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The 'Catastrophic Success' continues...
By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2004 12:23pm PT  

Today Sec. of State Colin Powell said about the Iraq insurgency, "It's getting worse."

A rare moment of honesty from the Bush Administration. Here's the numbers they don't usually enjoy mentioning to the American People...As of 9/26/04:

Attacks by Insurgents per day:
70-80 avg.

U.S. Military Killed in the past Week:
15

U.S. Military Killed from "Mission Accomplished" through hand-over of "Sovereignty":
1.89 per day

U.S. Military Killed from hand-over of "Sovereignty" through Today:
2.34 per day

Total U.S. Military Killed since hand-over of "Sovereignty" (90 days ago):
194

Total UK Military Killed since then:
6

Total U.S. Military Dead since start of War:
1,048

U.S. Military Amputees, Wounded, Injured & Psychologically Disabled,
All now evacuated from Iraq:
27,800 est.

Iraqi Civilians Killed since start of War:
20,900 est.

Iraqi Military Killed (by end of "major hostilities"):
28,000 est.

Total Iraqis Killed (Civilian and Military):
48,900 est.

Population of Iraq:
25 million

Killed in the US on 9/11:
2,973

Population of US:
293 million

Stockpiles of WMD's found in Iraq so far:
0

Sources: Iraq Coalition Casuality Count, U.S. Dept. of Defense, McLaughlin Group

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/26/2004 11:16am PT  

Bush tells O'Reilly in his interview (to be run over three days starting Monday...not spinning at all) that he would do the "Mission Accomplished" thing all over again.

From Reuters:

President Bush said he had no regrets about donning a flight suit to give his "Mission Accomplished" speech on Iraq in May 2003 and would do it all over again if he had the chance, according to excerpts from an television interview released on Sunday.

When asked by Fox News if he still would have put on a flight suit to declare major combat operations in Iraq over, Bush replied, "Absolutely."

When Bush gave his May 1 speech fewer than 150 Americans had died in the war. Since then more than 900 have died.

It brings to mind what John Stewart has been saying lately about Bush. "He drove us into a brick wall...but he didn't blink!"

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2004 6:31pm PT  

...More "Republican Jesus" right here, courtesy of Jesus' General.

ReddIt this story!



...In no particular order of wussiness...
(Sponsored by K-Y Jelly!)
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2004 4:02pm PT  


Congressional Democrats cave (again) to Republicans to extend the tax cuts which have added to the largest budget deficit in the history of mankind.
Congressional Democrats fail to be strong on defense by joining Republicans in confirming a new Director of the CIA who, among other reasons not to confirm him, has stated on video he's not qualified for the job.
Congressional Republicans for both of the items above, even though we expect that sort of "anything to win" political gamesmanship from them by now. Still, it would be nice if they managed to put their country over their political ambitions once in a while.
Congressional Republicans cave to the White House by voting against demanding they turn over documents of how they lied when they "promised" Congressional Republicans that their Medicare Bill would cost no more than $400 Billion (even though it turns out the White House knew at the time the cost would be at least 20% higher.)


CBS caves to the Pro-Bush terrorists and spikes it's story planned on the misdjudgements that got us into the War on Iraq.
The Washington Times lies by making up quotes attributed to John Kerry, then lies again in their published Correction. Drudge doesn't bother to run the (lying) Correction, even after running a link to the initial lie for an entire day.
The Washington Post and other newspapers around the country find it necessary once again to drop and/or edit The Boondocks comic strip for absurd, "politically correct" reasons.
The White House dumps still more Bush National Guard documents on another late Friday night in hopes that no one will notice.
The Bush Campaign threatens to pull out of this Thursday's Debate in Miami because the moderators from the press will not sign their "loyalty oath"! Developing...
ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2004 3:08pm PT  

You may remember the various outrageous and unsupported statements by Cheney, Bush, Hastert and the rest of the Wingnuts suggesting outright that "The Terrorists support John Kerry". (In case you don't, the ad at right was on Drudge a few months ago. Just one of many created to send the message). UPDATE: Another story on this point, just released by AFP

Of course, in none of those cases did any of the irresponsible folks making the claim have a shred of actual evidence to support their smear. They were just smearing for Smear & Fear sake. Anything to win a Presidential election.

