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w/ Brad & Desi
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...
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Since I'm still in catch-up mode, you'll perhaps be pleased that I don't have enough time for all these items that have popped up over the past few days.
Each of them --- were this the Clinton Era --- would have prompted days, weeks and months of damning debate and criticism of the Democratic President in the Mainstream "Liberal" and Rightwing Extremist Media...and likely extended Ken Starr's investigation until they found something "impeachable".
But that was then and this is now. What a difference a political party and a stolen election makes.
So the following items are hardly noticed in the passing torrent of endless news cycles, who's fascinatin' rhythms are determined by Fox and Drudge, and dutifully followed by the rest of the mainstream "Liberal" media.
Sure, they occassionally stop to focus on important news stories, like the GOP revelation that John Edwards is a "Disingenuous, Unaccomplished Liberal Trial Lawyer", but other than that, the M.O. is keep moving as fast as possible, so nobody will notice what a disaster this Administration has wrought.
Here's just a few examples of what would have been BLOCKBUSTERS in the Day of Clinton. Sadly, I've got little more time than to simply list them quickly with a few pointers where you can get more info if you're interested. If you're a Bush supporter, however, you probably aren't.
Years worth of Indepent Council-worthy investigation. If this was 1996. Such as it's 2004, however, you probably barely noticed most of these stories, all from just the last three days or so. Mission accomplished.
Still catching up on much from while I was gone. Here's an exchange from The Daily Show with Stephen Colbert in the anchor seat while Jon Stewart was away having a baby.
Colbert asks Rob Corddry about the choice of Edwards for Veep:
And Stephen it's been this way the whole campaign. Today he's in Pennsylvania. Tomorrow Ohio. Then New York!...What's he gonna campaign in every state?! ... You can't have it both ways.
COLBERT: So, his traveling to different states saying different things is an example of flip-flopping?
CORDDRY: Blatant flip-floppery of the highest magnitude, Stephen.
...And as to how things will go for the John/John duo from here...
But Steven, one thing's for sure: MASSACHUSETTS LIBERAL...WEALTHY TRIAL LAWYER. Stephen?
This time it's former LA Mayor, now CA Education Commissioner, Richard Riordan's turn. The GOP Genius this time tells a six-year old girl that her name, Isis, which she told him means "an Egyptian Goddess" actually means "stupid, dirty girl". Brilliant.
And once again, the good folks at The Smoking Gun have the video to prove it. Unbelievable.
Catching up on so much I missed while enjoying my self-imposed media blackout over the past week.
While further delaying my return to battle this morning during a slow drive to the local Starbucks and listening to Rush, it occured to me how ironically hypocritical was the fact that those who continue to bash Fahrenheit 9/11 continue to be the ones who still haven't bothered to see it even two weeks after it's opened.
Folks like Rush and so many other Rightwing Sychophantic Jackasses in the Blogosphere remain "proud" of the fact they are clever enough to have no clue what the movie actually says even while they are all too happy to continue their foolishly fruitless and hollow efforts to discredit it. (To date, I've not heard a single discredited fact from F9/11 --- if you have one, please enlighten me.)
Then there is the Silent Minority of intellectually honest Republicans and/or Conservatives that we do our best to highlight here on The BRAD BLOG. As if to show that there is still hope for America.
Navarrette is on the opposite side of the political fence, but he refreshingly alludes to the hypocrisy of blind rightwing partisanship. Teddy is also across the aisle (though not on everything), but calls it like it is for the good of his now former party (the GOP) and his country. And Cobelt's interview demonstrates that there are still some in the Media with the ability to hold our Government Officials (Elected, Selected or Appointed) accountable for their actions. That's precisely what members of the Media should be doing whether I agree with them politically or not.
(Speaking of which, if you need further proof of that last thought on the Mainstream Media's pathetic failure to do their job, just ask some of the estimated 10,000 victims --- in 2003 alone --- of genocide, torture, massacre and rape in the Sudan. I realize that the United States of America has killed more innocent civilians in Iraq over that same period, but none the less, I'm still waiting for the outrage from all the Bush Brown-Nosers turned "Indignant Humanitarians". What about those "mass graves" in Sudan? The ones that were actually dug and filled on Bush's watch? Oh, well. At least we removed toothless tiger Saddam at the cost of only 1,000+ US deaths, 24,600+ US military medical evacuations and 17,300+ Iraqi civilian causalities. And still counting.)
As if the video of Attorney General, John Ashcroft singing wasn't scary enough, now it seems to be Secretary of State, Colin Powell's turn as he turns "Village Person" in Jakarta. Here's the latest embarrassing video courtesy of AP.
Someone please kill me when Darth Cheney breaks out with "My Way" for the troops in Tikrit.
