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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2004 3:36pm PT  
Alaska Supreme Court OK's marijuana use

Juneau, AK, Sep. 15 (UPI) --- The state Supreme Court has affirmed the rights of Alaskan adults to possess four ounces of marijuana for personal use in the home.

The ruling lets stand a Court of Appeals' August 2003 decision that determined a ballot initiative passed by voters in 1990 outlawing any amount of the drug to be unconstitutional.
...
Alaska is the 12th state to decriminalize the personal use of the drug.

At this time, the Bush/Ashcroft Justice Dept. believes Federal Big Government trumps States Rights and the Choice of the Voters in these matters.

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More from the 'Mission Uncomplished' file...
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2004 3:07pm PT  

Bush has been speaking lately to the American people of "making progress" in Iraq since handing over "sovereignty". Hopefully he's not referring to this kind of progress since handing over "sovereignty":

JUL '04: 1.87 US Troops killed per day (54 total)
AUG '04: 2.42 US Troops killed per day (66 total)
SEP '04: 3.24 US Troops killed per day (51 total) ~

~ = So far, just 17 days into month. Making September '04 deadliest month of the last six. Source: Iraq Coalition Casualties

Bush, in the meantime, while criticizing Kerry for offering no Exit Strategy in Iraq, has offered no Exit Strategy from Iraq. As of this post, 1,029 (update) 1,030 US Troops have been killed in Bush's "miscalculation" so far.

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A couple of decent new DNC ads.
By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2004 2:09pm PT  


"Mission Not Accomplished"

(Several different videos available there.)

"Halliburton and Cheney"

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By Brad Friedman on 9/17/2004 1:52pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2004 3:34pm PT  

George W. Bush today in Minnesota:

"I believe when a President speaks, he better mean what he says."

The press gaggle on Air Force One on Monday:

Q Isn't it kind of disingenuous for the President to say that I'm for the assault weapons ban, but then not spend a nickle of his political capital to fight for it?

MR. McCLELLAN: I disagree. His position has always been well-known, and it's been clear going back to his first campaign for President.

Q That he was for the ban?

MR. McCLELLAN: For a reauthorization of the current ban.

Q Let me follow up on this point. For a guy who goes around the country and says, I say what I mean, and you should take me at my word --- so if he's for the ban, and he doesn't do a thing ---

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, keep in mind that the Congress is the one that sets the legislative timetable, and Congress has made clear that it's not going to be coming up. I think you've had leaders in Congress state that.

Q But the President didn't work for it to come up. I mean, nobody --- everybody understands how this process works. The President wants tax cuts, he lobbies all over the country ---

MR. McCLELLAN: That's why the President has taken strong steps to make sure we are combating violence committed with guns. And that's why we have a strong record ---

Q He was happy to let the authorization lapse, wasn't he?

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, you know that's a ridiculous assertion.

Q Name one thing, one step that the President took to have the assault weapons ban reauthorized?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's why I said, Ron, his position has been very well-known. We've restated that position. It remains unchanged. But he does not set the legislative timetable. Members of Congress set the legislative timetable. And Congress has stated --- congressional leaders have stated that it's not going to come up for a vote.

Q Is there one congressman, one congressional leader who he has called in Congress, and said, please put it on the timetable?

MR. McCLELLAN: Let's debate the real issue here --- and we're proud to debate the record on combating violence committed with guns, because we have a strong record of strictly enforcing our laws and reducing crimes committed with guns, if you look at the record.

Q And the President has a strong record of lobbying very hard for legislation he truly supports. Name one person who he called to lobby on behalf of legislation.

MR. McCLELLAN: --- his position has been made well-known.

Q So there's nothing more he could have done to get the ban extended?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think members of Congress have stated --- congressional leaders have stated that it's not going to be coming up for a vote.

Q Has he ever mentioned it in a speech that you can remember, I mean, as he goes around the country, ever mentioned the assault weapons ban?

MR. McCLELLAN: Certainly we're going to continue to talk about the strong action that he's taken to combat violence committed with guns, Ben. I think that's the --- it goes to the real issue here. You brought up the issue of whether or not this was effective, in terms of the assault weapons ban. That's something that people have continued to debate. But this President has led when it comes to combating violence committed with guns. And so we welcome a discussion of the record.

Q I've heard him bring up lots of legislation he wants passed as he goes around the country. I've never heard him bring up, I want to see the assault weapons ban ---

MR. McCLELLAN: No, he's made his position very well-known. So I disagree with that assertion.

