Note: this is a long article, but filled with things you haven't read anywhere else, and SHOULD have seen.
The complete article logs in at 10,894 words, or about ten Op-Eds' worth. Make some popcorn and enjoy.

a Skiing Uphill virtual reprint from
Monday, August 30, 2005


Photos courtesy of The Lone Star Iconoclast

 Part I
[Note: I threw the first draft of this blog entry away two days ago when my spider-sense started tingling, and it became obvious that there were deeper connections at work. At the time, there was very little about Move America Forward's "You Don't Speak For Me, Cindy" tour online, and happily, several media outlets have started looking at the whole substrate of this anti-Sheehan PR stunt, including Janine Garafolo on today's "Majority Report" on AirAmerica radio. But, my hunches are usually good, and this one was. Much of the critical material and the connections only turned up after a couple of days of connecting the dots. There is something to be said for self-imposed deadlines and holds.]

This one is for Nancy Stapp of our local AirAmerica station, KOPT, who asked me on the air to talk about the "Truth Tour" of Iraq put together by "Move America Forward " about a month ago by KSFO radio talk show host Melanie Morgan to tour Iraq with Right Wing talk show hosts (including Vancouver "Oregon's" own Lars Larson until he cancelled).

When originally asked, I demurred.

At the time, I didn't know enough about it to comment intelligently, and, while it might seem the quaint practice of a bygone era in an era of news Creationism (or, if you prefer, Unintelligent Design), I operate from the dictum that FIRST you get your facts, and THEN you form an opinion.

I now have the facts about the Truth Tour, but, as our new Skiing Uphill motto is, "we serve no crime before its time," the bigger story was far less complete than it is now.

Well, the Orwellian-entitled "Truth Tour" produced any number of whoppers broadcast to the uncritical "true believers." One was that there was a HUGE terrorist training camp in Iraq (still looking for that 9/11 connection justification). Another was that the Iraqis were "60% trained." I presume that meant 60% of the Iraqi army was trained, not that the army was 60% trained. Yet another was that there were Weapons of Mass Destruction (see! they WERE a threat!).

Blogger "AltHippo" writes on TPMCafe:

"You may recall that upon returning from the Truth Tour, Michael Graham's world view was so enriched that he wrote: "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam." Graham was promptly suspended by WMAL here in Washington. Mr. Graham is the author of Redneck Nation, which I'm guessing is his autobiography."
Melanie Morgan wasn't alone on that tour, though. She was aided and abetted by California politician-on-the-make Howard Kaloogian. Indeed the radio photo-op for Operation Iraqi Freedom (originally entitled Operation Iraqi Liberation, until they realized what the acronym spelt) was put together by the organization that Kaloogian and Morgan figurehead for: "Move America  Forward."

And "Move America Forward" was created by the Sacramento public relations firm "Russo, Marsh and Rogers."

And therein lies the rub: Russo, Marsh and Rogers is intimately connected with the national and California Republican party, but we'll get to that in just a moment. First, let's listen to them, in their own words: http://www.rmrwest.com/index2.asp

Experience Really Does Matter.

When it comes to winning elections, few firms can match the success of Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.

The experience of RM+R's staff is one of the greatest advantages you get when you recruit the Russo Marsh + Rogers team of political professionals and campaign experts.

The principals and associates at RM+R have been involved in more than 350 campaigns at the local, state, federal and international levels.

In addition to our experience in almost every state in the nation and in countries such as Nicaragua and the Ukraine, the expertise of RM+R's staff extends to every aspect of campaign strategy and design.

Specifically, the experts on our team have extensive skills in:

Message Development
Market Research Methodology
Audience Targeting
Coalition Building
Campaign Ground Operations
All Advertising Techniques

RM+R understands the commitment it takes to run for office. And whether our client is political or corporate, we always give 110%.

RM+R provides its clients (ranging from County Supervisor to President of the United States) a solid strategic plan combining direct mail, fundraising, research, broadcast advertising, audience targeting, etc.

At RM+R we know that each campaign is unique and we are serious about winning. There are no simplistic formulas; creativity is essential.

With our strategy and skill at implementing the right tactics, RM+R is a proven organization with a solid track record of winning races.

Russo Marsh + Rogers, Inc.
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814

Telephone: (916) 441-3734
Fax: (916) 441-6057

Pay special attention to that fax number, because it's a key to all sorts of chicanery.

But here, let Keith Olberman (the only MSM newsman in America today who seems to have the cojones to actually report the news) of MSNBC report for you:
'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Aug. 24
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
Updated: 11:06 a.m. ET Aug. 25, 2005

Meanwhile, there is the group that reversed the Sheehan equation and showed up in her home town of Vacaville, California, with a caravan of military families and conservative activists who proclaimed, "You don't speak for me, Cindy."

Several partisan Web sites reported that the anti-antiwar group Move America Forward was not quite as grassrootsy a response to Sheehan as it first seemed, that it had, in fact, been launched by a Sacramento public relations firm with strong connections to the Republican Party.

Those Web sites are right. While the online evidence has been scrubbed that the PR firm Russo, Marsh, and Rogers actually put up the Move America Forward Web site, Move America Forward still lists as its chief strategist and one of its board members Sal Russo of the PR firm Russo, Marsh, and Rogers.

And the Move America Forward fax number in that area code is 441-6057, while the Russo, Marsh, and Rogers fax number in that area code is 441-6057.
Well, that's kind of soft-pedaling it.

You see, RM&R is more than a "public relations" firm. RM&R lists the "President of the United States" as one of its clients. And, they have run some presidential campaigns themselves, including those of Orrin Hatch and Jack Kemp.

On July 13, RJB posted this on http://whpsocal.blogspot.com (the blog "Words Have Power")

Move America Forward is a political astroturf organization that collects money and mailing lists for right wing PR firm Russo, Marsh and Rogers.

Move America Forward's current media focus is its so called "Truth Tour," a collection of right wing radio talkers passing on good news from Iraq. Billed as a "Voices of the Soldiers," the whole scam is designed to promote Move America Forward and their agenda. Kaloogian and his allies are using the military as a front for the vital fund raising work of the far right's propaganda machine.

If you haven't eaten yet, check out the Move America Forward site. It is dominated by the wall paper of the ultra-right, with a completely political focus.

Troops...troops..? Oh yeah, we have a coffee and cookie drive going for them and don't forget we need money for ads to get the UN out of the US. By the way, have you contributed to our campaign to oust Dick Durbin?

On July 4th -- Independence Day from those who seek to undermine our national resolve - we will begin a television ad campaign to hold Senator Dick Durbin accountable for his denouncement of our troops.

However, we need your help to raise the remaining money for airtime in just a few days time.

We are about $174,832 short of our initial budget for the ad campaign. That means we need just 6,993 Americans to contribute an average of $25 to the ad campaign.

And astroturf:

[ http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Kossary

Producing the illusion of broad grass roots support by top down actions. For example: A templated Letter to the Editor expressing wingnut outrage at an imagined liberal offense that is duplicated and sent to city newspapers across the country as if it were penned by a local reader. Local papers never fail to publish the artificial letters and thus OpEd pages from coast-to-coast are carpeted with artificial grass or 'Astroturf'.