It seems obvious to me that Bush has been a terrorist's Dream President as he's effectively done everything they could have hoped for. Even Donald Rumsfeld has acknowledged that our actions in Iraq are likely "creating terrorists faster than we can kill them".

When it comes to hard evidence one way or another as to whom "The Terrorists" support however, there is only one clear statement from any Terrorist that I know of. And they have firmly endorsed George W. Bush for President as reported by the International Herald Tribune last March just after the Madrid bombings.

The note claiming responsibility for those bombings made "The Terrorists" preference for George W. Bush quite clear:

The statement tells Americans that Abu Hafs al-Masri supports the re-election of President George W. Bush.

"We are very keen that Bush does not lose the upcoming elections," it said.

Addressing Bush, it said: "We know that a heavyweight operation would destroy your government, and this is what we don't want. We are not going to find a bigger idiot than you." The statement said Abu Hafs al-Masri needs what it called Bush's "idiocy and religious fanaticism" because they would "wake up" the Islamic world. Comparing Bush with his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, the statement tells the president, "Actually, there is no difference between you and Kerry, but Kerry will kill our community, while it is unaware, because he and the Democrats have the cunning to embellish infidelity and present it to the Arab and Islamic community as civilization." [emphasis added]

So shouldn't the ad at right be changed to "1 out of 1 Terrorist Agrees! VOTE BUSH!"? Or should Bush/Cheney change their slogan to "Bush/Cheney - Even the Terrorists Support Us!"?

At least there is actual documented evidence to back up those claims.

(Thanks John Aravosis for the tip)

ReddIt this story!



More Irony the Kool-Aid Drinkers Won't Get
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2004 2:32pm PT  

This is the ad currently appearing on Drudge's site...

Ironic today, if only for this item. Not to mention the countless hundreds of other biased and incorrect reports like the one I pointed to that are featured every single month on Drudge and echoed in the rest of the Right Biased media chamber.

The beat goes on. Anything to win.

ReddIt this story!



What Americans don't know won't Kill Them, the White House hopes.
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2004 2:25pm PT  

For how long now has the White House told us they've "released everything pertaining to Bush's National Guard service"?

From Reuters:

This was the second Friday in a row the Defense Department released records of the president's National Guard service, but the records have done little to clear up allegations that Bush did not complete his required training in Alabama.

Yes, it was another late-on-Friday-night, too-late-to-make-it-onto-the-Nightly-News coincidence again this week.

ReddIt this story!



More evidence of journalistic dis-integrity from Media
By Brad Friedman on 9/25/2004 1:49pm PT  

Yesterday, The Washington Times lied in a story about a John Kerry appearance on CNN's Crossfire in 1997 where they claimed, after viewing a copy of the tape, that John Kerry had said: "We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians. ... We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest."

Unfortunately, the piece was a complete lie, as blogged yesterday right here, made even more destructive as it was picked up by Drudge, and thus predictably carried by the rest of the Rightwing Echo Chamber (Rush, Sean, Fox, the wingnut Blogosphere, etc.) Drudge, predictably, has not bothered to carry the "Correction" posted today.

Today, The Times has just made matters worse by running a "Correction" to the story right here.

Here is the letter I just sent off to Mr. McCaslin (following up a note I sent yesterday) along with a CC to his Managing Editor. Feel free to do the same!

From: Brad Friedman [mailto:Brad.Friedman@cville.com]
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 1:34 PM
To: 'jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com'
Cc: 'fcoombs@washingtontimes.com'; 'drudge@drudgereport.com'
Subject: You correct the story with another lie??

Mr. McCaslin,

It's nice that you attempted some correction to your grossly incorrect story on Kerry. It's further evidence of the example that Republicans follow their "President" by blaiming things on anyone but themselves when things go wrong.