Q Can you name one person who he's called on the Hill on behalf of this legislation?

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, members of Congress know his position very well, Ron.

Q So has he made a call to any of them?

MR. McCLELLAN: His position is very well-known, Ron, and members have known his position. And it's been discussed with members, too.

UPDATE: Though the White House doesn't credit who the speakers of the "Q's" are, it may be safe to assume that the questioner here is Ron Fournier of the AP. As much as I bash the press, it's only fair to try and give credit to those who don't roll over for the White House!

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Kerry and Bush DEADLOCKED as of now.
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2004 2:56pm PT  

Wake up folks! The latest Harris Poll released today shows what I've been trying to tell you! The race is on with Bush ahead of Kerry nationally by just 1% (well within the margin of error).

The Harris poll, conducted by telephone Sept. 9-13, shows Sen. Kerry leading Mr. Bush 48% to 47% among likely voters nationwide. The poll also found that a slender 51% to 45% majority doesn't believe that Mr. Bush deserves to be re-elected.

As I've said, those national polls mean almost nothing. It's the Battleground states that matter most. Other than in the perception of how things are going. So if I hear one more Liberal or Democrat whining about how "uh, oh, we may lose!" I'm gonna hurl.

Just because they are better liars, doesn't mean Americans will buy it! They didn't buy it during Clinton, and the packs of vicious lies constantly thrown at him, and they don't need to buy it now! But if some of you folks roll over and give up they just might!

That's not the only poll out there saying the same thing. But the Republicans, and the lazy Mainstream Media that reports whatever they say, are hoping to give a different impression. If you make enough noise, perhaps they (at least the Media) will knock it off!

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The Bush Justice Department Loses.
Again.
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2004 12:11pm PT  

In another remarkable failure of the Bush Justice Dept., and their "War on Terror", yet another "enemy combatant", Yaser Hamdi, is being set free after three years of detention with no access to an attorney and not a single charge ever filed. He was also an American citizen. From Newsweek:

The first U.S. government-declared "enemy combatant" in the war on terror will soon be released from a military prison in South Carolina under an agreement that will allow him to fly home to Saudi Arabia as a free man, administration officials tell NEWSWEEK.

The agreement to free Yaser Esam Hamdi represents a stunning reversal for the Bush administration, which argued for more than two years that the former Taliban fighter was potentially so dangerous that he had to be detained indefinitely in solitary confinement with no access to counsel and no right to trial.

But in a landmark ruling last June, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that Hamdi, an American citizen, be allowed to consult with his lawyer and challenge the basis for his imprisonment. This pushed the case back into federal court and forced the Justice Department to mount a hasty retreat.

Again.

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Now why would they believe that?
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2004 12:02pm PT  

Really, the only person living (that we know of) who knows for certain whether the information in the Killian memos is substantively accurate would be George W. Bush himself.

So CBS delivered these incriminating memos to the White House and the White House then released them to the press. Begging the question...If the information they contained was not accurate, why would they release them at all? At least without some caviat that they suspected them to be forgeries, or at the very least inaccurate or misleading or untrue?

Yet here is Scott McClellan from Wednesday's White House press gaggle:

MR. McCLELLAN:...We received those documents from a major news organization. We had every reason to believe that they were authentic at that time.
...
Q Scott, when you received the documents from CBS, do you know if anyone here looked at them carefully to come to some sort of validity judgment? Or did you simply pass them on to ---

MR. McCLELLAN: No. No, we have not made any effort to determine whether or not they were fabricated or authentic. I think I made that clear the other day. There are media organizations that are looking into this, they're talking to experts, they're raising questions about it. That's where it is. These are serious questions. They're being looked into.

But we had every reason to believe at the time that the documents were authentic. [emphasis added]

What reason would the "President" and the White House have to believe they were "authentic"? Wouldn't Dubya know that the information was inaccurate? Yet McClellan says twice that they believed they were "authentic", had "every reason to believe" it in fact.

If CBS had given them memos in which someone had said George W. Bush had sex with hamsters while in the National Guard, would they have simply passed them on to the press without comment?

Nobody in the press corp, however, bothered to ask McClellan about either that strange point or, more importantly, the substance of those "believed to be accurate" memos.

