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...
|MORE BRAD BLOG 'SPECIAL COVERAGE' PAGES...|
Überblogger Josh Marshall asked last night:
Good question, Josh.
But he was on a late-night roll last night, posting this brilliant piece on the latest US/Israel/Palestinian muck that George W. has now signed us on for.
If you're not up to speed on the seachange that has just occured before our very eyes, and nearly behind our backs and certainly without our permission in regards to the US/Israel/Palestine thang and the profound effect it will likely have for years to come, I can't recommend that link enough. It's as if Dubya's now officially hellbent on taking us all down with him before his time is up in a few months.
But will we all make it that long?...And beyond?...If you really wanna be terrified, check this item that he posted just prior to the others.
That one, frankly, just scared the hell outta me when I made the mistake of reading it last night around 2am just before turning in for the night. I can't recommend it enough either. It's longer than the other, but worth the read. Just be careful if it's the last thing you intend on reading before going to bed tonight.
It's the sort of sobering reality that has actually forced me to consider supporting John Kerry. At this point, what Howard Dean said may be true, we simply can't afford George W. Bush in the Whitehouse, and if that means holding our noses and pulling the lever for Kerry, that may just be the responsible thing to do at this point.
Somehow overlooked by Drudge, but reported by AP:
Now, the United States is responsible (legally - you know, Geneva Convention and all) for the security of a soveriegn nation that we are currently occupying. And, as I recall, one of the reasons (that later wasn't really the reason at all, but never mind...) it was so important for us to go into Iraq was to ensure they didn't share their WMD technology or materials with others who wanted to harm us.
But now we're not even guarding these facilities? And radioactive materials are getting out of the country?
The report goes on:
In addition, "large quanitities of scrap, some of it contaminated, have been transfered out of Iraq from sites" previously monitored by the IAEA.
Good lord. No doubt it's all Bill Clinton's - or Jamie Gorelick's - fault.
When DRUDGE talks, people listen. Despite Rush's claim to the contrary, it is Drudge that is "America's Assignment Desk".
Every newsroom, talk radio, newspaper, television station in America - and yes, even Rush himself - gets their daily assignments via Drudge's handpicked headlines. If you hear an interesting report on the radio, chances are Drudge had it first and that's where those guys found it.
So when Drudge declared the day before yesterday that "Liberal Radio Crashes and Burns!" - or whatever the sexy screaming headline was - without actually presenting both sides of the story,, leave it to every Conservative outlet, talking head, DittoHead in the country to run with it.
When you're starved for good news, you'll take anything you can get. "Conservatives" these days are, to say the least, hungry for anything to avoid the real shitstorm they're in the middle of.
For the record, Air America posted it's initial response yesterday on their website, explaining that the owner of the two stations in question that yanked AA from the air without warning did so "in violation of their contractual obligation". Whether that's true, I don't know. Though apparently the New York Supreme court agrees, at least enough to issue a restraining order forcing the station's owner to restore AA back to the Chicago station (over which, apparently, that court has jurisdiction). The Los Angeles case is still pending.
The AA press release to that effect is here. And also states in part:
So, what do you think? Were they right to have removed it? Should it have been posted in the first place? Or was it simply - for those who actually know and listen to Air America precisely what you've come to expect and appreciate from the insightful start-up with a sharp satirical edge?
The BRAD BLOG thinks it was pretty funny, and a taste of - at least Drudge's - own medicine. But by any standards, I'd think it's "gracefulness" and "professionalism" is certainly in question.
By way of full disclosure: I look eagerly towards AA's return to the LA market. It was, even with all it's various problems --- to be expected in it's nascent stages --- a heaven sent first step towards balancing the remarkable imbalance that is currently on our - theoretically public owned - airwaves. In the meantime, you may listen online any time at www.AirAmericaRadio.com and I recommend you do.
The mantra from the Right is that, though Bush has spent 40% of his term away from the Whitehouse on his ranch in Crawford and other family retreats, he doesn't need to be at the Whitehouse in order to fullfill his duties. That he has access to everything he needs wherever he may be.
