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The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2004 10:48am PT  

It has been said, that John Kerry is a "Flip-Flopper". Said by those who are quite professional at creating a false impression of their challenger. And for good reason. It's the only chance they have.

I've spoken about this successfully waged fallacy before, but apparently the message still needs to get out on who the real "Flip-Flopper" in this contest is. Thankfully, the nice folks at the Center for American Progress have put together a short sheet listing 20 of the Flip-Flopper-In-Chief's greatest hits.

To put it all in perspective, they open with this:

From the beginning, George W. Bush has made his own credibility a central issue. On 10/11/00, then Governor Bush said: "I think credibility is important. It is going to be important for the president to be credible with Congress, important for the president to be credible with foreign nations." But President Bush's serial flip-flopping raises serious questions about whether Congress and foreign leaders can rely on what he says.

Then they list 20 of Bush's Flips and Flops. They've left out quite a few, but on the other hand, unlike the charges against Kerry from Team Bush, these charges are actually sourced so folks can both trust and verify.

(Thanks to the ever-on-the-ball KJO for the find!)

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By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2004 9:35am PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2004 4:40pm PT  

While a new investigation gets under way to look into the revelations that Chalabi gave highly classified info to Iran --- specifically, which higher up it was who would have had such info in the first place and the access to share it with Chalabi --- here's another breaking story...

Just one foreboding line from Josh Marshall a few minutes ago:

President hires outside counsel in the Plame case.

Undoubtedly, details to follow soon...

UPDATE (5:38p PT): CBS and AP confirm. Whitehouse spokeswoman "deflected questions about whether Bush had been asked to appear before a grand jury in the case."

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2004 6:48pm PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2004 11:34am PT  

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By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2004 11:21am PT  

As one of the points in my original "GOP Win-Win Spin-Spin" piece (re-published today on DemocraticUnderground.com as their lead story), the Bushies used the excuse of the economic downturn to sell the same Tax Plan that they had previously devised in December of 1999 as necessary for the economic boom we were facing originally.

I must have had something right there, as Josh Marshell today goes into more detail on that same topic today in his examination of the flagrantly misleading David Brooks piece in the Times.

(After the Iraq/Judith Miller/Chalabi mess in the Times one would really have thought they'd begin being a bit more responsible in their unchecked Administration log-rolling, but perhaps not.)

Underscoring precisely one of the points in my piece, Marshall says:

For the authors of the plan, the tax cut was a justification in itself; the White House simply grasped on to whatever explanation made most sense at the given moment to advance it. That's why a plan devised at the height of a boom --- to cull an oversized surplus --- made equally great sense when the economy was in free-fall. The policy was driving the rationale, not the other way around.

This new argument --- that the White House pushed through big tax cuts because of the economic slow-down of early 2001 --- is simply an effort to retrospectively exonerate reckless and dishonest behavior which was demonstrably reckless and dishonest at the time. Columnists should challenge that sort of mendacity, not abet it.

But to connect the latest dots, I should have also realized that Bush's latest spin, on why he should be re-"elected", is also more of the (soon to be Trademarked?) GOP Win-Win Spin-Spin machine. As discussed a day or two ago, Bush now has the temerity to suggest that he should be re-upped because he is the man to clean up the mess that he created.

In other words, "My plan for Iraq is best, because it takes into account everything that I fucked up, and therefore, am the best person to fix because who knows those fuck ups better than me?!"

These guys are a marvel. If Democrats could spin this well, they would own the world.

Next thing you know they'll start telling us their plan for allowing Brahimi and the UN to select the new Caretaker Government in Iraq to whom we hand over "complete sovereignty" in a few weeks is going just as planned! Oh, wait...well, whaddaya know?!

Coming Soon: How "complete sovereignty" doesn't actually mean complete sovereignty! (and you thought the meaning of "is" was confusing!)

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By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2004 5:24pm PT  

As we sit outside on Memorial Day, enjoying coffee and wireless net access at a friendly Coffee House (Thanks-a-Latte!) outside of Solvang, California where we've taken a few days respite from the L.A. grind...I've been pondering the interesting ironies of a free choral concert by the Capella of Santa Barbara that we caught last night at the historic Mission Santa In�s nearby.

The mission is celebrating it's 200 year presence here amongst the clear blue skies and rolling tawny vistas of the Santa Ynez mountain valley.

Within 3 minutes drive, one passes from the windmills of the Dutch founded tourist mecca of Solvang, through the Spanish Mission and onto the Chumash Indian reservation (featuring a beautiful sprawling new casino by the way - even if it doesn't feature my favorite game, Pai Gow Poker).