Nonetheless, for those who feel that the information in the memos must also be ignored if the docs themselves were frauds, I'd point you towards Kevin Drum. He has 5 salient and supported points, based on the White Houses' own released records, which show that Bush, at best, has yet to come clean on his "proud service" in the Air National Guard. And at worst, that there has been some serious skullduggery concerning those released records.

Apparently, however, the press corp is selective as to when they pay attention to the blogosphere and when they don't. Perhaps they're waiting for Fox News to ask the first question, and then they'll jump on in.

They may be waiting a while.

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(A side question: What will be found first? WMD's in Iraq? Or proof of Bush's required service in the ANG?)
By Brad Friedman on 9/16/2004 11:48am PT  

Since February, Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau has been offering $10,000 to anyone who can come forward and demonstrate that they actually served with, or saw George W. Bush serving his required time in the Air National Guard in Alabama. As he said in his strip: "So if you served with Mr. Bush --- even if only in the officers' club --- we want to hear from you right now!" So far, no takers.

Now the ante is upped. Texans for Truth is offering $50,000 to anyone who can prove that George W. Bush fullfilled his required duties in the Alabama National Guard from May of 1972 to May of 1973.

Now if he actually did perform that service, there should be plenty of folks, and plenty of documentation that he did so. Not to mention, the idea of winning $50k, showing up those "terrible mean partisans" at Texans for Truth, and proving once and for all that Bush did fullfill his required duty, should be more than ample incentive for anyone who could actually prove it to be the case.

We'll let you know if anyone is able to do so.

And again, speaking to why this is relevant today, Texans for Truth founder Glen Smith said in a statement announcing the reward: "Bush's dishonesty about missing from service during Vietnam goes to the heart of his presidency. He was dishonest then just as he is misleading us about why we went to war with Iraq. He dodges responsibility then just as he dodges responsibility for Iraq today."

Remember folks, when Clinton was "caught" with his pants down, the conventional wisdom was "See? We knew he was a philanderer before we elected him, so why should we be surprised that he still is?!"

That question goes precisely to the heart of the Bush "Presidency" where, with virtually every decision he has made, he has either mislead, told only partial truths about, or lied completely and attempted to quash or discredit any information that didn't support his point of view. Had the media, and America, looked a bit closer at Bush's Air National Guard record before placing him into office, they would have been able to see precisely the kind of guy he was:

Someone who says one thing yet does another.

Someone who is willing to obfuscate the truth for his own personal gain.

Someone who is willing to use others to get him off the hook for his own failures.

And someone who is either unable or uninterested in finishing a job that he started and had promised to complete.

He has done all of those things in his "Presidency", and America is paying the price. We should have known. And perhaps if the media had done it's job then (or even started doing it now!) America would be better able to make informed decisions about it's leaders.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 10:02pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 9:54pm PT  

I'm not sure what to make of this. But for some reason, it seems notable. From LA Weekly...

Jay Leno says, “I'm not conservative. I've never voted that way in my life.” He “really worries” what a Dubya victory in November will do to the makeup of the Supreme Court. He believes “the wool was pulled over our eyes” with the Iraq war. He thinks the White House began using terrorism “as a crutch” after 9/11. He feels that during the campaign Kerry should “make Bush look as stupid as possible.” He believes “the media is in the pocket of the government, and they don't do their job” so “you have people like Michael Moore who do it for them.” He has on his joke-writing staff a number of former professional speechwriters for Democratic candidates. “No Republicans.” When it comes to Bush, he doesn't think his politics are much different from Letterman's. “Does he show his dislike maybe a little more than I do? Probably.” Leno used to read Mother Jones magazine.

Funny, he doesn't sound like a Liberal when I accidentally see him on TV. Then again, neither does anyone in the Mainstream Media, but that doesn't stop the Right from telling us they are again and again.

He's certainly a smart guy, and astute enough to say in the interview about Fox News: "It's fascinating that they can go a whole year without mentioning Osama bin Laden. You're aware this is a Republican thing."

Okay...So perhaps he just overcompensates (like the Media) for his liberal tendencies. Perhaps the truth about both him and the media is found somewhere in this exchange:

WEEKLY: The media seems to only present the Republican spin and to not present the other side of what's going on.

LENO: I believe the media is in the pocket of the government, and they don't do their job. They have people like Michael Moore who do it for them.

Not to be snide, I think Leno's a very decent fellow, but perhaps he's in that same pocket, though perhaps more for the corporations (he does alot of private corporate gigs) who are his bread and butter, rather than the government. He denies it in the interview, but something's not adding up. And perhaps that's why Letterman and The Daily Show are doing Leno's job for him.

