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'KPFK' BradCast: Maine Mystery, Ferguson Fury and Thanks for Something
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

In case you haven't noticed.
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 1:30pm PT  

Along with a report that 110 had been killed in Iraq yesterday (WaPo puts the number as "at least 80 civilians killed") including a Palestinian Journalist killed by US Forces from an Apache helicopter as the camera was rolling (video here), and at least five major cities now completely controlled by "insurgents", things seem to be disintegrating there quickly.

Fortunately the Bush Corporation has an excellent PR department, so anything that gets through the PR filter to you and me between now and November 2nd can be assumed to be much worse than it's reported. But, for those of us trying to pay attention to the black hole where we're pumping so much blood and treasure, there are many hints lately of what's really going on there (never mind Afghanistan which is similarly falling apart...not that it was ever "together" before we pulled out and moved to Iraq).

Here's just a few of the items from yesterday in Iraq, courtesy of "Today in Iraq":

Bring em on: US troops in heavy fighting near Ramadi; ten Iraqis killed, 40 wounded.
Bring em on: Thirty-seven Iraqis killed in Baghdad fighting.
Bring em on: Three Polish soldiers killed, three wounded in ambush near Hilla.
Bring em on: US troops launch offensive near Tal Afar.
Bring em on: Four Iraqi policemen killed, three wounded in ambush near Mosul.
Bring em on: Two Iraqi security guards wounded in attack on oil facility near Kirkuk.
Bring em on: Five Iraqis killed by car bomb targeting US convoy near Samarra.
Bring em on: Fifteen Iraqis killed in heavy fighting with US troops near Fallujah.
Bring em on: Three Iraqi soldiers killed in roadside bomb ambush near Hilla.
Bring em on: US patrol attacked by roadside bomb near As-Sina.
Bring em on: Camp Zulu under mortar fire.
Bring em on: CJTF-7 reports US troops repelled coordinated attack on Abu Ghraib prison.

Pay attention. This is still a hot war with injuries, deaths and attacks on US troops as high now as they've ever>/i> been! Bush/Cheney would very much like Americans to look elsewhere between now and November. Don't be fooled...again.

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in-Chief!
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 11:46pm PT  

From AP:

Most recently, Bush did an about-face on whether the proposed new director of national intelligence should have full budget-making powers as the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission recommended. Bush at first indicated no, then last week said yes.

...

_In 2000, Bush argued against new military entanglements and nation building. He's done both in Iraq.

_He opposed a Homeland Security Department, then embraced it.

_He opposed creation of an independent Sept. 11 commission, then supported it. He first refused to speak to its members, then agreed only if Vice President Dick Cheney came with him.

_Bush argued for free trade, then imposed three-year tariffs on steel imports in 2002, only to withdraw them after 21 months.

_Last month, he said he doubted the war on terror could be won, then reversed himself to say it could and would.

_A week after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush said he wanted Osama bin Laden "dead or alive." But he told reporters six months later, "I truly am not that concerned about him." He did not mention bin Laden in his hour-long convention acceptance speech.

"I'm a war president," Bush told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Feb. 8. But in a July 20 speech in Iowa, he said: "Nobody wants to be the war president. I want to be the peace president."

Bush keeps revising his Iraq war rationale: The need to seize Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction until none were found; liberating the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator; fighting terrorists in Iraq not at home; spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. Now it's a safer America and a safer world.

"No matter how many times Senator Kerry flip-flops, we were right to make America safer by removing Saddam Hussein from power," he said last week in Missouri.

And no doubt the lemmings then started chanting, "Flip-flop, flip-flop..."

George W. Bush!
Keeping America Safe for Complete Blithering Idiots Who'll Repeat Anything They're Told

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 5:31pm PT  

Once again, The Onion --- like the The Daily Show, another fake news operation --- gets it more right than the "not-fake" news operations...