-- from the "Kossary" at dailykos.com]
But it really goes further than that: These "clients" of the Bush White House have been behind the "protest" that caused CBS to cancel its showing of the Reagan miniseries (Kaloogian and Russo, et al); the attacks on "Fahrenheit 9-11" and the Gray Davis recall. Kaloogian (the "Chair" of MAF) was the "taxpayer hero" who, well, read HIS PR:
Assemblyman Kaloogian made history as Chairman of the Recall Gray Davis Committee, an effort which ousted Democrat Governor Gray Davis from office. Kaloogian set up the Recall Gray Davis Committee and its website, www.RecallGrayDavis.com, even fighting off members of his own party who were too timid to act. Davis became the first statewide elected official recalled in California's history.

Considering Ronald Reagan to be one of his political heroes, Kaloogian agreed to lead the Defend Reagan Committee (website: www.DefendReagan.org). He led hundreds of thousands of Reagan supporters across America to fight against the smear campaign waged against Reagan by CBS, Viacom and Showtime with their anti-Reagan production, "The Reagans." So many Reagan supporters flooded the offices of CBS and their sponsors with complaints that the movie was cancelled on network television. [from the recall website]
And from the defendreagan website:
Howard Kaloogian is Chairman of the Defend Reagan Committee (website: http://www.defendreagan.org/ ). He is a former California State Assemblyman (Republican) and was also Chairman of the successful Recall Gray Davis Committee, which in October recalled Governor Gray Davis from office -- the first time a governor had been recalled in California's history.

Defend Reagan Committee
P.O. Box 1445
Sacramento, CA 95812
And then, this damning little tidbit:
Sal Russo -- Chief Political Advisor

Mr. Russo has spent over 30 years in the field of political consulting and public affairs.

Mr. Russo began his political career as a special assistant to Governor Ronald Reagan after serving as a volunteer in his 1966 gubernatorial campaign. Mr. Russo later founded his own political consulting firm in 1976.

Sal Russo has been at the forefront of some of the most prominent national, state and local campaigns, including the election of Governor George Deukmejian (1982), Senator Alfonse D'Amato, New York (1992), Governor George Pataki, New York (1994), presidential bids by Jack Kemp and Senator Orrin Hatch and The Recall of Governor Gray Davis (2003).
So, these are much, much more than people "with ties" to the Republicans. These are Republicans who make their living from doing Swift Boat operations for the Rove Black Bag Unit of the White House and the GOP. In 2000, the pulled in over $2 million (the PR firm, not MAF) from strictly Republican candidates and campaigns.

Absent an actual pay stub, I couldn't prove in a court of law that Russo Marsh + Rogers are putting on these pageants on behalf of the White House, but their brags give the game away. There can be no doubt that the "smoking gun" in this PR game is in the hand of RS&R -- a hand that's significantly clad in surgical gloves. Unfortunately, they didn't quite cover up all the traces.
According to "What Really Happened"

June 12, 2004

A web site has launched a campaign to deter theater owners from showing Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9-11". A list of theaters currently committed to showing the film is provided along with exhortations to call and demand that the film be dropped. Some theater owners are reporting receiving death threats.

This web site, "www.moveamericaforward.org", is actually an alias for "www.moveamericaforward.com". A DNS check reveals that "www.moveamericaforward.com" is being run by a Public Relations firm out of San Francisco. [sic]

Russo Marsh & Rogers [emphasis added]
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814


Administrative Contact:
Lorenz, Douglas dlorenz@rmrwest.com
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-441-3734 Fax: 916-441-6057

[There's that fax number again!]

Technical Contact:
Lorenz, Douglas dlorenz@rmrwest.com
770 L Street, #950
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-441-3734 Fax: 916-441-6057

[There's that fax number again!]

Registrar of Record: easyDNS Technologies, Inc.
Record last updated on 18-Nov-2003.
Record expires on 18-Nov-2004.
Record created on 18-Nov-2003.

Domain servers in listed order:

PDF file of original WHOIS info for MoveAmericaForward.org showing ownership and administration by Russo Marsh & Rogers.

Russo Marsh & Rogers is a political public relations firm with strong ties to the GOP. Sal Russo, a principle in Russo Marsh & Rogers, served as advisor for the "Recall Grey Davis" campaign.

So, I guess we know just who is behind the campaign of threats and harassment against theaters showing Moore's film!

UPDATE: Following the first publication of this article, the WHOIS database for moveamericaforward.org has been changed to conceal their links to Russo Marsh & Rogers.

Domain ID:D102814530-LROR
Created On:18-Nov-2003 18:00:16 UTC
Last Updated On:12-Jun-2004 22:50:51 UTC

Expiration Date:18-Nov-2004 18:00:16 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R1247-LROR
Registrant ID:tu48DTsaZ7dXgT7L
Registrant Name:Howard Kaloogian
Registrant Name:Howard Kaloogian
Registrant Organization:Move America Forward
Registrant Street1:P.O. Box 1863
Registrant City:Sacramento
Registrant State/Province:CA
Registrant Postal Code:95812
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.9164416192
Registrant FAX:+1.9164416057

[There's that fax number again!]

Registrant Email:howard@moveamericaforward.org
Admin ID:tuW9UfAOApXQOh1k
Admin Name:Howard Kaloogian
Admin Organization:Move America Forward
Admin Street1:P.O. Box 1863
Admin City:Sacramento
Admin State/Province:CA
Admin Postal Code:95812
Admin Country:US
Admin Phone:+1.9164416192
Admin Email:howard@moveamericaforward.org
Tech ID:tu92eyg19oABIqVC
Tech Nam
e:Howard Kaloogian
Tech Organization:Move America Forward
Tech Street1:P.O. Box 1863
Tech City:Sacramento
Tech State/Province:CA
Tech Postal Code:95812
Tech Country:US
Tech Phone:+1.9164416192
Tech Email:howard@moveamericaforward.org

Note the phone number on the above record, 9164416192. It's actually the phone nuber of a BAR in Sacramento called "The Downtown Purgatory".! The FAX number 1.9164416057 is the FAX number for Russo Marsh & Rogers

ANOTHER UPDATE - The DNS record for moveamericaforward.org has been changed yet agian to remove all names.Nothing is left now but the name server lookups and the registration company. The registrar's name has been removed.

Sal Russo himself is still listed on the MoveAmericaForward site.

Note that the report came during the original MAF attack: Trying to get theaters NOT to show Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911" in 2004. But RS&R registered the domain in 2003, evidently anticipating the creation of their astroturf golem. The coverup is probably more significant than the ownership information. It tells us a lot about how these people work, and think.

And now, on Saturday, their bogus group "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!" will be holding a rally in Crawford, Texas tomorrow (Saturday). Michelle Malkin ... er, WHOOPS! Melanie Morgan will fly in to "lead" the "protest rally."

In other words, the PR arm of the White House, paid for by the White House, has put together a "tour" to protest the protesters. So watch the news media coverage of this phony event.

Oh, and note how close they come to the "10,000" counter-demonstrators they have been PROMISING during their tour from the Bay Area down to San Diego, and thence, over to Crawford, Texas.


