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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2004 5:05pm PT  

Thanks to the BRAD BLOG's three fine Guest Bloggers, Johnhp, Jaime and Bryan for keeping things lively around here for the last few weeks when I've been galavanting about the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

Thanks also to the inventors of Wireless Internet access for making it easier than ever to stay in touch even while on the road and in the most remote places!

It may take a day or two to get back to speed, but with the Republicans trouncing on the graves of 3000 Americans in NYC for their political benefit, and another 1000 Americans dead in Iraq for no good reason, I imagine my conscience will get me back in action faster than my brain and body might like.

But hey, we've got a country (and world) to save now, eh? Thanks to all the BRAD BLOGGERS, even the confused and desperate Right Wingers for your support.

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Protest NYC Edition
By Brad Friedman on 8/29/2004 4:54pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2004 12:31pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from Northern California...)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2004 11:23am PT  

If you're not already registered to vote where you live, click here to do so right away!

In some states, there's a 60 day advance deadline quickly coming up!

There is also a "Register to Vote Here" link on the right side of all BRAD BLOG pages to use any time! Get it done! Now!

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More of 'the company they keep'...
By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2004 11:07am PT  

(Blogged by Brad on the road...)

No doubt you've already heard of Swiftie John O'Neill being hoisted on his own petard, on tape, in Nixon's oval office telling Tricky Dick that he was "in Cambodia". Such a thing was to have been impossible according to O'Neill in his own book of dirty tricks known as "Unfit for Command".

You've also heard that O'Neill claimed not to be a Republican, and not to have been involved in politics for 30 years. Both lies quickly illuminated to the contrary as it was revealed that O'Neill has given some $15,000 to Republican campaigns over the last decade, and worked for Nixon, Rehnquist and other "not Republicans" during that time.

As well, Guest Blogger Jaime was quick to report here on Co-Author Jerome Corsi's habit of referring to the Democratic Nominee for President as "John Fucking Commie Kerry", Hilary "the fat pig" Clinton and other "ragheads" on various internet hate sites like FreeRepublic.com.

The lies and dirty tricks of these guys go on and on.

So it's probably not a suprise to see a story such as "And Yet Another Anti-Kerry Swift Boat Vet Caught Lying" revealing yet another of the "Swifties for Truth" as being...um...less than truthful by having sworn to an affadavit which he now admits contains only information that relied "on the account of war buddies, not what he witnessed" and that he himself lied about an extra-marital affair with a colleague.

And now I've learned that Regenry, who published "Unfit for Command" after most reputable publishers turned it down, pushes a White Supremacy Agenda! Yet for some reason, I'm still not surprised:

The principals in the company publishing a anti-John Kerry book by the GOP-backed Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have a long history of preaching and supporting white supremacy.

William Regnery II, heir to the Regnery publishing fortune, is moving into a new line of business: match-making for "heterosexual whites of Christian cultural heritage."

...the Caucasian dating service would be no ordinary money-making opportunity, but a chance to ensure "the survival of our race," which "depends upon our people marrying, reproducing and parenting."

Promoting white nationalism is nothing new for Regnery ? or his family. His grandfather, William I, signed incorporation papers for the America First Committee, an organization that opposed fighting Nazi Germany in World War II. His father, Henry, created Regnery Publishing which, besides the anti-Kerry book, publishes right-wing screeds by Ann Coulter and G. Gordon Liddy.

William II has made his mark as a major fundraiser in radical right circles as the founder of the Charles Martel Society in 2001. The society publishes The Occidental Quarterly, an academic-looking journal filled with articles by white-supremacist luminaries such as Sam Francis, editor for the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens and Wayne Lutton of the hate group The Social Contract Press.

The society is putting together conferences, summer schools and a speaker's bureau ? all designed to push Regnery's view that the white race is veering toward extinction.

And if Bush wins in November, who will he have to thank for that now that this book and those ads and this nonsense has finally helped turn around a few of his polls?

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By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2004 10:36am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...though I'll be home soon!)

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The Bushies Hope Note!
By Brad Friedman on 8/28/2004 10:34am PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

If you only listen to Talk Radio (and occassionally catch a snippet of Fox News), you'd think the fact that the Bush campaign has finally found their very own "Willie Horton" distraction (Swifties for Bush) is the only news worth reporting.

I've been away from newspapers and other sources of real news for a while, so imagine my surprise when I learned there actually were newsworthy items, that have to do with Americans today, but that seem to be getting little coverage from the Rightwing Extremist Media.

Thursday's USA Today was kind enough to summarize the latest report on the horrors of Abu Ghraib. You recall that place, right? The place where the America managed to create thousands of new terrorists?