They have also gone out of their way to point out how --- contrary to reports from Richard Clarke and others --- he was fully engaged on Terrorism because he met every day with his CIA Chief, George Tenet, on precisely this topic.
Today's testimony by Tenet to the 9/11 Commission would suggest otherwise, however.
It seems that after Zacarias "The 20th Hijacker" Moussaoui was detained in August 2001 after suspicous behavior at a Minnesota flight school --- in the midst of the summer of unprecedented "threat spikes", when "lights were blinking red" and Bush had already received his now-infamous PDB warning of Al Qaeda's plans --- it was revealed that Tenet didn't speak to the President at all during the month while Bush was on vacation in Crawford, TX.
From the MSNBC report on Tenet's testimony today:
A spokesman for the CIA later clarified that Tenet had flown to Texas to brief Bush on Aug. 17 and resumed regular briefings on Aug. 31 after the president returned to the White House.
After Moussaoui was arrested, Tenet and other top CIA officials received a briefing headed “Islamic Extremist Learns to Fly.” Tenet said that was Aug. 23 or 24.
Another self-deluding DittoHead myth falls by the wayside.
Last night's prime-time press conference, which I spoke of previously, was just 40 minutes long after the opening statement, including just 15 questions of which few were actually answered, allowed 0 follow-up questions and featured 1 of the longest known pauses in Presidential Press Conference History as Bush was forced to admit "I wish you'd have given me this written question ahead of time so I could plan for it."
Yet Rush panted onto the air this morning to instruct the DittoHeads that last night was "A SLAMDUNK GRANDSLAM HOMERUN!"
Mixed sports metaphors aside --- one might wonder what the basis is for his claim, as the bulk of media reports have been contrary to that notion (though, as he also informed us, the Media is obviously now working for the Kerry Campaign).
Perhaps it was the overnight polls that told him so. But as of this hour, there have been no overnight polls yet released that I know of. There is, however, a "Live Vote" at MSNBC, an unscientific Internet Poll which shows that of 115,209 responses to the question "How would you grade President Bush's performance in the prime-time news conference?" The results were %34 Excellent/Very Good, %11 Average and a whopping %55 Poor/Disaster. Of course, that poll is unscientific, and therefore indicative of nothing. I report it only to be as irresponsible and misleading as Rush.
So could Rush's bluster have been little more than a desperate effort to try and rally Bush's rapidly evaporating base by suggesting something he'd like them to believe without any actual evidence to back it up? Who, Rush?
A few minutes later Rush referred to the Consumer Confidence Index as being at "an all-time high!" He didn't mention precisely which Index he was referring to, but such a claim should be easily verifiable somehow, right?
I checked the PollingReport.com's Consumer Confidence page which lists all of the latest polls on this topic. It was updated with polls released as recently as today (4/14). A check of the numbers on that page, however, would show anything but Consumer Confidence at "an all-time high".
Consumer Confidence, however, is based on little more than Confidence in the economy by the Consumer. A number that may be influenced by many things, including someone with a huge national listenership telling Consumers that Consumer Confidence is at "an all-time high".
Hmmm...I'm starting to suspect that Rush may have some sort of an agenda. That he may not be giving his DittoHeads the full story each day. It's almost as if he says untrue things in order to convince his millions of listeners that they are actually true despite all evidence to the contrary. Who would possibly be dumb enough to fall for that? Certainly not the DittoHeads, who as Rush likes to tell them, are "the smartest, most well-informed listeners in the country bar none."
From Bush's third primetime press conference. He took 15 questions. This is one of them:
BUSH: Because the 9/11 commission wants to ask us questions, that's why we're meeting. And I look forward to meeting with them and answering their questions.
QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) I was asking why you're appearing together, rather than separately, which was their request.
BUSH: Because it's a good chance for both of us to answer questions that the 9/11 commission is looking forward to asking us. And I'm looking forward to answering them.
