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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 1:59pm PT  


KING: You don't think Iraq is becoming Vietnam, do you?

MAHER: No. In Vietnam, George Bush had an exit strategy.

SNAP! As usual, on the money, Mr. Maher. And this, in regards to the U.S. Marine Commander in Western Iraq who has just come out as critical of Bush's political intervention into the military battle that he was not allowed to wage in Fallujah:

MAHER: Half this country now is not in our control, because we don't want a big fight right before the election. But at some point, if we want to make this work, we're going to have to take back these cities. And what this general is saying, you just make it harder, you make it more costly if we have to go in again and take them. So, you tell me that George Bush isn't playing politics with American soldier's lives, because he is.

And finally, on Bush's 527 canard...

MAHER: [Bush is] like the ventriloquist with the dummy [re: 527s]. I can't help it. Ladies and gentlemen, I can't help what my dummy says. Come on. You know, the 527s are for George Bush what paramilitary death squads were for South American juntas, you know. Just somebody that does their dirty work. We don't know what the death squads are doing.

KING: Hold on. Kerry has dirty work done for him, too. Moveon.org.

MAHER: Absolutely accepted. Yes, but I don't think they're spreading vicious unfounded lies about George Bush. You don't have to lie about George Bush's record, you just have to tell the truth.

And there's the difference.

(Full CNN transcript here. Selections taken from Fin's newly emerging "What We Know" blog.)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 1:32pm PT  

Let me be clear; John Kerry sucks.

I think I've been pretty clear on that from Day 1 at the beginning of the Primaries. But in case some of you Rightwingnuts with your head in the sand are unable to comprehend, see the above! Read it closely, read it again, and then read on.

With that said, George W. Bush's sucking out does every bit of suckery by not only John Kerry, but every single Democratic candidate I have ever seen. Anywhere and anytime. And I don't care much for most of what the Democratic Party is usually able to put forward.

None the less, hands down, George W. Bush outsucks them all. Not even a contest.

George W. Bush is incompetent, a liar, nothing like who he would have you believe his is, and mostly he's just outright dangerous.

George W. Bush has sucked the life out of some 50,000+ people in Iraq at this point, for no intelligible reason whatsoever other than, by his own admission, he made "a miscalculation". Apparently, a 50,000+ person and still counting "miscalculation".

That is an intolerable and unacceptable amount of "miscalculation" on his part. On it's own, without all the other embarrassing and dangerous and failed policies that this Administration has already saddled us with for years to come it is worth one big "Your Fired!" this November.

Setting the country on a clear path towards bankruptcy in the next five years by creating the Biggest Government, Biggest Spending, Biggest Budget Deficit in the history of civilization is worth being fired for as well. But that is --- amazingly --- very small beans compared to his grossly off-base "miscalculation" in Iraq and in the War on Terror. That would include the intolerable price we've already paid for it in blood and treasure, and the price we will be continuing to pay for it years from now beyond what the eye can currently even see.

Creating more terrorists, developing more world instability, turning previous allies into enemies, giving li-service to any real Homeland Security reforms has made Americans far less safe than when we were prior to 9/11. For that, he earns the big pink slip. Lying to the American people by telling them we're "safer" in the bargain is just the tip of the hypocritical iceberg for these political geniuses.

And they are political geniuses! Don't get me wrong! The way that Bush has been able to turn a complete and virtually undisputed (though under-reported) disaster in Iraq into an asset somehow displays political slickery beyond Bill Clinton's wildest dreams. Credit where credit is due. As Josh Marshall recently put it "President Bush, has managed to derive political advantage from the magnitude of his own failure." Amazing but true. And that was no easy feat. If only he were as clever, and seemed to care as much, about winning "wars" as he has shown to be at winning elections.

Clearly, it won't be easy for Kerry this year. Even though it should have been. It's difficult to win an election based on the other guy outsucking your guy. That was demonstrated in 1996 when the enraged Republicans, who despised Bill Clinton, were nonetheless unable to unseat him on the singular premise that they felt Bill Clinton sucked.

But this is not 1996. Back then, Clinton's clear lead in the polls and popularity amongst the American people was nothing akin to what we have today. This "President" does not have the strong majority popular support behind him that Clinton did when he ran for re-election. This "President" is vulnerable, rightly, on just about every issue that's he's touched. He is unable to show a clear success on virtually anything in his entire ignominious four year record. Not without spinning hay into gold, which they are very adept at doing and realize they have a receptive media on their side ready to display such spun gold to the American people without challenge.