It looks like at least 30 more Americans, above and beyond the 7 "bad apples", have now been implicated. And even Don Rumsfeld has been taken to task. And mind you, this is a report by the Army investigating itself. So you can imagine how horrific and far reaching the real story actually is.

I have a feeling this story, below the fold in Thursday's USA Today didn't get the coverage that it might have had only John Kerry not been such a dangerous, lying, evil, traitorous, Communist, America hater.

So, here's a few items from the report that actually matter and that you may have missed:

A long-awaited Army report released Wednesday implicates 27 members of a military intelligence unit in the alleged abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, well beyond the seven reservist military police already charged.

...

[O]fficials did say Col. Thomas Pappas, who was the commander of the 205th Intelligence Brigade, could face criminal action.

[Lead investigator, Gen. Paul] Kern said four officers “above the rank of colonel” face discipline for command failures at Abu Ghraib.

[T]he number of abuse incidents — they cited 44 cases — and types of abuse were greater than previously believed.

Among the incidents: Guards and interrogators competed with dog teams to see which could more quickly make naked teenage prisoners lose control of their bowels and bladders.

Military leaders, while “not directly responsible” for the abuses, bear responsibility, Lt. Gen. Anthony Jones said.

In addition to the abuse cases, Kern said investigators found eight cases in which prisoners were hidden from the International Red Cross, which monitored prison conditions. “We can't tell you why,” he said.

A sharply worded report issued Tuesday blamed top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for creating conditions that led to abuse at the prison.

Okay. Now go back to fighting over whether it was shrapnel or bullets that punctured the flesh of John Kerry 35 years ago while he volunteered to risk his life for our country.

Bush/Cheney '04: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.

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Same Dumb Bush
By Winter Patriot on 8/27/2004 7:40pm PT  

(NOTE: This item guest blogged by Jaime)

Knowing his support amongst Cuban Americans in the battleground state of Florida is slipping, George W. Bush went stumping in Miami today. Like a broken record, Mr. Bush accused John Kerry of flip flopping in his vote against the Helms-Burton law. Kerry had actually voted for two earlier versions of the bill and eventually voted against the final passage due to provisions he did not like in the final draft. Simple to understand. Something a Senator does all the time. But Mr. Bush wanted to highlight his point to his captive audience and added this nugget of insight:

To clear things up, his campaign said that while he did vote against final passages, he had voted for it more earlier.

Seeing his numbers drop from 88 percent support to the mid sixties among Cuban-American voters in Florida, he pulled the old bait and switch by addressing not what the people are so upset about (travel and spending restrictions) but by aggressively attacking Kerry's Flip Flops. Besides failing English, Bush seemingly has failed history as his unwavering stance on the travel ban proves.

The embargo didn't work with Kennedy...or Johnson...or Nixon...or Ford...or Carter...or Reagan...or Daddy...or Clinton...or 3 years into Dubya's term. By heeding the advice of dusting himself off and getting back on the saddle, Bush's election year embargo frenzy is seemingly backfiring. The embargo has outlasted president after president. It never worked and it won't ever work.

What America, and the Cuban-American families, need is a more better policy that should have been enacted more earlier. One that overwhelms Cuba with capital not deprive it of State-side assistance. Unfortunately, in the Bush administration consistency trumps accuracy and the once solid dissident base in Florida will more likely vote no' on Bush rather than Si.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/27/2004 12:31pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from the road...)

Not sure if last night's show was a repeat or not, I've missed quite a few while being on the road, but the interview with Bill Clinton (following the one with John Kerry a few days before) was quite a coup for the basic cable, low rent comedy show.

None the less, The Daily Show continues to offer the best coverage of Election '04 available believe it or not. So it's little wonder that so many are now getting the bulk of their news from it, according to a Pew poll released last week.

Surely Daily Show viewers are at least as informed about what the hell is going out on out there as Fox News watchers. And undoubtedly, more so.

Last night, Stephen Colbert's interview with "The Democratic Party" was a stitch. My quick search of The Daily's website didn't turn up the video. So if anyone has a link to it, please post it in comments. (I believe the show will re-run today at 7pm, otherwise).

And while you're there, Rob Corddry's "Don't Mess With Texas" piece was also a hoot. I was able to find the video for that one. Enjoy!

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...And the loss of the Public Airwaves.
By Brad Friedman on 8/27/2004 11:48am PT  

(Blogged on the road by Brad...)

Blowing back in a southerly trajectory towards L.A., I came across a review of OutFoxed in the Eugene Weekly I picked up at the motel. I never got around to posting a full "review" of the excellent documentary here. Now that it's making the unheard of jump from DVD to Theater-Near-You, I oughta get around to it.

