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By Johnhp on 8/3/2004 3:43pm PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

The Republican party of Illinois has just admitted they can't field a candidate from Illinois. They are on the verge of inviting Alan Keyes to lose in November against Barak Obama. Obama had a 20 point lead over Jack Ryan before the latter dropped out of the Illinois Senate race.

You may have heard the story. Mr. Ryan allegedly asked his wife to perform oral sex on him in front of people at a sex club. When she tearfully refused he reportedly told her that she was ruining his mood. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh compassionate conservatism.

At any rate the Republicans have yet to field a candidate. They tried to get Mike Ditka to run but he didn't. Today they interviewes a dozen or so people for the job. One of those, Alan Keyes of Maryland. i hope Keyes stays out. i couldn't care less that he is from maryland. Our constitution allows for him to become a resident of the state any time up to and including the day of the election.

i have my heart set on the choice of another candidate. Daniel R. Vovak. He is new to Illinois (only lived here for a week), but he has something none of the other candidates have. No, not a chance to win; NONE of them have that. Mr. Vovak wears a powdered wig and lives in his Mustang convertable (he calls it "Air Ford One"). i can see the debates now...

If you are all as interested as i am in seeing something like this, please send emails of support for Mr. Vovak to the Chair of the Illinois GOP. Her name is Judy Baar Topinka. chairman@ilgop.org

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By Johnhp on 8/3/2004 1:28pm PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

Howard Dean was placed in the echo chamber by the right (yet again) this week. They are now claiming that he said the Tom "kiss your sweet ass goodbye" Ridge raised terror alerts on a purley political basis.

The folks over at SkewedRepublic have gotten their panties into a serious twist over this suggesting that Gov. Dean "says there is no terror alert that the Bush administration is just using a fear facter because the Bush campaign is in trouble and this is a last ditch effort to win votes!!!"

In fact, the one Skewed who pinted out that such a take was in error was ignored.

One other kook of note also makes the claim that "Screamin' Dean" was all over the news channels saying that the NYC terror alert was nothing more than a political ploy by the Bush administration to keep the voters afraid."

Those of us who saw the interview are completely shocked:

DEAN: The question is, do I believe this is being fabricated? No, of course I don't believe that. But I do think that there is politics in this, and the question is, how much is politics and how much is a real threat?
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By Johnhp on 8/3/2004 6:03am PT  

(NOTE: This entry guest blogged by Johnhp)

Yesterday, Mr. Bush made some remarks on terror. For the last few months he has been saying that his reckless Iraq policy has made Americans safer. yesterday he sang a different tune.

"Today, because America has acted and because America has led, the forces of terror and tyranny have suffered defeat after defeat, and America and the world are safer."

Apparently no one had explained to him that since the Iraq invasion, the ranks of al Qaeda have swelled, there have been increased terrorist acts including bombings in Africa, Eirope, the Middle East, and Asia. Maybe he should call that Powell guy and ask him about state department numbers on terrorism since the invasion. Facts are stubborn things. Apparently, ignorance is more stubborn.

At the same time Mr. Bush was making the statements about America being safer Tom Ridge was running around saying that al Qaeda had us in its sites.

"We lack precise knowledge about time, place and method of attack. But along with the CIA, FBI and other agencies, we are actively working to gain that knowledge."

This knowlege was about plans to carry out large-scale terrorist attacks in the United States in the near future. Apparently for Mr. Bush, large scale attacks in the near future are some reason to feel safe. nevertheless, Bush has recently been convinced to come over to the side of the rest of his cabinet:

"We are a nation in danger."

Wow. We are either safer but in danger or Bush has flip flopped.

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On the road again...
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2004 11:46am PT  

I'll be out battling the forces of evil on the road for the next week or two. I hope to check in here when and if possible, but in the meantime, please welcome first-time Guest Bloggers, Jaime, Johnhp and Bryan to the BRAD BLOG! See their items as they roll in below this one. I'll leave it to them if they wish to introduce themselves, or just pick up where I left off, saving the world, and causing mayhem however possible. Keep 'em honest. Thanks as always for your support, and keep spreading the good word (the "Email it to Someone!" link at the bottom of each item works great!)

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These White Men in Blue Suits will Protect You!
We are 'a safer nation in danger'!
By Brad Friedman on 8/2/2004 11:33am PT  

See this previous item. Then read this:

"We are a nation in danger," Bush said as he announced his position during an appearance with top administration national security figures in the White House Rose Garden.
...
He said he had no plans to summon Congress back into a special session this summer. "They can think about them over August and come back and act on them in September," he said.

Just so you're not confused...remember, "America is safer now" and yet "We are a nation in danger". Threats are "imminent and real", but think about that during your August vacation. Also..."I am a war President" and "I am a peace President".

Got that? Confused? Good, that's just where we want you. Happy and not afraid and angry and terrified.

Now go out, enjoy the summer by vacationing with your families and shop, and buy duct tape and be aware of your surroundings at all times. The threat is real though the terror alert color will not be changed. Have a nice/horrible day.

