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FEC Commissioners at War Over Rove's Campaign Finance Violations
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GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

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Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
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He Said It In San Diego!
And NBC4 Has The Video!
By Winter Patriot on 2/2/2005 11:02pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to from this item from Southern California's NBC4, Lt. Gen. James Mattis, the Marine Corps' top general, believes that it is

"fun to shoot some people."

What? Yeah! Not only did he say it; he said it in public! Here's the video!

According to the NBC4 story,

Many military members laughed at the comments

but Retired Vice Adm. Edward H. Martin

"was a little surprised"

What surprised the Retired Vice Admiral? The attitude? Or the statement?

"I don't think any of us who have ever fought in wars liked to kill anybody."

Aha! It was the attitude!

You tell me. Who's kidding whom? The "surprised" Retired Vice Admiral? Or the "many military members" who "laughed at the comments"?

ReddIt this story!



The Writings of Robert Parry
'Favorite Writers' Series Continues
By Winter Patriot on 2/2/2005 11:24am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

In a previous post, I highlighted Manuel Valenzuela, one of my favorite writers who did not make John Kaminski's Top 25. Valenzuela writes long essays composed of long sentences; his pieces require substantial time and effort --- to read! Imagine what it takes to write them...

Let's go a different direction this time: Robert Parry writes fairly short pieces using short and simple sentences. But that's not why I like him so much. I like him because he never seems to get distracted from the major issues. He just keeps pounding away, hoping that eventually some of it might start to sink in. And maybe it will. Someday.

Most of what Parry writes, most of what we read and see and think every day, every little bit of what we think of as 'political reality', can be better understood against the backdrop of Bush's 'Perception Management' Plan. If you haven't read this important essay yet, please do so.

You can find Robert Parry at Consortium News. Or you can click on the links here to read his most recent columns:

Your comments, as always, are invited, and welcomed...

ReddIt this story!



This one is Completely Open!
No question, no nothing!
By Winter Patriot on 2/2/2005 10:10am PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

You have the floor...

ReddIt this story!



Major Political Crisis! Troops In The Streets!
Unconstitutional? So What??
By Winter Patriot on 2/1/2005 3:41pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Yes, It has really happened. Not here, but in Nepal. It's been in the cards for a long time, but nobody could do anything to stop it. Sound familiar?

Pay attention, folks. This is what it looks like when a fragile democracy goes down the drain.

ReddIt this story!



With Friends Like These ... Who Needs ... Friends??
good photos and captions at The Memory Hole
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 11:53pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Russ Kick of The Memory Hole has reposted some very interesting old photos in a set called "Senior US Officials Cozy up to Dictator Who Boils People Alive".

And I thought you might like to have a look.

ReddIt this story!



Money Disappears As If By Magic!
Poof! More Than $8 Billion Simply Vanished!
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 11:32pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

There's a good article at Antiwar.com about a pile of money that seems to have developed magical powers. Here are the first few paragraphs:

The U.S.-run administration in Baghdad failed to keep track of nearly $9 billion of money it transferred to various Iraqi ministries, according to an official audit released Sunday.

The report by the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction says that the now defunct U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) did not exercise adequate managerial control over funds paid to Iraqi government ministries, which employ hundreds of experts from the United States.

This resulted in potentially widespread corruption, including paying salaries to "ghost" employees, and led to the eventual disappearance of $8.8 billion between early 2003 and mid-2004.

"Potentially widespread" corruption? Good phrase! That's right up there with the "possibly innocent" civilians whose home was bombed the other day. Pardon our "catastrophic success"!

What am I bitching about? It's only money, is it not? And we have money to burn, don't we? No? Ok then, why are we so busy burning it?

I do not want to know how many humvees could have been properly armored for 8.8 billion dollars. I do not want to know how many American lives could have been spared. Really. I don't even want to know how many extra votes could have been gained by making sure those 8.8 billion dollars disappeared into the right pockets! Oh that's right! They did disappear into the right pockets! How ironic!!

And how many elections can you buy for 8.8 billion dollars? Don't tell me. I don't want to know!

You can read the entire article but please don't answer any of my questions!!

ReddIt this story!



Sundance Festival Success!
More Details To Follow!
By Winter Patriot on 1/31/2005 9:51pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

Brad Friedman has finally met Clint Curtis, and he interviewed him before a live audience on Saturday night at the Freedom Cinema Festival in Park City, Utah. We're eagerly awaiting Brad's return and our chance to learn more about this tantalizing story.

