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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 8:21pm PT  

"Democrats are positively obsessed with hearings...Ever since Watergate, Democrats have tried and tried to accomplish with Congressional hearings what they couldn't legitimately accomplish at the ballot box." - Rush Limbaugh, 4/9/04, 3rd Broadcast Hour.

One other public service for our DittoHead readers. Rush told you today that "the president's numbers are up!". You can read it yourself on his site, on the page called: "Truth Detector: Despite Media Frenzy, Bush Numbers Up".

The specific CNN/Time "numbers" that Rush is talking about can be found on CNN's site, on the page called: "Poll: Rice testimony yields mixed results for White House - Majority: Administration had no al Qaeda strategy before 9/11".

And then there's the part of that same poll that Rush didn't tell you about at all. It's on the CNN page called "Poll finds divided opinion of Bush's performance: Support for president's Iraq policy falls sharply".

ReddIt this story!



...it's the cover-up.
By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 7:38pm PT  

You'd think these guys would have learned by now. The cover-up did in Nixon, almost did in Clinton and here we are all these years later, and they seem to be doing it again.

Condi did just fine yesterday. Handled herself very smartly. Passed a curious number of bucks, but held it together. In the process however, she exposed some FACTS that - unless the Bushies come clean and quickly - could well end up doing these guys in as well. And all perhaps for no good reason.

FACTS we learned from Condi (straight from the transcripts):

Let me read you some of the actual chatter that we picked up that spring and summer: "Unbelievable news coming in weeks," "Big event ... there will be a very, very, very, very big uproar," "There will be attacks in the near future."

Dick Clarke had told me...that there were al Qaeda cells in the United States.

...the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States... But I don't remember the al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

The title [of the Aug. 6 Presidential Daily Briefing] was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

The president was told [the PDB was] historical information...there was nothing actionable in this...there was no new threat information in this document to pursue.

I hope she's right. It looks like the August 6 PDB may be declassified tomorrow - on the Saturday before Easter, of course.

Given that the Whitehouse was initially against the creation of the Homeland Security Dept, fought against the impanelling of the 9/11 Commission entirely, has withheld documents and testimony from them, much of it released only by threat of subpeona and/or public and political humiliation, has yet to declassify Condi's Public Speech on National Security Sept. 11th, has fought to keep that Aug 6 PDB from being declassified and will only agree to a "visit" by Bush and Cheney in front of the Commission if they are allowed to do so together, it certainly gives the appearance that they are hiding something. Don't it? And that's all their doing.

On a personal note, I'll add that I'd prefer the Report from the 9/11 Commission didn't come out at all until after the Elections. The information from the Report is far too important to be torn apart by the partisanship that it will undoubtedly be met with (and in the process, disregarded because of) in the wake of such a hotly contested Presidential Election.

On the other hand, given this Administration's obstructive behavior, dubious public posturing, penchant for misleading information and out and out despicable character assassination, perhaps a Report which offers information into how the folks running for re-election have handled things would be helpful to the American Public in making a more informed decision. One way or the other.

Of course, had the Bush Whitehouse not taken so long in getting the Commission set up and then spent months stonewalling them, perhaps this all would have been done by now. They have only themselves to blame, but it's the Country that may pay the price.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 7:23pm PT  

"PDB"

"Shaking the trees"

"Running around with hair on fire"

"Actionable intelligence"

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By Brad Friedman on 4/9/2004 7:20pm PT  

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Regime Change Begins at Home!
Phony, Dangerous Bush Reign Must End Soon!
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2004 2:24pm PT  

Incredible. I'm not a Howard Stern fan (though I don't have anything in particular against him), but this is finally becoming both ridiculous and horrifying.

After being fined $475k by Michael Powell's FCC, Clear Channel (the top Broadcast Contributor to the Republican Party) has fired Howard Stern.

Amazing. Hasn't this fraudulent Presidency done enough to shred the Constitution up till now?

It's precisely this sort of thing that might make a guy like me vote for a dullard like John F. Kerry this November. If that's what it takes to get this dangerous Administration the hell outta town I may just go ahead and pull that lever.

And if you think Stern's fans won't show up to do the same, you're living in a Fool's Paradise...for another 8 months anyway. You guys on the Right wanted a Culture War? It's on, jack-holes.

Be sure to check Stern's Website for what the FCC isn't doing to Oprah! Un-frickin'-believable.

ReddIt this story!



(Does Gray Davis get to be Governor again?)
By Brad Friedman on 4/8/2004 1:33pm PT  

Anyone remember the Summer of 2000? The fake "power crisis" in California that eventually paved the way for the Recall of Gray Davis?

