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The Right Repeats the Lie
...And so it goes.
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2004 6:08pm PT  

Matt Drudge, the Internet's top Smear Queen and disseminator of horseshit has been at it again all day. A testament, perhaps, to how much trouble they must feel like Bush is now in.

At the very top of the page, and with no attribution or link to follow up, Drudge has been screaming this all day with the mocking headline "BE HEALED":

Edwards Stem Cell Vision: 'We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases... When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going get up out of that wheelchair and walk again.' Edwards made the unprecedented campaign promises during 30-minute speech at Newton High School gym in Newton, Iowa...

I do not have access to Lexis/Nexis, which has a more complete archive of news articles, so I welcome anyone who does to look deeper into this, but so far, the only account I've been able to find on the net quotes Edwards very differently!

In "Central Iowa's Daily Newspaper" the Times/Republican Edwards is quoted saying this instead:

"We will do stem cell research," he vowed. "We will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases. America just lost a great champion for this cause in Christopher Reeve. People like Chris Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again with stem cell research."

Now that quote is quite a bit different than the one Drudge uses, again, without any attribution whatsoever.

Of course, Rush and the Rightwing Bloggers have had their panties in a bunch all day repeating Drudge's version of the quote to millions of Americans. Haven't watched Hannity & Colmes yet tonight or listened to Hannity's radio program today, but anybody wanna bet our friend Hannity feels free to repeat the bullshit as many times as possible today?

Bush/Cheney '04: If you can't win honestly, just make shit up.

UPDATE: CNN has given credence to Drudge by repeating his version of the quote in a story headlined "Frist knocks Edwards over stem cell comment". Did CNN indepently verify the quote before they asked Frist about it? Or are they continuing their lazy track record of simply accepting whatever Drudge tells them?

UPDATE: As predicted, Hannity played the clip from Edwards' speech on Hannity & Colmes, and though it seems a bit closer to Drudge's quote, it was very tightly edited. Jumping in mid-sentence at both the front and back of Edwards' sentence. Hannity's quote:

{ABRUPT EDIT} ...the work that we will do, when John Kerry is President. People like Christopher Reeve are gonna get outta that wheelchair and walk again... {ABRUPT EDIT}

Still seeking a more complete, unedited, version of the speech. I've contacted Tom Owens, the reporter who wrote the Times/Republican piece to see if I can get further info. Will let you know what I hear back.

ReddIt this story!



Inaugural Presentation!
By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2004 2:17pm PT  

Credit where credit is due. There's a reason why Sean Hannity makes the big bucks.

Thus, the BRAD BLOG is proud to announce and award today our inaugural "Sean Hannity Excellence in Spin" Award!

This distinguished award recognizes not only Excellence in Spin, but all of the qualities that such an ignominious distinction also embodies! Including but not limited to:

· Party Loyalty Before Country.
· Adherence to Talking Points under Extreme Duress.
· Complete Disregard for Truth in Political Discourse.
· Discarding of all Personal Credibility, Morals, Ethics and Standards in favor of The Cause.
· And last but not least, Disingenuousness Above and Beyond the Call of Duty!

...all compressed into the most economical, direct and straight-forward presentation for public consumption.

The namesake and inaugural winner of this distinguished honor, of course, goes to Fox News Channel and ABC Radio Network's Sean Hannity for the following hardball question/statement as "asked" --- in a single breath --- of a Bush Campaign Consultant on last night's Hannity & Colmes: (emphasis added to give recognition to purposeful distortions, talking point bullseyes and out and out lies in a single/statement question!)

"This is becoming a dangerous trend. Um, I think when you look at John Kerry's record over the last 25 years; The fact he wanted the nuclear freeze, now he wants to fight a sensitive war, then he wants to get rid of this "nuisance" as he says. Now explains why he voted against most major weapons systems. It now explains why he wanted to get rid of intelligence, cause he doesn't understand the nature of the threat. Somebody needs to say this: John Kerry is not fit to be the Commander-in-Chief of this country, at this time. Is the President gonna say that?" --- Sean Hannity, Hannity & Colmes, 10/11/04

Wow! Smartly done, Mr. Hannity! This award is named after you for a reason! Congratulations!