Just a few miles in the other direction towards the sea and through the rolling hills dotted with vineyards in bloom and horse and cattle and ostrich farms is the Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Centuries of American multi-culturalism blended seamlessly into the melting pot that America is supposed to be...all along one 10-mile or so stretch of peaceful central California Gold Country.

The Faux Conservatives in this country love to refer to this state as the Land of Fruits and Nuts. Either because it is, or because California's gone Democrat in Presidential elections ever since the Reagan glory days have faded. Or perhaps because we generally stand as a bellweather state in the forefront of Progressive Governmental Policy in America.

Those same Wingnuts, like the despicable Michael "Hope you get AIDS and die" Savage, love to decry the continuing march towards "Multiculturalism" in this country as somehow anti-American or pro-Terrorist or whatever absurdity du jour they like to use to ridicule the varied people of this country who are simply trying to get along with each other in increasingly crowded quarters.

While enjoying the splendid acoustics and moving performance of near-to-authentic-as-possible religious (and a few traditionally secular) hymns and songs that have found their place here for hundreds of years --- all brought to the area via Mexico and Spain and Russia and by the original native Chumash inhabitants --- one can't help but marvel at the many colors and flavors that have come together to embody the America that most of us live in today.

The Choir's director, apparently a scholar in local culture and religious lore, told the story of how he was recently reading through some of the archives at the Santa Barbara Mission from the early to mid 1800's. He came across a petition presented to the first Public School in Santa Barbara, signed by the parents of the attending children, protesting the newly emerging movement towards Bilingual Education at their school.

In short, they were against it. They didn't want any of their children to be taught classes in English!

A bit of irony there, not lost a bit on the Californicators of all ethnicities in attendance last night. But also one that gave me both hope and pause that this growing movement of hostility towards this newest tinting of the American color as we muddle into the main of the 21st Century, may just be the normal passsing knee-jerks of those reactionaries who have conveniently either forgotten their own past, or who simply wish to horde all the spoils for themselves.

It seems there's little new in the world as far as the intolerance and selfishness of some of those already established in this great country towards the newer or less fortunate arrivals.

But if this small, quiet, peaceful and welcoming stretch of Central California, with several centuries of history to learn from, is any indication then perhaps we indeed shall overcome someday.

Here's hoping your Memorial Day was as peaceful and splendid as ours.

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By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2004 10:36am PT  

Josh Marshall hits the nail on the head in his analysis of last week's speech by Bush.

He points out that as Bush continues to inch ever closer to Kerry's position on Iraq, he is no longer trying to sell what good may come of the mess he made there, but rather, that he is the best equipped to not fuck up too much more than what he has already so desperately fucked up:

Originally, the case for war was built on claims about the Iraqi regime's possession of weapons of mass destruction and its support for terrorist groups like al qaida. To a lesser degree, but with increasing force as these other rationales faded way, the case was made on the basis of democratizing and liberalizing Iraq.

As that prospect too has become increasingly distant and improbable, President Bush has taken a fundamentally different tack. His emphasis now is seldom on what good might come of his Iraq policy but rather the dire consequences of its unmitigated 'failure' or its premature abandonment.

In other words, the president now argues that he is best equipped to guard the country from the full brunt of the consequences of his own misguided actions, managerial incompetence and dishonesty.

Sounds about right. He closes with a wonderfully disturbing metaphor...

The president's actions, if not his words, concede that Iraq has become the geopolitical equivalent of a botched surgery --- botched through some mix of the misdiagnosis of the original malady and the incompetence of the surgeon. Achieving the original goal of the surgery is now close to an afterthought. The effort is confined to closing up as quickly as possible and preventing the patient from dying on the table. And now the 'doctor', pressed for time and desperate for insight, stands over the patient with a scalpel in one hand and the other hurriedly leafing through a first year anatomy text book.

New Bush-Cheney campaign slogan?: "Vote for us! How much worse could we possibly do?!"

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By Brad Friedman on 5/31/2004 9:45am PT  

Now that the dissembling, history re-writing and legacy creating on Iraq is in full swing by the Republican Spinmeisters (I actually had one Rightwingnut blogger write me recently with a straight face that he "didn't think Bush actually said anything about nuclear weapons...") we can thank the fine Americans in Rep. Henry Waxman's office for providing a searchable database on Administration lies and misstatements on the threat posed by Iraq.