Remember the claims by Rush and Friends that it was all due to the Environmental Whacko's who wouldn't allow California to build more power plants? That Davis and California had only themselves to blame because they were out of touch, birkenstock-wearing Libs who finally were getting their comeuppance for their failed tree-hugging environmental policies?

Remember those Environmental Whackos who used FACTS to explain that the "power shortage" was a fraud created and manipulated by the Power Marketeers like Enron and Reliant? (You may not remember that part, since the Media, as "Liberal" as we all know they are, didn't seem to get the word out on that as well as they got the Conservatives completely made-up spin out there).

Well, today, a Federal Grand Jury has finally begun the process of correcting the record with it's indictment of Reliant for manipulating the Power Markets during the "Crisis of 2002". From Reuters:

The indictment alleged that in June 2000, Reliant Energy Services and its officers and employees intentionally drove up the price of electricity in the state by shutting off its power generation to create the false appearance of a shortage.

According to the indictment, the plan worked and Reliant Energy Services allegedly reaped millions in illegal profits.

Shocking! Whodathunkit?! It goes on:

The indictment says that Reliant was faced with a potential multimillion dollar financial loss in June 2000 when prices in the electricity markets fell dramatically. In order to reverse its losing position, the defendants devised an illegal scheme to drive up the price of electricity by shutting off most of the company's power generation plants, thus creating the appearance of an electricity shortage.

It then dissemanated false and misleading information to the market that wrongly attributed the shut-downs to environmental limitations and maintenance problems, according to the indictment.

No! Really?!

Oddly enough, DittoHeads didn't get this breaking news today from Rush and his stack of stuff, but I'm sure Sean will be getting to it any minute. Just after he pulls his tongue out of Condi's ass.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 11:40pm PT  

9 great questions for Condi from Peter Bergen in Sunday's NY Times. And another 6 good ones from Scott Armstrong there as well.

Anticipating Bergen's #9, ahead of time, Reuters reports that Condi has "no plans to make a public apology" tomorrow. Oh, that's good. Humbling one's self can be so unseemly at a time like this.

As well, following the Bush Admin's penchant for flip-flopping on all things 9/11, it looks like they may be reversing course yet again regarding the speech she was to have given on 9/11. According to the Reuters report:

On the eve of her testimony, the White House reversed course and signaled it would cooperate with the commission's request to review a speech Rice had been due to deliver on the day of the Sept. 11 attacks touting missile defense as a priority rather than al Qaeda.

"We are cooperating with the commission fully," an administration official said when asked if the White House would provide the panel access to the speech.

Hmmm...they will let them "review" it. Does that mean they'll give it to them and we'll all get to see it? It was to have been a public speech after all. Or, like other documents from the Whitehouse (actual secret ones), will they be allowed to walk past it quicklky in the dark naked with a flashlight?

We'll find out tomorrow morning. They are, after all, "cooperating with the commission fully", so we can all look forward to that.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 6:40pm PT  

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Must See TV 2
By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 5:41pm PT  

Condoleezza Rice's testimony to the 9/11 Commission tomorrow morning is shaping up to be even more Must See than Richard Clarke's testimony a few weeks ago.

But in the last week or so, it's all become simply bizarro. This Administration's behavior vis a vis the 9/11 Commission, the disasters unfolding in Iraq and their odd behavior in respect to it. Self-preservation and all of that, I suppose. But it just gets curiouser and curiouser as if these guys seem to be living in an alternate universe or something.

I once again associate myself with the excellent Josh Marshall, who points out the following the quote from an Evening Standard article:

"They have concluded he was so surrounded by sycophants he had no real idea of what was happening in his own country."

Oddly enough, that quote refers to the FBI's interrogation of Saddam, not George W. Bush as one could similarly argue.

In the meantime, the Whitehouse is still fighting to keep Condi's Foreign Policy speech, planned to be given on September 11, 2001, out of the hands of the 9/11 Commission. On what grounds? National Security? Executive Privelege? It was to have been a public speech for crying out loud. What the hell are they so afraid of?

And then there's Richard Clarke again today on Hardball pointing out that Tom Clancy's 1997 book, Debt of Honor featured hijackers that fly a plane into the US Capitol Dome! Again, along with Clarke's admission that he cobbled Anti-Aircraft Defenses into place for the '96 Atlanta Olympics, a stunning counterpoint to Condi's now infamous May 2002 comments: "I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people.. would try to use...a hijacked airplane as a missile." Bush said as much himself this past Monday in his bizaare presser in North Carolina.