While we wait, Fin and I are guest-blogging here at The BRAD BLOG, and over the next few days we're hoping to continue our "Favorite Writers" series, start another open thread or two, and maybe even look at a few news stories. Here though, are links to Brad's most recent posts. We've disabled comments for this entry, but you can still discuss Brad's previous posts on their own threads:

  • Brad's most recent post contained a short summary of the interview as well as the complete text of Brad's remarks introducing himself and Clint Curtis.
  • Here's a slightly earlier post announcing Tom Feeney's Town Hall Meeting, and reporting on the progress of the Festival.
  • And here's Brad's last post from his office, composed hours before he hit the dusty trail.
  • He may be movin' along as you read this, maybe even somewhere between Tehachapi and Tonopah.

    ReddIt this story!



    Well Guess What? It WAS!!!
    Even A Texas Republican Can See It!!
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 11:46pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    By Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
    Delivered to the U.S. House of Representatives
    Wednesday 26 January 2005

    America's policy of foreign intervention, while still debated in the early 20th century, is today accepted as conventional wisdom by both political parties. But what if the overall policy is a colossal mistake, a major error in judgment? Not just bad judgment regarding when and where to impose ourselves, but the entire premise that we have a moral right to meddle in the affairs of others? Think of the untold harm done by years of fighting - hundreds of thousands of American casualties, hundreds of thousands of foreign civilian casualties, and unbelievable human and economic costs. What if it was all needlessly borne by the American people? If we do conclude that grave foreign policy errors have been made, a very serious question must be asked: What would it take to change our policy to one more compatible with a true republic's goal of peace, commerce, and friendship with all nations? Is it not possible that Washington's admonition to avoid entangling alliances is sound advice even today?

    and so on...

    --- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

    ReddIt this story!



    Would you vote if you could?
    Suppose you were an Iraqi
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 9:43pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    My Mother (Winter Matriarch) always told me: "There are two sides to every story." I thought I understood that immediately. Right and Wrong. My Side and the Other Side. My side was Right and the other side was Wrong and those were the two sides to every story.

    It was much later that I learned she had meant "Always consider the other person's point of view." Ah... "Mom, That's good!"

    And so, as a tip of the cap to the Winter Matriarch, and as a toast to depth of understanding, no matter how delayed, I hereby open a thread with questions attached ...

    Suppose you lived in Baghdad ... or maybe Mosul ... certainly not Fallujah... anyway, suppose you lived in Iraq. Would you vote in this election? How would you feel about it? And why?

    (If you have any open-thread type comments that don't actually pertain to the election, please post them on yesterday's 'completely open' thread, ok? Thanks.)

    ReddIt this story!



    Activist Festival Makes International Headlines!
    while CNN spills the beans about Michael Jackson!
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 9:21pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    CNN is 'featuring' Michael Jackson in the 'Entertainment' news tonight. You can read their story here but I'll give you a snippet...

    SANTA MARIA, California (AP) --- Dozens of adult-oriented books, magazines and DVDs seized at Michael Jackson's Neverland ranch --- one with the fingerprints of Jackson and his accuser --- can be used as evidence in the singer's upcoming trial, the judge ruled Friday.

    Now That's ENTERTAINMENT!! Cultural Nothing Ness NEWS at its best, no? Who said that? Not me!!

    No, Really! It's Fabulous!! Really! Isn't it?? It's fabulous entertainment. Even the Bored and Boring Corporation often called the BBC is having some of it!

    Judge Allows Jackson Film Showing

    Martin Bashir's documentary Living With Michael Jackson will be shown to jurors at the singer's child abuse trial, the judge has ruled.

    The controversial programme contains footage of singer Jackson defending his practice of letting young boys sleep in the same room as him at his ranch.

    The defence opposed the move, saying the British journalist's show was heavily edited and unreliable evidence.

    Mr Jackson, 46, has denied 10 counts of child molestation and conspiracy.

    But if you go even farther afield, the perspective changes a bit, and here they are talking about something completely different!

    Sundance festival screens Enron film

    Tuesday 25 January 2005, 8:14 Makka Time, 5:14 GMT

    The new documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room has been screened for the first time at the Sundance Film Festival in the US.

    Touching on links between President George Bush and Enron Corp, the film closely explores the Houston-based company's massive financial collapse and the human toll on those involved in what was the largest US bankruptcy in history.