But not for the moment. Instead, a quick thought on Lois Wadsworth's review in the Weekly. She pegs Fox News' Carl Cameron as a "bootlicker" in regards to the ass-kissing he's overseen committing with Dubya on the "feed" prior to his "Fox News Exclusive" with Bush during the 2000 campaign (Cameron's wife worked for the Bush Campaign at the time, no conflict apparently for Fox's "Chief Political Correspondent").

This is not a pretty picture, but it is a cogent commentary on the state of Fox News. The "deregulation" of television began back in the Reagan administration, aided and abetted by Oregon's own bad-boy Republican Senator Bob Packwood. Prior to that time, news organizations were required to provide free, equal time to candidates to rebut the slanted messages candidates with money could buy. If this topic is ancient history to you, Google it. You may be surprised to learn the airwaves used to belong to the people.

Imagine that.

(Another, carbon-based way to learn more about the unravelling of real "fair and balance" on the people's airwaves is The Control Room : How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections, a book by Martin Plissner. It's an excellent pre-2000 examination of the breakdown of the "equal time rules" on television, and how the structure of today's Presidential Elections in America are virtually 100% the product of the News Media.)

And, of course, you can still purchase the OutFoxed DVD for $9.95 online if the film is not playing near you. Or you'd just like to have a copy to pass around to those "Fox Fans" who may need a reality check.

One other point that I'd been meaning to discuss since watching the film, is the study they document showing that people who watch Fox News regularly are far less informed than those who get their news from other sources. The study shows that Fox News viewers get an inordinate amount of simple, fact-based questions --- like, "Was Saddam Hussein responsible for 9/11?" or "Did we find WMD in Iraq?" --- completely wrong.

That survey synchs up with one a few years back (I believe it was a Pew study, can't look it up from the road for now) showing that while Rush Limbaugh listeners thought they were the most informed, it turned out that they were instead amongst the least informed of those who followed current events.

Makes sense. At this point, to be a Bush supporter, one would have to be either uninformed or misinformed. And that's exactly what Fox News, Rush and Team Bush are all counting on.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2004 9:52pm PT  

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And other Presidential Distractions...
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2004 9:28pm PT  

I've been in the woods for the past three days without cable or radio. When I came out, same old thing as before I went in.

Dubya, who didn't want to sign the Campaign Finance Reform bill in the first place (after originally supporting it) --- the one that paved the way for the 527's --- because it would supposedly take away "free speech" from those who wanted to band together to make political statements (presumably like the NRA, and other Right Wing groups), is still calling for the end to all those "shadowy groups". Even after he flip-flopped a second time and signed the legislation under pressure to do so.

So he supported those "shadowy groups" before, but now that it turns out most of the folks supporting their "free speech" rights through such groups are freely speaking against Bush, well, now it turns out he's against those groups. Another flip-flop. Follow all of that?

To make matters more appalling, he's against "all" the 527's only now that everyone, including Senator John McCain, has called on him to condemn the despicable smear campaign of the Swifties for Bush in which they've out and out said he lied about his record in Vietnam, including self-inflicting two wounds to win two of his three purple hearts. (Anything to win.)

Will Bush condemn the ads now that the group has been discredited? Now that two members of Bush's own campaign have had to resign because they broke the law and coordinated with the Swifties? Apparently not. Instead, he hides behind his new found distaste for the groups that he had so feared would lose their right to free speech in the past.

Yo, Dubya, you like to tell us about your moral conviction. So do your surrogates. And yet, where is it?

Let's see some, Mr. "President". CONDEMN THE ADS!

Or continue to be the flip-flopping, misleading, lying puppet you've been for the last four years. No suprises there. Just continued disappointment.

That said, some Americans may prefer to choose their President based on things like what they will do about the worst unemployment record since Herbert Hoover, what they will do about more Americans than ever without health insurance, what they will do about losing all credibility throughout the world, and becoming more vulnerable to terrorism than ever before.

Then there's the trouble with oil, a deteriorating environment, and...ya know...actual issues. I guess the Bushies would rather not discuss that.

Never mind. Shoulda stayed in the woods.

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The Rain Forests of Washington state
By Brad Friedman on 8/25/2004 9:22pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from inside the Quinault Rain Forest 8/25/04 at 9:42am PT...to be posted whenever I find net access again.)

Who even knew there were rain forests in the U.S.A.? I didn't. But after having spent the last several days in the Quinault Rain Forest just south of the Olympic National Park in Northwest Washington state, I couldn't be happier about it.

Awesome. Be sure to spend some time to check 'em out if you ever happen to be up in this corner of the country. The hikes among the gi-normous Douglas Firs, Western Red Cedars and Western Hemlocks are awesome. Towering. And even as I write, I'm no more than 100 yards or so from the largest Sitka Spruce tree in the world.