I have a story to finish here, and I don't quite know how to do it. I've been immersed in the data stream for most of the day, now, and I've absorbed a nearly toxic dose of hate from right-wing websites. There are too many lies to even begin to untangle in any kind of rigorous manner: the simple fact is that tracking down these endless incestuous interconnections and front groups is akin to tracing the lineage of Qliphotic demons.

And he who touches is touched.

Where was I?

A. The Den of Serpents

First, a correction that will take us into it: The "front" group for all of this is "Move America Forward," and not, as I've erroneously reported "Move Forward America." The acronym is, therefore, MAF, and not, as I mistakenly stated MFA -- which are the initials for a phrase that describes these weasels more precisely, if less politely.

But the real reason that I can't seem to keep their name in focus is that it's transparently a ripoff of MoveOn.org -- which was founded (I've been there from the beginning) as a petition movement to MOVE ON and end the whole malignant impeachment. MAF is a hollow shell, a golem, an undead thing: a monstrosity that flickers in and out of existence in memory like a will o' the wisp.

MAF, as reported, was created out of whole cloth by Sacramento Political Consultants Russo Marsh & Rogers. According to Mike Malloy, when you call MAF, you get the RMR receptionist. We already know that RMR registered the domain, and covered up their involvement. But something came to light today that cements their connection to the "inner circle" of the GOP even more concretely:

According to Source Watch -- a project of the Center for Media & Democracy

Russo Watts & Rollins
From SourceWatch

Russo Watts & Rollins is a Republican political consulting firm based in Sacramento, California.

Ed Rollins (partner)
Sal Russo (partner). Also a principal in Russo Marsh and Rogers.
Doug Watts (partner)
Bill R. Phillips (1987-88)
Nancy J. Risque was from June 1986 Vice President with Russo, Watts & Rollins, after which she went on to be Assistant to the President and Cabinet Secretary under president Reagan in February 1987. [1]

Retrieved from http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Russo_Watts_%26_Rollins

And this:
Ed Rollins
From SourceWatch

Ed Rollins is a pollster and political consultant, best known for his work on the 1984 Ronald Reagan relection campaign and as Co-Chairman and Campaign Manager of Ross Perot's 1992 Presidential campaign. [1] (http://www.edwardsly.com/whitmanc.htm )

Following the 1992 elections, during a breakfast debriefing, Rollins admitted to journalists that one factor in the success of Christine Todd Whitman in the New Jersey governor's race against incumbent Democrat Jim Florio had been the distribution of "walking around" money to influential persons in inner-city precincts, including African-American pastors.

According to Rollins, workers who had been hired to help get out the Democratic vote were told, "How much have they paid you to do your normal duty? . . . We'll match it. Go home, sit, and watch television." In addition, Rollins said, "We went into black churches and we basically said to ministers who had endorsed Florio, 'Do you have a special project?' And they said, 'We've already endorsed Florio.' And we said, 'That's fine, don't get up on the Sunday pulpit and preach. . . . Don't get up there and say it's your moral obligation that you go out on Tuesday and vote for Jim Florio.'" Ministers who cooperated, Rollins said, received contributions to their "favorite charities." As a result, Rollins said, "I think, to a certain extent, we suppressed their vote."

Subsequently, the Democrats launched a lawsuit as Rollins' comments were alleged to be an admission of illegal behavior. When cross-examined by Democratic attorneys, Rollins claimed that his comments had been no more than part of a "psychological warfare" game he was playing with James Carville, the campaign manager for Whitman's opponent. A federal grand jury investigation proceeded, but eventually the grand jury concluded that no evidence had been presented to show that any laws had been broken.

A biographical note describes Rollins as having worked as Assistant to the President for Political Affairs in Reagan's first term and then as "the national Campaign Director for his 1984 re-election campaign". He then rejoined the Administration as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Political and Governmental Affairs. [2] (http://www.ashbrook.org/events/lecture/1992/rollins.html )

Prior to working for Reagan, Rollins worked as the Republican chief of staff, Principal Assistant to the Republican Leader, and Assistant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly.

"Rollins has held managerial positions outside of politics including stints as a university administrator, college instructor in Public Administration, Dean of the faculty of the National Fire Academy, head of Congressional relations for the U.S. Department of Transportation and as a management consultant to major U.S. and international Fortune 500 companies," his biographical note states.
Another unindicted co-conspirator from the Reagan era, in other words.

Now, the criticism might be made here, and following, that I am creating guilt by association, but I will argue that this approach is entirely fit and proper: these vultures have torn at too many carcasses together, for too many years NOT to appreciate the gestalt that they've created politically: the smears, the manipulation of media, of polling, of slandering and other dirty tricks to win at all costs. So, no, this is NOT guilt by association. It is merely shared complicity. So:

Meanwhile, Source Watch notes this about RM&R:

In June 2004, RM+R formed a front organization called Move America Forward. Its stated aim was to "to stand up and support the brave men and women of our Armed Forces" [1] (http://www.moveamericaforward.org/ ). However its chief preoccupation seemed to be a campaign against the showing of Fahrenheit 9/11 (movie 2004) in movie theaters.

In July 2005, O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that "the Kurdistan Regional Government has hired Republican lobby firm Russo Marsh & Rogers to get 'free media' to promote the interests of the Kurds in the post-Saddam Hussein Iraq."

One goal of the Kurdish leaders is "the return of Kirkuk," an oil-rich northern Iraqi city populated by Kurdish and Turkmen people. O'Dwyer's notes that the head of RM&R, Sal Russo, is no stranger to international politics, having "worked on the campaign of Violetta Chamorro in Nicaragua." The Kurdish contract was announced as Move America Forward, a group RM&R helped found and whose "chief strategist" is Russo, is going to Iraq. Move America Forward's "Truth Tour" is bringing conservative talk radio hosts to Iraq, to "report the good news on Operation Iraqi Freedom you're not hearing from the old line news media." [2] (http://www.odwyerpr.com/members/0705kurds.htm )

RM&R principal Joe Wierzbicki told journalist Bill Berkowitz that his firm's Kurdish campaign "will thank the American people for supporting the war in Iraq, and encourage Americans to visit and invest in the Kurdish region."

Yep. RM&R is the "PR" firm for the Kurds, as of July. One might well ask HOW this plum assignment was procured. But that would imply that the Bush Administration is handing out contracts to its cronies, and, while I'm not going to go that far, here, you should note that the "PR" firm of Russo Marsh and Rogers has a vested financial interest in maintaining a US presence in Iraq for as long as possible.

But here, let me tie this all back to the Swift Boat Moms in Winnebagos, and Melanie Morgan, courtesy of (apparently) Michelle Malkin, posting on Sean Hannity's website:
"... Radio Hosts Joining the Caravan

Talk radio hosts are helping to promote this event -- with many joining the caravan along the way.

The caravan kicks off in San Francisco where Melanie Morgan of KSFO 560 AM will lead her listeners along the first leg of the caravan. Morgan will also travel to Dallas, Texas on Friday to join the final two legs of the caravan into Crawford.