Would anybody in America hold it against these guys if they simply said "We under-estimated the terrorist threat before 9/11, but have learned our lesson since?" I understand the current need to lie about the screwups which have now entangled us in Iraq, but surely they could come clean on 9/11. Again, unless they have something even more damaging to hide than what we already can figure out on our own. I don't know that they do, but their bizaare behavior and coverups and constant kicking, screaming participation with the Commission sure doesn't look good.

It's all simply falling apart for these guys. It's Bizarro World.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/7/2004 1:16pm PT  

John Dean's new book is now the #2 Best Seller at Amazon.com. The man who was instrumental in exposing the Constitution busting Nixon Admin offers some insightful information on what we're dealing with today.

Dean's appearance on Hannity & Colmes last night was predictably met with a feckless attempt at personal attack by Sean - about something or other from the 70's. He didn't make much headway. Obviously, Sean is now officially over his head in flacking for this indefensible administration.

Haven't read the book myself, so what do I know? But in case you haven't heard of it, I thought you might enjoy seeing the cover of the book as much as I enjoy posting it here.

Have I mentioned it's about the Bush Administration and it's called Worse Than Watergate?

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2004 2:12pm PT  

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The Political Battle Royale
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2004 2:06pm PT  

As Air America Radio and the proud return of the word "Liberal" sweeps the nation (or not - hard to tell so far), there are a few things that occur to me as I listen and watch.

For one, after the last two decades of the Right having developed their own insular Conservative Echo Chamber, they have become desparetely out of touch with what is actually going on in the Country. Instead, they simply repeat over and over to each other exactly they wish to hear and believe, and come election time, if things don't go their way, they are shocked and left wondering what could possibly have gone wrong.

And now, the Left is finally catching up and putting together their own Echo Chamber. A good thing on it's face, because there is finally developing a reliable outlet for Liberal opinion and information to be shared and dissemanated to counter the endless (and almost entirely misleading) propoganda from the other side. (It should be noted that I'm impressed, so far, with the information in general coming from the Left, which is far more --- truly --- Fair and Balanced, detailed, sourced and accurate than the Right's one-sided, taken-out-of-context, often-wholly-unfactual, hot-button propoganda. So far anyway.)

But is the increasing network of Progressive Blogs, Radio Networks and Best-Selling Books --- the number of Left-Leaning Best Sellers now finally far outnumber those from the Right --- creating an insular and self-delusional Echo Chamber for the Left the way Rush and Sean and Fox and Drudge have created theirs for the Right?

As things continue --- seemingly --- to unravel for the Bush Administration on every front, it appears at least like the evaporation of support for the Right is real. The latest Pew Polls show Bush's Approvals disintegrating at an alarming level on nearly all points.

Yet if you listen to Rush, all is well and it's the Dems that are falling apart.

What's the real story? Perhaps it's somewhere in the middle, where neither DittoHeads nor AirHeads care to venture. Or perhaps things really are unravelling for one side or another.

I suppose the point of this article is mostly to say: Yo, AirHeads - Be careful to avoid the self-delusional trap the Right has created for itself after all these years. Preaching to the choir is all well and good, but words must translate into hearts and minds won. Then, those hearts and minds must be translated into motivating folks away from their radio or website or best-seller list to actually show up at the polls and throw the bums out.

It remains to be seen if that most difficult hurdle has yet been leapt by the Lefties. I suppose we'll find out this November.

I've had many other thoughts on Air America over their first blessed broadcast week --- both good and bad --- but I'll hold those for another day.

ReddIt this story!



Or just needs a time-out?
By Brad Friedman on 4/6/2004 1:17am PT  

Is it just me? Or is this odd? From a press session Monday morning with Bush in North Carolina:

THE PRESIDENT: Let me ask you a couple of questions. Who is the AP person?

Q I am.

THE PRESIDENT: You are?

Q Sir, in regard to --

THE PRESIDENT: Who are you talking to?

Q Mr. President, in regard to the June 30th deadline, is there a chance that that would be moved back?

...Okay...and then, shortly after, this:

Q Mr. President, can you just tell me --- the 9/11 Commission, the Chairman yesterday, Governor Kean, said a date had been set, I think, for your testimony and the Vice President's. Is that --

THE PRESIDENT: I would call it a meeting.

Q A meeting, I'm sorry.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.

...Touchy?...The rest of the session then rambled as follows, with this burst seemingly out of nowhere. Picking up precisely where the above left off, which was the only allusion to 9/11 at all to this point:

Q Has that date been set, and could you share it with us? And number two, can you tell us the rationale as to why you have chosen to testify or rather meet with them with the Vice President?