Yet, this is not a popular "President" and he's clearly "fireable" despite the Mainstream Media's lazy Republican partisanship and their continued obsessive distraction with process over substance.

Kerry certainly needs to get his act together to help out. There are plenty in the blogosphere with suggestions on exactly how to do that, so I won't bother. But suffice to say, this thing would be much easier if he managed to not suck quite so much. But even sucking, he is better qualified, more prepared, more honest, more adult, less dangerous and fully capable of winning this November. An unbiased close inspection of the real poll numbers reveal that. Just as they did in 2000 when, at this point in the race, all of the polls were strongly against Al Gore and we know how wrong those polls ended up being on Election Day.

This year, the national polls are virtually tied at this point. Close inspection of the more important "Battleground States" show a slight lead for Kerry, though even those numbers bounce back and forth within the margin of error.

More importantly though, and even more so than in 2000, there are numbers that simply aren't figured into any of the polls. Beginning with the youth vote, many of whom now don't have landline phone numbers, only cell phones, and thus, don't show up in the polling at all. Neither do newly registered voters generally factor in to most of these polls.

There are many other uncounted numbers in the various polls, and various incorrect weighting of Democrats versus Republicans in many of the polls, particularly those that show an unbelievable lead for Bush over Kerry.

Believe such polls at your own peril. Many of them, by design, are meant to influence exactly such a belief. Nonetheless, this race is still completely winnable for John Kerry at this point. And that's even if he continues sucking and even if the Media continues to avoid doing their job of reporting on issues and facts to the American people and even if Florida is stolen again (where all of Jeb's political machinery is stacking against Kerry via systematic voter intimidation, grossly inaccurate felony voter roll purging, Diebold electronic voting blackbox chicanery, miscounting of absentee, military and over-seas ballots and the blatant defiance of court orders to add Nader to the ballot).

Yes, they will do "Anything to Win". But that doesn't mean it will work. Keep fighting for your country, for what is right, for the good of humanity and civilization. That's all that you can do. And you --- along with the Rightwing demagogues --- may be in for quite a surprise this Election Day. Never give up the fight. Good usually triumphs over evil in the end.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 11:34am PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 10:34am PT  

Rob Corddry does it again. On a discussion about the memos and their authenticity...

You're missing the larger point, John. This is all a red herring. Why must we try to find out whether President Bush served admirably in the Air National Guard? The point is, he served. What difference does it make how well he avoided combat?

Isn't it enough just to know he avoided it?

In these difficult times, do ya really want a President who wasn't smart enough to get out of going to Vietnam? John?

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From the 'Anything to Win' Files. Florida Division.
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 1:19am PT  

Never mind that the Republicans were a day late in submitting Dubya for the ballot in Florida. We'll overlook that for some reason. (Do you suppose the Republicans would have done the same for Kerry? But I digress...)

We've pointed out before the necessity to watch out for Florida where brother Jeb will do anything and everything to steal the state once again for brother George.

And now this. As reported by Reuters and caught by Josh Marshall, who reminds us that the GOP is the self-proclaimed "Rule of Law" party:

MIAMI (Reuters) - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader's name can appear on Florida ballots for the election, despite a court order to the contrary, Florida's elections chief told officials on Monday in a move that could help President Bush in the key swing state.

The Florida Democratic Party reacted with outrage, calling the move "blatant partisan maneuvering" by Gov. Jeb Bush, the president's younger brother, and vowed to fight it.

In a memo to Florida's 67 county supervisors of elections, Division of Elections director Dawn Roberts said the uncertainty of Hurricane Ivan, which could hit parts of the state by week's end, forced her to act. [emphasis mine]

No. This isn't an Onion story! The report continues...

Florida Circuit Court Judge Kevin Davey issued a temporary injunction last week preventing the state from putting Nader on the 2004 ballot, siding with a Democratic challenge that the Reform Party did not qualify as a national party under state law.

A hearing on a permanent injunction is scheduled for Wednesday. But Roberts said Hurricane Ivan, which is headed for Florida's Gulf coast, had raised "a substantial question as to when such a hearing" will be held.

As a result, she said, Florida's Department of State had filed an appeal against the temporary injunction. The appeal application automatically lifts the injunction, allowing the counties to put Nader's name on overseas absentee ballots, which must be mailed by Saturday.

"I'm in disbelief," said Scott Maddox, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party. "This is blatant partisan maneuvering on the part of Jeb Bush to give his brother a leg up on election day."