"For the past few weeks this nation has heard from those voices in America who advocate surrender in the war against terrorism. Now, it's time to hear from the other side of this debate. We are going to rally Americans together to show the terrorists overseas that our nation has not lost its resolve nor its nerve to prevail in the fight against their violent, extremist agenda," said Melanie Morgan who serves as Chairman of Move America Forward.

When the caravan arrives in Sacramento, California it will stop off at the studios of KFBK 1530 AM -- where KFBK's Mark Williams will interview the caravan attendees as he fills in for the "Tom Sullivan Show." Williams will get live reports on the caravan each day before he flies to Dallas, Texas on Friday to join the final two legs of the caravan into Crawford.


"Since our region of northern California is the place Cindy Sheehan calls home, we owe it to the nation to present another voice from this area. That's why Deborah Johns, the Marine mother, and I are heading to Crawford, Texas. We have a message for the President and the American people: Now is not the time to pull our support from the heroic mission our sons and daughters are serving in Iraq," said Williams.

Talk show host Martha Zoller of WDUN 550 AM Atlanta/Gainesville is also heading to Dallas to join the final two legs of the caravan and she's invited her listeners to come down for the caravan and pro-troop rally in Crawford on August 27th -- to stand by her side.


"I am going on the "you don't speak for me, Cindy" tour because of the American heroes who have lost their lives in the Global War on Terror. Casey Sheehan is an American hero and he had to live with the knowledge that his mother didn't understand what he was doing...he had to die with that knowledge, too. The media has elevated Cindy Sheehan as the voice of those families who have lost loved ones, but Cindy Sheehan speaks for a very small minority. We're going to tell the rest of the story now," said Zoller.

Also traveling from the Atlanta area is Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson (Ret. -- U.S. Air Force) who broadcasts "The Buzz Cut" radio show on the RighTalk Radio Network.


Patterson shares something in common with the other talk show hosts heading to Crawford, Texas -- he just returned from Iraq as part of the 10-day "Voices of Soldiers" tour.

"Our troops serving in Iraq made it very clear that they believe in the mission they are serving in. We must stand by them now, for if we don't we only will embolden the terrorists who are doing everything they can to weaken America's resolve. If we turn our backs on the mission in Iraq now, then our sons and daughters who have been killed in this conflict will have died in vain," said Patterson.

Additionally, caravans to Crawford to join the August 27th rally are being planned from Louisiana, Florida, Connecticut and other areas throughout the nation. Many caravans are being organized in conjunction with the supporters of Free Republic at their website, www.FreeRepublic.com


Starting Wednesday this week, Move America Forward will begin airing a 60-second television commercial promoting the "Support Our Troops & Their Mission" rally in Crawford, Texas. The ad is expected to air nationwide on cable news networks. You can view the ad online at the Move America Forward website -- www.MoveAmericaForward.org


Move America Forward will provide continuous updates on the caravan and rally at its website -- www.MoveAmericaForward.org
Do you recognize those radio hosts? Of course, you probably don't. They are the SAME radio hosts who accompanied Melanie Morgan (at taxpayer expense) to Iraq for the Right Wing talkers' "Truth Tour." And keep in mind that Melanie Morgan is the "Chair" or "Co Chair" or "Vice Chair" of Move America Forward, along with Howard Kahoolian, ex-California legislator, failed U.S. Senate candidate, failed recall gubernatorial candidate, and current leader of MAF. Kahoolian was prominent in the sound bites, today.

Now that you know a little about them, let's focus on one, in particular, Mark Williams.

B. Sacramento Republican Stooges

It's no accident that so many of the players here are intimately connected with Sacramento. RS&R is a Sacramento "public relations" firm, of course. ("Public relations" here is strictly a PR euphemism for "partisan demons from hell"). And Ed Rollins was a Sacramento denizen who went to Washington with old Ronnie Reagan. As did Sol Russo start on Reagan's 1966 gubernatorial campaign.

And that brings us to Mark Williams, Sacramento talk show host, another Hannity wannabe in the city that spawned Rush Limbaugh -- remember that Limbaugh's format and radio success came with his Sacramento talk show. It was there that he coined "feminazis" and "liberal" as a dirty word.

When they kicked him upstairs directly to New York City, he left every crypto-fascist wannabe in Sacramento with the dream that he, too could someday be Rush.

And there is little doubt from Williams' demeanor that he cherishes the Dream. Here, to bring us current, is a partial transcript from his August 22 appearance on "Hardball" on MSNBC (Note, O'Donnell is guest hosting for Chris Matthews):
O'DONNELL: Let me bring in Mark Williams, who is a radio talk show host and is launching his caravan tour from California, heading to Crawford today.

Why have you launched this tour?

MARK WILLIAMS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, the pontifications of a self-serving Democrat political candidate notwithstanding, this tour is neither anti-Cindy Sheehan, nor is it pro-war.

I have not spoken with a single individual in the last three years who is pro-war, nor anybody who is anti-Cindy Sheehan. What we are against is the damage she is causing. I just got back from Iraq, talking with the troops, talking with the Iraqis. And I see the damage that's done by pathetic creatures like the woman I'm talking to and Cindy Sheehan.


O'DONNELL: What specifically do you mean, Mark?

WILLIAMS: I'm about to get to that.

When they get up there and they present this country as divided, as still arguing issues that were decided, debated and voted on three years ago, that both demoralizes our troops and invigorates the insurgency. And it's no mistake that the lion's share of the violence is in and around Baghdad. That's where there are more Western news cameras per capita than probably any other city on the planet Earth. Where they see this kind of division, they use it as a fund-raiser and a recruiting tool.


ROWLEY: Mark, if you don't mind, you're making the case that Cindy Sheehan is hurting the morale of our troops?


WILLIAMS: She is aiding and abetting the enemies of this country and the people who killed her son.


WILLIAMS: Right now, Casey Sheehan is spinning in his grave.

O'DONNELL: Coleen, can I get your response to that?

ROWLEY: Well, I actually was called a traitor even for speaking out before the war was begun and cautioning officials that it would prove counterproductive.

If we fall into this other speaker's mode, we simply will not have a country that is acting judiciously, because we will all simply have to be quiet. We won't have our freedom of speech either and we will-none of us will be able to challenge incorrect and actually very dangerous policies.


WILLIAMS: Once again, this was debated, voted on, decided three years ago. We have men and women right now dying on our behalf and on behalf of the Iraqis.

It's our obligation as a society to stand up and support those men and women and make sure that the 1,800-plus who are now dead didn't die in vain. And I'm not quite sure what your alternative is, but perhaps we should open the doors to Saddam Hussein's prison cell, reinsert him as the leader of that country, allow him to start feeding people into wood chippers again feet first, give him back the chemical weapons and nerve gas weapons that the United States and that the United Nations was in there destroying, rescind the war authorization of 1991, and just go along our merry way, with our apologies to all of his future victims.


WILLIAMS: What about the 300,000 in mass graves that he engaged in acts of genocide?


WILLIAMS: If this was anything but an American action, the American left would be all over the White House to get involved in this country.