Credit nonetheless to him for sitting down and answering the questions.

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Lying in Lockstep
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 7:11pm PT  

See the previous story here, and then take a look at what Scott McClellan, White House Spokesman said today, once again as reported by John Aravosis who also broke the original story:

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let me address a couple of things. We've overcome many challenges in this country over the last three years. A number of them go back to what occurred on September 11th. When it comes to the economy, let's look at the strains that were placed on our economy. We were in an economic downturn and the President inherited a recession when he came into office. Then you had the September 11th attacks. In the aftermath of September 11th, in the three months after September 11th, we lost a million jobs right there." - White House Daily Briefing, September 15, 2004

Look, these guys in even lie in lockstep. If the Dems could tell the truth as clearly, much less as much in lockstep, perhaps they'd be getting somewhere! Never mind the question of why the blogosphere is reporting this stuff instead of the actual Media.

UPDATE: 10:25p PT I'm a dolt. I just re-read the quoted text above, and realized I missed McClellan's other lie in the very same breath! The part about "the President inherited a recession when he came into office." Which, as informed individuals know, is pure crap.

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Hey, those 3000 are dead already...what will they care?
Another one from the rapidly growing 'Anything to Win' file...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 4:10pm PT  

On Tuesday, at a campaign rally, according to AP, Dubya instructed his supporters:

"When you're out rounding up the vote, remind people that our economy has been through a lot. We've been through a recession. We had corporate scandals" and the Sept. 11 attacks, he said.

Well, sure enough, the supporters took him at his word as John Aravosis of AMERICABlog discovered today. He caught White Houes Deputy Asst. for Communications, Suzy DeFrancis lying to CNN earlier today:

"We had an attack on 9/11 where we lost over a million jobs in just about 3 months."

So John did some fact-checking on that. Here's what he found:

In a document entitled "Impact of the Events of September 11, 2001, on the Mass Layoff Statistics Data Series," the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics says that only 125,637 jobs were reported lost as a direct or indirect result of the attacks.

In the 18 weeks following the September 11 attacks (the weeks ending September 15 through January 12), employers reported 430 events involving 125,637 workers separated as a direct or indirect effect of the attacks. A majority of the layoff events took place in the weeks immediately following the attacks, and the number of new events has tapered off since then.

Yep, companies reported laying off only 125,000 people as a result of September 11, but now the White House is claiming it's 1 million.

CNN and the rest of the "Liberal" media continue to snooze on such blatant misrepresentations of the truth, even by Bush Administration Officials, as Bush and Friends continue to say anything to win.

Or in this case, as John puts it, "Bush is gonna milk those 3,000 deaths for everything they're worth." Indeed.

(AMERICAblog has more on this, so see his full story, as well as the one that follows it showing that the Bush Administration has quietly announced plans to cut --- yes, cut --- some $2.3 billion "from virtually all domestic programs not mandated by law, including education, homeland security and others central to Bush's campaign."!!!)

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Despite challenges from Jeb Bush and 'Hurricane Ivan'
A BRAD BLOG Followup...
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 3:46pm PT  

Following up on our previous story of how Jeb Bush's Secretary of State Glenda Hood (Jeb's appointee to replace Katherine Harris) was "forced" to place Ralph Nader's name on the ballot in Florida despite a Court Order not to...we have some good news to report. For now.

According to AP, the hearing on the matter that was scheduled for today was indeed held today. That was the hearing that Elections Director Dawn Roberts said couldn't be held because Hurricane Ivan would force them to cancel --- thus, she ordered Nader be added to the ballot despite the court order not to do so --- even though Ivan was not predicted to hit Tallahassee where the hearing was scheduled.

The results of the hearing were also good news for those that care about "the rule of law". The Circuit Judge ordered that Nader's name be removed from the ballot, since Nader's Reform Party nomination in Florida did not conform to state law, and that those four counties who'd already sent out absentee ballots with Nader's name on them, immediately send out amended ballots without his name on it.

In 2000, Nader received some 90,000 votes in the state where Jeb Bush's Secretary of State at the time claimed George W. Bush received some 500 more votes than Al Gore in order to "win" the state.

Jeb's office, predictably, is appealling the ruling.

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Do you?
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 1:08pm PT  

Click to see their opening animation, and then look at their video...

1,021 of our U.S. Soldiers and Marines now killed in Iraq, by the way.

(Link via Atrios)

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