After Enron's collapse in 2001, Boy George acted as if he barely knew Ken Lay. "He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994," said the Acting "President" (referring to Dubya there, not Darth Cheney) to the media at the time.
Never mind that Lay gave three times as much money to Dubya's candidacy during the time that he was "a supporter of Ann Richards".
Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and the good folks at The Smoking Gun, many of the personal correspondence between close personal friend Ken Lay and the Misleader-in-Chief have finally been yanked out of the protective hands of the Bush Family Thugs down in Austin.
Here's just one of many notes, some very personal, others giving specific directions on which policies George W. Bush's number one contributor would like him to support.
Yes, they hardly knew each other.
In the meantime, though Lay has been indicted on 11 criminal counts, none of those counts deal with the theft of billions of American dollars through chicanery via "deregulation" of the energy industry. Some $71 Billion was bilked out of California alone in the Deregulation/"Energy Crisis" Hoax, as this report at www.ConsumerWatchdog.org scrupulously details. And the people of California are still waiting for the nearly $9 Billion in refunds from Enron that is being conveniently blocked by George W. and his Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that is supposed to keep this sort of thing from happening in the first place.
With Bush's FERC Commissioner being a personally hand-picked selection of that same "supporter of Ann Richards" however, California may be waiting for some time to see any of that stolen money back in our coffers. As well, the Bush Energy Plan (written in large part by Lay and other Enron Employees) still calls for the same type of energy deregulation across the country that worked so well in California. One of the many Smoking Gun Letters has Lay summing it up nicely for his 'Manchurian Candidate': "Deregulation is not the risk. Delay is."
Perhaps something will change sometime around January 21 of next year for some reason. It's the campaign contributions, Stupid.
Well, we've returned from the peacefully chilly heights of camping in the mountains at 10,000 feet and gambling in the 105 degree heat of the desert. God Bless America.
No doubt I'll have more to say on the above soon. As well as on much of what I've gleefully missed over some of the past seven glorious days as I slowly return to speed. I say "slowly" because, unlike most on the other side of the political table, I enjoy actually forming my own opinions on things based on actual source material rather than simply retyping "opinions" as heard by the Political Dogma Masters at the top of the Echo Chamber Food Chain. But maybe that's just me.
So such things do take time. I'm sure BRAD BLOGGERS (some of them anyway) will understand.
This one observation however --- Days in the mountains with neither TV, Radio, Newspapers or Internet are blissful. Days in the dry desert with only quick glances at CNN and MSNBC and the occassional USA Today front page headline offer a gentle re-entrance to Modern Day America.
Flipping on FOX NEWS, however, upon returning home displays a whole new world!
For one, it's good to learn that the War in Iraq is finally over! Phew! That was scary for a while! And I didn't know that the Oil For Food "Scandal" at the UN is now by far the greatest issue rocking Americans today! Neither had I realized what an evil, incompetent, soulless, ambulance chasing, flip-flopping hypocrite that John Edwards scoundrel really is! And if I had known how close we now are to imminent war with those communist Freedom Haters in Canada and France, I might have stayed home to protect my personal property!
Fortunately though, I re-entered "America" in time to learn that my days without the media in the mountains were little more than blissful ignorance. Al-Qaeda may be striking me and my family with a "spectacular attack" at any moment!!!
While I was all set to support Anybody But Bush for President, thankfully I've been re-reminded upon my return --- oddly, as if like clockwork --- that I should be very VERY afraid of my impending Death by Terror! And not a moment too soon!!! Another day in the mountains without FOX and I might have been a goner!!!
With such an imminent and horrible attack scheduled to happen at any moment, perhaps it's best after all to vote for George W. Bush this year. At least he has kept me completely unharmed (so far!) from both the Freedom Haters and Saddam Hussein for almost three years straight! For that, he deserves our unquestioning support and unconditional thanks! I've also gotten some great bargains at the local mall during that time!
Oh, if only I could kiss him deeply on his manly full unwaivering lips and massage his strong evil fighting morally clear shoulders to show him thanks! But alas, that wouldn't be enough!
In any case, I, for one, once again realize how lucky I am to still simply be alive. Thanks to one Uniting-Not-Dividing, Honor-and-Dignity-to-the-Whitehouse-Restoring, Tone-Changing, Legitimately-Elected, Unwaivering-in-the-Face-of-Evil, Do-Gooding, Selected-by-God Leader of the Greatest Country on Earth by the name of George W. Bush! Thank you, Mr. "President"!
P.S. Got a very quick look at some of the Comments that have be posted over the past week. Good stuff! Looking forward to doing a bit of Commenting on some of those Comments myself in the coming days!