Well, that clarifies that. Next question!
And this, on how difficult it all is...
Dubya-ism aside --- how difficult, much less creepy it would be to actually "console family members who've lost their life" --- the question is again begged as to why Bush has not attended a single funeral or memorial service for a US Serviceman killed in Iraq. Seems it would be a fine chance to actually hug and weep and console and remind. Clinton, Bush H.W., and Reagan all did so, but not Dubya. As of today he would have had 681 chances.
He did, however, as I pointed out yesterday remind us twice tonight that he visited injured troops finally on Sunday. Perhaps I'm too tough on the man, but that's "one of my hardest parts of my job".
And finally, as Bush/Cheney prepares to jointly "visit" with the 9/11 Commission, we leave you with one last quote from this evening...
There ya have it. The right man, at the right time.
The disastrous pre-9/11 work of the Bush Administraton continues to come to light via the work of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.
A number of understandable blunders came to light today as Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Janet Reno testified as well as several FBI Directors from both Clinton and Bush Administrations.
In addition to what's being covered today, there are a couple of notes from a Reuters report that seem to be flying a bit beneath the media radar:
· Then-acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard said he appealed to Ashcroft for more money for counterterrorism but on Sept 10, 2001, one day before the attacks on New York and Washington that killed nearly 3,000 people, Ashcroft rejected the appeal.
As I've stressed previously, both of the above issues, and others like them - by both Bush and Clinton administrations - are understandable in a pre-9/11 world.
The inexplicable fact remains, however, that the Bush Administration's adament allergy towards taking any accountability or even admit any shortcomings in that world is what's making the entire matter the media focus it's become. As usual, these guys are doing themselves in.
We'll see if Bush's rare Press Conference, in about an hour, will signal a new approach and include any humility or a whiff of accountability. I'd be surprised if it did, but it would go an incredibly long way towards restoring this collapsing Administration in the eyes of the American electorate who seem to be abandoning them in droves.
In a unique moment for a Conservative, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia actually apologized on behalf of the U.S. Marshall who erased the tape recordings of two print journalists who were covering a speech of his to students in Mississippi last week.
As covered here a few days ago, Scalia seems to feel that he is above Media scrutiny --- despite being a Public Figure as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice for life --- and that he may ban all recordings of his public speeches.
Apparently he's now changed his policy, and will allow members of the Print media to record his speeches, but is still banning Radio or TV reporters from doing so.
And just to push the irony meter to ridiculous proportions, I've come to learn that Scalia also banned TV Coverage last year in Cleveland when he was presented with a "Free Speech Award" for supporting the First Amendment.
In related news, Scalia is still refusing to recuse himself from the pending Supreme Court case in which Duck Hunting Buddy, Dick Cheney is a defendant.
As he said in his 21-page memorandum in response to those that have reasonably questioned his impartiality in the matter: "Since I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned, I do not think it would be proper for me to recuse."
Case closed. All Hail Scalia!
This photograph, taken and released by the Whitehouse on Easter, shows how much Bush cares about those injured and killed in our "War on Terror". It ran dutifully on Drudge all day yesterday.
Non-Whitehouse photographers were not present.
Bush has yet to attend a funeral or memorial service of any of the 677 servicemen killed in Iraq.
The Whitehouse policy banning media or grieving families from greeting the remains of their loved ones at Dover Air Force base is still in effect.
Last week, 67 American Servicemen were killed in Iraq. Bush spent the week on his ranch in Crawford, TX.
The NY Times reported on Bush's first public appearance since last Tuesday.
Also on Thursday, American forces in Iraq pushed south to retake control of several Shiite towns held by insurgents, and three Japanese civilians taken as hostages appeared in a video broadcast blindfolded, while their captors threatened them with guns, knives and swords.
Mr. Bush spent that afternoon leading representatives of 22 hunting, fishing and wildlife organizations on a tour of his 1,600-acre ranch. Among his guests were leaders of the National Rifle Association, the Ruffed Grouse Society, Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation. He also gave an interview to Ladies' Home Journal.
