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Latest Featured Reports | Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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RNC Convention Website conspicuously short on info!
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2004 5:40pm PT  

It's odd, but since the DNC Convention has ended, I just can't wait for the next one! The big RNC Convention starts in a few weeks, so I was reading up on it at the official RNC Convention website!

Given the previous two items about signed loyalty oaths being required to attend a Dick Cheney rally, and the Bush-Cheney campaign's requirement for journalists to provide their race to the Bush Cheney campaign before getting security clearance, I thought I'd go and learn a little more about this Dick Cheney fellow!

I went straight to "presumptive nominee" Dick Cheney's official biography page at the site! Very impressive! Lots of interesting information! (Did you know his real name is "Richard"?! He certainly doesn't look like a Richard!)

He has a very impressive resume though! Reaching all the way back to the 60's as both a business man and public servant! But, there seems to be a gap in his resume on that page! It says nothing about what Dick Cheney was doing since he left his post as Sec. of Defense in 1993 until the time he became Vice-President in 2000.

Was he just taking a sabbatical or something during that time? Working for the Peace Corp, perhaps? (Though you'd think they would list that if he was). Spending time with his family? Writing a book? Or what? There's nothing mentioned about the years 1994 to 2001 at all!

On "presumptive nominee" George W. Bush's official biography page at the site, they speak in detail of his career in "the energy business" and as "managing general partner of the Texas Rangers" during that period. But for Cheney, during those same years, there seems to be nothing! I wonder if they forgot that part of his biography or something? Wierd.

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(And you thought a signed 'Loyalty Oath' was bad enough?!)
The news gets more frightening.
By Brad Friedman on 7/31/2004 1:45pm PT  

Yesterday, I posted about the Cheney camp requiring signed oaths of loyalty for anyone hoping to come to a campaign rally in New Mexico. I also implored Bush Supporters who may read this Blog to wake the fuck up to what is happening in your country under your Administration.

I wish that was the end of the story. But it gets still worse. (And thanks again to Atrios for pointing this one out as well.)

The Arizona Daily Star is reporting that the Bush Campaign is requiring that journalists (a photo journalist, in this case) supply their race before receiving security clearance to photograph the Vice-President!

Here's the first few amazing grafs:

Bush camp solicits race of Star staffer
By C.J. Karamargin
ARIZONA DAILY STAR

President Bush's re-election campaign insisted on knowing the race of an Arizona Daily Star journalist assigned to photograph Vice President Dick Cheney.

The Star refused to provide the information.

Cheney is scheduled to appear at a rally this afternoon at the Pima County Fairgrounds.

A rally organizer for the Bush-Cheney re-election campaign asked Teri Hayt, the Star's managing editor, to disclose the journalist's race on Friday. After Hayt refused, the organizer called back and said the journalist probably would be allowed to photograph the vice president.

"It was such an outrageous request, I was personally insulted," Hayt said later.

Danny Diaz, a spokesman for the president's re-election campaign, said the information was needed for security purposes.

"All the information requested of staff, volunteers and participants for the event has been done so to ensure the safety of all those involved, including the vice president of the United States," he said.

Name and Social Security number I suppose I could understand. And both were supplied to the campaign according to the rest of the story.

But race?? What the hell does the photographer's race have to do with receiving clearance? If she had been of "Arabic" race would they have denied her credentials based on that alone?

As I said before: Bush Supporters, wake the fuck up! I don't care how much you (inexplicably) like the man, or hope for Republicans to stay in power...if you can't see what's going on here, I can only imagine what sort of designs you have for this country and it's Constitution.

We seem to be well beyond the looking glass at this point, folks. And there's still three more months to go! Fasten your seatbelts.

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Signed Loyalty Oaths Required to see Veep at Campaign Rally!
(Wake up, Bush supporters! This is YOUR country too!)
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 10:04pm PT  

Sorry...one more too unbelievable not to post...

This report is from the Albuquerque Journal, incredibly enough (no, it's not from The Onion!)

Obtaining Cheney Rally Ticket Requires Signing Bush Endorsement
By Jeff Jones
Journal Staff Writer

Some would-be spectators hoping to attend Vice President Dick Cheney's rally in Rio Rancho this weekend walked out of a Republican campaign office miffed and ticketless Thursday after getting this news:

Unless you sign an endorsement for President George W. Bush, you're not getting any passes.
...
An endorsement form provided to the Journal by [an unhappy, undecided voter] says: "I, (full name) ... do herby (sic) endorse George W. Bush for reelection of the United States."