How does he do it? It's easy! With no true core beliefs, a complete absence of personal ethics and no moral core, you too could be our next "Sean Hannity Excellence in Spin" Award Winner! Get to work, Bill O'Reilly! You're losing ground!

(By the way, still looking for a nickname for this Award and open to suggestions! "The Shawnee"? "The Spinny"? "The Dizzy"? "The Frisby"? "The Kooly"? "The Smarmy"? "The Slimy"? Send us your suggestions!)

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By Brad Friedman on 10/12/2004 12:10pm PT  


Don't be afraid.
Just click it.
Then be afraid.

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More from the 'American Shame' File.
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2004 11:57pm PT  

I don't even know what to write about this one.

Read it yourself, and perhaps you can answer the question that AMERICABlog aptly asked about it..."Who are we anymore?"

I have no idea how to answer that question at this point. This isn't my America.

But as an American greater than I (Howard Dean) used to say..."You have the power! You have the power! You have the power!..."

Take it back November 2nd. Your conscience --- and grandchildren --- will thank you.

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Worth the mouth they come from.
Another sordid chapter from the 'Anything to Win' File...
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2004 11:39pm PT  


BUSH: I don't see how you can lead this country in a time of war, in a time of uncertainty, if you change your mind because of politics.

That was then (last Friday's Debate).

This is now (today's LA Times)...

The Bush administration plans to delay major assaults on rebel-held cities in Iraq until after U.S. elections in November, say administration officials, mindful that large-scale military offensives could affect the U.S. presidential race.
...
"When this election's over, you'll see us move very vigorously," said one senior administration official involved in strategic planning, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Once you're past the election, it changes the political ramifications" of a large-scale offensive, the official said. "We're not on hold right now. We're just not as aggressive."

It's the credibility, Stupid.

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Oh, yeah...he's a 'conservative' alright.
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2004 10:35pm PT  

Catching up on a few items I've had sitting around...From Debate #2, Dubyanocchio said:

BUSH: Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control.

I realize I may be naive, but surely there's must be some "rationale" for his "1 percent" number. Perhaps there's some Freepers around who can explain to me how he managed to use that number, in public, and on national television, without it being an out and out lie.

Kevin Drum did some digging, and has more details, but basically, these seem to be the numbers for increases in discretionary spending, according to the Congressional Budget Office, over the last six administrations:

Non-Defense Related Discretionary Spending

Nixon/Ford: 6.8% per year
Carter: 2.0% per year
Reagan: -1.3% per year
Bush 1: 4.0% per year
Clinton: 2.5% per year
Bush Jr: 8.2% per year

Quite a different story than the tale spun for America last Friday night. And one that should make any real conservative (not the fake Bush conservatives, apparently) shudder.

ReddIt this story!



...And Your Country in the Bargain.
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2004 3:41pm PT  

I've been too busy of late with a few non-blog realted deadlines to give the proper coverage to the story of the 62 ABC Affilliates being ordered by their owner, the rightwing Sinclair Broadcast Group, to run an anti-Kerry propoganda documentary in the days before the election on all of their local ABC afflilliate stations.

Sinclair is the same group that ordered their affilliates not to run the Nightline broadcast in which Ted Koppel read the names of those killed in Iraq. At the time, Sinclair did so because they charged, without even seeing the broadcast in question, that the show was "motivated by a political agenda designed to undermine the efforts of the United States in Iraq," and charged that "ABC is disguising political statements as news content."

Apparently that concern only applies to the political statements that Sinclair Broadcast Group themselves don't wish to force their afflilliates to make.

As I say, I've not been able to adequately cover this story. It's a very important one for you to follow however and help educate folks about. So I'm gonna point you towards both Josh Marshall who has some good coverage today (read the linked article, and the one below it) as well as Left Coaster who has more detail and what you can do to help put a stop to this egregious abuse of the public airwaves for political gamesmanship by the Republican Media Elite who control it!

If there's one thing I believe we've all learned over these last few months (and four years); Democracy is not free. Vigilance and hard work is sometimes required to maintain the very democracy that our Government claims (often quite cynically) to be trying to defend. You (yes, you reading this) must do something on occassion to keep these cretins and cynics honest and to keep your democracy flowing.