"They are trying to get ballots printed with Nader's name on them," said Maddox. "I am astounded that Jeb Bush is willing to defy the judiciary to help his brother."

...

Gov. Bush said he agreed with Roberts' decision.

"It's up to the judge to determine, based on the law, whether Nader should be on the ballot or not," Bush said. "But while that process goes on, we cannot put ourselves in the position where the ministerial role of the supervisors cannot be fulfilled."

Maddox noted that Tallahassee, the state capital where Davey sits, is not expected to be directly hit by the hurricane. He said the circuit court could hear the case as scheduled on Wednesday and rule immediately.

In addition, the case is before the Florida Supreme Court, which could also rule at any time, he said.

Remarkable.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 10:22pm PT  

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...Not that there's anything wrong either of 'em.
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 10:16pm PT  

What is with these Rightwingers? Why are they such hypocrites?

Here's David Drier (pictured at right with some friends), a fine upstanding Republican U.S. Congressman from California, co-chair of Bush's California Campaign, and a FOX News favorite! He has voted against various gay causes, yet --- according to the Conservative Blogger, BoyFromTroi, and as reported at blogACTIVE, Mr. Drier is the next Anti-Gay Homosexual to come out of the Republican closet! (Well, to be pushed out anyway.) We support you Congressman Drier! Though it'd be nice if you voted similarly to the way that you apparently live your private life!

And then there's George W. Bush, who, like his father, is trying to see a Flag Desecration amendment added to the U.S. Constitution just before the Presidential election. Never mind the anti-conservative notion of writing one new restriction after another into our Constitution, it looks like Mr. Bush may just find himself in big trouble if the amendment should ever pass! That's Mr. Bush on the left desecrating a United States flag! I, for one, am appalled! Why does the "President" hate the Flag of these great United States?

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or, Mission Uncomplished
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 7:30pm PT  

For those of you paying attention, the U.S. was in Vietnam for more than five full years before we'd suffered our 1,000th casualty.

Meanwhile in Iraq, in just under a year and a half, we've already lost 1,009.

Also, for the record, from the start of the war ("Shock and Awe!") through Bush's announced "end of major hostilities" ("Mission Accomplished!") the U.S. had lost a total of 139 troops.

Since handing over fake "sovereignty" at the beginning of July through today, we have lost 155 troops.

How will it end? What's Bush's exit strategy? Is there one? Is there any way out? You tell me.

Source: Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

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And another BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Republican" Award is given!
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 5:23pm PT  

The conservative Seattle Times, who endorsed Bush in 2000, realize now how wrong they were and are instead endorsing Kerry this year!

Four years ago, this page endorsed George W. Bush for president. We cannot do so again because of an ill-conceived war and its aftermath, undisciplined spending, a shrinkage of constitutional rights and an intrusive social agenda.

The Bush presidency is not what we had in mind. Our endorsement of John Kerry is not without reservations, but he is head and shoulders above the incumbent.

Wow! I guess they really are conservatives! Unlike the bulk of the Fake Conservatives we see commenting so frequently here on the BRAD BLOG and elsewhere out there in the America Hatin' World of Rightwing Nutballs. There's hope for this country yet!

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 4:26pm PT  

From today's NY Times article on CIA Director appointee, Porter Goss:

"I think the president has done very well with insufficient intelligence,'' Mr. Goss said late last year in an interview.

He gives Bush too much credit.

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Soft on Terror, Sweet on the Keepers of the Kingdom...
Bush's disgraceful record speaks for itself, if enough folks bother to read it.
By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 4:12pm PT  

Investigative journalist (yes, there are still a few) Greg Palast reports on the top-secret memo they received at the BBC from sources back in November 2001 about the "suspected terrorist organization" in the USA known as "the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The organization supported various youth activities and was funded by the Saudi's and two members of the bin Laden family.

BBC obtained video from Florida of one of the WAMY activities other than Soccer and Softball which the group organized; "a speech exhorting kids on the heroism of suicide bombings and hostage takings."

The Palast report describes the directives recieved by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the FBI to "back off the Saudis" both when Bush took office, and over the years that followed 9/11:

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, let me tell you that we found no evidence --- none, zero, no kidding --- that George Bush knew about Al Qaeda's plan to attack on September 11. Indeed, the grim joke at BBC is that anyone accusing George Bush of knowing anything at all must have solid evidence. This is not a story of what George Bush knew but rather of his very-unfunny ignorance. And it was not stupidity, but policy: no asking Saudis uncomfortable questions about their paying off roving packs of killers, especially when those Saudis are so generous to Bush family businesses.