What will it take for you Dubya Fans to see what has become of your country?!

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Sinking in the South...Weak amongst Undecideds.
Failing in the Jewish, Hispanic, Catholic groups as well.
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 9:16pm PT  

The latest Zogby numbers are in. (A refresher for those just joining us; Zogby is the only polling organization to get it almost exactly right in both 2000 and 1996. We keep an eye on them.)

It looks like more bad news for the Bushies with a 5 point lead for Kerry-Edwards before the Convention was even over. It's been a rough day for the Bushies (see the previous couple of items.) But at least it's a Friday!

Worse than the newly opened 5 point lead, is the rest of the story. Atrios' summary of the report will suffice at this late hour:

The most recent Zogby poll shows deeper trouble for President George W. Bush beyond just the horserace. Mr. Bush has fallen in key areas while Senator John Kerry has shored up numerous constituencies in his base. The Bush team's attempted outreach to base Democratic and swing constituency has shown to be a failure thus far, limiting his potential growth in the electorate.

The ugly details-

Among Hispanic Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

Among Southern Voters:
Kerry 48%
Bush 46%

Viewed Favorably in the South:
Kerry 55%
Bush 55%

Approve of Bush's Job Performance in the South: 44%

US Headed in the Right Direction in the South: 43%

Among Young Voters (18-29) :
Kerry 53%
Bush 33%

Among Single Voters:
Kerry 69%
Bush 19%

In the Red States:
Kerry 46%
Bush 48%

In the Blue States:
Kerry 50%
Bush 38%

Among People Who Did Not Vote in 2000:
Kerry 50%
Bush 25%

Bush is leading only by 2 points in the Red states?!

I know you Lefties don't want me to jinx ya, and you Righties like to point to the "dead heat" National Polls (and overlook the only ones that matter: The Battleground Polls), but unless Kerry or Edwards screw the pooch between now and November (perfectly possible), or they take Bin Laden out of cold storage (even more possible), I'm starting to smell a Kerry Landslide. I'm just sayin'.

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"Liberal" Media Fails to Report it.
So does Drudge.
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 8:38pm PT  

Wall Street Journal reports that Sandy Berger has been cleared of all wrongdoing. Their site is subscription only, so the link to their story "Berger Cleared of Withholding Material From 9/11 Commission" will only work if you have a subscription.

So here's a report instead from KYW NewsRadio:

Clinton Adviser Berger Cleared of Document Theft (07/30/04)

President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger --- who'd been accused of stealing classified material from the National Archives --- has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

The National Archives and the Justice Department have concluded nothing is missing and nothing in the Clinton administration's record was withheld from the 9-11 Commission.

The Wall Street Journal reports archives staff have accounted for all classified documents Berger looked at.

Late last year they asked investigators to see if the former national security adviser removed materials during his visits.

Berger's lawyers said his client had inadvertently removed several photocopies of reports, but later returned them.

Where does Mr. Berger go to get his reputation back? I'm sure apologies from Rush, Sean, O'Reilly, Scarborough, Matthews, Fox, CNN, MSNBC and Drudge etc. will be forthcoming. Not.

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Another Record for the Bush Administration!
(or, Polishing a Turd.)
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 7:42pm PT  

Congratulations to the fiscal "conservatives" of the Bush Administration!

While it seemed nearly impossible to beat last years record setting $375 Billion defecit, "the party of smaller government" has done it again!

The numbers are in, and this year...It's another record deficit! $445 Billion! The largest in the history of mankind as a matter of fact!

Sadly, the numbers were released today instead of the more tradition July 15th date. Which is a shame, because they really could have embarrased those Democrats at their convention with this terrific news, which came out just one day too late! Darn the luck!

It's also a shame, because it was late on a Friday before the White House was able to release the numbers, and most of the press had already shut down for the weekend! Curses!

Still...it didn't keep the White House from crowing about this terrific news! As reported by AP:

Administration officials hailed the budget figures as a solid improvement over the deficits analysts forecast early this year, and said they were on their way to their goal of halving this year's shortfall in five years. The White House estimated a $521 billion budget gap for 2004 in February, while the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted a $477 billion deficit.

"This improved budget outlook is the direct result of the strong economic growth the president's tax relief has fueled," said White House budget director Joshua Bolten.

Mr. Bolten didn't explain how this year's record deficit came about when Mr. Bush had previously told Americans in 2001, that if his tax cuts were passed that we'd have a $262 Billion surplus this year instead.