THE PRESIDENT: First of all, it will be a great opportunity from them to ask both of us our opinions on the subject. And we're meeting with the entire commission. I'm not exactly sure what the status is of putting out the date. I told them I'd meet with them at a time that's convenient for all of us, and hopefully we'll come to that date soon.

I look forward to sharing information with them. Let me just be very clear about this: Had we had the information that was necessary to stop an attack, I'd have stopped the attack. And I'm convinced any other government would have, too. I mean, make no mistake about it; if we'd had known that the enemy was going to fly airplanes into our buildings, we'd have done everything in our power to stop it. And what is important for them to hear, not only is that, but that when I realized that the stakes had changed, that this country immediately went on war footing, and we went to war against al Qaeda. It took me very little time to make up my mind, once I determined al Qaeda to do it, to say, we're going to go get them. And we have, and we're going to keep after them until they're brought to justice and America is secure.

But I'm looking forward to the conversation. I'm looking forward to Condi testifying. I made a decision to allow her to do so because I was assured that it would not jeopardize executive privilege. And she'll be great. She's a very smart, capable person who knows exactly what took place, and will lay out the facts. And that's what the commission's job is meant to do, and that's what the American people want to see. I'm looking forward to people hearing her.

Wish I had seen the above on video, cuz the official transcript from the Whitehouse just reads...like he's coming unglued? Bizaare...

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2004 11:15am PT  

On the front page of Rush's website today, you'll find the following link to a transcript from a call about Condi Rice: "Like Clarence Thomas, this self-made black leader must be destroyed..."

Apparently, this is the stunning next chapter in the Right's desperate attempt at the Defense of Condi Rice. This bizaare strategy was first floated by Bob Novak last week when he sandbagged Rahm Emanuel on Crossfire:

NOVAK: Congressman, do you believe, you're a sophisticated guy, do you believe watching these hearings that Dick Clarke has a problem with this African-American woman Condoleezza Rice?

EMANUEL: Say that again?

NOVAK: Do you believe that Dick Clarke has a problem with this African-American woman Condoleezza Rice?

Huh? Emanuel was as flumoxed as I was by the odd question.

I believe it was The Daily Show who later complimented Novak on having "played a race card from a deck which nobody even realized had one".

A day or two later, like clockwork, one of Brad Blog's favorite DittoHead commenters did his good soldier Right Wing Echo Chamber duty by repeating the suggestion: "I hope it doesn't turn out to be a 'high-tech lynching of an uppity black.'"

Mission accomplished.

Have we ever seen an Administration so freaked out by the merest suggestion that they - perhaps - haven't done everything perfectly? It's rather astounding to watch.

Are these guys that desperate to defend Bush at all costs that they're already falling back to the Clarence Thomas "defense" here? Apparently so. Last week Rush answered a Liberal caller's question about why --- if the Bush Administration had such a wonderful Anti-Terrorism program from Day 1 --- why it wasn't actually ever implemented until after 9/11.

The answer was classic Rush. First, he informs us, it was because the Bushies were too busy at first because the Florida Election Debacle cost them so much valuable time that they had to work with Clinton Appointees like Richard Clarke (never mind that he was actually a Reagan appointee - DittoHeads aren't big on Facts).

But then there's this:

RUSH: ...it's all about powerful blacks in the Republican Party just are not tolerable. It is just intolerable. Condoleezza Rice stands as an exact antidote to what the liberal Democrats are telling the black population of this country. She can get where she got and she didn't have to be a Democrat, and she didn't have to be part of the civil rights coalitions, she didn't have to use affirmative action. It was the same thing that scared them about Clarence Thomas and there's an all-out effort now to destroy her as well.

Well, okay. I guess that explains that.

I guess I'll have to do some research on Condi to find out exactly where "she didn't have to use affirmative action." Perhaps she was admitted to Yale with a C+ grade average and received a Legacy admittance like Dubya. I'll get back to you on that.

By the way, if you do click-through to the Rush transcript posted above, be sure to note the section where Rush has been going on and on, until the caller finally breaks in with:

CALLER: I don't mean to cut you off, Rush, but that is laughable.

RUSH: I'm not through with --

CALLER: Let me --- you're telling me --

RUSH: Sean. Sean. Sean. You are a caller, and you can't cut me off. Now, if you keep on filibustering like this, I'll just take you down so we can't hear you.

I hate it when those callers filibuster poor Rush and never let him get in a word edgewise. Classic. And the DittoMonkeys eat it up.

ReddIt this story!



By Brad Friedman on 4/5/2004 8:44am PT  

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