P.P.S. Congratulations to the people of Dallas! For making Fahrenheit 9/11 their number one film choice on it's opening weekend by huge numbers! The biggest Documentary in Texas history! And in only three days! And kudos to Dallasites for continuing to turn out for F9/11 the following week in equally impressive numbers! (Numbers that dropped off much less significantly even than Spider-Man 2 did in Dallas theaters over the very same days!) Perhaps everyone in Dallas isn't the backwards, backwater, deluded, bible-thumping, Fake Conservative moron that the state's most famous son (of late) and his blindly faithful and blissfully ignorant supporters would make one believe! Go Big D!
The BRAD BLOG takes a loooong holiday weekend! Back at it the beginning or middle of next week depending on how "free" America really is.
In the meantime, I've posted my Fahrenheit 9/11 review for you to chew up below, a few toons, and one hell of a good idea for a TV show! (Fox, are you paying attention?)
Beyond that, consider this an OPEN THREAD while I'm unplugged and "loving freedom". Hit the COMMENTS button, say your piece, and "Let Freedom Reign!" We fear nothing. Have a safe and fearless holiday, all!
By the time Friday rolled around, all showings in the area were sold out, and, of course, the Rightwing commentators had sold out long ago. Their breathless, panicked "debunkings" and attacks were as patriotic as they were on the mark. Which is to say, not even close on both counts.
We did, however, manage to find a theater some 40 minutes away where tickets to a late showing were available. Thankfully, we purchased online, because by the time we arrived at the theater, thirty minutes before it was to begin, the showing, and the midnight one that followed it, had already sold out.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is both a remarkable and landmark film --- as will become self-evident as the years march on. It's timing is simply extraordinary, as I marvelled more than once while watching on the enormous screen what it seems as though I'd just seen only weeks before while sipping my coffee on a Sunday morning while watching Meet the Press. But in this context, through Moore's eyes, instead of NBC's or Fox's or CNN's, the familiar footage looked somehow different.
True enough, this film is agit-prop in it's most robust and commercially viable form. But to my surprise and delight, it's also one hell of a piece of filmmaking.
From the simmering, surreal and ominous tone of the opening credits, a collection of satellite feeds of some of the "Major Players" (Bush, Ashcroft, Wolfowitz, Rice) being puffed and primped as they prepare to play their parts on the Media's Worldwide Stage, it's clear that this is more than hype --- it's actual cinema.
Having figured before hand that I'd already be well familiar with most of what I'd be shown, I quickly learned that Moore was, as usual, ahead of the curve. His game was bigger than mine. Bigger than the petty pundits who dutifully discredited the film before release, and before they had bothered to actually see it. Bigger than any of Moore's previous notable "documentaries".
He had more than just Bush Bashing in mind. He had a work of cinematic art to give us, which incidentally also ends up accusing just about everybody in the modern world for their part in the fine mess we now find ourselves in.
His "Op/Ed", as he described it last week on This Week is a case built carefully and deliberately brick by brick. One may find themselves wishing that the bricks would come slower in the film's first act, or perhaps it was simply a hope that the bricks couldn't possibly add up to where they seemed to be building.
In either case, these bricks are precisely what the Moore critics have tried --- so far unsuccessfully to my knowledge --- to break apart. And the truth soon becomes evident that any two or three or four bricks could easily be removed, and Moore's case would still remain as powerful. The reverberations will be felt for years.
In other words, Moore's case is larger than any number of airplanes full of Saudis secretly whisked out of the country by the Bush Administration in the days following 9/11 and subsequently denied by same for years. Larger than the silly notion of who within the Bush Administration approved such flights. Larger than any interview with a U.S. Congressman that may or may not have been misleadingly cut (transcripts made available by Moore's "War Room" suggest it wasn't). Larger than all of the shots I've seen, read or heard from those detractors who are so desperate to find something, anything to discredit Moore that --- failing that --- they'll usually toss in a "fat" crack to hold them over if nothing else sticks.
Moore's case, indeed, is actually larger than George W. Bush himself. He just happens to be the unlucky sap sitting in the Whitehouse at the time that Moore was finally able to best make his case. He also, with all his verbal fumbles and schoolboy-like enthusiasm for neat-o Photo Ops, happens to provide a crystal-clear picture of what has gone wrong in America and how terribly wrong it has gone. The smirking boy pretender is clearly over his head in a world that he didn't make, barely seems to understand, and may just be the place holder and/or unwitting errand boy for the larger more nefarious characters that actually keep the world spinning as if they were the only ones for whom it spun.
Surely it's all the stuff of the wild-eyed conspiracy set. A case more appropriate for the Rightwing Clinton-is-a-Mass-Murderer crowd. But here, with no small mountain of evidence at his disposal, and in his favor, Moore makes a ready-for-prime-time showcase of some usually ignorable Far Left screeds.