But never mind that! A record is a record!

So congratulations George W. Bush! And to all of you fiscal conservatives who helped put him into office! Your tax cuts and keen grasp of economics is certainly paying off!

Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

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By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 2:52pm PT  

Uh, oh. Looks like another bad day in Bushville.

The widow of former President, and Republican icon, Ronald Reagan has told the GOP she wants nothing to do with their upcoming national convention or the re-election campaign of President George W. Bush.

Nancy Reagan turned down numerous invitations to appear at the Republican National Convention and has warned the Bush campaign she will not tolerate any use of her or her late husbands words or images in the President's re-election effort. [emphasis added]

“Mrs. Reagan does not support President Bush's re-election and neither do most members of the President's family,” says a spokesman for the former First Lady.

(First one to catch the inevitable "Nancy Reagan has clearly lost her mind since the death of her husband" line from the Attack Monkeys, be sure to let us know!)

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By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 2:39pm PT  

A few final thoughts on the DNC Convention after it's close (other thoughts on the week's activities are sprinkled throughout the last 3 or 4 days worth of Blog items below).

John Kerry said all the right things last night in his speech. A little too quickly perhaps, there was so many applause lines that he'd have better served himself to allow them to reverberate a bit more. But he's never been known for his oratory genius. It's what he said that counted most. At least to me.

Still not certain I'll actually be able to cast my own vote for him, paticularly since I live in the "locked" state of California and my vote may be better spent elsewhere (though, obviously not on Bush). If you live in Missouri or Texas or Ohio or Florida, etc., you'd be crazy to vote for anybody else. Which is what the Bushies are counting hoping for, of course!

I was, however, impressed with the speech in general. He said a lot of things that a lot of us Progressives had been wanting to hear from the man who isn't George W. Bush.

The coverage of the speech, which I watched mostly via Fox, though switched over to CNN and others throughout, showed again how even in their choice of camera shots the Foxies are anti-Democrat and Pro-Republican. While earlier in the week they would cut away to bored folks, dark folks, and folks in funny outfits right in the middle of important points in the various speeches (as opposed to waiting for applause lines and then showing cheering Dems) they subtly switched to a new tact last night.

If you watched Kerry's speech on Fox, you'd think he was actually in Hollywood making his speech! Which was clearly no accident of editing by the Fox directors. Almost every cutaway was to one of those "awful Hollywood Liberal Elitists" (I counted shots of Ben Affleck, Leo DiCaprio, two guys from The West Wing, Rob Reiner, John Cusack, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick and Steven Spielberg..and oh, yeah, Hillary...all within the first fifteen minutes of the speech!)

There were about five thousand delegates there, 15,000 reporters, scads of Democratic officials, but it was the "Hollywood Liberal Elite" who got the bulk of the camera time. That's Fox for ya. More on them later.

I was a bit mystified by the following comment from Kerry's speech though:

I want to address these next words directly to President George W. Bush: In the weeks ahead, let's be optimists, not just opponents. Let's build unity in the American family, not angry division. Let's honor this nation's diversity; let's respect one another; and let's never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.

The ideas of building unity and not angry division, and respecting one another, etc., made shrewd sense. But the last part there, about "never misus[ing] for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States" seemed an odd way to end the thought.

I wasn't certain what he was speaking of there, until I saw a Bill Schneider/CNN explanation that he was referring to Bush's cynical and failed "Gay Marriage Amendment". Then it made sense.

Perhaps the most interesting developement of the week was the Dems enormously clever --- and so far very successful --- move to co-opt the "optimistic" tone that Republicans had likely been hoping to seize upon themselves. The Reagan Effect is fully in play suddenly in this year's campaign, and it's the Democrats, ironically, who have successfully taken that legacy (for now) and made it their own. Beating the GOP at their own "we're the party of optimists, they're the party of doom and gloom!" game.

So kudos to whoever came up with that plan!

The Bush-Cheney thugs already look pretty pathetic (and un-American in this case), by tearing into Kerry-Edwards in the bargain. Drudge's lead item at this moment, for example, "Bush Derides Kerry as Man of Few Achievements..." will likely ring pretty poorly today for Team Bush amongst the electorate who really does seem to want some hope and optimism in this country for the first time in years! Yes, I know the pols always claim that "American voters are tired of the negativity"! But this time, I sense that it may actually be true!