Your correction to your erroneous story today begins with: "Due to erroneous information from Rep. Peter T. King..."

And yet, in your original incorrect story, you made it quite clear that "While no 'Crossfire' transcripts from 1997 are available, Mr. King in recent days produced a tape of the show, sharing it with...this Inside the Beltway column for publication."

You were wrong that no "Crossfire" transcripts were available (a point you didn't bother to correct at all in your "Correction") and more to the point, you said you were given access to the tape itself! The tape that supposedly contained the Kerry quote that you completely made up!

And now you are blaming Rep. King for your errors?

Might I remind you, you are the supposed journalist here. It is your responsibility to get the facts straight. And since you had them right in front of you (the actual tape of the show, and the transcript as easily available from Lexus/Nexus) you bear the responsibility for getting the story entirely wrong. Not Rep. King.

The fact that your error went out over Drudge, and subsequently every Rightwing parrot in the Echo Chamber certainly compounds the problem. The fact that your paper and others in the Chamber have the unmitigated gall to call for Rather's resignation when he made an error by being too hasty with releasing a story he thought to be true, versus a story that you clearly made up out of whole cloth is beyond appalling. But unfortunately, it's also symptomatic of both the Rightwing Echo Chamber, and, in your passing the buck to someone else, symptomatic of precisely what's wrong with the "Leadership" in this country.

I look forward to you now correcting the Correction and taking the responsibility you have in the matter. Beyond that, I'd hope that your Managing Editor would show the appropriate journalistic ethics and fire you, since it's clear you either out and out lied when you indicated you had a tape of the program, or you out and out lied when you printed a quotation from the show that simply didn't exist.

If newspapers will allow writers to continue contributing to their paper after indisputable lying in those same pages, then all journalistic credibility for such a paper is wholly and irretrievably lost.
---
Brad Friedman
Los Angeles, CA USA
Brad.Friedman@cville.com

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2004 6:16pm PT  

(But seriously...stay safe guys! It's not your fault! Our prayers are with ya!)

ReddIt this story!



Washington Times Lies; Drudge, Rush, Fox, Sean et al run with it.
(No calls from the Right yet for their resignation.)
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2004 5:29pm PT  

Bad news for Kerry! DRUDGE has the scoop! Right on the top of his page, you can still click on this headline: "Kerry Argued Case For Unilateral Preemptive Action In Iraq On CNN's CROSSFIRE In 1997..."

The link is to a new Washington Times piece by John McCaslin quoting Kerry on CNN's Crossfire in 1997, when we are told Kerry said: "We know we can't count on the French. We know we can't count on the Russians. ... We know that Iraq is a danger to the United States, and we reserve the right to take pre-emptive action whenever we feel it's in our national interest." McCaslin also said that "no 'Crossfire' transcripts from 1997 are available" but that he recieved a tape of the show.

Only problem? Kerry never said it.

Media Matters has the full story of what Kerry actually said...along with the transcript!

In the wake of "Rather-Gate" has anyone yet heard the cries for McCaslin and Drudge to resign? McCaslin had the actual tape of the show, so why would he put quotes around what he knows full well that John Kerry didn't say? I think you know the answer.

John McCaslin - jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com
Mng. Editor, Francis B. Coombs Jr. - fcoombs@washingtontimes.com

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2004 4:27pm PT  

What Bush actually said yesterday was:
"I saw a poll that said, uh, uh...the right trong, ri...right track, wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America."

Still trying to decipher what message he thinks he was actually sending with that quote, but in the meantime, the Kerry Campaign has responded --- and quickly! --- with another new ad. Good rapid response. Good to see.

ReddIt this story!



So is it okay to kill them?
What do God and Dr. Laura think?
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2004 1:38pm PT  

As I've received so much Email of late on the topic of the Jimmy Swaggart video ad I released recently, I've been pondering a few of the related ideas.