    Shown to packed houses over the weekend, the movie has left audiences shaking their heads and wondering how the Enron debacle could have happened.

    You probably won't see much about Sundance on CNN from the look of things, but on the other hand you can read more about it on Aljazeera!

    ReddIt this story!



    Another Conservative Media Whore EXPOSED!! Prices Continue To Drop!!
    PLUS: Links to another great site (or two)
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 7:27am PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    Michael McManus, conservative author of the syndicated column "Ethics & Religion," received $10,000 to promote a marriage initiative.

    Salon has confirmed that Michael McManus, a marriage advocate whose syndicated column, "Ethics & Religion," appears in 50 newspapers, was hired as a subcontractor by the Department of Health and Human Services to foster a Bush-approved marriage initiative. McManus championed the plan inhis columns without disclosing to readers he was being paid to help it succeed.

    Three weeks ago we found out that Armstrong Williams had sold his honor for $240,000. Wednesday it was revealed that Maggie Gallagher had sold hers for a mere $21,000. And now it's Mister Ethics & Religion himself, and the price was a measly ten grand. It's like an auction in reverse. How low will they stoop? Stay tuned.

    You can read the entire Salon piece here, although you have to register or watch a short ad in order to do so. You can also find a related blog item from Winter Patriot and that's here. Maybe it's not brilliant, but at least it's short, and no registration or ad-watching is required! [ahem]. And if you want to enjoy the fruits of your ten thousand tax dollars, you can start here.

    Also of note: I found out about the Salon piece through Russ Kick's fine blog, The Memory Blog, which serves as a companion to his fabulous site, The Memory Hole. Russ is a bit of a stickler about knowledge and information. He doesn't like to see it go missing. So whenever he gets his hands on a document, or a set of documents, that's being hidden [or in danger of being hidden], he posts it at The Memory Hole. And whenever he learns about these kinds of things, he posts blog items about them at The Memory Blog. I have both sites bookmarked [hint, hint!] and I visit them regularly [hint, hint!].

    The Memory Hole became something of a story when Russ obtained and posted a set of photos the Pentagon doesn't want us to see. But it's been good for a long time, and there is plenty of interesting reading to be found there. [hint, hint!]

    Have fun at The Memory Blog, but don't disappear down The Memory Hole!! And please don't swallow too much of that good old "Ethics & Religion".

    ReddIt this story!



    seems appropriate to me
    how about you?
    By Winter Patriot on 1/28/2005 3:33am PT  

    This thread is completely open.

    There's not even a question this time.

    If you think we need a question, please consider this ...

    What's up? ;-)

    ReddIt this story!



    Into History's Cauldron
    'Favorite Writers' Series Continues ... As Promised
    By Winter Patriot on 1/27/2005 11:26pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    In a previous post, I highlighted John Kaminski's list of his 25 favorite writers, mentioned that some of my favorites hadn't made Kaminski's list, and threatened to divulge a few names.

    OK then. Here's a name: Manuel Valenzuela. And here's a sample: Because There Is No Cause.

    If you haven't read this piece already, please do so. Cheryl mentioned it in a comment on another thread, and even said "WOW", so some of you may have read it already. But it's way too good to be buried in a stack of comments. Even with a "WOW". Isn't it, Cheryl?

    It's a long story composed of long sentences. No sound bites here. But enormous food for thought, and masterful use of the language. Perhaps I can entice you with a few paragraphs...

    --- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

    ReddIt this story!



    Serious New Allegations! Affidavits from Multiple Witnesses!
    Recount volunteers give details on very strange story
    By Winter Patriot on 1/26/2005 7:46pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    Check this out: I have a great new idea for scamming an election. What do you think of this?

    Suppose you took a filled-in ballot, used a blank sticker to cover the oval filled in by the voter, colored in a different oval, and then fed the ballot into an optical scanner. How do you think the machine would count that ballot? Pretty slick, no? I am so clever! Nobody else would ever think of doing something like this, would they?

    On second thought, maybe somebody else would think of it. And according to this article from RAW STORY, it's already been done. Quite recently, in fact. And you'll never guess where!

    Tough question, no? OK, here's a hint: What's round on both ends and high in the middle? Did you say "Ohio"? Well, maybe you will guess after all. But you'll never guess which ovals had stickers on them...