Thus, I'd predict the more positive candidate this year may also end up winning because of it! Bush may soon figure that out, but his record of years of ugly divisiveness along with a proven inability to be the "uniter, not a divider" he claimed to be, added to his surrogates complete inability to be positive (that's just not what they're made of, and they don't have positive facts on their side to boot) means that Bush finds himself now in an unfortunate corner.

Anybody wanna start laying bets for which day between now and November 2 that Dubya will have his own "Bozos" moment this year? (Surely you all remember when Papa Bush's chances were so bleak back in '92, that the sitting President referred to his opponents as "those two Bozos".) Desperation does funny things to a guy, I guess. Watch for it from Mr. Bush at some point within the next 95 days.

Also, of note this year, was "Fox Up Against It!" They weren't able to pull of their usual all-out unchallenged assault on the Democrat Party this week. Was it because they were surrounded by Dems? Or is the Anti-Fox Movement really beginning to have an effect in the House that Murdoch Built?

More on that later...and meanwhile, where are those fucking balloons? Well done, CNN! You guys are geniuses!

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But an 'A+' for Partisanship!
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 2:05pm PT  

CNN had been posting it's "Pundits Scorecard" each night of the Convention to score the various keynote speakers. Last night, the pundits were asked "How would you rate the Democratic National Convention?" Here's how Tucker Carlson scored it...

Speakers: B+
Themes/Message: A
Kerry's Speech: B+
OVERALL: C-

Hmmm...Average together the B+, A and B+ and come out with a C-! Got it!

(Was Tucker the one responsible for coming up with the bad numbers for Bush's "Prescription Drug Plan" by the way? Or the figures for how much Iraq Reconstruction wouldn't cost the American people? I'm noticing a theme amongst the GOP. Perhaps all Bush Admin Officials should be forced to take the Math Section of their "No Child Left Behind" standardized test! Or at least explain how they can possibly paint the Democrats as the the party of big spenders!!)

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Franken vs. Hannity on Air America
By Brad Friedman on 7/30/2004 1:10pm PT  

Photo once again, by Tom Tomorrow, who seemed to be there for all the Alpha-Dog Moments this week! Well done, Tom! (He also captured the Moore/O'Reilly standoff.)

Does anyone know where I can find a link to an archive of the Franken/Hannity matchup on Air America. Word has it that Hannity was pulled in, unscheduled, and was taken to task (meaning given facts and documentation!) for several of Hannity's continuous on-air lies. For example, he was forces to admit that he'd "misspoke" when he claimed that Howard Dean "told people George W. Bush knew about 9/11 in advance." Apparently, Hannity "misspoke" to that effect about 9 or 10 times.

Anyone have a link to copy of the interview?

UPDATE!: Here's the .MP3! Thanks, Jaime!

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By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2004 9:44pm PT  

Surely I'm not the first to mention this, but it occured to me tonight that if John Kerry wins, we'll have our first African-American First Lady!

And it figures she'd be white.

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There is still a war in Iraq. And another in Afghanistan.
Not that your Media would bother to tell you.
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2004 6:11pm PT  

Today, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning "Doctors without Borders" organization announced they are pulling out of Afghanistan after 24 years there "because of security concerns and frustrations with the U.S. military" as the situation in the war-torn nation continues to deteriorate (since we failed to finish one war before beginning another).

Additionally, here's some War News from just yesterday for ya, courtesy of Today in Iraq:

War News for July 28, 2004

Bring ‘em on: Sixty-eight Iraqis killed, 55 wounded by car bomb at Baquba police station.
Bring ‘em on: One US soldier killed, three wounded by roadside bomb near Balad.
Bring ‘em on: Seven Iraqi soldiers killed, 10 wounded in firefight near Suwariyah.
Bring ‘em on: Indian truck driver wounded in convoy ambush near Fallujah.
Bring ‘em on: Iraqi policeman assassinated in Kirkuk.
Bring ‘em on: Nine Iraqis wounded in roadside bomb attack against US convoy near Baquba.
Bring ‘em on: Bulgarian troops mortared near Karbala.
Bring ‘em on: Bomb explodes at entrance to Polish base camp near Hilla.
Bring ‘em on: Two insurgents killed in attempted pipeline sabotage near Kirkuk.

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He's tried the 'prozac' route, perhaps it's time for the 'find a new job' idea.
By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2004 2:49pm PT  

Suddenly the story I just reported on in the previous item becomes even more relevant!

Just reported by Reuters:

A campaign worker for President Bush said on Thursday American workers unhappy with low-quality jobs should find new ones --- or pop a Prozac to make themselves feel better.