So next time you hear one of your brain-addled Rightwing friends or family members regurgitate Paul Wolfowitz saying on the radio (as he did on March 16th, 2004) that "We never said there were stockpiles." ...

Or Rumsfeld shows up on Face the Nation (as he did on March 14th, 2004) to say "Well, you're the ... you and a few other critics are the only people I've heard use the phrase 'immediate threat.' I didn't. The president didn't. And it's become kind of folklore that that's... that's what's happened."...

You'll be able to stop by this database, and easily find the time when Rumsfeld said to the Congressional Armed Services Committee on September 19th, 2002:

"[N]o terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein and Iraq."

You can only fool some of the people some of the time. Thankfully, it's getting much harder for these bad bad dangerous irresponsible folks to be able to do just that. Is it time to start calling him "Baghdad Bush"?

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By Brad Friedman on 5/30/2004 1:22am PT  

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Coming Soon...Everywhere you turn.
Brad Blog responds: 'Bring it on!'
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2004 1:19pm PT  

It's only gonna get worse before it gets better, I'm afraid. The faint of heart may want to turn back now.

Bill Sammon, the Whitehouse mouthpiece from the Washington Times, the Whitehouse organ, reports the new plan...

President Bush's political strategists have concluded that the way to battle back from record low job-approval ratings and months of bad news from Iraq is to talk about Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.
...
"We are going to continue talking about it through ads, through the Web, through surrogate events, through remarks by the president, by the vice president, through talk radio, through all kinds of different sources of information," Mr. Mehlman said.
...
"The days of there being three networks that provided people all their information that they needed to know are gone," Mr. Mehlman said. "Today, they get information from cable; they get information from original newspapers; they get information from blogs; they get information from talk radio."

The campaign has resolved to push its message through all these outlets whenever possible.

Try to keep all of the above in mind as you listen and watch the Mainstream Conservative Media over the next six months. The message from all corners should be in remarkably predictable GOP lockstep coordination, unless they really start to panic. In which case, all bets are off.

For the record, all opinions on the BRAD BLOG are the original thought of it's author and belong neither to the DNC, the DCCC, the Kerry Campaign, or the Daily Barbra Streistand Talking Points Memo.

Bring it on.

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Vote a new loser off each week!
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2004 12:09pm PT  

View the Trailer and sign up to watch new episodes for free...Looks like it should be funny. For Survivor fans and Democrats anyway...Or Republicans with a sense of humor (therefore, Republican viewership may be very low).

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By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2004 1:38pm PT  

Remember the Republican outrage directed at Bill Clinton when the US was running out of Tomahawk missiles back in 1999?

Well, oddly enough, I've yet to hear a single condemnation of George W. Bush by a Republican for running out of BULLETS IN THE MIDDLE OF A WAR for christ-sake!

Though, yes, the insane Bush dead-enders over at Free Republic (where I was banned after just one post...so much for the "Free" in Free Republic I guess), a few folks incredibly are still blaming Bill Clinton for this newest disgrace!

Miraculously, one poster succeeding in avoiding the censors over there (so far), and was able to make this post:

Clinton was in office four years ago. How long will he be blamed?

Sad.

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And how you need to help fight back!
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2004 12:47pm PT  

No matter what Rush and Sean and O'Reilly tell you, the "Liberal Media" is simply a lie they would like you to believe to benefit their own cause. The NY Times --- the paper of record which sets the agenda for the rest of the world's papers --- admitted earlier this week how they were a sycophantic tool for the Bush Administration's propoganda to help trick America into believing we should go to war with Iraq.

And now CNN proves again how it too is a mouth-piece for Administration Propoganda. Courtesy of Atrios:

Call CNN

Outrage:

[Kelli] ARENA: Neither John Kerry nor the president has said troops pulled out of Iraq any time soon. But there is some speculation that al Qaeda believes it has a better chance of winning in Iraq if John Kerry is in the White House.

BEN VENZKE, INTELCENTER: Al Qaeda feels that Bush is, even despite casualties, right or wrong for staying there is going to stay much longer than possibly what they might hope a Democratic administration would.

There you go. We're fighting al Qaeda in Iraq and they think John Kerry is a wimp.

Atlanta:
404-827-1500

Washington:
202-898-7900

You can communicate your thoughts to Ms. Arena personally at:
kelli.arena@turner.com

You can now send your emails to Eason Jordan at Eason.Jordan@turner.com. He's CNN's chief news executive.

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Marking Memorial Day and over 800 Americans now killed in Iraq...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2004 12:28pm PT  

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