O'DONNELL: Coleen, can I ask you what is-please. You may respond, but, also, what is the alternative? The president saying again that we-that a policy of retreat and isolationism will not bring us safety. What is the policy of the Democratic Party? You're a Democrat. What is it? Cindy Sheehan seems to be advocating cut and run. Is that what you embrace?

ROWLEY: Well, I'm just going to back up.

The last speaker, of course, kind of exhibits this mentality that has not allowed us to have a fair debate. When he said that we debated this and voted on it, he is ignoring what most Americans know now -- now know, that the weapons of mass destruction arguments that were used were very misleading, false and deceptive.

WILLIAMS: Tell the 300,000 people of Saddam's chemical weapons.


O'DONNELL: Mark, she's allowed you to finish.


WILLIAMS: Why did John Kerry vote to authorize this war? Why did, through his entire presidency, Bill Clinton advocate taking down Saddam Hussein?


O'DONNELL: Mark, we play polite on this show.

Coleen, you may finish.

O'DONNELL: Yes, I'm going to go to your question, then, because, again, I think most Americans know that this was not presented in a very honest manner.

And I think there are answers now. I think we actually do have a potential to stabilize Iraq. That's what winning should look like. It should be stabilizing that country and stopping the violence in Iraq and Afghanistan.


WILLIAMS: And how do we do that? By cutting and running and leaving them to their fate? Well, that's exactly what we're doing.

I just came back from there. I saw the soldiers going out. I went out with them. I saw them giving food and candy and toys to the kids. I saw the Iraqis crowd around their Humvees and thank them for being there. I had Iraqis walk up to me and thank me for being there and telling me to tell America not to leave them to their fate. Stabilize it? That's exactly what we're doing.
But, at this point, I realize that I may have stretched your patience to the breaking point, and you are asking yourself, What does this have to do with Sacramento?

Well, let me answer that question and one more besides:

Date: 18 May 2004

Deborah Johns was featured on the popular Mark Williams Show on KFBK tonight with an update from her son Will in Iraq and a progress report to KFBK's listeners on the Yellow Ribbon Day events.

Project leaders and staff should take advantage of the opportunity to briefly highlight your project for Saturday on Night Talk Live - 7 to 10:00 week nights. Tell Mark's listeners what your doing, why and your hopes for the future. Include your website www.patriotwatch.com and don't be shy to ask for volunteers.
Yup. Not only has Williams been working with Deborah Johns (the Swift Boat Winnebago Mom) but they've known each other for some time ... and not always for nice little photo ops.

Johns lives in the Sacramento area. Williams' station is in ... you guessed it ... Sacramento, California, the capitol of California, and home (formerly) to the Gipper and (currently) the Gropenator.

Oh, and KFBK?
"NewsTalk 1530 KFBK launched the talk radio career of Rush Limbaugh in 1984, where he tackled the issues of the day with tenacity and vigor. Since his humble beginnings in Sacramento, Rush's popularity has skyrocketed and he is currently broadcasting on well over 600 radio stations nationwide with an estimated audience of nearly 20 million people. There's no doubt that Rush Limbaugh is a powerhouse in AM radio, as well as a testament to talk radio."
from the KFBK website: http://www.kfbk.com/rush.html

C. The Plot Thickens

Deborah Johns didn't just appear out of nowhere, nor did Cindy Sheehan ignite her anger. She's been an angry zealot for a long time now, and, as if it were surprising, in cahoots with Mark Williams, who currently warms the Rush Limbaugh chair at KFBK in Sacramento, California ....

Part III, The Conclusion:  WALPURGISNACHT 

"We have long since lost count of all the historic turning points and fast-evaporating victories hyped by this president. The toppling of Saddam's statue, "Mission Accomplished," the transfer of sovereignty and the purple fingers all blur into a hallucinatory loop of delusion."

-- Frank Rich, THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 28, 2005
In the end, it didn't amount to much: the "ten thousand" counter-demonstrators didn't show up, the media didn't pay much attention, the pro-war crowd showed themselves to be either thugs, buffoons, or both; the ever-compliant Angela K. Brown of the Associated Press mindlessly equivalenced the whole thing as "dueling demonstrations" -- a brain-dead idiot observation that was rapidly adopted as the "hook" by most of the rest of the MSM. Aand talk-show host Melanie Morgan was reduced to yelling about numbers on today's Sean Hannity show.

Most media reported about fifteen hundred "counter-demonstrators" or "pro-war" demonstrators at the pep rally at Crawford, Texas' (pop. 700) appropriately named "Pirate field."

That's right, campers, the Crawford high school mascot is the pirate. No wonder the Idiot Bastard Son feels at home there. (cf. Frank Zappa, "We're Only In It For the Money.")

The actual California "caravan" group (and its joiners along the way) only comprised twelve or fifteen vehicles, with additional troops bused in. According to reports, several chartered buses were cancelled when no riders could be found to ride on them. The Move Forward America spin machine originally claimed 3,000 pro-war warriors, but, by this afternoon, Melanie Morgan -- the oh-so-self-promoting KSFO hate jock who doubles as the Move Forward America co-chair -- was claiming 4,000.

And, in an eerie bit of synchronicity, CNN radio, notable for its invariable choice of the most right-wing sound bite, or the one that upholds the Administration's point of view, decided to run Deborah Johns' mischaracterization of Cindy Sheehan's statements along with her moral high dudgeon. This vile bit of Straw Man fallacy would have passed right off of MY radar ... except I happened to be working on this piece, and had in front of me, the exact transcript of her sound bite -- give to hate radio talk jock Mark Williams on KFBK in Sacramento a week earlier.

Here 'tis: "Cindy Sheehan made the comment that our military men and women that carry a gun are nothing more than terrorists, and that the true freedom fighters are the ones that are fighting against our men and women over there in Iraq," Johns said. "That's a pretty twisted statement to make."

Well, it matches her "boots on the ground" statement. MAF managed to get an AP story out of it, and something over 600 papers, blogs and TV stations picked up on it: "It absolutely mushroomed, but that's our liberal media*," said Johns. "They continue to like to hear the negative and not the positive that's going on."

(*Note the code use of the phony term "liberal media." Having turned "liberal" into a dirty word, the following campaign is to add "media" to it, so that the snivelization of the neocon slandery can thus emerge triumphant. Thus far, they are succeeding.)

Which is the whole purpose of the PR campaign: create a false "counter-movement," push the patriotic button, find shills to scream that Cindy Sheehan "doesn't speak for me," scream that their son's name is on one of the crosses in Crawford ... WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION!!

Funny. I don't note any of these "patriots" minding that the Bush Administration is slapping ITS PR logo on the graves of the fallen:
Troops' Gravestones Have Pentagon Slogans
Associated Press; August 24, 2005

ARLINGTON, Va. - Unlike earlier wars, nearly all Arlington National Cemetery gravestones for troops killed in Iraq or Afghanistan are inscribed with the slogan-like operation names the Pentagon selected to promote public support for the conflicts.

Families of fallen soldiers and Marines are being told they have the option to have the government-furnished headstones engraved with "Operation Enduring Freedom" or "Operation Iraqi Freedom" at no extra charge, whether they are buried in Arlington or elsewhere. A mock-up shown to many families includes the operation names.