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy --- or go on Prozac?" said Susan Sheybani, an assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry Holt.

"Compassionate Conservatism" in action.

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By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2004 2:27pm PT  

Not even sure what to make of this one. Following up on a story headlined "Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides" (as pointed to on the BRAD BLOG last month), Capitol Hill Blue, the self-proclaimed "politically agnostic" news site (the oldest one on the WWW) files a report today headlined "Sullen, Depressed President Retreats Into Private, Paranoid World".

The lack of named sources in the report is again troubling here, but the "newsworthiness" of a "Commander-in-Chief" being prescribed "powerful anti-depressant drugs" is at least as notable as "WOMAN NAMES BILL CLINTON FATHER OF SON IN SHOCKING VIDEO CONFESSION" as reported by Drudge back in 1999. Not to mention that had this story, anonymous sources or not, been about Kerry instead of Bush, you can bet your boots that not only would it be leading The Drudge Report today (with a SIREN!), but it would be splattered over the entire "Liberal" and Extremist Media.

Such as it's about Bush, however, it's been picked up nowhere else yet that I've seen today. I'm waiting for the White House release of today's Press Gaggle to see if anyone asks about the story. Though I have a feeling the "Liberal" Media may drop that ball as well. What a shock.

Here's the first few grafs. The entire story is worth reading however for those familiar with the "dry alcoholic" syndrome or otherwise interested in some stunning (if true) insider gossip about a White House in disarray:

A sullen President George W. Bush is withdrawing more and more from aides and senior staff, retreating into a private, paranoid world where only the ardent loyalists are welcome.

Cabinet officials, senior White House aides and leaders on Capitol Hill complain privately about the increasing lack of “face time” with the President and campaign advisors are worried the depressed President may not be up to the rigors of a tough re-election campaign.

“Yes, there are concerns,” a top Republican political advisor admitted privately Wednesday. “The George W. Bush we see today is not the same, gregarious, back-slapping President of old. He's moody, distrustful and withdrawn.”

Bush's erratic behavior and sharp mood swings led White House physician Col. Richard J. Tubb to put the President on powerful anti-depressant drugs after he stormed off stage rather than answer reporters' questions about his relationship with indicted Enron executive Kenneth J. Lay, but White House insiders say the strong, prescription medications seem to increase Bush's sullen behavior towards those around him.

“This is a President known for his ability to charm people one-on-one,” says a staff member to House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert. “Not any more.”

(Thanks to Jaime for the tip on this story!)

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 7/29/2004 12:08pm PT  

Comments are frequently made on older blog items that may not be noticed by regular BRAD BLOG readers. I hope to do something about that soon (as soon as my busy schedule of late will allow anyway). But a comment came in this morning on the "Michael Moore Connects the Dots" item that I believe is worth highlighting here, since it may otherwise go largely unnoticed.

"Sam" commented to say:

I lived in Texas in the 60's and moved to California in the 70"s; I was a Lincoln/Douglass republican and now I'm a democrat; I began to move away from the party of Eisenhower and Reagan when I had problems with the 'Contract On America' and the historical basis Newt sited for his tactics; every man (and a woman or two) in my family has served in the military since WWII in and out of combat; F9/11 should be seen by all americans who claim to be patriotic; I will be giving dvd copies of this film away to friends who continue to blindly support an administration that is marching us into fascism step by step.

Given the Right's smoke-screen that "the Military" supports George W. Bush, I think it's important to show what the real story is. That there are millions of Americans out there, yes, many in the Military, who are able to understand the brink of danger that this Administration has brought us towards. Folks who understand, as Bill Clinton said on Tuesday, that "strength and wisdom are not opposing values".

Thank you "Sam" for serving our country in both uniform and by speaking up in hopes of countering the deadly spin of the Right. If you have not yet visited Paul Rieckhoff's website, you (and everyone else) should do so! I highlighted his story some months ago here. He's another great American, one who gave up a cushy Wall Street job after the towers fell to serve his country, and who is not afraid of speaking out when he sees a "Commander-in-Chief" who is dangerously playing partisan games with the Constitutional (and otherwise American) Ideals that this country was founded on and which are being surreptiously frittered away under the cynical guise of "National Strength and Security".

It's not a fight for "National Strength and Security" that the Right is waging. It's just another cynical "wedge issue" being exploited in order to further divide this country, so that the Right might hang on to their power. And it's high time we put an end to such self-destructive nonsense in this country. Thanks, "Sam", for doing more than your part in that regard!

ReddIt this story!



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