Bush Campaign More Thought Out Than Iraq War
WASHINGTON, DCMilitary and political strategists agreed Monday that President Bush's re-election campaign has been executed with greater precision than the war in Iraq. "Judging from the initial misrepresentation of intelligence data and the ongoing crisis in Najaf, I assumed the president didn't know his ass from his elbow," said Col. Dale Henderson, a military advisor during the Reagan Administration. "But on the campaign trail, he's proven himself a master of long-term planning and unflinching determination. How else can you explain his strength in the polls given this economy?" Henderson said he regrets having characterized Bush's handling of the war as "incompetent," now that he knows the president's mind was simply otherwise occupied.

If you stop by, be sure not to miss their other spot-on story of the week: "Hundreds Of Republicans Injured In Rush To Discredit Kerry"!

(via Andrew Sullvan)

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...and the Judiciary, and Doctors, and Scientists and Women?
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 4:58pm PT  

A Federal Judge in Lincoln, Nebraska on Wednesday became the third such judge to rule that the GOP/George W. Bush Late-Term Abortion Ban is unconstitutional.

The new law, struck down yet again, is similar to one that was struck down four years ago. Like that one, this one also refused to take into account the health of the woman requiring the procedure. In other words, Big Government Republicans tried to ban Medical Doctors from performing procedures that may be medically necessary for a United States citizen.

Perhaps I should also ask why Republicans hate United States citizens so much!

The U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf -- a Ronald Reagan appointee! -- "ruled that Congress ignored the most experienced doctors in determining that the banned procedure would never be necessary --- a finding he found 'unreasonable.'", according to CNN.

"According to responsible medical opinion, there are times when the banned procedure is medically necessary to preserve the health of a woman and a respectful reading of the congressional record proves that point," Kopf wrote. "No reasonable and unbiased person could come to a different conclusion."

I don't care what Religious Fundamentalism you prescribe to, such bills forced into law via willfull avoidance of scientific fact, medical judgement, the health of the citizenry, and the will of the judiciary (including the Supreme Court of the United States who had previously knocked down the similar bill) by Activist and Extremist Legislators and Executives is anything but "conservative".

Apparently it'll require a loss this November (God willing) for the real conservatives in this country to have a chance at reclaiming their party from the TheoCons who've hijacked it and are trying to ram every single breach of the U.S. Constitution they can down our throats while they still are in power. Though one wonders if the Fake Conservatives that control the GOP have now gone so far off the deep end, that the once Grand Ole Party may never be able to reclaim itself from the charlatans that now own it.

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The Dick Cheney Fear & Smear Edition!
By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 2:12pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 12:55pm PT  

Yes, it's rare, but BRAD BLOG readers know that from time to time we find Republicans with some measure of intellectual honesty and recognize them for their courage in doing the right thing against all odds. Given all the other Republicans, with something less than either intellectualism or honesty that we highlight here regularly (and those who highlight themselves in our Comments sections with a similar lack of distinction), it seems only fair to point out when a Republican outs himself as having intellectual honesty even at the risk of incurring the wrath of the usually lockstepping GOP.

The latest winner of this coveted honor is Richie Robb, Republican from West Virginia who ran in the May Gubernatorial Primary there and who has been appointed by his party as an official Elector for George W. Bush. Only problem? According to Politics1.com, Robb has no intention, and neither is he legally bound, to actually cast his electoral vote in favor of Bush...