UPDATE: The Boycott of Sinclair is on! Here is a list of Sinclair's advertisers and contacts for them! Let them hear from you! BE CLEAR AND DIRECT, BUT BE POLITE WHEN MAKING CONTACT!

UPDATE: More from Marshall pointing out how the "documentary" in question is actually an hour-long anti-Kerry spot actually made by the SwiftBoats Vets for Bush!

ReddIt this story!



A BRAD BLOG Prediction...
(Worth the 'Internets' it's Printed On?)
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2004 12:55pm PT  

I've warned you many times about taking polls with a grain of salt by noting that only the Zogby poll has come close to being right over the last two elections (their final poll in 1996 was within within one-tenth of one percent of the final results that year).

So though I pay attention to trends in the polls, I would warn you to not give them to much credence. That said, Zogby's latest daily tracking poll has Kerry widening his lead over Bush to 3 points with the numbers currently at 47%-44% averaged over the last three days.

And all of that said, I'll tell you my personal opinion that, barring a number of potentional external events, and there are quite a few possible, I am now predicting a Kerry landslide. That's right, a landslide. All Battleground States will go to Kerry (including Florida) and a number of "solid red states" to boot.

I don't often make predictions, as it's a perilous game that usually comes back to bite the predictor. Not to mention that predictions are like assholes because everybody's got one. I understand that could well be the case here. But what fun is life if you don't go out on a limb occassionally?

The main reason for my prediction is that the polls, even Zogby's, I believe, will proven to be entirely off again this year as they currently fail to account for the huge number of newly registered voters (mostly Democrat and ticked off about a myriad of things) and the enormous number of underground and unpolled folks who either don't own, or don't answer polls via land-line telephones (by law, cell phone users cannot be polled).

As I mentioned above, however, there are still a healthy number of mitigating factors (those "external events" I alluded to), that could still well come into play in the 25 days between now and Election Day and which could serve to effect my current prediction. They would include the effects and/or possibilities of (in no particular order of probability):

A major Kerry or Edwards screw-up on the trail or in the final debate.
Dirty tricks by Karl Rove and Clan which we know are on the way.
October Surprises (like Bin Laden captured or killed) by Karl Rove and Clan which we know are on the way
Terrorist attack in America. Unlikely between now and the election, but which you likely will be increasingly "warned about" by Bush's Public Officials none the less right up to and on Election Day.
GOP steals the election through various means of voter fraud (including electronic voting) in any number of states.

If none of the above materialize to any great extent, this is Kerry's race at this point. The "Liberal" media has not yet figured it out, so you haven't yet heard much of the above from the talking heads. No clue if they'll figure it out or not prior to the Election.

Sorry to you folks who believe in "jinxing" things, but I'm calling 'em here as I see 'em. Feel free to go on record in comments to tell me how I'm wrong or what I'm missing here.

UPDATE: Latest Gallup Tracking Poll now shows Kerry over Bush by 2 points (50% to 48%)! Notable mostly because this same poll had Bush up by 13 points just over three weeks ago!

UPDATE: And, oh yeah, forgot to mention. The Dems take back the Senate in the bargain as well.

ReddIt this story!



Fighting for Truth, Justice and the America Way
By Brad Friedman on 10/11/2004 12:25pm PT  

Over on the Rightwing Hate site Free Republic, the top destination on the Internets for Bush Supporters, the webmaster has had to delete several posts apparently about Christopher Reeve. These are a few selections (courtesy of Digby, who has more) that were not deleted by the "America Loving Freepers":

"Wonder if Hell is handicapped accessible.."

"I'm sorry, but I have no compassion for this man. He suffered a terrible injury through his own fault and, instead of accepting it, he lashes out in anger against Bush."

"Contrary to mythology, he sunk into bitter, violent anger, pouring every ounce of derision he possibly could on Christianity and America. And then he simply died."

"Is there no level of filth to which these Dems won't sink?"

"You think you're cynical? I am wondering if Clark Kent would possibly pull the plug on himself in a desperate attempt to "matyrize" the stem-cell issue and help Kerry?"