The vast majority of military gravestones from other eras are inscribed with just the basic, required information: name, rank, military branch, date of death and, if applicable, the war and foreign country in which the person served.

Families are supposed to have final approval over what goes on the tombstones. That hasn't always happened ...."
This is public relations gone mad: smearing a mother for asking why her son was killed, after a phony PR campaign to sell a phony war; slapping their PR slogan on the graves of the dead; hiding the actual casualty numbers (you have to have DIED in action to be counted. Dying in the ambulance doesn't count); hiding the caskets, and, finally, hiding from Cindy Sheehan behind the fence -- helicoptering in and out of the ranch (at enormous public expense) so that Mad King George won't be troubled by having to look at the protesters through armored doors and tinted, bullet-proof glass.

Where, I would submit, is the reality principle here? Hell, the counter-protester site at Camp Casey I -- demonstrably almost never visited -- has the Orwellian moniker "Camp Reality." What?

You might note that one of the hallmarks of the modern political PR campaign (and never found in actual human beings) is the repetition of simple slogans; the endless reiteration of soundbites.

All of which only reinforces the conclusion that Deborah Johns was recruited (probably through Mike Williams of KFBK, Sacramento, the "birthplace" of Rush Limbaugh) for this Russo Marsh and Rogers counter-attack.

And make no mistake: this IS a counter-attack. CAPITOL HILL BLUE reports (and, while apocryphal, it seems too true to deny, given Bush's VIRTUALLY UNREPORTED flipping off the press last month!):

Bush's Erratic Behavior Worries White House Aides
Jun 4, 2004, 02:17

President George W. Bush's increasingly erratic behavior and wide mood swings has the halls of the West Wing buzzing lately as aides privately express growing concern over their leader's state of mind.

In meetings with top aides and administration officials, the President goes from quoting the Bible in one breath to obscene tantrums against the media, Democrats and others that he classifies as "enemies of the state."

Worried White House aides paint a portrait of a man on the edge, increasingly wary of those who disagree with him and paranoid of a public that no longer trusts his policies in Iraq or at home.

"It reminds me of the Nixon days," says a longtime GOP political consultant with contacts in the White House. "Everybody is an enemy; everybody is out to get him. That's the mood over there."

Bush's Obscene Tirades Rattle White House Aides
Aug 25, 2005, 06:19

While President George W. Bush travels around the country in a last-ditch effort to sell his Iraq war, White House aides scramble frantically behind the scenes to hide the dark mood of an increasingly angry leader who unleashes obscenity-filled outbursts at anyone who dares disagree with him.

"I'm not meeting again with that goddamned bitch," Bush screamed at aides who suggested he meet again with Cindy Sheehan, the war-protesting mother whose son died in Iraq. "She can go to hell as far as I'm concerned!"

Bush flashes the bird, something aides say he does often and has been doing since his days as governor of Texas.
Bush, administration aides confide, frequently explodes into tirades over those who protest the war, calling them "motherfucking traitors." He reportedly was so upset over Veterans of Foreign Wars members who wore "bullshit protectors" over their ears during his speech to their annual convention that he told aides to "tell those VFW assholes that I'll never speak to them again if they can't keep their members under control."

White House insiders say Bush is growing increasingly bitter over mounting opposition to his war in Iraq. Polls show a vast majority of Americans now believe the war was a mistake and most doubt the President's honesty.

"Who gives a flying fuck what the polls say," he screamed at a recent strategy meeting. "I'm the President and I'll do whatever I goddamned please. They don't know shit."

Bush, while setting up for a photo op for signing the recent CAFTA bill, flipped an extended middle finger to reporters. Aides say the President often "flips the bird" to show his displeasure and tells aides who disagree with him to "go to hell" or to "go fuck yourself." His habit of giving people the finger goes back to his days as Texas governor, aides admit, and videos of him doing so before press conferences were widely circulated among TV stations during those days. A recent video showing him shooting the finger to reporters while walking also recently surfaced.
So, don't doubt for a minute that the RM&R "Move America Forward" campaign is anything OTHER than revenge and counter-attack. Bush cut short his vacation to "tour" Idaho and Utah (and Arizona and San Diego today while the hurricane devastated "Bush Country") because one mother asking one simple question has completely unmanned him.

Mr. "Guts" and "Noble Purpose," right?

And his harridan is Deborah Johns.

Lord knows, she's had some practice. Here's one of those amazing documents that puts all the perpetrators at the scene of the crime, hands locked, arms linked, and I'll let you figure out how intimate the connections run:

From [Melanie Morgan's] KSFO webpages:
Sacramento Bee story on anti-war protest
Anti-war display a flash point
Outrage at Land Park pair's use of uniform may stifle dialogue.

By Carrie Peyton Dahlberg -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, February 15, 2005

An American soldier's uniform has become a lightning rod for anger and anguish after a Land Park couple posted it on their house, accompanied by anti-war signs.

Talk radio has jumped aboard. TV crews filmed it reportedly being torn down. Cable news and Internet bloggers have given it a national audience. Military family supporters are planning a candlelight vigil.


It makes a crucial point, though, said one of the pair, Stephen Pearcy.

"It's a message of dissent over the war in Iraq. ... The soldiers are being left out to hang" under misguided American policy paid for with U.S. tax dollars, he said.

"We are decent people. We do have reasonable views," said his wife, Virginia Pearcy.

The Pearcys, both attorneys, have placed uniform displays outside their home twice -- and twice they were torn down, most recently on Monday. Stephen Pearcy said they'll keep on mounting displays to provoke important discussion.


Still, Deborah Johns of Roseville, co-founder of Marine Moms and Military Families, has asked police to investigate the Pearcy display as a hate crime.

"My son wears that uniform every day. It's an insult to hang it up like that."

Johns said she has never heard an anti-war message that strikes her as truly respectful and kind.

All she wants is to have someone say they respect what her son believes in and is trying to do -- before they tell her they're against the war, or even against all wars and all military forces.


The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the hate crime allegation and expects to have a decision in a few days.

A man identified by police as Bryan Mathew O'Malley went to authorities with his lawyer Monday to discuss last week's removal of the Pearcys' display, and his name will be forwarded to prosecutors with a vandalism report, said Sacramento Police Sgt. Justin Risley. Police are looking into the second removal.

A Sacramento-based group called Move America Forward, which describes itself as a national movement to support U.S. troops, has called for a candlelight vigil outside the home in the 2700 block of Marty Way at 7 p.m. today to send its own message of dismay. "We believe this family has the right to free speech ... but speaking freely does not mean all sentiments should be warmly embraced," said Siobhan Guiney, executive director.

The Pearcys say they'll be there and hope their friends and allies will be, too.