Swaggart, as many "Christian" homophobes enjoy mentioning, said in his sermon after announcing that he'd kill a gay man who looked at him the wrong way and then "tell God he died", that the bible says homosexuality is "an abomination". He reminded us of that just before he endorsed George W. Bush from his pulpit.

Swaggart is right, of course, on the bible calling homosexuality "an abomination" in Leviticus 18:22. Subsequently, God also is quoted as suggesting in Romans 1:32 that those "who commit such things are worthy of death".

This got me pondering about which of the bible thumpers out there (and I know we have one or two who read this Blog regularly) might agree that gays should be put to death as the bible would seem to advocate? Any of you Theo-Cons willing to ring in on that? You know where the Comment button is.

So I started looking around for more information on what else Leviticus has to say about things, and I came again across this letter to Dr. Laura that has made it's way around the Internet starting sometime in 2000, not long after Dr. Laura informed her listeners that homosexuality was a "mistake of nature", "a biological error" and that gays are in fact "deviants".

I don't know if Laura (not an actual medical or psychological or sociological Doctor, by the way) still feels that way as she seems to flip-flop on her opinions quite a bit. For example, she had years ago converted to Orthodox Judiasm, only to then renounce her religion on the air in July of 2003.

In any case, if you haven't seen this letter, or even if you have, it seems timely in this day and age to reprint it here again, along with a picture of the good "Doctor" (pictured upper-right, I'm sorry, it was amongst the least pornographic shots that I felt it proper to display on the front page here as it was one of the few without visible pubic hair from the series of photos it seems she posed for during one of her extra-marital affairs) to remind folks who Dr. Laura is, in case they're not familiar with her work. It's interesting to "heathens" like myself, what else the bible, including Leviticus and other chapters, has to say about a few other things:

Dear Dr. Laura,

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.

a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?

i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.

No word yet, four years after this letter was sent, on Dr. Laura's reply.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2004 12:41pm PT  

A day or so ago, Josh Marshall said: "Every so often you just have to sit back and marvel at the Twilight Zone we're living in at the moment."

Indeed...Here's one of those Twilight Zone moments from Wednesday, as reported by NY Times:

UNITED NATIONS, New York The rise in the number and ferocity of terrorist attacks by insurgents in Iraq is proof that they are getting weaker, not stronger, according to Iraq's interim prime minister, Ayad Allawi.
...
"We think that because our capabilities are improving, we are hitting them simultaneously, and as we are getting more precision, they are becoming deadlier and are attacking the recruits and the police because they have been hurt by these people."

Untwist that logic while you stir yourself up another pitcher.

ReddIt this story!



A Toon of the Moment Homerun
By Brad Friedman on 9/24/2004 12:19pm PT  

(via Josh Marshall)

ReddIt this story!



There's Nothing too Slimy For These Folks.
And the 'Anything to Win' File Grows Still Larger...
By Brad Friedman on 9/23/2004 11:28pm PT  

After a couple of days of hemming and hawing and "Who us?"-ing, the Republicans have come "clean" on the story we mentioned here and then here a couple of days ago, wherein we predicted this came from the same filthy bag of dirty tricks that the Republicans used to slime their own John McCain in 2000.

As reported in tomorrow's NY Times:

The Republican Party acknowledged yesterday sending mass mailings to residents of two states warning that "liberals" seek to ban the Bible. It said the mailings were part of its effort to mobilize religious voters for President Bush.

The mailings include images of the Bible labeled "banned" and of a gay marriage proposal labeled "allowed." A mailing to Arkansas residents warns: "This will be Arkansas if you don't vote." A similar mailing was sent to West Virginians.

In case you missed it the first time, here's the thoughtful mailing being sent out in Arkansas and West Virginia to help voters understand the "issues" at stake this year:

Just wait though. There's plenty more to come, I predict, from their filthy bag of tricks. So hold your nose and stay tuned. That rancid smell is the boyz just getting warmed up in the pig pen. These things get easier and easier, you know, when there's no troubling moral compass by which one needs to measure ones self.

ReddIt this story!



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