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Resignation or Impeachment Would Be a Gift for Wife- Beating Judge Mark Fuller
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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

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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It's the judgement, stupid.
By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 12:35pm PT  

With intelligence failures from 9/11 through "slam-dunk" WMD's through our "miscalculation" in the post-Saddam period, you'd think George W. Bush would making nothing a higher priority than finding the right man to fill the more-important-now-than-ever post of Director of the CIA.

He chose Porter Goss instead. And here's what Porter Goss said on video before he knew he'd be tapped for the job of Director of Central Intelligence.

Yes, it's the judgement of our Commander-in-Chief that is up for referendum this November. Choose wisely.

(Free QuickTime player required to watch the video, thanks to BRAD BLOG reader Amir for the pointer!)

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By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 12:26pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/15/2004 11:32am PT  

When she is able (when there is power, and she is emotionally prepared), a women in Iraq who writes under the pseudonym of "river" posts to her blog, "Baghdad Burning". She posted today for the first time since the beginning of August and speaks about the exhaustion of the ever increasing violence, fear and desperation that has wracked the populace in Iraq over the last few weeks.

The entire post is worth reading. Here's her closing thoughts...

[T]hings aren't better for Americans now than they were in 2001, and they certainly aren't better for Iraqis.

Three years ago, Iraq wasn't a threat to America. Today it is. Since March 2003, over 1000 Americans have died inside of Iraq... and the number is rising. In twenty years time, upon looking back, how do Americans think Iraqis are going to remember this occupation?

I constantly wonder, three years after 9/11, do Americans feel safer? When it first happened, there was a sort of collective shock in Iraq. In 2002, there was a sort of pity and understanding- we've been through the same. Americans could hardly believe what had happened, but the American government brings this sort of grief upon nations annually… suddenly the war wasn't thousands of kilometers away, it was home.

How do we feel about it this year? A little bit tired.

We have 9/11's on a monthly basis. Each and every Iraqi person who dies with a bullet, a missile, a grenade, under torture, accidentally- they all have families and friends and people who care. The number of Iraqis dead since March 2003 is by now at least eight times the number of people who died in the World Trade Center. They had their last words, and their last thoughts as their worlds came down around them, too. I've attended more wakes and funerals this last year, than I've attended my whole life. The process of mourning and the hollow words of comfort have become much too familiar and automatic.

September 11… he sat there, reading the paper. As he reached out for the cup in front of him for a sip of tea, he could vaguely hear the sound of an airplane overhead. It was a bright, fresh day and there was much he had to do… but the world suddenly went black- a colossal explosion and then crushed bones under the weight of concrete and iron… screams rose up around him… men, women and children… shards of glass sought out tender, unprotected skin … he thought of his family and tried to rise, but something inside of him was broken… there was a rising heat and the pungent smell of burning flesh mingled sickeningly with the smoke and the dust… and suddenly it was blackness.

9/11/01? New York? World Trade Center?

No.

9/11/04. Falloojeh. An Iraqi home.

Pay attention.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 11:46pm PT  

I'm just watching Nightline and there's this story about some kind of a war going on in Iraq! Weird! More later...developing...

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Hannity Smears and Lies...Right on Schedule...
Just another chapter from the 'Anything to Win' file.
By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 4:59pm PT  

As predicted here the day after Ben Barnes came out to explain how he helped Bush leap to the front of the National Guard line, the smears based on the Republican Talking Points have made their way into the Media. Though that GOP web page gives no evidence of Barnes lying, nonetheless, they claim (falsely) that he's changed his story on this issue. In fact, he never has.

Barnes has never claimed that anyone from the Bush family approached him for this favor. Rather that he was asked by a friend of the Bush family, a Houston oilman by the name of Sidney A. Adger.

But truth or decency doesn't matter to Sean Hannity. As reported by the ever-meticulous Media Matters:

During the September 9 edition of FOX News Channel's Hannity & Colmes, Armey labeled Barnes a "liar," a "standing joke," and not a "good person." Hannity repeated the false claim that Barnes's recent statements on 60 Minutes contradict sworn testimony from 1999, in which Barnes said he had not acted at the behest of the Bush family in recommending Bush for the Guard.

Later in the program, Barnes was accused of being "a partisan Democrat trying to help Senator Kerry". While Media Matter notes that Barnes is indeed currently raising money for Kerry, he has also supported many Republicans --- including Jeb Bush and White House press secretary Scott McClellan's mother!!! --- over the years...

As The New York Times reported on September 15, 2003, Barnes contributed $35,000 to the 2003 campaign of Texas State Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, the mother of White House press secretary Scott McClellan. The Dallas Morning News reported on October 25, 1994, that Barnes contributed $500 to Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) during his unsuccessful 1994 bid for the Florida governorship. And the Austin American-Statesman noted on January 13 that Barnes has served on a fund-raising events committee for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

Apparently that information didn't show up on those Republican Talking Points for some reason. Anything to win.

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 4:16pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 3:28pm PT  

Sorry to bother you with this. But with another 59 killed today in a single incident, someone's got to. As always from the excellent "Today in Iraq":

War News for September 14, 2004
Bring ‘em on: Car bomb at Baghdad police station kills 35 Iraqis.
Bring ‘em on: Twenty Iraqis killed in US air strikes in Fallujah.
Bring ‘em on: Two US soldiers killed, three wounded in Baghdad ambush.
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents execute Turkish truck driver in Iraq.
Bring ‘em on: Insurgents capture two Australian security contractors in convoy ambush near Samarra.
Bring ‘em on: Camp Zulu mortared again.
Bring ‘em on: Six Iraqis killed, seven wounded by US artillery fire near Hilla.
Bring ‘em on: Eight US soldiers wounded in Baghdad car bombing.
Bring ‘em on: Eight Iraqi police killed, two wounded in ambush near Baquba.
Bring ‘em on: Oil pipeline ablaze near Beiji.
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, five wounded in patrol ambush near Mosul.
Bring ‘em on: Explosions reported near al-Muthanna airport in central Baghdad.
Bring ‘em on: Two Iraqi soldiers wounded by roadside bomb near Baquba.
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By Brad Friedman on 9/14/2004 2:22pm PT  

The line from the Bush Administration and their surrogates is that Kerry's proposed programs will cost the tax payers $1.5 Trillion. (Far less, by the way, than Dubya has been able to increase the National Debt so far during his tenure).

But, okay. Fair enough. $1.5 Trillion is the cost for Kerry's proposed programs.

And the cost of Bush's proposed programs? The ones he introduced for the first time at the Republican Convention? According to the Administration's own figures? Bush's programs will cost in excess of $3 Trillion.

And yet there are still folks out there who really believe that George W. Bush is a conservative. These are the people that will believe anything George W. Bush tells them to believe. These are the people George W. Bush is counting on.

Bush/Cheney '04: Suckers for America

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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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