WILL THE ENTIRE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION COME DOWN TO THIS ONE GUY'S VOTE?
An act of party unity and magnanimity is coming back to haunt the West Virginia Republican Party. In the immediate aftermath of the crowded 10-person GOP primary for Governor back in May, the party selected the five top runner-ups from the gubernatorial contest to be the official slate of GOP Electors for the upcoming Presidential race. Those names were subsequently filed by the state's deadline and are now locked into place. That's where the problem begins. South Charleston Mayor Richie Robb (R) --- who placed fourth in the primary with 10% --- was thus awarded one of the coveted Presidential Elector slots. This week Robb told the AP that he does not think he will cast his electoral vote for President Bush. Under WV state law, apparently, there is nothing that forces him to do so. Robb said he will not cast his ballot for Kerry, but would most likely cast his electoral vote --- if Bush wins the state --- for "No Candidate."...Robb, a Vietnam War veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star for heroism in combat, said he opposed the Iraq War and was also upset with the Swift Boat Vets ads that attacked Kerry's record in Vietnam. "When their candidate [Bush] dodged Vietnam, to me that type of conduct is going over the line," said Robb to the AP. "I think President Bush needs to get the message from people across this country, including Republicans, that his strategy in national security and his economic policies needs to be revisited ... I see an erosion of the middle class in this country and a disparity in income levels I think is unhealthy for this country and its future," he added....Robb notes that he was not present when they selected the electors and did not seek the honor. "My job is to exercise my best judgment. That's how I've always done it. That's how I intend to do it," countered Robb.

If the election is another close one, Robb's one electoral vote could make the difference this year! So congratulations Mr. Robb! You've earned the coveted and rare BRAD BLOG "Intellectual Honest Conservative" Award! I'm sure you'll not let us down this November!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2004 12:24pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 11:55pm PT  

First Max Cleland, and now the Police. Does Bush talk to anyone that he doesn't agree with?

On Friday morning, the White House officially refused to meet with law enforcement leaders about saving the assault weapons ban. The International Association of Chiefs of Police had requested a meeting, offering to send police chiefs to meet with the President on any date that the White House chose. The White House response said the President would not meet with the police due to a "scheduling conflict." (Again, the IACP had not requested any specific date or time for the meeting.)

The boy in the bubble. Let's pop the bubble, shall we?

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According to an analysis of Bush's OWN Records!
By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 11:44pm PT  

It's been about three days since the report on the Killian memos, and still no denial from the White House on either the legitimacy of the memo's or their substance which charge that Bush disobeyed a direct order to take his physical and lost his flight privileges because of it. As well, that he received preferential treatment in the bargain. The White House silence would seem to speak volumes.

Yet up until now, their singular reply in their own defense is that Bush "fulfilled his duty and received an honorable discharge."

Well, looks like there yet may be more bad news for President AWOL. U.S. News is now reporting that --- according to Bush's own records, (that he himself released!) --- Bush did not fulfill his required duties for the Texas Air National Guard!:


A review of the regulations governing Bush's Guard service during the Vietnam War shows that the White House used an inappropriate--and less stringent--Air Force standard in determining that he had fulfilled his duty. Because Bush signed a six-year "military service obligation," he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period. The White House has said that Bush's service should be calculated using 12-month periods beginning on his induction date in May 1968. Using this time frame, however, Bush still fails the Air Force obligation standard.

Moreover, White House officials say, Bush should be judged on whether he attended enough drills to count toward retirement. They say he accumulated sufficient points under this grading system. Yet, even using their method, which some military experts say is incorrect, U.S. News's analysis shows that Bush once again fell short. His military records reveal that he failed to attend enough active-duty training and weekend drills to gain the 50 points necessary to count his final year toward retirement.

The U.S. News analysis also showed that during the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration. White House officials did not respond to the analysis last week but emphasized that Bush had "served honorably."

It bears repeating...The analysis above is based on records released by Bush and the White House themselves! Perhaps those were also forgeries? The world awaits how the Freepers will apologize for this one!

(From BRAD BLOG tipster, Alexi again!)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 11:20pm PT  

From BRAD BLOG tipster, Jaime, as reported just now from Reuters:


Blast, Mushroom Cloud Reported in N. Korea

SEOUL, South Korea - A large explosion occurred in the northern part of North Korea, sending a huge mushroom cloud into the air on an important anniversary of the communist regime, a South Korean news agency reported Sunday.

The Yonhap news agency, citing an unidentified source in Beijing, said the explosion happened Thursday in Yanggang province near the border with China. The explosion in Kim Hyong Jik county blasted a crater big enough to be noticed by a satellite, the source said...