And Mark Williams, a Sacramento talk radio host whose "Night Talk Live" show airs on KFBK (1530 AM), is offering a $100 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals -- while still deploring what he considers an attack on America's military, perpetrated by those who hate America.
And, just for fun, here's Mark Williams on Fox News talking about Cindy Sheehan (while hyping Deborah John's anti-anti-war tour):

From the August 24 edition of Fox News Live:
WILLIAMS: Cindy Sheehan is on a mission to figuratively urinate on her son's grave and make his death stand for nothing. She represents and symbolizes all those who would cut the legs out from the men and women who are fighting now as we speak, to defend us and to build a new country in Iraq. Cindy Sheehan's not interested in the memory of her son. She's only interested in using her son as a prop to advance her own hatred for the American troops. I've got to tell you something: Since we started our "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" tour caravan to Crawford -- I'll be speaking there, at the Crawford community center Saturday -- I've received hundreds, hundreds of death threats from Cindy Sheehan's supporters because I dare to speak out and support our troops. My dog is getting death threats, for God's sakes. These people aren't peaceful. These people aren't anti-war. These people are creeps who hate this country and everything it stands for.


WILLIAMS: Cindy Sheehan has been at every pro-America, pro-troop rally that I've staged for the past year to demonstrate against those concepts. She's one of our local whack-jobs here. She's -- I'm sure she misses her son -- but he's far more valuable to her as a propaganda tool for she [sic] and her friends, and you're right, the president met with her on June 24, 2004. She didn't have enough nice things to say about him when she came out of that meeting. It's only as she's become more radicalized that she's adopted her son's death as some sort of cause celebre.
Source: MediaMatters.org

The Mike Williams/Deborah Johns connection is a strong one, and more than casual:

Let's start out with a seemingly "innocent" connection, www.caseyskids.org .

I know. It's a "cute" little dog that's asking for money to give stuff to Iraqi kids. Innocent, right? Read on:

My name is Holly Williams. When my husband, KFBK Sacramento, CA radio talk show host, Mark Williams, and I, traveled to Iraq with a group of other talk show hosts and documentarians for a week in July 2005, we got to see first-hand the country and the people. We were able to visit our troops and see the good works that they are accomplishing over there.
Oh, and this at the bottom:
And so on behalf of myself, Deborah Johns, co-founder of Northern California Marine Moms and Siobhan Guiney, of Voices of Soldiers 2005, please help us and Casey help the children of Iraq. Please donate whatever amount you can give to help us get these essential supplies to the children of Iraq.

Please send a check to "CASEY'S KIDS-TO-KIDS," 4120 Douglas Blvd. #306-442, Granite Bay, CA 95746 or please click on the "Donate Here" tab on the menu to the upper left.

Thank you!
Holly Williams

Thank you for your generosity and please keep visiting our website where you can see how CASEY'S KIDS-TO-KIDS is helping the Iraqi children.


Holly Williams, CEO

Deborah Johns, CFO

Siobhan Guiney, Secretary

CASEY - Once lost, Forever found.
Yeah. THAT Deborah Johns. Oh, and "Casey"? He's SUPPOSED to be a dog they found. But what are the odds that it's a coincidence, given the long enmity towards Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed in Iraq? Either way, Mark Williams and Deborah Johns are MORE than just close pals. But it's an "innocent" endeavor, right?

Well, not so innocent. First, the domain was "Created On: 02-Aug-2005 21:16:42 UTC" according to domain registrar easyDNS Technologies' whois.

And the fellow who registered it?

According to SOURCEWATCH:
Douglas Lorenz is the Advisory Board Director of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which describes itself on its website as 'The conscience of the Republican Party'.

Lorenz started out in 1990 as the principal in his San Francisco based computer consulting firm, Lorenz Technologies. According to a biographical note he then returned to college where he "created the first online presence for the California College Republicans" as well as completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at California State University Sacramento in Public Relations, with a minor in Economics.

"Douglas came to the political consulting firm Russo Marsh and Rogers in 2000, and developed the company's current information technologies capabilities. Subsequently, during Bill Simon's campaign for Governor of California, Douglas served as the campaign's Director of Information Technologies...," his biographical note states. [1] (http://www.rlc.org/?p=Bios )

Lorenz was also head of the advisory board of the Recall Gray Davis campaign [2] (http://www.recallgraydavis.com/QA.asp).
Hmmm. Wasn't Howard Kahoolian the HEAD of Recall Gray Davis? And wasn't Sol Russo (of Russo, Marsh & Rogers) the advisor and PR agent of Recall Gray Davis? And isn't Lorenz their (and, therefore MAF's) computer database guy?

Gee, these coincidences sure are getting thick.

And Lorenz is a piece of work, kiddies. Here's from a right-wing blog thread: The Washington Note: Comment on Move America Forward's Tally Supporting Bolton 216 (99%) to 2 (1%) :
Hey, just passing by to see how this line of discussion is going and I thought I'd throw in some info...

Some people earlier were discussing the issue of anti-semitism and political ideology. When I was working with Move America Forward a while back on the Michael Moore thing, we received the following email:


I've cut and pasted the message over completely. If you want to write the woman who wrote that message, I have included the email address that she sent her hate from, which appears to be a law firm in Los Angeles...

Remember, if you want to find a group of people who are well and truly anti-semitic, you need look no further than the United Nations. They have a long history of coddling nations who are less than subtle about their desires to eliminate Israel as a nation and kill every Jew they can find.

Do you really believe that the nations which the U.N. represents are working in the best interests of the American public? And if they aren't, then why should we be giving them our money? Even hard-core liberals should be able to find a lot better things to spend this money on...

My two cents...

Posted by Douglas Lorenz at March 23, 2005 03:27 PM
OK. You get the point. I have more "hits" showing the Mark Williams/ Deborah Johns connection: Mark Williams posts on one of the Sacramento blogs that he and Deborah Johns are friends and work closely together. That he's writing a check to Johns' send stuff to the Marines charity, etc. That they worked on the "Yellow Ribbon Campaign" to get a "Yellow Ribbon Day" through the California Legislature (there are lovely pictures of a triumphal Deborah Johns holding the typically overwrought California proclamation of same in the Capitol building), etc.

(Don't doubt that Ms. Deborah Johns is planning a political career.)

But the Swift Boat Mothers in Winnebagos tour was a bust. Melanie Morgan's little stab at becoming a National Figure kind of fell short -- not that it will stop her. She got on Hannity (FreeRepublic reports that "Hannity almost came on" the "Truth Tour") http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1434416/posts

After a post from Melanie Morgan and Howard Kahoolian on the "Truth Tour" to Iraq last month stating, in part:

"In addition to live shows broadcast by the radio talk show hosts in attendance, we will also be providing special reports and segments to Sean Hannity's nationally syndicated show,"
a Freeper seemingly in-the-know (self-named Impeach98) posted this:
"Sean Hannity almost came on the trip - and in fact if all goes according to plan Melanie will be calling into the radio show. Not sure what the deal with the TV show is... Melanie's working on this angle."
(For a recitation of the lies that came out of that "Truth" tour, go to: http://mediamatters.org/items/200508240013 )

Ain't that sweet?

