the Media was busy repeating the Bush/Cheney press releases:

"My job tonight is an easy one: to present to you one of this nation's authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders --- and a good friend. He was once a lieutenant governor - but he didn't stay in that office 16 years, like someone else I know. It just took two years before the people of Massachusetts moved him into the United States Senate in 1984.
-- U.S. Senator Zell Miller (Introducing John Kerry to the Democratic Party of Georgia Jefferson Jackson Dinner 2001)

"In his 16 years in the Senate, John Kerry has fought against government waste and worked hard to bring some accountability to Washington. Early in his Senate career in 1986, John signed on to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Bill, and he fought for balanced budgets before it was considered politically correct for Democrats to do so. John has worked to strengthen our military, reform public education, boost the economy and protect the environment."
-- U.S. Senator Zell Miller (Remarks to the Democratic Party of Georgia Jefferson Jackson Dinner 2001)

Whacky, huh? Well, perhaps only if you bothered to watch Zig Zag Zell (as they call him back him on George for being on all sides of every issue) tonight at the Republican Con-vention.

UPDATE: For more fun Zig Zagging with Zell, go here!

ReddIt this story!



One for you Ahnold fans out there!
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 7:28pm PT  

Thanks to "Berry's World" for this item. I'd heard it referred to last night, but didn't have the exact quotes:

The L.A. Times reports that Arnold Schwarzenegger became a Republican whilst listening to the famous Nixon-Humphrey debates. Here are two classic quotes from the story:

Fresh from Austria, a socialist country, Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to become a Republican after listening to "the debates of Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon when they were debating for the presidential race," or so he told television talk show host Bill O'Reilly in May 2001. " Hubert Humphrey spoke about things I heard in Austria under socialism."

"having watched a 1968 presidential debate for which a friend provided the translation. "[Hubert] Humphrey stood for the government [that] will solve all your problems," Schwarzenegger recalled. "[Richard] Nixon said no, free to choose, let the people decide. So I said to my friend, which party is Nixon? He said Republican. OK, I said, I'm a Republican."

The Times also points out that the Nixon-Humphrey debates are famous, mainly, for the fact that they never took place.

ReddIt this story!



In the words of a Teddy Roosevelt Republican
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 7:07pm PT  

It's not often that I repost BRAD BLOG comments here as their own item.

But in honor of the nutty Zell Miller's jump to the Republican Party tonight, it seems only "Fair and Balanced" to highlight a spot-on comment from a Republican, or at least somebody who was one up until George W. Bush and his Theocrats came along and hijacked the party. Teddy was once a proud member of the GOP. However, unlike the whacky "cross-dressing" Senator Miller who will give the RNC keynote tonight, Teddy is anything but nutty.

In an attempted bi-partisan spirit, I highlighted his excellent "Bull Moose Forum" blog earlier today. I realize that this would be two pops in one day, but when one chances upon that rarest of creatures --- an intellectually honest Republican --- it seems only proper to give him his due. Especially in this fierce, Crazy World we seem to now live in.

Teddy was replying to Paul's parrot about the GOP's "Big Tent" sham on this item concerning the hypocrisy of Dubya's several flip-flops over the last two days about being able to win, and then not win, and then win the "War on Terror".

Paul is one of the BRAD BLOG's notably intellectually dishonest fake conservatives slash Bush suck-ups slash GOP apologists for those of you who may not bother to read the comments.

Here's Teddy's on-the-money reply:

Paul,

I am one of those socially-moderate fiscally conservative people you have mentioned. I was a Republican ever since I was in the third grade and we held an election between Reagan and Carter (not surprisingly, Carter was trounced). And for a long-time, I believed in the "big tent."

But no more. The big tent is a sham, a myth and a lie. This Administration has gone out of its way to demonize and marginalize every moderate Republican. Calling them "RINOs". Dennis Hastert mocking John McCain on the steps of the Capitol. Trying to pass anti-gay Constitutional Amendments. Ignoring every call to fiscally responsibility made by McCain, Snowe et al.

The "new" Republican Party doesn't want moderates like me, Paul. So fine. I'll leave them, just like TR did when he saw corruption spreading throughout the party he once loved. And maybe, just maybe, others will join me. Not only disaffected GOP moderates, but those moderate Democrats who feel marginalized as well.

And God willing, we'll stomp out both parties, because they've become walking jokes, available to the highest bidder.

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid, Paul.

Keep up the good fight, Teddy. Your party and country will thank you some day. The BRAD BLOG goes ahead and thanks you now.

We also thank Paul for his contributions here, making the difference between your father's GOP, and George W. Bush's GOP painfully clearer each and every day.

ReddIt this story!



Does the GOP have anyone else left to slur?
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 6:37pm PT  

The Republican Party had the entire United States of America from whom to chose their nominee for the US Senate seat in Illinois. Demonstrating quite clearly the kind of party they are, they chose Alan Keyes. From Maryland.

On Tuesday, Keyes called the "Vice-President's" lesbian daughter Mary Cheney, a "selfish hedonist" apparently solely because of her sexual identity.

He did both that, and took a swipe at married couples who either can't, or choose not to have children all in one fell Republican swoop.

Said Mr. Keyes in a satellite radio interview this week:

"The essence of ... family life remains procreation. If we embrace homosexuality as a proper basis for marriage, we are saying that it's possible to have a marriage state that in principle excludes procreation and is based simply on the premise of selfish hedonism."

Asked whether that meant Mary Cheney was "a selfish hedonist," Keyes said: "That goes by definition. Of course she is."

So there ya go. You folks in the "married state" out there who have no children, are apparently "selfish hedonists" along with lesbian Mary Cheney. You, like those homosexuals who'd like to simply be recognized as a legitimate American family seem to have an "improper basis" for your marriage according to your party's national pick for the U.S. Senate.

Bush/Cheney '04: What's not to be proud of?

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RNC Day 2
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 12:58pm PT  

FOX News Primetime Convention Speech Coverage

Courtesy of Media Matters

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And why Arnold didn't.
By Brad Friedman on 9/1/2004 12:04pm PT  

Teddy, the erstwhile BRAD BLOG commentor and author of the excellent "Bull Moose Forum", a right leaning blog in the true TR/Conservative sense (as opposed to the "Fake Conservative" nonsense one often sees parrotted in comments from the Right on this blog and elsewhere) has an excellent analysis of last night's speech by the Governator.

Using quotes from William Saletan's Slate commentary today on why Republicans like him, should reject George W. Bush, Teddy points out that there is no "Big Tent" in the Republican party. No matter the smoke and mirrors they haul out every four years to appear as though they are either "compassionate" or "conservative".

Of note, along with his own insight and analysis, Teddy ran these quotes from the Slate story:

Schwarzenegger applauds Bush for taking a hard line on terrorism. So do I. Bush's clarity on this subject is his finest quality. But it doesn't make his foreign policy wise, any more than liberal piety about compassion makes liberal social programs effective. In Iraq, Bush has confused a mortal enemy with a less urgent one, and he has botched the worthy idea of American military leadership by biting off more than we can chew.

On the nosey, my boy. And this one...

I'm no huge fan of John Kerry. He sees two sides of every one-sided issue, and four sides of every two-sided issue. But the alternative is a president who sees one side of every issue, no matter how many sides it has. Given the how many sides there usually are, and given how little effort Bush makes to learn about each issue, the odds are that, on average, he'll pick the wrong side.

Right again. And, as the Bush daughters might say, "it's like, provenly knowable!"

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