But even there, his case is still larger than the too-easily dismissed "No Blood for Oil!" arguments of the Far Left. It's a case that, in fact, he's largely made previously in the leitmotif of his Bowling for Columbine: that the collusion between Government, Media and the Military/Industrial Society to keep us Americans fat, frightened and clueless is precisely what allows the monied cretens at the top of the Financial Food Chain to manipulate the markets and the mentalities of the citizenry any way they damn please, and all to benefit their own personal fortunes. Certainly not ours. And in the bargain, it's almost always the losers of Life's Lottery who end up as their unknowing lackeys, giving up money, blood and freedom so that the Rich can get richer, and the less so might well stay that way.
Neither Democrats nor the "Liberal" Media catch much of a break in the bargain either in this film as they too passively play into the hands of those in charge and continue to be cowed by the influence of Big Money, Big Military and the Little Big Men who endeavor to keep the status quo flowing.
Lest you the get the idea, from this review, that this movie is a tedious excercise in the philosophical shadowy worlds of realpolitik, it should be added that this film is very, and too often disturbingly, hysterical.
True, Moore owes a debt of gratitude to Rush Limbaugh, who invented the very rudimentary forms of what Moore so adeptly now uses to his own advantage. (Which clearly pisses off the Right something fierce, an irony which is also clearly lost on them). But it has taken guys like Al Franken and Moore and The Daily Show and all the other Friends of O'Reilly, folks with actual senses of humor and comic understanding, to make it an art form.
And while we're at it, to make it a hell of a lot more honest than Limbaugh ever even pretended to be. If Limbaugh was willing to document and source his arguments as extensively and openly as Franken and Moore do --- so that folks really could come to their own conclusions --- perhaps we'd not be in the clueless and dangerous mess we now find ourselves in.
I'm loathe to give away too many of the details and delightfully troubling surprises in the movie to those who have yet to see it, so I'll not go into too many specifics for the time being. Though I will say that Moore may deserve the Academy Award this year if only for his choice of music during the montage of Dubya's famously lampoonable landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier to announce "Mission Accomplished" at the "end" of "major hostilities" in Iraq. Pure unadulterated genius, that.
I'd also note that, after all the Fake Conservative commentators have endlessly and shamelessly held up the severed head of Nick Berg as if to somehow justify our War in Iraq, I've not heard a one of them comment on the tape of the Public Beheading from Saudi Arabia that Moore shows in the film. (No worries, it's from very far away, and grainy enough to take the bulk of the graphic violence out, while keeping in all of the horror and sad irony.) In any case, those who would support George W. Bush for attacking Iraq, even while he coddles the Saudi Kingdom and in fact invites them over for family weekends at home, may have some 'splaining to do. So, of course, they won't.
In the days ahead, in any case, the backlash will undoubtedly continue. The idea that this polemic "will change nobody's mind about anything" will continue to show up amongst the cowards in the Media who create "Conventional Wisdom" before our very eyes and ears. The seeds for the case that "Michael Moore is a liar" will be endlessly dropped wherever there is a gullible Talk Radio listener or a Drudge Report reader. But the impact of this film, at this time, would be underestimated only by a fool.
After November 2nd, its message may still keep a new generation on at least Orange Alert when it comes to the way they'd previously passively accepted whatever they were spoonfed by the Politicians in Power and the Mainstream Media that serve them. But the message that there is a whole new way to reach a broad audience across America, and fly beneath the radar and restrictions of Federal Election Laws will likely be the film's longest lasting impact.
While I will openly admit that I hope Fahrenheit 9/11 does make a difference at the polls come November 2nd, and I think likely will, the more interesting reverberations will be yet to come.
Free Speech, real Free Speech, massive Free Speech for the masses, has only now begun to make itself heard in the new American Century. I suspect there will be a lot more noise still to come in the years ahead. And the Right and Left wings both will have Michael Moore's courageous, forward-thinking and --- yes --- patriotic vision to thank for that. Like him or not.
A Few Great Blogs
· Baghdad Burning
· Brilliant at Breakfast
· Crooks and Liars
· Dan Froomkin
· Fired Up! Missouri
· Freedom's Phoenix
· Freeway Blogger
· Glenn Greenwald
· Huffington Post
· Jesus' General
· Juan Cole
· Washington Monthly
· Media Matters
· Nashua Advocate
· Oliver Willis
· RAW STORY
· Sanoma State's
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· Media Freedom
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· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
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· Ben Sargent
· Bill Deore
· Bob Gorrell
· Cagle's Index
· Chan Lowe
· Don Wright
· Doug Marlette
· Glenn McCoy
· Jeff Danziger
· Joel Pett
· Mike Luckovich
· Non Sequitur
· Not Banned Yet
· Pat Oliphant
· Paul Conrad
· Ted Rall
· This Modern World
· Thomas Burns
· Tom Toles
· Tony Auth
· Stuart Carlson
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