Jaime's comments:

So...since Bush doesn't do diplomacy and we can't invade N. Korea due to our lack of troop strength in the region (pulling our troops out of the region doesn't seem like a good idea does it Rummy?) and with our prior commitments in the totally necessary Iraq war...this doesn't bode well.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 7:27pm PT  

As Iraq becomes Afghanistan-ized as one city after another falls away from control of Baghdad (so far the major cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Najaf, Ramadi and Karbala are all now under "insurgent" rule) and heads ever closer to civil war, here are the raw numbers according to McLaughlin:

THE HUMAN TOLL as of Friday, 9/10/04...

U.S. Military Dead: 1008
Amputees, Wounded, Injured, Psychologically Disabled: 27,100 est.
Iraqi Civilians Dead: 20,300 est.

It's the judgement, stupid.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 2:29pm PT  

It's not just squirrel hunters who can celebrate on Monday when Bush's failure to renew the ban on Assault Weapons opens the doors to any and all such weapons as we mentioned previously. Now Jihadists in the U.S. can celebrate as well!

That's right, as spelled out in the article "How Can I Train Myself for Jihad?" the first thing shown is the picture of the AK-47 at right! And later these words of advice:

In other countries, e.g. some states of USA, South Africa, it is perfectly legal for members of the public to own certain types of firearms. If you live in such a country, obtain an assault rifle legally, preferably AK-47 or variations, learn how to use it properly and go and practice in the areas allowed for such training.

"Some states"? Heck, it'll be just about all states as of Monday! Let the jihad begin!

At this rate, if Bush gets any "tougher" on fighting "terrorism", we may not even make it to November 2nd! Better get your AK-47 this Monday!

(Thanks to the always sharp John Aravosis of AMERICAblog for the catch!)

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Post-Convention bounce (if it much existed) now evaporating.
By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 1:57pm PT  

The REPUBLICAN polling firm, Rasmussen released their latest numbers today from their daily tracking poll. Bush has a 1 point lead over Kerry. 1 point. With Bush at 47% and Kerry at 46%.

Rasmussen has had Bush out in front of Kerry for months, even while most polls showed Kerry ahead of Bush. So if they are now showing just a 1 point lead for Bush, well, feel free to extrapolate.

It's not clear whether those numbers are "Likely Voters" or "Registered Voters", but in general, the polling of "Likely Voters" has shown better numbers for Kerry than do the polls of "Registered Voters". So extrapolate again.

The race is still Kerry's to lose. Which, in case you're reading this John Kerry, doesn't mean you should keep trying to lose!!!

UPDATE: The numbers from ALL of the latest state polls indicate that Kerry leads Bush in the electoral count still: 273 to 233 (with 270 being the number needed to win).

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Twice in one speech!
(Might explain a few things!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 1:35pm PT  

On the eve of 9/11, our own Secrety of Defense seems unable to tell the difference between Saddam Hussein, who didn't attack America, and Osama bin Laden who killed at least 3000 on American soil...

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld mixed up Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden with deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein twice in a speech Friday.

Among other things, Rumsfeld talked about the world just before the Sept. 11 attacks, whose third anniversary is today. In Afghanistan, he told the National Press Club, "the leader of the opposition Northern Alliance, Masoud, lay dead, his murder ordered by Saddam Hussein, by Osama bin Laden, Taliban's co-conspirator."

Ahmed Shah Masoud, who opposed the ruling Taliban, was killed by suspected Al Qaeda operatives not Hussein two days before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Later, Rumsfeld said, "Saddam Hussein, if he's alive, is spending a whale of a lot of time trying to not get caught. And we've not seen him on a video since 2001."

Hussein was captured by U.S. forces in Iraq; Bin Laden has not been found.

Apparently Rummy not only skipped the "understand your enemy" part of war school, he must have been absent for the "know WHO your enemy actually is" lesson as well!

Or perhaps it's as BRAD BLOG tipster, Alexi put it: "Must be something in the water over at the White House". Apparently.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/11/2004 12:24pm PT  

Courtesy of The Freeway Blogger...

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