(We're Bush-Cheney '04, and we approve of this mixed message.)

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 4:18pm PT  

The Democratic radio address Saturday was given by a Retired General and Bush 2000 supporter...

A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.

When both the "Solid South" and the Military are falling away from a Republican "President", one needn't be Miss Cleo in order to connect the dots.

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A Dark Chapter in American History
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 4:08pm PT  

I had planned a review of the various failed strategies of the Bush-Cheney Campaign, and a look at what is left for them to try. I hope to do just that before leaving town shortly.

But by way of a preview, Atrios hit upon the lynchpin of a very dark and dangerous truth. There is only one way for Bush-Cheney right now to eke out a win (short of Kerry imploding of his own volition). In the attempt to do so, I'm sad to say, they'll be manipulating and preying upon the fears of the American people between now and November in every subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle, way possible.

Here's a perfect example of their only "hope". And it's a dark, cynical, and dangerous one indeed...

Playing Politics With Terror Alerts

Ridge, today:

But we must understand that the kind of information available to us today is the result of the president's leadership in the war against terror, the reports that have led to this alert are the result of offensive intelligence and military operations overseas, as well as strong partnerships with our allies around the world, such as Pakistan.

Today's "terror alert", coming as it did earlier enough to make it onto the Sunday News Programs after a universally lauded DNC Convention, along with the announced arrest in Pakistan last Thursday (on the morning of Kerry's big speech) of one of the African Embassy bombers who had been captured the previous Sunday (but the announcement waited as requested until "'twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July'--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston") shows that the Bush Leaguers are not ashamed in the least to play this card. Ridge's phrasing above demonstrates that clearly.

This is not the stuff of conspiracy theorists. This is the stuff of subtle, shrewd and cynical manipulation of the very real fears of the American people.

While such tactics should be out of bounds at all times --- and from both parties in this country --- Bush-Cheney has such a dreadful "record of achievement" to draw from, and their other hopes of dividing and conquering have amounted to little more than $100 million down the drain, this sort of insidiously subtle parasitism may well be the only prayer they have left. Clearly they are not above the moral dishonesty required to exploit such a cynical tactic for all they can.

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By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 3:23pm PT  

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Soviet States of America?
By Brad Friedman on 8/1/2004 12:35pm PT  

Updating a previous item on the Bush-Cheney campaign requiring a signed pledge of loyalty to George W. Bush before allowing voters to attend a Dick Cheney campaign event...

Drudge is finally running a piece on this now that it's being suggested that "some Democrats" were required to sign loyalty oaths.

Am I just a pinko, commie, terrorist Freedom Hater if I think that shouldn't really make any damn difference...here in America?! The story doesn't exactly inform us how campaign officials knew who were Democrats and who weren't, and even goes on to say that "Some Democrats who are Bush supporters were welcomed without signing anything."

The story also does not explain how the Bush campaign would know which Democrats were Bush supporters and which weren't.

But read on...

Vietnam veteran Michael Ortiz y Pino said he refused to sign the pledge and was refused tickets.

Ortiz y Pino said he was asked if he associated with veterans, pro-life, gun rights or teacher groups.

Neither man wanted to give driver's license numbers but did so.

"I said why do you need that?" Ortiz y Pino said.

A campaign worker, he said, replied: "Secret Service stuff."

PLEASE, is there any conservative out there who can explain to me how this is what you are looking for in a "conservative" nominee for President of the United States (of America!)??

Once again...here is what the "pledge" says. The one you must sign to see your Vice-President speak during a Presidential Campaign:

"I, (full name) ... do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States." It later adds that, "In signing the above endorsement you are consenting to use and release of your name by Bush-Cheney as an endorser of President Bush."

Dan Foley, of the Bush Campaign, explains...

"The endorsement pledges, he said, were for screening purposes, not for any advertisement listing names of Democrats who support Bush.

Oh, well that's a relief!

Anyway, the story is now linked on Drudge, so it should be reported by the Mainstream Media shortly. As long as it hasn't been taken it down by Monday.

UPDATE: A follow-up piece from the Albuquerque Journal would seem to defy the "some Democrats" report which claimed that it was just people who called from "a line that self-identified as ACT, America Coming Together, an activist group that supports Kerry."

As well, it quotes a Republican National Committee spokesperson, Yier Shi, explaining the policy for restricting the event --- at a public school gymnasium! --- only to the loyal ones:

Democrats, independents and others were welcome to attend the speech, he saidó as long as they like Bush and Cheney.
And people should understand that Cheney is visiting New Mexico in the role of a candidate for re-election, Shi said, explaining that Republicans are treating the trip as a political campaign visit and not as an official visit of the vice president.
"The argument that you're an American and you have a right to see the vice presidentó you can when he comes to New Mexico on an official visit," Shi said. "On this visit, he's Dick Cheney, a candidate for vice president and he happens to also be the vice president."

Got that distinction?

This is a campaign in big --- very big --- trouble.

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