Casey's Kids. Sean Hannity. Recall Gray Davis. The Free Republic dot Com. And the Department of Defense. Let's not forget them:

This was reported by Marie Therese (among others cited)
on Newshounds
July 06, 2005

... According to Media Matters:

"Joining [Kaloogian] on the trip will be Melanie Morgan (KSFO, San Francisco), Mark Williams (KFBK, Sacramento), Lt. Col. (USAF-Ret.) Buzz Patterson, Martha Zoller (WDUN, Gainesville/Atlanta), Michael Graham (WMAL, Washington, D.C.), two reporters from David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine and Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

Billboard Radio Monitor reported on July 5th:

"The Department of Defense has stepped up the number of sponsored media tours it is bringing into Iraq and Central Asia. The latest trip kicks off this Friday (July 8) and is sponsored, in part, by DoD's office of Central Command, which is based in Tampa, Fla., and is responsible for all military operations in the area that includes Iraq and other parts of Central Asia."

The tour kicks off on Friday July 8th with a big "Thank You BBQ" at CENTCOM HQ in Tampa, Florida. FOX News host Sean Hannity's Radio Show, among others, will be carrying the "live from" broadcasts.

DoD's Office of Media Outreach already sponsored a similar junket in April, also reported by Billboard Radio Monitor:
"Seven talk show hosts and one classic-rock radio personality are in Iraq, courtesy of the Department of Defense, as part of a new initiative by the DoD's Office of Media Outreach. In some cases, the hosts are broadcasting live back to the U.S. or blogging or taping for later broadcast. Virtually all expenses are being picked up by the U.S. government, with the exception of broadcasters providing their own means of broadcasting or delivering their content."
So, Howard Kahoolian and Melanie Morgan and "Move Forward America" are taking free junkets at taxpayer expense to help move the war effort forward for the Pentagon. And it was evidently a successful junket at some level.

But, as I said, the next project, the Winnebago Swift Boat Moms, didn't go as well.

The ever-compliant media merely characterized it as "dueling protests" and missed the entire point.

No one could properly figure out what the role of protesting the protesters was, and several embarrassing and thuggish incidents took place.

Face it: these are Bush's Brownshirts. As the Nazis took Germany by intimidation, the attempt here was to intimidate the protesters away from Incurious George's front gate.

I know that the last two postings and this one have been tough going, but bear with me just a little bit longer.

The Sydney [Australia] Morning Herald reported Saturday's protests as:
"... Hundreds of protesters on both sides descended on Crawford, Texas, on Saturday for the most openly hostile exchange since Ms. Sheehan arrived early this month.

"Ranged against her are conservative activists and military families, including the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy!" tour, which began in Ms. Sheehan's home town of Vacaville, California, and was due to arrive in Crawford yesterday.

"Its figurehead is Deborah Johns, the mother of a marine serving in Iraq." [sic: Her son is currently rotated back to the US, in either California or Florida - depending on the source.]
[from story Anti-war vigil draws protesters; August 29, 2005]

And The Independent (UK) reported:
There could have been no starker symbol of the political divisions vexing George Bush's America this weekend than the railroad track running right through the heart of Crawford, home to the president's summer holiday ranch in the scorched plains of central Texas.
[Story: Across the tracks at Crawford, Texas, a divided nation bares its pain and fury, By Andrew Gumbel in Crawford, Texas; Published: 29 August 2005]

It's no surprise that Fresno's own Howard Kaloogian got his soundbites at the Saturday anti-protest protest (the MAF stooges are currently screaming that the liberal media has tarnished them with the stamp "pro-war." Well, hell, if the jackboot fits, wear it, guys.)

CBS News reported:
Several thousand people descended on President George W. Bush's adopted hometown Saturday, most in a cross-country caravan for a pro-Bush rally and others to support an anti-war demonstration led by grieving mother Cindy Sheehan.

Bush supporters gathered for an event marking the culmination of the "You don't speak for me, Cindy!" tour, which started last week in California. The crowd of about 1,500 chanted, "Cindy, go home!"

"You are giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of America," said former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, a Republican who co-founded the group that coordinated the rally.
[story: Voices Collide In Bush's Backyard, CRAWFORD, Texas, August 27, 2005]

Kaloogian also got his sound bite in the AP story: "You are giving hope and encouragement to the enemies of America," said former California Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, a Republican who co-founded the group that coordinated the rally." Weird how it's EXACTLY what CBS claims it reported, but hey. Must have been THE oratorical flourish of the afternoon, right?

But, really, MOST reported were two incidents in which the pro-war idiots managed to shoot themselves in the collective foot. In one, a Freeper showed up with a sign that called Cindy Sheehan a "ditch bitch" (a reference to her accommodations in camping out to wait for Bush) and "how to ruin a marriage in 30 days" -- ostensibly referring to the divorce papers that Sheehan's husband filed. The MAF coordinators didn't appreciate the Freeper's exercise of his First Amendment rights (other signs were equally hateful), and a brouhaha ensued when he was asked to take it down, resulting in the Freeper's arrest.

Ouch, if you're into "P.R."

The other incident was one in which a couple fellows showed up with signs that were too clever by half for the general intellect of the gathered Pro-War demonstrators. The AP story continues:
"There also were some heated moments at the pro-Bush rally when Bush supporters mistakenly identified two people as war protesters. The two walked in with a sign that read "Say No to War -- Unless a Democrat is President."

"Many Bush supporters only saw the top of the sign and believed the men were war protesters, so they began shouting and chasing the pair out. One man tore up their signs.

"When Will Marean of Minneapolis kept repeating that he was on the Bush side, one Bush supporter shook his hand and apologized."
There were other vicious little anecdotes, but the bottom line was this: the "Pro War" caravan was a monumental bust by PR standards. By Sunday, the usual suspects were grousing about the biased liberal media, and coming up with every possible rationalization to explain why the outcome of the Battle of Crawford had been a rout on the level of First and Second Manassas, and for the same reason:

The Anti-War protesters had steadfastly refused to fight. The Pro-War protesters were unable to maintain discipline, and made jackasses of themselves.

And THAT was what made the front pages and the phosphor tubes, and plasma screens.

So, Deborah Johns and her slimy backers might as well have stayed home.

Well, you've read this far. You might as well know what she claims her motivation was (as the mother of a living soldier) for attacking the mother of a dead one.
Trip to support troops -- Roseville military mom leading 'You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy' caravan to Crawford, Texas
By: Sherri L. Shaulis, The [Roseville, California] Press-Tribune Friday, August 19, 2005 2:53 PM PDT

... [Roseville's Deborah] Johns said she understands Sheehan's grief at losing her son, but feels Sheehan's message is not representative of most military families.

"I would like to know exactly how Cindy Sheehan has supported our troops since her son was killed," Johns said. "I don't see it. What she is doing is just destructive behavior."
... Johns noted she's received phones calls and e-mails of support from through the country, including some from Sheehan's family members. But the most important support Johns said she's received comes from her own soldier.

"Just the other day I was able to speak with my son," who is now attending dive school in Florida through the Marines, Johns said. "He asked me, 'Mom? Have you seen that woman on TV? When is someone going to do something about her?' When I told him what I was doing, he just said, 'Way to go, Mom.' "
And that, Nancy Stapp, is my long-winded answer to your radio question on what I thought about the "Truth Tour" of Melanie Morgan and her right wing cronies.

Ain't you sorry you asked?


  2005 Hart Williams
Eugene, Oregon
 August  26-30