"Reeve seemed like a nice chap until he got involved with the pro-death wing of the democrat party. We can't always get what we want, but we often get what we deserve."

"The fact is, Mr. Reeve spent his last days using his fame and access to champion the murder of unborn children."

"He was not willing to let a fetus stand between him and his goalpost."

"Sure hope he was a saved man. Otherwise right now he is roasting in hell."

Classy.

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Christoper Reeve 1952-2004
By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2004 11:20pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 10/10/2004 11:35am PT  

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Let's go to the video tape...
By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2004 3:49pm PT  

I've been having an Email exchange of late with one of our more Right-leaning readers who, after suggesting that he felt the Fox News Channel was not necessarily all that biased he admitted that he wasn't all that familiar with Roger Ailes, the Fox News General Manager and former media manager for Nixon, Reagan, Bush Sr. and Rush Limbaugh.

Here's a new video from MoveOn.org that gives some information on Mr. Ailes. You may conclude that MoveOn.org might only give "one side" of the issue, but the fact is there is no other side of the issue. Everything in this video is fact.

If you Rightwingers think that someone who has helped manage the political careers of folks like Reagan, Nixon, Bush Sr. and Limbaugh for at least three decades could now possibly be either fair or balanced now that he runs a news outlet, I'd ask you if you would feel the same way if James Carville or Paul Begala opened up a "news" network and claimed that they just wanted to be "fair and balanced".

Inform yourself. Watch the video.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2004 3:20pm PT  

Since my pal Fin of What We Know did such a great job with his Toon selection yesterday, I will save myself some work, and just point you over to them.

Speaking of Fin, if you haven't check out his previous video ad, "Lone Wolf", I'd recommend it. Beyond that, he has another one coming shortly (that I've gotten a preview of) and it kicks ass. Coming soon! We'll let ya know!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2004 3:01pm PT  

Andrew Sullivan (who himself has already won the above mentioned and rarely given award) posts this "Email-of-the-Day" from one of his readers:

"I started reading your work about a year ago on the suggestion of a friend because I was convinced that the actions of the Bush Administration were making life impossible for a fair-minded and intelligent Conservatives. Obviously, there is a great deal of cognitive dissonance in leaving the Party that brought you to this point. But defending the Bush Administration has forced any Conservative thinker who is fairminded and intelligent into either turning himself into rhetorical knots or altogether ignoring reality....

It has been refreshing to see you come to the conclusion that you cannot be Conservative, intelligent and fair minded and continue to support this administration. In fact, at the risk of being melodramatic, it renews my faith in the idea that a fairminded struggle with ideas can result in progress, rather than further entrenchment at the expense of logic, fairness and reality.

So much of Conservative ideology is already part and parcel of the current political millieu on both sides of the aisle--a faith in American power, free market ideology, personal responsibility--that a Conservative can vote for John Kerry without sacrificing his ideals. (After all, it was Bill Clinton who led Welfare Reform and the formation of NAFTA, two actions that were absolute anathema to the Left. He also balanced the budget ... remember when Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility?)"

Kudos Unnamed Andrew Sullivan reader! You are the latest BRAD BLOG "Intellectually Honest Conservative" Award Winner! Don't spend all that credibility in one place!

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 10/9/2004 2:04pm PT  

No, not the Presidential Debate, but very heated Real Time with Bill Maher that followed it on HBO. If you are able to check in on one of HBO's reruns today or over the next few, do yourself the favor.

For now, all I'll say is that it was quite a knock-down drag-out brawl largely from top to bottom. It was instructive, to say the least, watching panelist Tony Snow of Fox News firmly outside of the protective environs of "Fair and Balanced". Beyond that, if I can transcribe Maher's closing "New Rule" later on today I will try to do so here. It was both brutal and right on the money.

For the record, it's America's loss (and Disney/ABC's eternal shame) that Maher is not on network TV five nights a week anymore.

One quickie from last night; One of Maher's monologue jokes (paraphrasing here) "Bush was asked by one of the questioners in the debate tonight to name three mistakes he's made since being in office. Bush replied, agreeing to last week's debate, tonight's debate and next week's debate."

Yup.

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