Best thing about spending three days here, in virtually non-stop rain in the Rain Forest? Nobody ever complains about the weather! Truth in advertising. Toss on your raincoat, get out there and enjoy!

Two related political notes:

1) When driving up the near-coastal 101 Northwards toward the Olympic National Forest, it is at times like driving through the apocolypse as the landscape features thousands of acres of once-towering pines that have been devastatingly clearcut for miles in all directions from the highway. It's awful. And then suddenly, a sign that we are "Now entering Olympic National Forest" at the exact point at which the trees once again shoot up towards the heavens, replacing the scrappy, dry hillsides of scarred stumpage with thick, lush, breathable greenery --- hopefully --- protected (by the Government!) for generations to come. Sadly, trees don't get to vote, or have much of a lobby to protect them. So, it's up to folks like you and me. Don't let either party screw up that legacy of a country once smart enough to protect our natural resources. And don't let George W. Bush tell you that he's "protecting the forests" by letting his Timber Lobby have at 'em!

2) Since leaving California, we've been able to drink the water right out of the tap! And it's great! From Oregon up through Washington, we've not once had to pay for clean water. Why isn't clean, drinkable, delicious water out of the tap a top priority for all Americans? If I ever run for office, I believe I'll have to form the W.A.T.E.R. (Water, Air, Trees, Earth, Renew!) Party and run with "Clean Drinking Water from the Tap! For All!" as my number one platform. Someone's gotta do it. Apparently.

UPDATE 8/30/04: Pictures from Lake Quinault Rain Forest and the rest of the Road Trip now online here!

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By Brad Friedman on 8/22/2004 5:10pm PT  

(Blogged by Brad from an Espresso shop in Westport, WA...)

I've been making the case for years that George W. Bush and his supporters are certainly not "Conservative". Not in any classic, Goldwater sense for sure. I've taken to referring to them as Fake Conservatives. Conservative when it serves them politically, and beyond that, happy to spend into oblivion and/or outstretch the arms of the Federal Government into just about any area of private life they wish to. Nothing "conservative" about either of those ideas.

And it looks like Pat Buchanan, of all folks, is helping to make the case.

Drudge breaks the skinny on Buchanan's new book, WHERE THE RIGHT WENT WRONG: How Neoconservatives Subverted The Reagan Revolution And Hijacked the Bush Presidency.

I'm on the move, so don't have too much time. Will just post a couple of quotes from the book. See the link to Drudge above for a full boatload that are sure to put a burr under Rove, Rush and Hannity's Fake Conservative saddles.

"There is no conservative party left in Washington. Conservative thinkers and writers who were to be the watchdogs of orthodoxy have been as vigilant in policing party deviations from principle as was Cardinal Law in collaring the predator-priests of the Boston archdiocese."

"The Beltway Right has entered into a civil union with Big Brother."

"Under the rubric of conservatism, the Republican party of Bush I and II has been reinventing itself into what conservatives would have once recognized as a Rockefeller party reciting Reaganite rhetoric."

"[A] civil war is going to break out inside the Republican Party along the old trench lines of the Goldwater-Rockefeller wars of the 1960s, a war for the heart and soul and future of the party for the new century."

"Kristol's warning that neoconservatives could go to Kerry was an admission of what many have long recognized. The neoconservatives are not really conservatives at all. They are impostors and opportunists."

"This is democratic imperialism. This will bleed, bankrupt and isolate this republic. This overthrows the wisdom of the Founding Fathers about what America should be all about."

"[L]istening to the neoconservatives, Bush invaded Iraq, united the Arab world against us, isolated us from Europe, and fulfilled to the letter bin Laden's prophecy as to what we were about. We won the war in three weeks --- and we may have lost the Islamic world for a generation."

"We are not hated for who we are. We are hated for what we do. It is not our principles that have spawned pandemic hatred of America in the Islamic world. It is our policies."

"Often, terrorism succeeded in the 20th century, and, when it did, the ex-terrorists achieved power, glory and immortality, with streets, towns and cities named for them....America today recognizes every regime to come out of these wars where terrorism was a common tactic."

"There is no conservative party in Washington. There is a Democratic Party of tax-and-spend and a Republican Party of guns and butter and tax cuts, too. Washington is all accelerator, the brakes are gone."

"Bush has compiled a fiscal record of startling recklessness."

Hate to give it to a borderline Nazi sympathizer like Pat Buchanan, but it does look like he's the recipient of the latest rarely given "Intellectually Honest Conservative" Award as occasionally bestowed by the BRAD BLOG. And the republic gently weeps.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/21/2004 11:12am PT  

Beginning the long journey home now. Access to the net may again be sporadic. We'll see. So we'll leave it to our fine Guest Bloggers to jump in once again, as they have time, to help save the world in my possible absense.

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