On Friday, as Americans worked to put a cease-fire in place in Iraq, Mr. Bush fished in the bass pond on his ranch with Roland Martin, host of the Outdoor Life Network cable show "Fishing with Roland Martin."
Mr. Bush "took the biggest one of the day" — a four-pound bass, Mr. Martin told The Associated Press.
Tomorrow's GOP run-off for the state House seat in Johnson County, Texas - a staunchly conservative district - should be interesting.
The BRAD BLOG is officially endorsing Republican Sam Walls in the race. He is pictured at left with his smiling wife. He is the one in the wig and dress on the right.
Despite the embarrasing photos of Sam in drag that were recently found when his trailer home was repo'd, this man is "a giant" in the Republican community of Johnson County according to a report from the Dallas/Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Walls, whose family made a fortune selling mens' work clothing, is the kind of guy who "makes things happen" in Johnson County, Hazlewood said.
The smears of this poor crossdressing self-described "fervent Baptist" are outrageous! Even possibly unfounded!:
The Alpha Omega Society's Internet site says the group is "committed to the cause of the heterosexual crossdresser, family and friends."
But Sam is not giving in easily, as reported by Reuters:
Walls, 64, who describes himself as a fervent Baptist, told the paper his family had "dealt with" the issue of his cross-dressing and that he asked for forgiveness.
We forgive you, Sam. Good luck tomorrow!
Polls are polls. They change. Particularly when manipulated by the actions of a President from his bully pulpit.
None the less, trends are trends. And Newsweek's just released numbers from Apr. 8 - 9, would show an alarming one for the "President". These numbers and trends are also echoed by virtually every other recently released poll.
If polls are good enough to make Rush cream in his pants, they are good enough for me too.
Bush's handling of Iraq
APPROVE: %44 DISAPPROVE: %51
(One year ago)
APPROVE: %69 DISAPPROVE %26
Bush's handling of terrorism and homeland security
APPROVE %59 (down from %70 earlier this year)
Bush Admin underestimated threat of terror attacks on U.S. soil
Has Bush Admin INCREASED or DECREASED risk of large number of people being killed or injured in future terrorist attacks in the United States
INCREASED: %42 DECREASED: %29
(End of last year)
INCREASED: %28 DECREASED: %30
Concerned that Iraq will become another Vietnam
VERY/SOMEWHAT CONCERNED: %64
NOT TOO/NOT AT ALL: %34
Satisfied or Dissatisfied with the way things are going in this country
SATISFIED: %36 DISSATISFIED: %59
Bush's handling of the economy
APPROVE: %41 DISAPPROVE: %55
Bush vs Kerry
KERRY: %50 BUSH: %43
Only the best TV show ever.
UPDATE SINCE LAST NIGHT: From Drudge...'NICK AND JESSICA' CONQUER PRIMETIME! DUO'S ABC VARIETY SPECIAL WINS TIMESLOT, NIGHT WITH 7.8 RATING/12 SHARE, ACCORDING TO NIELSEN... NETWORK TO ORDER ADDITIONAL SPECIALS, PLOTS REGULAR SERIES
The Presidential Daily Briefing from August 6, 2001, entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S." was declassified and released by the Whitehouse about 9 minutes ago.
The PDB was described this week by Condi Rice as nothing more than an "historical document" presented to the President during a summer when "chatter" had reached an all time high. ("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.")
The final two paragraphs of the just released "historical" PDB include the following:
CIA and the FBI are investigating a call...in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives. [emphasis added]
The next day after receiving this briefing the President left for a 30 day vacation in Crawford, TX.
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
Project Censored Sites:
· Daily Censored
· Media Freedom
· Project Censored
· Scholars & Rogues
· Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
· Talking Points Memo
· Think Progress
· Tom Tomorrow
· TV Newser
· 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
Or by Snail Mail
Make check out to...
7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594
Los Angeles, CA 90028