Yes, Bill Clinton was also a bit too tender toward the oil men of Arabia. But this you should know: In his last year in office, Clinton sent two delegations to the Gulf to suggest that the Royal family crack down on "charitable donations" from their kingdom to the guys who blew up our embassies.

But when a failed Texas oil man took over the White House in January 2001, demands on the Saudis to cut off terror funding simply stopped.

In November 2001, as the dust still hung in the air in NYC, the BBC ran a report on WAMY and their connection to the Saudis and the bin Laden family. The Bush Administration refused comment for that report.

It wasn't until May of this year (2004!) that the FBI finally got around to raiding WAMY!

Then, in May this year, fifty FBI agents surrounded, invaded and sealed off WAMY's Virginia office. It was like a bad scene out of the 'Untouchables.' The raid took place three years after our report and long after the bin Ladens had waved bye-bye. It is not surprising that the feds seized mostly empty files and a lot of soccer balls.

Why now this belated move on the bin Laden's former operation? Why not right after the September 11 attack? This year's FBI raid occurred just days after an Islamist terror assault in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Apparently, messin' with the oil sheiks gets this Administration's attention. Falling towers in New York are only for Republican convention photo ops.

Ouch...Tough, but true to anyone who bothers to look past the veil of Bushist Propoganda to notice what these PR All-Stars really did (or in this case, didn't) when it comes to their failed "War on Terror".

Palast concludes:

The 199-I memo was passed to BBC television by the gumshoes at the National Security News Service in Washington. We authenticated it, added in our own sleuthing, then gave the FBI its say, expecting the usual, "It's baloney, a fake." But we didn't get the usual response. Rather, FBI headquarters said, "There are lots of things the intelligence community knows and other people ought not to know."

Ought not to know?

What else ought we not to know, Mr. President? And when are we supposed to forget it?

Thanks to Johnhp for the tip-off on this one! See the full story, and while you're there, be sure to take a look at the trailer for Palast's upcoming Documentary on the Bush Family, and the systematic purging of minority voters in Florida during the 2000 Elections!

Bush/Cheney: Anything to Win

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 2:53pm PT  

For those who can't read, or have trouble understanding our earlier post on this, please click the photo below for an audio recitation of the Many Flips and embarrassing Flops of George W. Bush.

(Thanks again to BRAD BLOG Soldier Against Hypocrisy, Alexi!)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 2:16pm PT  

The case against Bush's failed execution of the War on Iraq is becoming clearer every day.

Best put this morning by Pro-Iraq Warrior, Andrew Sullivan, who said today:

"Mr president, you have the courage to launch vital wars; you just don't have the competence to win them. Get out of the way before we lose this battle - and make things even worse than before 9/11."

And in regards to the damning report today from the U.S. Marine Corps general in charge of western Iraq that Fallujah was completely bungled by the upper Civilian Command (after Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the boys have gone out of their way to suggest they wouldn't make the Vietnam mistake of getting in the way of Military Command on the ground), Sullivan --- a longtime BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Republican" Award winner --- was also on the money:

FALLUJAH FLIP-FLOP: How the White House bungled the Fallujah siege - against the advice of the military on the ground. Money quote from Lt. Gen. James T. Conway:

"When you order elements of a Marine division to attack a city, you really need to understand what the consequences of that are going to be and not perhaps vacillate in the middle of something like that. Once you commit, you got to stay committed."

Now just imagine if a president Gore had done such a thing. Do you think Republicans would have stayed mum?

Sullivan's last question there is a doozy. Just imagine if Al Gore had executed this "War on Terror" in exactly the same fashion and as disastrously. Imagine what the Republicans would be saying with 1000+ dead, no WMD's to be found, no exit strategy anywhere on the horizon, and if "insurgents" in Fallujah were now using the arms we gave them against us now as they are! Can you imagine?!

The blatant and outrageous hypocrisy at work amongst the apologists on the Right at this moment is surely at an all time high (or low). Just incredible.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/13/2004 1:41pm PT  

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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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About Brad Friedman...
Brad is an independent investigative
journalist, blogger, broadcaster,
VelvetRevolution.us co-founder,
expert on issues of election integrity,
and a Commonweal Institute Fellow.

Brad has contributed chapters to these books...


...And is featured in these documentary films...

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