    Serious new election tampering allegations have emerged from an Ohio county, where witnesses allege that stickers were placed on presidential election ballots, RAW STORY has learned.

    Several volunteer workers in the Ohio recount in Clermont County, Ohio have prepared affidavits alleging serious tampering, violations of state and federal law, and possible fraud. They name the Republican chief of Clermont's Board of Elections and the head of the Clermont Democratic Party Priscilla O'Donnell as complicit in these acts.

    These volunteers, observing the recount on behalf of the Greens, Libertarians and Democrats, assert that during the Dec. 14, 2004 hand recount they noticed stickers covering the Kerry/Edwards oval, whereas the Bush/Cheney oval seemed to be “colored in.”

    Some witnesses state that beneath the stickers, the Kerry/Edwards oval was selected. The opti-scan ballots were then fed into the machines after the hand recount.

    Well, what do you think about that? I thought I had a good original idea here. Apparently it is a pretty good idea, but it's not exactly original. Oh well...

    Read the entire story here. Then come back and scream and yell all you like. This really does call for a good rant.

    But don't just rant here. Spread the pressure around.

    Or as Brad would say: Go Make Some Noise!!

    ReddIt this story!



    Tortured POWs Win Judgement Against Iraq; Justice Department Seeks To Overturn It!
    By Winter Patriot on 1/25/2005 9:04pm PT  

    Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

    If you needed any further proof that the American government doesn't give a damn about its soldiers, here's a story to make you cry ... again! It looks like our Justice Department has fallen so deeply in love with torture, that in their view, it's not only OK for our guys to torture their guys, but it's also OK for their guys to torture our guys!

    I quote the following passages from an article written by John Norton Moore, published by Slate, and headlined: Abuse of Trust: The POW scandal you haven't yet heard about.

    Moore writes:

    This nation has a special responsibility to prevent the torture of Americans held as prisoners of war. Our POWs have been brutally tortured at command direction in war after war, including the Korean, Vietnam, and most recently, the Gulf War; and it's clear that we need to do whatever we can to break this pattern. Yet when 17 of our tortured Gulf War POWs and 37 of their family members said "enough" and joined together to bring a historic civil action to hold their Iraqi torturers liable, they were shocked — having won their case in federal court — to find the Department of Justice seeking to erase their judgment and "absolve" their torturers.

    Moore details the horrific treatment suffered by Americans who were held prisoner in Iraq during George Herbert Walker Bush's 'excellent Iraqi adventure', and describes their efforts to hold the Iraqi government accountable. These efforts culminated in a lawsuit against the Iraqi government, which the POWs won. But then something very strange happened...

    Historically the United States has been a world leader in seeking to prevent torture. Today, along with most nations, it is bound by the Third Geneva Convention for the Protection of POWs. That convention bans all torture and inhumane treatment of POWs and, as a core enforcement mechanism, provides in Article 131 that no state may "absolve" a torturing state of "any liability" for their torture. This provision is particularly aimed at holding the state itself liable and banning any removal of that liability at the conclusion of a war.

    Sadly, along came the Abu Ghraib scandal, setting aside this historic tradition and the professional judgment of our military JAG officers and State Department experts. As is now well known, one effect of the abuse scandal was to undermine deterrence against the torture of American POWs in future wars (this, along with its catastrophic political cost to the Iraq war effort and, more broadly, to our nation's reputation). But, in a perfect storm of bad news for future American POWs, while the now infamous abuse decisions were still policy, the Justice Department went into court to erase the POWs' judgment and its message of liability for torture.

    This incredible situation may be reversed on appeal, if the Supreme Court decides to hear the case, and if it rules in favor of the POWs. But what is the likelihood of the Supreme Court ruling against the Justice Department? And...

    If the [...] decision stands [...], the consequences will be catastrophic. Future tyrants will hear the message, like a fire bell in the night, that the United States has little concern for its own POWs. Morale will decline in our armed forces as the reality sinks in that our government has sided with their torturers over them. A core enforcement mechanism of the POW convention, as well as our reliability as a treaty partner, will be undermined by our remarkable decision to "absolve" a torturing state in violation of the convention.

    So there you have it. Our Justice Department won't even let the Geneva Convention protect our own troops! But at least they can't be accused of using double-standards! They don't want the Geneva Convention to protect anybody!!

    Oh yeah! Freedom and Liberty are definitely On The March ... in the Land of the Formerly Free, and the Home of the Utterly Depraved!

    ReddIt this story!



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